Dolores Brien is one of my favourite bloggers. This post is typical of why. In the recent post on various scientists etc I was attracted to science on the one hand and repelled on the other. Got something clear: I am repelled by the brights. Good to see Freeman Dyson is not among them, I’d like his blog too – does he have one? His daugter does – she uses flickr! Some athiests are more spiritual than religious people – dyson is one & maybe Dolores too.
Although Dyson is not a religious believer and as a distinguished scientist is eminently qualified to be a “bright” should he choose to do so, he tells us that he himself sees religion as a “precious and ancient part of our human heritage.” Dennett, on the contrary, “sees it as a load of superfluous mental baggage which we should be glad to discard.” What is missing from Dennett, as Dyson sees it, is the recognition that science is only one way of understanding. “Science,” Dyson writes, “is a particular bunch of tools that have been conspicuously successful for understanding and manipulating the material universe. Religion is another bunch of tools, giving us hints of a mental or spiritual universe that transcends the material universe.” If you use, as Dennett does, only the scientific tools, you will never understand religion. “We can all agree that religion is a natural phenomenon, but nature may include many more things than we can grasp with the methods of science.”