Sago Boulevard

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Retelling The Story of Science"

About a month ago, Godol Hador directed me to this article by Stephen Barr on the so-called conflict between religion and science. I printed it out with the intention of reading it eventually. In part because of a conversation I had over the weekend, I finally sat down to read it. It's really an excellent article and it gets at some of the difficult yet important issues that many writers on the subject avoid. It also doesn't overstate its point. Barr knows what he can prove, what he can disprove, and what he can merely suggest. What he suggests is this:
After all the twists and turns of scientific history we look around and find ourselves in very familiar surroundings. We find ourselves in a universe that seems to have had a beginning. We find it governed by laws that have a grandeur and sublimity that bespeak design. We find many indications in those laws that we were built in from the beginning. We find that physical determinism is wrong. And we find that the deepest discoveries of modern physics and mathematics give hints, if not proof, that the mind of man has something about it that lies beyond the power of either physics or mathematics to describe.