Science and religion panel on Friday

This Friday, April 5, I will be on a panel to discuss Science and Religion. It will take place from 12:30-2:00 pm in Nord 310 on the Case quad of the CWRU campus. The program is sponsored by the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Lunch will be provided. If you are in the vicinity, feel free to drop by.

The description of the program says:

Albert Einstein said that “cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.” Join a discussion about the relationship between religion and science. Do they support each other or are they irreconcilable?

I think regular readers of this blog can pretty much guess what my answer will be. It is amusing that once again a quote from Einstein is used to signal that there can be a bridge between science and religion, though as my post earlier today suggests, that is a misreading of his views. What Einstein means by ‘cosmic religious feeling’ is not a belief in god, as I will discuss in a future post.

I do not know as yet who the other panelists will be or what religious viewpoints they will represent but it should be fun.


  1. Corvus illustris says

    Good luck. Incidentally, you might want to be prepared when the inevitable “God doesn’t play dice with the universe” thing comes up. Per Wikipedia, the actual letter to Lanczos reads

    Es scheint hart, dem Herrgott in die Karten zu gucken. Aber dass er würfelt und sich telepathischer Mittel bedient (wie es ihm von der gegenwärtigen Quantentheorie zugemutet wird), kann ich keinen Augenblick glauben.

    This is roughly (professor Yang can take me to task on this) “It seems difficult to peek at the cards the Lord God has in his hand. But I can’t believe for an instant that he throws dice and employs telepathic methods (as contemporary quantum theory expects him to do).”

    Note the conspicuous absence of a cosmic crap game. (BTW, the “Herrgott” thing is entirely conventional–and ironically humorous–inferring belief from it would be mistaken.)

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