Science Will Never Support Religion


\r\nQuestion:
As a “bright,” what do you believe?
\r\n

\r\nJames Randi: The term "bright" I don’t much care for, but hey, we\r\n did the best we could with it.  I was with Richard Dawkins in \r\nClearwater, Florida and a few other people who brainstormed and came up \r\nwith idea of having the "brights."  I think I was maybe the third or \r\nfourth person to sign the membership roster. 
\r\n
\r\nAnd a "bright" is someone who thinks logically and rationally; bases his\r\n or her decisions on rationality, upon logic, and upon evidence—that’s \r\nthe major thing right there.  And if we don’t have evidence, we can \r\nexpress our belief or lack of belief in it, but it has to be \r\nprovisional.  I believe that this is probably true, though I don’t have \r\nany evidence for or against.  It’s a perfectly safe statement.  And so, \r\nbrights base all of their decisions and their beliefs on logic, \r\nrationality, and evidence.  That’s the thing in which they differ from \r\nthe average person who takes anything that comes along that looks \r\nattractive.  “Oh, I like that; I think I’ll believe in it.”
\r\n
\r\nQuestion:
As the scientific picture of the universe gets weirder, \r\ncould any religious claims ever be verified?
\r\n

\r\nJames Randi: Not that I know.  I am an atheist, tried and true.  I\r\n have been since I was, oh I guess about this tall.  I’m only about this\r\n tall now.  And I made up my mind that I was going to investigate all of\r\n these things and question them.  I went to Sunday school.  I was tossed\r\n out of Sunday school immediately.  But it gave me 25 cents that I could\r\n have put in the contribution plate there, so when they pass the plate \r\naround, and I found out that at Purdy's Drug Store, you could buy a \r\ntwo-flavored ice cream sundae for 25 cents.  And that was a great \r\ndiscovery of my childhood, I must say, and I took full advantage of it. \r\n My parents, bless them, never found out and I went off every Sunday \r\nmorning as if going to Sunday school, but I lied.  And I’m ashamed to \r\nadmit it now, and if my dad and mom are up there someplace, or down \r\nthere someplace, I have no idea, I ask them to forgive me.

Recorded April 16, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen

James Randi has shunned faith since he was a kid spending collection plate money on ice cream. "If my dad and mom are up there someplace… I ask them to forgive me."

How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

Credit: Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

Credit: Maxime Aubert
Surprising Science
  • Archaeologists find a cave painting of a wild pig that is at least 45,500 years old.
  • The painting is the earliest known work of representational art.
  • The discovery was made in a remote valley on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Keep reading Show less

What can Avicenna teach us about the mind-body problem?

The Persian polymath and philosopher of the Islamic Golden Age teaches us about self-awareness.

Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments.
Keep reading Show less

Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Keep reading Show less

The incredible physics behind quantum computing

Can computers do calculations in multiple universes? Scientists are working on it. Step into the world of quantum computing.

Videos
  • While today's computers—referred to as classical computers—continue to become more and more powerful, there is a ceiling to their advancement due to the physical limits of the materials used to make them. Quantum computing allows physicists and researchers to exponentially increase computation power, harnessing potential parallel realities to do so.
  • Quantum computer chips are astoundingly small, about the size of a fingernail. Scientists have to not only build the computer itself but also the ultra-protected environment in which they operate. Total isolation is required to eliminate vibrations and other external influences on synchronized atoms; if the atoms become 'decoherent' the quantum computer cannot function.
  • "You need to create a very quiet, clean, cold environment for these chips to work in," says quantum computing expert Vern Brownell. The coldest temperature possible in physics is -273.15 degrees C. The rooms required for quantum computing are -273.14 degrees C, which is 150 times colder than outer space. It is complex and mind-boggling work, but the potential for computation that harnesses the power of parallel universes is worth the chase.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast