I swear, Michael Ruse is like your befuddled old uncle who behaves nicely most of the time, but then, in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, says something like, “Oops, I wet myself!” In matters like his recent attack on evolution-denying philosophers, he’s right on the mark. But then he goes and has an accident, like the appearance, three days ago, of his new book Science and Spirituality. I haven’t read it yet, and won’t unless somebody pays me to review it, but it sounds like The Faitheist Manifesto. Here’s its description on Amazon:
In Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science, Michael Ruse offers a new analysis of the often troubled relationship between science and religion. Arguing against both extremes – in one corner, the New Atheists; in the other, the Creationists and their offspring the Intelligent Designers – he asserts that science is undoubtedly the highest and most fruitful source of human inquiry. Yet, by its very nature and its deep reliance on metaphor, science restricts itself and is unable to answer basic, significant, and potent questions about the meaning of the universe and humankind’s place within it: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate source and foundation of morality? What is the nature of consciousness? What is the meaning of it all? Ruse shows that one can legitimately be a skeptic about all of these questions, and yet why it is open for a Christian, or member of any faith, to offer answers. Scientists, he concludes, should be proud of their achievements but modest about their scope. Christians should be confident of their mission but respectful of the successes of science.
Yes, of course religions are permitted to answer questions like, “What is the nature of consciousness?” But there’s no way to determine whether their answers are right.
Jesus and Mo cartoon h/t to: Far away