Thursday, August 09, 2007

Let's Get Metaphysical

~from Mere Comments by James Kushiner
Dennis Overbye writes in the New York Times about the phrase the God particle and the use of religious words and metaphors in promoting and discussing science. Einstein spoke of "God" but not a personal God.

There is an increasing use of theological language today in discussions about cosmic origins and the underlying reality of Everything. It's inevitable: science is running out of tools as these questions reach far beyond what empirical science can objectively deal with in the search for The Explanation, but that doesn't stop scientists from assuming the contested and previously discredited mantles of the philosophers. They are moving from physical to metaphysical, and as I like to ask, if they can get metaphysical on us, why can't others get metaphysical too? Because they avoid using "God" theologically, that's why. As long as they express no faith in that "God," they can banter around words like design and creation.

If you remain a scientist and don't speak of faith, you now have permission to be a philosopher.

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