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Ending the sci-religion war (and the Falwell of biology)

For someone forecasting Armageddon, linkurl:E.O. Wilson;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14350/ is surprisingly optimistic. The Harvard professor, along with Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox spoke at the Philadelphia Free Library last night with a message of hope ? not just for rescuing the humanity from its path of self- and planet-destruction, but for doing so through a deeper communication between science and religion. Wilson?s latest book, __The Creation__, calls upon the

By | October 20, 2006

For someone forecasting Armageddon, linkurl:E.O. Wilson;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14350/ is surprisingly optimistic. The Harvard professor, along with Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox spoke at the Philadelphia Free Library last night with a message of hope ? not just for rescuing the humanity from its path of self- and planet-destruction, but for doing so through a deeper communication between science and religion. Wilson?s latest book, __The Creation__, calls upon the religious, particularly the evangelical Christian community to join him in his quest to ?save the creation? by convincing the public that Earth?s biodiversity is worth hanging on to. He even places a price tag on it: $30 billion to save the 2.3% of land mass that houses roughly half the species on earth. Cox?s latest book __When Jesus Came to Harvard__ didn?t get discussed much. Cox himself admitted to being ?more excited about Ed?s book than my own,? and he further emphasized the call for science and religion to reach a new communion (so to speak) by recognizing the limitations of their roles in society. Religion should not intrude on that which should be under science?s purview linkurl:(IDers should take heed here);http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/121/ and science should likewise stick to what it knows best. It?s an argument that looks good on paper and sounds even better when bandied about by the likes of Cox and Wilson, but would it really abate the culture war? It disregards those for whom a literal translation of the bible is the only truth and the many topics on which scientists and the religious just can?t seem to agree. That said, perhaps Wilson?s optimism is warranted. Wilson says he has chided conservatives for not making conservation part of their message, ?Why surrender the moral high ground to liberals on this?? and the idea seems to be taking root. linkurl:Some evidence indicates;http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/national/08warm.html?ei=5070&en=0b53b46428a8ced2&ex=1161489600&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1161349582-pibGHomBes4x57dwBOrNRQ that the message had been seeping in prior to Wilson?s book, as Baptist churches in the South have been increasing the message of protecting the planet. Moreover, scientists are demonstrating their willingness, even their enthusiasm to discuss their religious views in relation to their method for understanding life ? a la Francis Collins? latest, __The Language of God__. But there will no doubt always be the margins to maintain battle lines, Cox says. For anyone in the Philly area, Richard Dawkins will be speaking at the same venue November 2, presumably with a less amicable attitude to religion. Cox cutely refers to him as ?The Jerry Falwell of Science?
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