Every religion produces its own kind of secularism, even yours. This is a question I’m really interested in looking at in the U.S. today because it is at the crux of American science, policy, and politics—religion, belief systems, etc., all those things that are deemed to be outside of science. What if we started seeing science for what it was–an human endeavor–and take a closer look as to how religion (but also culture and politics) plays a role in science?
I read a New Yorker post by NYU Professor Gary Marcus from his blog, “Elements: Science, Technology, and the Things that Make Up of Our World” on a related topic that looks at what top scientists have started saying about science as faith. It seems that the different scientists’ strategies aim to be something that is religion-like without actually saying that its religion though it’s quite close. Perhaps these scientifically creative strategies to explain what’s beyond the natural world are as close as they’re going to get to admitting that religion, beliefs, and other social factors are at play in science.
The relationship between science and religion has always been vexed. Most scientists I know are nonbelievers, convinced that there is no deity, or at least that there is no convincing evidence of one. Even those who are believers, like Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, see their religion and their science as largely separate. (“If God is outside of nature, then science can neither prove nor disprove his existence,” he once wrote.)”
But it has been startling to see leading scientists employ science itself in arguments for believing in a kind of supernatural…