Date of publication: 2018-02-25 19:42
Various people have written about this. Martin Rees has a book on this called Just Six Numbers. Depending on how you count them up, somewhere between six and a dozen of these constants are independent of each other, and I’m talking about things like the gravitational constant. Theory can tell you that gravity is an inverse square law, but there’s that constant in there to say how strong gravity is and you can’t derive that by theory. That is something you have to measure experimentally.
When I look at those Pew numbers, there are two things going on. One is that people have not lost that urge for a connection with the mystical or the Almighty, that somehow that may be hardwired into us – that desire. The second is that people are rejecting the fundamentalists on either side. both fundamentalist atheists and fundamentalist Christians or religious folks. I have a sense that where the country is going is in a much more pluralistic, tolerant way.
Given that we have a lot of pluralism in our society, is it possible that we are looking at this the wrong way? You have seen a variety of religious traditions that have tried to effect a modernist compromise, and those seem to be the religious traditions that are actually least robust, least likely to survive, least likely to adapt in a society that doesn’t lend itself to the competencies that surround religious belief.
Part of the issue is that we humans are very schizophrenic in our thinking about death. We think that, in a certain way, death is evil and harsh and mean-spirited and no one should have to suffer that. Yet at the same time, we know that we will. We know also, if we’re believers, that the point of our existence goes beyond our earthly life, and so death is a necessary doorway.
I do think, though, that God gave us some pretty interesting pointers, and I tried to describe some of those. Some of them are about matter and energy, which makes them sound more sort of deistic, but some of them are about ourselves, and particularly this existence of the moral law – this universal knowledge down through history in all cultures and all times of what the difference is between right and wrong and that we’re called to do the right thing.
The second question – and I’m not certain whether I’m messing up Barbara’s argument – but it seems to me that to a certain extent she’s suggesting that a lot of what she has researched comes down to a little bit of a six-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the-other, that you can interpret these things one way or you can choose to interpret them the other way. It seems to me that that is kind of a situation that many atheists or atheism-leaning agnostics would accept, that they’ll accept what they see as a microscopic chance of God as being the explanation for these things in a whole universe of other chances if the believers are willing to say the same. Two very different questions.
ON HER VERSION OF STARDOM
I want to be the cool chick that everyone wants to be friends with. I xA5 want the people who watch my shows or watch my videos to be like, She xA5 looks like the most fun person to hang out with ever. I want to be xA5 that girl&apos s best friend. I want to party with her. It&apos s like, if xA5 you&apos re hanging out with Beyonc xE9 , it&apos s almost like you&apos re hanging out xA5 with a goddess. She&apos s like a real queen. It&apos s a different realm. Where xA5 my thing is kind of the opposite. My shtick is I&apos m the homey.
DANIEL BURKE, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: Dr. Collins, I’m wondering how your work on genetics affects your theological views on predestination. It seems that a number of our cards are dealt before free will or even consciousness arises. So what does that tell us about human behavior, free will and how we are ultimately judged by God?
So let’s start with the science, and, of course, I have to start with something from the media. Time magazine, like many other publications, seems to like to talk about DNA, as in this cover story from the time when the human genome was being completed in 7558.
I’ve noticed, however, that virtually all cover stories about DNA include two kinds of display items. There’s the double helix, of course, and invariably there are naked people. (Laughter.) I could ask you what that’s all about, but I think I know that it says editors realize that double helixes don’t sell magazines. (Laughter.) And they know what does.
The God of all truth cannot be well-defended by a lie, no matter how noble the intentions of those spreading the lie might be and no matter how unaware they might be of the fact that they’re spreading untruths. Ultimately, I think the truth is going to come out. If you have your religious traditions based on premises that are going to be seen as flawed in a fundamental way, how can they then survive?
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