Adam Frank on Religion and Science

Adam Frank on Religion and Science


Religion and science are these two grand human endeavors, and and even though I would consider myself to be an atheist, I see in science, I have a response to the narratives of science, the stories science tells, the universe that science reveals, that for me, you know, can only be described as spiritual. And so I was always interested in sort of how this science and religion debate occurs, and most particularly, I get very exhausted by this sort of evolution versus, um, fundamentalist creationist debate. I think there’s so much more to be said about this subject than that what we usually get in the media about it. So, I’ve never seen science and culture or science and other ways of knowing as being separate, and I think it’s very important for us to find new ways of talking about the two of them. Along with a number of other scientists, four other scientists, I formed a blog that works, that we have on National Public Radio, NPR. The blog is called 13.7 Cosmos and Culture, and all of us in – all of the scientists in the blog – all have this view that we’re trying to transcend the normal debate between science and religion, the popular debate between science and religion. And as I show in my book, is that this debate, this idea that there’s a warfare between science and religion is actually fairly recent. It’s only a hundred years old. Before that, the relationship was much more complex, much more nuanced. And again, I want to stress that the debate here, there’s so much to say about than rather than the institutions of religion, versus science. People should really have their own way, should be free to have their own ways to think more deeply, to think more broadly and more multi-dimensionally about, you know, what it means to have a response to the world, to have an experience that they might call sacred or spiritual. That goes beyond whatever creed or dogma or doctrine any particular religion says. We as a culture present, we teach science to people, we teach science to our students, and we hope to evoke that sense of awe, and yet we’re unwilling or unable to recognize that what we’re generating in these students and in people, is what is fundamentally an experience of what you’d have to call the spirit or of sacredness. So, for me, it’s leaving that the debate behind, and just recognizing that the advocates of the poles of that debate will never be satisfied. And it’s time for the rest of us, people who see themselves as being religious but are open to the narratives of science, and people who are, you know, deep enmeshed in science but also understand the nuaces of their own experience, the rest of us need to have a conversation and start building a different narrative around what it means, what science and spiritual endeavour mean.

2 thoughts on “Adam Frank on Religion and Science

  1. Finally! I've bern saying both sides of evolution and creationism are riduculously narrow. Been waiting for anyone to expand this debate more intelligently. I have stayed out of it because its like butting your head against a wall to talk to either side without hope of nudging either from their cemented biases.

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