Friday, March 15, 2013

Jerry Coyne - Why Science and Religion shouldn't cohabit

source: highlights comments

Today at the SW SACRE conference I was asked by a Chair of a SACRE (she has Bahá'í Faith and was a former biology teacher) whether I thought Science and Religion are compatible, so this video linked by John Davison is timely (actually I wish I'd seen it LAST night, as I would have answered her: No! rather than 'sometimes'!)

A brilliant talk by Jerry Coyne. I'd recommend you watch (make notes!) on the whole hour long video. My highlights...

13min 50s: question to US public "if science found a fact that contradicted the tenets of your faith, what would you do? 64% of Americans would reject the fact in favour of their faith!"

18min: the more who believe in god, the less who believe in Darwin

21min 40s Frans de Waal moral sentiments can be seen in chimpanzees and other animals eg sympathy, empathy, reciprocity. Dogs follow social rules. thats why we like them so much [4]

I am deeply confused by Free Will (I hope Johno Pearce? can enlighten me in his talk for Dorset Humanists)

22mins: "Free Will is an Illusion: we do NOT have free will - we do NOT have free choices, they are made by our unconscious often well before we think we made those decisions, this is deeply threatening to religious people because free will is a deep part of many religions; you have to freely accept [must have Free Will] Jesus before you are going to heaven, and if you can't do that, religion has no meaning whatsoever'

24min: Stephen weinberg '"The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless' ie no deity gives a point to the universe.

26min: Pollution of science and Naturalism by superstition eg Francis Collins says fine tuning, morality is evidence for god,

29min: why science works. Science provides ways so that you don't fool yourself (Richard Feynmann). With Religion you do fool youself.

40min: The Nicene creed - a metaphor?

46min: if science disproves something in the Bible, the theologican says it's a metaphor.

50min: Adam and Eve story refuted.

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