Sunday, June 01, 2008
Evolution and Science & Religion Compatibility
Here is a clip from AAAS on the compatibility of science and religion - a perfect representation of Gould's non-overlapping magestaria (NOMA) (tip from Framing Science). Yes, when pushed this view gets into trouble (as Francis Collins in this clip talking about God answering personal prayers). But the question is, who is the audience? This video would work for those who are religious and science-friendly and may provide them with a justification for supporting (and doing) science. On the other hand, many would have good reasons to point out that NOMA can be a slippery slope - and that these boundaries are overstepped all the time. Thus, there may not be a single good approach to talking about science & religion. Different videos for different audiences.
Yesterday was my last day on Chincoteague Island. At breakfast at the hotel, I overheard a conversation about the movie Expelled. A guy, probably in his 70's, was talking to a younger couple (seemed like his son and his wife). He liked the movie and was now reading Michael Behe's new book. He was familiar with the fine-tuning argument (with explicit religious overtones) and also with the tenure case of Guillermo Gonzalez. However, what struck me was his interest and fascination with science. Too bad, he got suckered into ID-nonsense. But I was thinking, he would be the perfect audience for this AAAS video - well-educated, religious, and having a deep interest in science. Yes, NOMA has serious problems - but we should also not cede this demographic to ID.