Philosophy of Science: Religion and Science


For many, mixing science and religion is like trying to blend oil and water but a Nobel Prize-winning chemist believes that combining science and religion can help make sense of the world around us. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. Roald Hoffmann, is an theoretical chemist at Cornell University.

“I think it’s part of the beauty of our structure that we, develop these frameworks like science and religion to make sense of little bit of order in a world that is otherwise chaotic and where every life must end in death. Human beings are just too rich in their mind to say this is science, and we must view this rationally, and this is religion, and this is a matter of faith.’ I don’t think it’s as simply of a division as that. I also think that the two extreme views of science and religion: one, that they are fated to be eternally at war with each other and, second, that our minds are compartmentalized, so six days a week we do science, or whatever it is that we do, and the seventh day we go to church. I think those are just very impoverishing ways to think of the human condition. I think we’re all somewhere in between the two. And, certainly, I don’t think they are at war with each other. I am grateful to science. It has shown to me the world within me and around me and lead me to a contemplation of the world. I am also grateful for all the poems that other people have written.”

Although other scientific fields explain the workings of the world, Dr. Hoffmann believes that chemistry in particular helps us understand things on a human scale. He’ll explain why in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.


Philosophy of Science: Religion and Science

Science and religion share common ground in the human condition.
Air Date:07/25/2001
Scientist:
Transcript:


For many, mixing science and religion is like trying to blend oil and water but a Nobel Prize-winning chemist believes that combining science and religion can help make sense of the world around us. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. Roald Hoffmann, is an theoretical chemist at Cornell University.

"I think it's part of the beauty of our structure that we, develop these frameworks like science and religion to make sense of little bit of order in a world that is otherwise chaotic and where every life must end in death. Human beings are just too rich in their mind to say this is science, and we must view this rationally, and this is religion, and this is a matter of faith.' I don't think it's as simply of a division as that. I also think that the two extreme views of science and religion: one, that they are fated to be eternally at war with each other and, second, that our minds are compartmentalized, so six days a week we do science, or whatever it is that we do, and the seventh day we go to church. I think those are just very impoverishing ways to think of the human condition. I think we're all somewhere in between the two. And, certainly, I don't think they are at war with each other. I am grateful to science. It has shown to me the world within me and around me and lead me to a contemplation of the world. I am also grateful for all the poems that other people have written."

Although other scientific fields explain the workings of the world, Dr. Hoffmann believes that chemistry in particular helps us understand things on a human scale. He'll explain why in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.