by WorldTribune Staff, March 22, 2019
The “new atheists” are doing a disservice to science by claiming it’s an enemy out of religion, theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser said.
“When you hear very famous scientists making pronouncements like … cosmology has explained the origin of the universe and the whole, and we don’t need God anymore. That’s complete nonsense,” Gleiser, a professor at Dartmouth College, told AFP. “Because we have not explained the origin of the universe at all.”
“Science does not kill God,” Gleiser added.
Gleiser was recently awarded the Templeton Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to “affirming life’s spiritual dimension.”
Religion, Gleiser said, is not just about believing in God – it provides a sense of identity and community.
“At least half of the world population is that way,” he said. “It’s extremely arrogant for scientists to come down from the ivory towers and make these declarations without understanding the social importance of belief systems.”
Gleiser, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro’s Jewish community, acknowledges that he is an agnostic, but refuses to completely write off the possibility of God’s existence.
“Atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method,” Gleiser said. “Atheism is a belief in non-belief. So you categorically deny something you have no evidence against.”
“I’ll keep an open mind because I understand that human knowledge is limited,” he added.
“The first thing you see in the Bible is a story of creation,” Gleiser said. Whatever your religion, “everybody wants to know how the world came to be.”
Gleiser continued: “Science can give answers to certain questions, up to a point. This has been known for a very long time in philosophy, it’s called the problem of the first cause: we get stuck. We should have the humility to accept that there’s mystery around us.”