On Science and Society today

In these days of conspiracy theories and fundamental ignorance, I am obligated to take a stand. I know it is not “politic”, but what the heck, things are getting too silly. Having visited or worked at many first rate scientific institutions in high energy physics, oceanography, etc. I can not ignore the reality I have seen with my own eyes. I know first hand how mass spectrometers work and are used to measure global warming/climate change, seen and touched the big particle detectors deep on the CERN ring that show energy turning into matter, know the doppler shift that tells us about the expanding universe, and helped build a supercomputer center used to model the interior of the sun. See: Adventures in Big Science

The result is, I am a “card carrying member” of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Humanism of Newton, Locke, Voltaire, and in some ways Einstein’s Spinoza.

When it comes to religion, I am a deist, like Franklin, and choose to have faith that there is a purpose in things, I just don’t know what it is exactly…. 😉 (à la Wittgenstein). I believe we can see the divine in nature, the miracle of birth, the love of children, the change of the seasons, and in some men, like that carpenter guy of 2000 years ago. We are called to use our minds to explore and learn from creation, not to ignore it. Subscribing to the man made dogma and myth of organized religion is the greatest sin of all and an insult to any deity. I see no conflict between science and religion, and remember singing a nice hymn about science at the Stanford chapel.

But I also agree with much of what Joseph Campbell has to say about Jung et al., and enjoy the trappings and symbolism, as long as it is accompanied by some JS Bach or Handel and does not directly contradict Science 😉