Einstein once said that “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Why this specific distinction? I wonder what indispensable super-knowledge a religion needs from science (still remaining a religion)? What is it that religion needs to see more than its own theological truth, and where do the feet of religion help scientific knowledge arrive to (still remaining scientific)? Even Einstein can say nonsense.
Now I read in an announcement that he declared in a letter a year before he died: “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” Not a surprising statement for a person who obviously never understood a thing about faith.
The case should be different with Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican observatory. He asks, “How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere? … It doesn’t contradict our faith.” This is strange, because if aliens exist, then Christ must have been or be crucified there too, unless they are without sins or doomed already. But, if Christianity is right, no one in this life is without sins and no one is doomed already, while Paradise and Hell exist in another dimension, not in another planet.
Returning to scientists, I read that Steven Pinker, Harvard University psychology professor and daring author of “How the Mind Works”, believes that science makes belief in God obsolete, “if by science we mean the entire enterprise of secular reason and knowledge (including history and philosophy), not just people with test tubes and white lab coats. Traditionally, a belief in God was attractive because it promised to explain the deepest puzzles about origins. … Yet over the millennia, there has been an inexorable trend: the deeper we probe these questions, and the more we learn about the world in which we live, the less reason there is to believe in God.”
What I liked most in these statements was the first part, that God becomes obsolete not by “people with test tubes and white lab coats”, only by the whole secular reason, including history and philosophy. I remember that for Plato God never became obsolete. Perhaps Mr. Pinker has other persons in his ‘mind’ when he speaks about philosophy.