What’s the Latest Development?
While most scientists are non-believers, a few influential researchers have recently written in favor of a new harmony between theology and science. “Jürgen Schmidhuber, a prominent researcher in artificial intelligence, calls for what he has dubbed ‘computational theology,’ while Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist David Eagleman has proposed a kind of religious perspective that he calls ‘Possibilianism.’ Neither argues for anything like a conventional Judeo-Christian deity, but both point to something beyond the natural universe.” Is it then possible that science might lead one to believe in a deity?
What’s the Big Idea?
Eagleman often speaks of an astronomical discovery in which one portion of the universe considered to be free of matter is now known to contain a thousand trillion stars, “all of them with the potential to house unknown forms of biology.” But even Eagleman’s defense of the powers of mystery comes up short, said Professory Gary Marcus of New York University. “[Eagleman] implies that if we learn something new about the big bang or DNA, we might somehow discover a deity we had otherwise overlooked, but he offers no specifics. More than that, Eagleman ignores something that is central to modern science: meta-analysis, a set of tools for weighing and combining evidence.”
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