Lawrence Krauss, the Arizona State physicist who writes clearly about science, had an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal based on his participation in a panel discussion about “Science, Faith, and Religion.” He writes that he was invited to participate after suggesting that just as there was no need for a panel on science and astrology, there wasn’t a need for one on science and religion.
I ended up being one of two panelists labeled “atheists.” The other was philosopher Colin McGinn. On the other side of the debate were two devoutly Catholic scientists, biologist Kenneth Miller and Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno. Mr. McGinn began by commenting that it was eminently rational to suppose that Santa Claus doesn’t exist even if one cannot definitively prove that he doesn’t. Likewise, he argued, we can apply the same logic to the supposed existence of God. The moderator of the session, Bill Blakemore, a reporter with some religious inclination, surprised me by bursting out in response, “Then I guess you are a rational atheist.”
Link to Professor Krauss’ editorial, “God and Science Don’t Mix: A scientist can be a believer. But professionally, at least, he can’t act like one.”