Despite what zealots on either side may think, muscular minds can still amicably debate the relationship between science and religion. This is on display in the latest New York Review of Books, where geneticist-philosopher H. Allen Orr wrestles with
a theory from best-selling author (and Atlantic contributor
) Robert Wright. Wright believes the ideas of God and morality are evolving, and that moral progress itself could be an argument for God. But Orr objects:
Wright's "efforts to discern a higher purpose reflect, he hints, more an
intuition or conjecture than a real argument. Taken as such, I would
have no particular problem with them. But by articulating his thoughts
in the language of science, Wright risks representing his thinking as
something it is not."
Orr--a formidable critic
in attempts to reconcile science and faith
--argues that you can't argue for the existence of God from a "materialist account." Is he right?
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