NEWS: Are Scientists allowed to have Faith?

The_hand_of_god(Cross-posted in The Philosopher’s Eye)

The recent debate about Barack Obama’s nominee Dr. Francis Collins as the next director of the National Institutes of Health highlights a problem that is seldom discussed within philosophy of science. One leading opinion within the philosophy of science seems to be that in order for someone to be a good scientist or philosopher of science, one has to be at least an agnostic, if not an atheist. The general idea seems to be that it is absolutely irrational to believe in some higher being whose existence cannot be proven, and to be a good and dedicated scientist at the same time. The deeper reason for that idea seems to be that scientists that do believe have an “easy way out” if they encounter a difficult problem. This accusation is especially made towards the proponents of Intelligent Design who claim to have an equally good explanation for how the world came about as those who are proponents of the Evolutionary Theory do. From my point of view Intelligent Design is irrational and by applying the criteria used to distinguish good and valid scientific theories from unscientific ones one can even show why. However, it seems equally irrational to maintain that all good scientists have to be atheists. There is no compelling argument why someone who believes in some form of higher being is any less inclined to scientifically explain how the world came about, than someone who does not.

For those interested in the Dr. Collins debate, the article from the New York Times can be found here

$1.99 - small Intelligent Design
By William Hasker , Huntington University
(Vol. 4, March 2009)
Philosophy Compass

One thought on “NEWS: Are Scientists allowed to have Faith?

  1. After the introduction of the villifcation bill Melbourne Australia by the Islamic faith I believe also exists in the UK, it is a great concern to me that any suppression of any freedom of speach is an injustice to man, woman & children world wide.

    I believe that if there is nothing ilegal or power for control singularly or on mass to hide or fear why would any organization want to shut people up from being free to express them selves voluntary or legally singularly or group representation without fear or prejudice or the fear of harrasment,threats or harmful litigation?????

    If you look at any one person or organization or Dictatorship countries. sinularly or grpup or mass of beliefs or religeons that have gotton out of control or rule by force & fear or even “death””eg” Natziism” “Islamic Gehad Ism” “scientologistism” “Chrisiantism” eg “Jones Town” “Wacol” & Others where freedom of speach in or outside from thier members was forbidden by the Self Made Mesiah’s or leaders then if no one spoke out aginst any form of suppression of speech then there would be I belive control & power given to those who want domination over, Governments,
    news medier or any one that would oppose them.

    As has been the case that Leaders of these movements or the greater pecentage of these people have been “Very Mentaly deranged people”Psychopathic Scizoids” in nature, methodolgy, teaching & outworking blief in leader ship”.

    I Believe that no , organizations, co-operatins, Churches, or Governments & Dept. Services, or any other groups have any right to even attempt to take away the righits of any one singulr man, woman or child or groups from having freedom of expression or speaking up in public by any means “eg” news papers “TVNews” “Magazines” Investigative reporters” in particular injustices against them after being in any of these organizations, Government or private, or the methods used in any “religoens” groups or other ” none religeon” organizations being exposed for the individual or a spokesperson for the group.

    Thsnk you for the oportunity to contact you & I would love to know the content of this book & who is the auther or individals or group that is attempting to initate this.

    Best Regards,
    Wally Kangaroo.

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