20 May 2006

Can Science get Free from Atheism

Dennett claimed that Darwin had shredded the credibility of religion and was, indeed, the very “destroyer” of God. In the question session, philosophy professor Jeff Jordan made the following observation to Dennett, “If Darwinism is inherently atheistic, as you say, then obviously it can’t be taught in public schools.”

“And why is that?” inquired Dennett, incredulous.

“Because,” said Jordan, “the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution guarantees government neutrality between religion and irreligion.”

Dennett... leaned back against the wall, and said, after a few moments of silence, “clever.”

After another silence, he came up with a reply: He had not meant to say that evolution logically entails atheism, merely that it undercuts religion. Jeff Jordan’s question underlines how the self-appointed defenders of the scientific method are trying to have it both ways. Don’t allow religious philosophy to intrude into biology classrooms and texts, they say, for that is to soil the sacred precincts of science, which must be reserved for hypotheses that can be rigorously tested and confronted with data.


1 comment:

Roy said...

No, science cannot get 'free of atheism'. Why? Because of the unnatural divide imposed between the sciences and liberal arts in modern universities.

The great scientists and mathematiciaans of the past were also philosophers and theologians. They did not seek out only science or math as refuge from all other thought, as so many do these days. The disciplines were inter-linked.

Still, there must be at least strong scepticism in the scientific mind (even for Science itself). After all, while a scientist need not assault the concept of god, neither can he blithely accept "God did it" as the simple answer to every question.