Paul Davies recently attracted some attention with his New York Times article “Taking Science on Faith.” In this he made the claim “that science has its own faith-based belief system.” He went further to state “both religion and science are founded on faith – namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.”Religious apologists love such situations – someone of standing in science putting religion on the same level as science and asserting that science, just like religion, is, in the end, dependent on faith.
Inevitably this article will be wheeled out to support religion and this has already happened on a few blogs (eg. DavidUsher, conservative colloquium and Creedal Christian) However, I am interested to see there has been a much bigger reaction from pro-science writers who feel Davis is misrepresenting science (See for example The Edge Reality Club discussion).
I agree the article does misrepresent science and is confused. At the same time, however, it does conclude that “physical laws” are part of the universe and not imposed from outside as religious believers assume. He also suggests the origins of these laws can be revealed by research – which surely removes any justification for claiming science to be “faith-based.”