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VOL. XV, NO. 12
4/8/97 - 4/21/97
STILL FREE

Inside:
Editorial
Life Forms
Community Calendar
With Friends Like Dilbert
It's Greater in Women
Doonesbury
Have What It Takes?
Promo Pipeline
Events, Etc.
Music Review
Modern Composer
Collecting Books
Preacher
Mobile Then & Now
Peer Problem Solving
MS Eco News
Clark Powell

WHAT IS RELIGION?

[Editor's note: The following is an except of Dr. Richard Sneed's presentation at the Harbinger symposium, "RELIGION & SCIENCE: The Best of Enemies - The Worst of Friends," on April 3.]

by Richard Sneed

The evening's program is designed to demonstrate the real polarity between religion and science, and why they need to keep talking to one another.

I will speak about religion in general, as an historical and psychological phenomenon.

I will suggest that religion is an ancient and respectable explanation for the world and our place in it, but that it is not the only one.

I will suggest that religion does not have all the answers because it is by no means clear that it has asked all the questions, and asked them properly.

I will suggest that the dispute between religion and science is very much like a sibling rivalry, and that the two are very similar in many ways.

Finally, I will argue that it is time that both listen and learn from each other instead of taking infantile potshots at each other. (...Full Story)


WHAT IS SCIENCE?

[Editor's note: The following is an excerpt of Dr. Sheldon Gottlieb's presentation at the Harbinger symposium, "RELIGION & SCIENCE: The Best of Enemies - The Worst of Friends," on April 3.]

by Sheldon Gottlieb

Before I begin my presentation I must ask you for a favor. I will ask of you the same thing I ask of my students. Please listen carefully to what I say and please listen very carefully to what I do not say.

Let me start by telling you a story. Last September my wife and I toured the Canadian Yukon and Alaska as a 40th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. In Alaska, at a trading store where my wife was purchasing some souvenirs for the children and grandchildren, I met a young man who is a science teacher during the academic year at a local denominational senior high school and who doubles as a store clerk during the summer. He was excited to learn that I was both a professional research scientist and an educator. We spoke for awhile and then discussed the teaching of controversial subjects such as evolution.

Suddenly, in response to one of my questions, he made a statement that sent shivers up my spine and left me to despair about the quality of science education those students in the far north were being exposed to. He said: "After all, you do have to admit that facts are only as good as the theory on which they are based." Even after I tried to explain to him that he had it backwords, he, a science teacher, failed to grasp one of the most fundamental aspects of the working of science: scientific theories are derived from facts and not the other way around. (...Full Story)


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