A New Kind Of God

Last week, Rudy opined about the environment. This week, Managing Editor Ivan Amato tackles religion:
Ever since I had even a rudimentary grasp of the biggest story of all—you know, the one that begins with a Big Bang out of which fundamental particles congealed and then coalesced into galaxies, planets, and a living kingdom that includes people capable of wondering where the whole shebang came from—I have revered the universe for its inherent creative power. This is why a brilliant field of stars, a dragonfly executing aeronautical acrobatics, and an insight into how a protein's structure elicits its biological function all can evoke in me a sense of awe. One of the greatest gifts the scientific enterprise offers, I have come to believe, is an ever-growing basis for revering the universe and experiencing awe. Which is why I find Stuart A. Kauffman's new book, "Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion" (Basic Books), so provocative, courageous, and potentially important. Few are those scientists who passionately acknowledge the awe and even religious sensibility that contemplation on the evidence-based portrait of the universe can catalyze. And almost as rare as a Higgs boson sighting is an accomplished scientist who argues that the "relentless creativity of the universe" should be spoken of as God and that this new conception of God should supplant the thousands-year embrace by billions of human beings of a transcendent creator God.
Read the rest of Ivan's editorial.

Author: Rachel Pepling

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  1. I believe that C&EN was very courageous to allow this issue to be addressed.

    The summary presented reminded me of the similar concept put forth by Albert Einsten (Albert Einstein, New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930.)

  2. I am glad to see the issue raised also. I am an orthodox believer and am saddened by the current state of rancor that characterizes the relationship between science and religion. There are many of us who believe in the world of the spirit and accept science as the best description of the material world. Just as there are many in science who accept a spiritual dimension to life even if they do not understand it. But the radicals on both sides get all the attention and for their most inane statements. As Ivan points out, the real common ground for believers and scientists is wonder and awe about the universe. The universe is still beautiful and mysterious after 13 billion years and likely to continue that way. If their is to be understanding, wonder is a great place to begin.