The Creationist’s Mistake

“I’m not a believer, but I’m friendly to religion, partly because it goes with being human—it’s an odd kind of humanism which is hostile to something which is so quintessentially human as religion.” That said, “I’m very opposed to investing science with the needs and requirements of religion. I’m equally opposed to the tendency within religion, which exists in things like creationism and intelligent design, to turn religion into a kind of pseudo-science. If you go back to St. Augustine or before, to the Jewish scholars who talk about these issues, they never regard the Genesis story as a theory. Augustine says explicitly that it should not be interpreted explicitly, that it’s a way of accessing truths which can’t really be formulated by the human mind in any rational way. It’s a way of accessing mysterious features which will remain mysterious. So it was always seen right up to the rise of modern science—as a myth, not a theory. What these creationists are doing is retreating, they’re accepting the view of religion promoted by scientific enemies of religion, and saying, no, we have got science and it’s better than your science. Complete error.”

A review of John Gray’s book The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death from the Daily Beast, Book Beast column,Human Quest For Immortality: John Gray on New Book, The Immortalization Commission.

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