Why Science Can't Replace Religion

By Keith Kloor | August 24, 2012 12:00 pm

In her book Doubt: A History, the scholar and poet Jennifer Hecht writes about having awe for the universe without being religious.  She talked about this during a radio interview:

It seems that if you have a doctrine, a version of rationalism or a version of atheism that makes it so that you have to be worried about using the word mystery, you’ve got yourself too constraining a doctrine…But mystery, then, doesn’t mean I’ve got to fill in the blanks with, you know, ideas of my own imagination…if we sort of can respect these ideas and say, “Yeah, life is mysterious. It is very strange.” Just the fact that, you know, we are these animals who have these kind of thoughts, it’s all pretty wondrous, and doubters have celebrated it. And that’s the kind of doubt I want to bring into the conversation, because I think we’ve really backed ourselves into a couple of corners, and it’s time to get out.
A similar sentiment was given expression in the pages of Nature this week. It has not been well received by the high priests of New Atheism, or by many commenters at Nature.

I take my crack at this ongoing debate in Discover, in a post titled, “Why Science Can’t Replace Religion.” Check it out.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: religion, science
MORE ABOUT: atheism, religion, science

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Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets.From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine.In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest.He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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