Sarah Ditum Science & Philosophy []

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 13, 2018 | Go to article overview

Sarah Ditum Science & Philosophy []


SARAH DITUM SCIENCE & PHILOSOPHY

Searching For Stars On An Island In Maine Alan Lightman Corsair PS12.99

***

At the start of this century, the relationship between science and faith seemed strained beyond rescue, with the 'New Atheism' movement declaring God thoroughly debunked by reason. Physicist Alan Lightman tracks a different path.

In my view,' he writes, 'prominent scientists who use scientific arguments to attempt to disprove the existence of God are missing the point.' From such a gentle, graceful writer, this qualifies as a strong rebuke. Lightman sees science and faith not as competing forces, but as different realms of knowledge, both necessary and neither in conflict with the other.

He divides the world into 'Absolutes' and 'Relatives'. Absolutes are underpinning certainties: things we know from internal experience or received teachings, often though not always religious. A belief in God, the idea of infinity and a personal sense of awe when looking up into the summer sky are all kinds of Absolute, according to Lightman. …

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