Saturday, November 24, 2007

Scientific Faith

I don't think I could have ever phrased the argument more eloquently! Here's a really good piece on science as faith on NY times. All scientific inquiry assumes that there is an underlying order, and that by using a rational approach to understanding this underlying structure, we as humans can create laws or theories that describe the structure. Math, physics and chemistry try to delve into problems concerning the physical universe, while the science such as economics, sociology and psychology deal with problems with humans. However, is this belief in order, "faith" ? To some extent yes, because, a scientist does begin with the assumption that there is an underlying order/law that governs a phenomenon observed in the real world. Whether, this belief- that there is underlying order is "irrational" is the real question. Many faith based beliefs are rooted in irrationality that ascribes super-human (read divine) characteristics to objects and events. What troubles skeptics such as me is the fact that many religious folks apply the rules of faith to realms of life that are not amenable to such analysis. I am more comfortable when religion and science do the things that they do best, address issues that are within their realm and don't tread on each other's paths. Let there be peace!

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