On Science And Religion

Is religion compatible with science? Is chemistry compatible with art? A chemical description of the Mona Lisa seems to miss a great deal of what someone can learn either from looking at the painting or from reading Kenneth Clark. Are Clark’s readers simply deluding themselves? Is chemistry more real than art? Chemistry and art criticism only seem to conflict if we think they are meant to do the same things. For most people, the same can be said of religion and science. Granted there is no

Bruce Gregory
Oct 16, 1988

Is religion compatible with science? Is chemistry compatible with art? A chemical description of the Mona Lisa seems to miss a great deal of what someone can learn either from looking at the painting or from reading Kenneth Clark. Are Clark’s readers simply deluding themselves? Is chemistry more real than art? Chemistry and art criticism only seem to conflict if we think they are meant to do the same things. For most people, the same can be said of religion and science. Granted there is no “evidence” for the existence of God, but there is also no evidence for anything at the Planck scale, and this hasn’t stopped physicists from avidly pursuing superstring theories. Conflicts arise when fundamentalists, of either a religious or a scientific persuasion, become convinced that their way of talking about the world is the only right way.

BRUCE GREGORY
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics
60 Garden Street...

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