Scientific research is a very creative and personally satisfying process. However, researchers often find that the inevitable specialisation and concentration on limited aspects of reality can lead to a lack of understanding and appreciation of discoveries in other fields.
Since retirement I’ve appreciated the opportunity to read more widely. I find myself returning to subjects I haven’t considered for decades, or have neglected. I’m learning about the amazing discoveries humanity has made (behind my back) in the meantime.
I was encouraged to check out, and summarise, what I have been reading by the reading lists blogged by Damian and others. The number of books I have got through (in four years) shocked me – perhaps I’m a bit obsessive, or maybe its just the freedom retirement has given me.
I can recommend most books on the list – but definitely not every one (guess which).
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, Behe, belief, book review, Christianity, creationism, culture, Darwin, Dawkins, Dennett, diversity, evolution, faith, god, Harris, intelligent design, Krauss, religion, science, Shermer
Tagged Atkins, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Barbara Forrest, Begley, Behe, Blakeslee, Books, Brian Greene, Brockman, Brookmyre, Carrol, Dacey, Doidge, Ellerbe, Goleman, Goodenough, Gould, Gross, Hitchens, Jared Diamond, Kandel, Lawrence Wright, Matt Ridley, Mayr, Miller, Norris, Ofray, Pascal Boyer, Peter Ward, Petto, reading list, Rees, retirement, Ridley, Sacks, Sagan, Smolin, Sobel, Stenger, Tyson, Wallace, Wilson, Wolpert, Zimmer
We often hear the argument that science has limits – that there are questions science cannot answer, problems science cannot solve. Most scientists agree. They acknowledge that science cannot, for example, solve ethical questions. The definition of right and wrong is not a scientific task (although science may help us understand how we make that decision).
However, this argument is often accompanied by the claim that such questions are really the province of religion. I believe this claim is unjustified because there is no evidence that religion is capable of solving such problems. The claim is also basically anti-human because it denies any rights to participation of the non-religious in solving ethical and moral problems.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, faith, god, human rights, religion, science, superstition, theology
Tagged Bible, ethics, Gould, limits of religion, limits of science, morals, NOMA, Rock of Ages, scripture