Nicholas Kardaras, a professor at Stony Brook University, recently wrote a controversial piece in Psychology Today about how scientists should accept there is no way to disprove god. According to Kardaras, there is a big ass split between scientists and religious folks, a dichotomy popularized by jerks like Richard Dawkins, etc. One camp believes that anyone who believes in god is a ninny, and the other, well, believes in god for better or worse. Culture now, says Kardaras, is a battle of self-appointed smart people and religious fanatics (not totally, but he alludes to this).
This back and forth exchange of “no, we’re right because!” prompted Kardaras to write that scientists should accept scientific agnosticism, or that god may be around somewhere unless proven otherwise. He even talks about Thomas Aquinas’ ideas that order exists in the universe for a reason. Basically, it’s a professor who wants scientists to step down from their empirical podium, and very religious people to take scientific logic into consideration.
At least, that’s what I gather from the heated article. To me, it seems that the root of the problem is not whether science or religion ends up prevailing in culture, but the fact that there exists such an angry split between the two camps, perpetuated by hyper-believers in science or religion. I read Dawkins once, and yes, his biology resume is sterling, but in the end he sounds like a hissy old dude who never got anything from religion himself; it’s kind of a jerk move to publish a bestseller about how so many people are empirically wrong (and according to Kardaras, not scientifically wrong enough).
I can see why a scientist would harp on about religion. God has never made him or herself public, and can’t be scientifically proven real. However, it seems that the entity that made the universe (maybe) can’t be disproven. So really, why waste the time bothering with a phenomenon that defies experimentation? Because it’s not god who does all sorts of insane atrocities sparked by religious ideology, it’s his or her (maybe) subjects.
I’ve not had a chance to read Kardaras’ How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life, but my hope would be that it shares my reasoning that belief shouldn’t matter, interpretation should. Scientists have delivered some atrocious items to the universe in the name of science (ideology launched the bomb, I know, but science built the damn thing), and belief in god has helped countless people survive in the chaotic mess that is being a fleshy human. So, watch out for ideology in harmful forms, I guess.
Kardaras does become a little bit of a jerk when he writes that scientific atheists should prove their atheism. In my mind, he’s sparking another silly debate (or just wants to make scientists mad, which is always fun) and we don’t really need that. We have enough questions about god and even science that probably will never get answered. At least, I hope they never get answered, because the douchebag who finds those final verdicts will have gloating rights for all eternity.