This show really stuck with me, and I truly feel it was a very good episode of this fine program. Perhaps the best of the fifteen or so episodes that I have heard.
I, too, was shocked and insulted by Dr. Krauss' provocations (the extent surprised me). I am not an orthodox practitioner of any religion, but am Jewish and am saddened by yet another fine mind of the Jewish people who has lost connection with the tradition.
On further reflection, the problem that I have with Krauss' argument has nothing to do with him personally, nor with anything akin to racism, bigotry or some other inappropriate bias. I felt he made great arguments. My problem is that I wanted to argue with him and I felt powerless to interject (because I truly was!).
To me, this is a sign of a great program, not a bad one.
For the record, my argument, after weeks of thought, is that Dr. Krauss does not engage with the essential concept of community that fosters both religion and science. After all, his love of science would have no place in a society that lacks an organized scientific community, as would someone's practice of anything resembling organized religion.
He makes reference to debates and bets he has with his friends in the scientific community, and clearly he gets tremendous value out of the sharing of scientific values and ideas. Importantly, religion has provided this service for a very long time, and people greatly value it. Some recognition of the value he gets not from science but from the community of scientists, would help reflect an appreciation for the value of religion to people.
More to the point, the uncertainty that Krauss implores us to celebrate provokes real sensations of anxiety and distress in people (not all people, but I would argue many). These feelings can cloud judgment and inhibit the ability to perform even scientific action.
It is hardly unscientific to have personal or shared explanations of the world that are not in accord with scientific consensus. It may be proven false by science, but that does not preclude an appreciation for and use of science.
It would be unscientific to present religion as science, or to use religion to silence or deny the validity of well-practiced science. I would argue on behalf of Mr. Krauss against such evidence-denying orthodoxy. But to me, this is not the norm of religiously engaged people that I know.
I don't think science precludes the use of metaphor, allegory or even myth.
It simply means that those explanations, when taken literally, will become increasingly burdensome to argue as science's explanations gain evidentiary support.
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