Comments: Archbishop's lectures

In light of the discussion here on "embryology" I am surprised that people have not picked up on what RW has to say in his lecture on "Faith and Science."

I think RW has provided a context in faith and science for the discussion of this "hot topic" here, especially toward the end of the lecture. But it also provides some insight on the purpose and the limits of science (e.g. as if science of itself can provide the basis for "moral" thought or direction).

Here is one key statement: "Scientific practice, what scientists do very often has about it an ethos, literally a morality, a set of assumptions about appropriate behaviour. How do you relate to the phenomena that confront you? With attention, with – and one can't avoid the word – humility. The scientific method has a very marked moral, even spiritual component, and that's one of the things which makes both popular scientism and anti- scientism inadequate. Within scientific practice there is a subtle balance of security and insecurity, discovery and fresh questioning which is in fact remarkably like the way in which human beings behave in their relationships with one another and the world at large. So, far from science being a small privileged area of absolute certainty in a wilderness of doubt and superstition, science in practice, gets to look surprisingly like human activity."

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Friday, 4 April 2008 at 4:36pm BST

I have three blog entries (likely to become a website page too) on these lectures:

They get progressively longer. The last one has the Archbishop say some bizarre things to try and uphold a claim to history, such as the resurrection stories in the New Testament are raw and not polished like the rest of the texts, when clearly they are highly theological and as polished as the rest. His basic arguments don't stand up.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 6 April 2008 at 3:24pm BST
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