I will have to sheepishly admit to being a TIME fanatic. As a kid in secondary school, I devoured the weekly publication as if starved and practically hero worshipped Lance Morrow and Pico Iyer. I don’t read it as often now but I chanced upon a crisp copy on the dining table and happily thumbed through it between mouthfuls of teriyaki salmon (yum).
And to my great delight they served up my favourite debate ever: Science vs Religion
“Brain imaging illustrates -in colour!- the physical seat of the will and the passions, challenging the religious concept of a soul independent of glands and gristle”
I’ve never stopped being fascinated by this- even writing about it in the GP essay exam- and I think it has quite a lot to do with my endless whys. The infinite has always attracted me…if I could lie on a hilltop under the cloak of night and stare up into the feast of stars…why I think I would be lost in some flight of ecstasy. As a child, I believed everything- God, fairies, mermaids, wizards. And then I discovered that I had to choose- and it threw me into turmult. I went through a spate of condensed philosophical navigations- everything from Jostein Gardner to The Matrix to St Aquinas to the New Age section in Kinokuniya but it only brought me more questions than answers. I know how they always say that the right questions are everything but I hated that. I ONLY wanted answers- for questions I lacked not. When revelation came to me (through no act or leap of logic of my own) it was a welcome salve to my burning need for answers. But it was not a revelation that was logical in any way- I only knew that it was true, and real in a way that reality often is not. So I began to connect the dots. I knew the end point- I just needed to find the way to get there. So I read even more.
I don’t remember how many books or even WHAT I’ve read but I have come to draw my own conclusions that while satisfactory to appease my need for logic, are simultaneously hypothetical in a way that science (as it appears to me) will be unlikely to accept. In other words, a scientist might say that there is a lack of empirical evidence. That’s why they it call “faith” I suppose- there is a necessary leap of logic. To acknowledge possibility based on a theory is not the same as believing.
Anyway after all that, I just wanted to talk about the debate they featured in TIME between Richard Dawkins (author of “The God Delusion” and a evolutionist) and Francis Collins (a geneticist and director of the Human Genome Research Institute). Both scientists, the former is an atheist and the latter a Christian. Honestly I adored every single calm, measured answer that Collins had to Dawkin’s belligerence
“I find absolutely nothing in conflict between agreeing with Richard in practically all his conclusions about the natural world, and also saying that I am still able to accept and embrace the possibility that there are answers that science isn’t able to provide about the natural world- the questions about the why instead of the questions about how. I’m interested in the whys. I find many of those answers in the spiritual realm.”
“For you to argue that our noblest acts are a misfiring of Darwinian behavior does not do justice to the sense we all have about the absolutes that are involved here of good and evil…The moral law is a reason to think of God as plausible- not just a God who sets the universe in motion but a God who cares about human beings, because we seem uniquely amongst creatures on the planet to have this far-developed sense of morality.”
And my very favourite:
“Faith is not the opposite of reason. Faith rests squarely upon reason, but with the added component of revelation.”