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Even though their arguments did not invoke religion, I think we all know
what's behind these arguments. They're trying to protect religious beliefs
from contradiction by science. They used to do it by prohibiting teachers
from teaching evolution at all; then they wanted to teach intelligent
design as an alternative theory; now they want the supposed "weaknesses" in
evolution pointed out. But it's all the same program -- it's all an attempt
to let religious ideas determine what is taught in science courses.
Their [the proponents of Christian "intelligent design"] discussion of the supposed weakness of evolution rests on a fallacy about the way science works. Scientific theory is never regarded as certain; it's continually confronted with testing, asking if it can explain what we can see in nature. That work is never finished. There are always some things left that haven't yet been explained. That's true of physics as well as biology.... This work goes on and on -- it's not a weakness of the theory. I don't regard it as a weakness of my own work that it hasn't explained everything in elementary particle physics.
Later, Weinberg was asked about the anti-evolutionists' arguments that they are only advocating for "more" or "better" science.
Premature as the question may be, it is hardly possible not to wonder whether we will find any answer to our deepest questions, any signs of the workings of an interested God, in a final theory. I think that we will not.
It's a consequence of the experience of science. As you learn more and more about the universe, you find you can understand more and more without any reference to supernatural intervention, so you lose interest in that possibility. Most scientists I know don't care enough about religion even to call themselves atheists. And that, I think, is one of the great things about science -- that it has made it possible for people not to be religious.
I can hope that this long sad story, this progression of priests and ministers and rabbis and ulamas and imams and bonzes and bodhisattvas, will come to an end. I hope this is something to which science can contribute ... it may be the most important contribution that we can make.
This is one of the great social functions of science -- to free people from superstition.
Science should be taught not in order to support religion and not in order to destroy religion. Science should be taught simply ignoring religion.
[C]reationists [and] other religious enthusiasts [are], in many parts of the world ..., the most dangerous adversaries of science.
people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things -- that takes religion.
is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
I enjoy being at a meeting that doesn't start with an invocation!
The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.
The whole history of the last thousands of years has been a history of religious persecutions and wars, pogroms, jihads, crusades. I find it all very regrettable, to say the least.
Though aware that there is nothing in the universe that suggests any purpose for humanity, one way that we can find a purpose is to study the universe by the methods of science, without consoling ourselves with fairy tales about its future, or about our own.
It seems a bit unfair to my relatives to be murdered in order to provide an opportunity for free will for Germans, but even putting that aside, how does free will account for cancer? Is it an opportunity of free will for tumors?
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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