Scientist receives $1.4m religion prize
British astronomer John D. Barrow has won a $1.4m Templeton Foundation prize that rewards “discoveries about spiritual realities”. In books, lectures, and the theatre, he has sought to help science and religion find “common areas of understanding”… “challenging the belief that either science or religion have all the answers”.
Man, I am in the wrong business. Let me get this straight; you say “how parochial are our attempts to find or deny the links between scientific and religious approaches to the nature of the universe” and they give you a $million-four?
I can write blather like that, too. Here, let me try:
The boundaries of science are sharply defined at the edges of “is-ness”, or describing the natural world as it can be perceived by our senses. Scientists are outside their art if they approach questions of meaning, in short, if they ask’ “Why?” This is where the numinous sense – call it the “gut feeling” if you like – takes over and guides scientist and dock worker alike into another realm altogether.
And yet this inspiration flows both ways, as science boundarifies and illuminates the spiritual. The expanded appreciation for our natural universe excites our spirit in much the same way as the visual and auditory environment of a cathaedral. It is this very human habit, of looking beyond the curtain, that enters the ocean of ethical thinking as surely as a small stream finds its way to larger waters…
- George Wiman, Some Book that won’t be written
See? Anybody can do it. It doesn’t have to mean anything; it only needs to sound sort of impressive or failing that, at least be nonsensical enough to be difficult to argue with. Once you get started it just rolls off the keyboard and goes on and on and on…
Reading Barrow’s statement, his main beef seems to be that science doesn’t address meaning. Fine – point taken. So made-up meaning is better than no meaning at all? No thanks, I already bought one of those and it was defective.
Hey Templeton foundation – I know it isn’t much, but those two paragraphs must be worth something!. Maybe a C-note? A twenty?