Stephen Jay Gould: Distinguishing Between Science And Religion

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Stephen Jay Gould turned 60 the day before September 11, 2001. He was already suffering from his second attack of cancer after twenty years free, this time of the lung, from which he would die the following spring. He had overcome a usually-fatal form of abdominal cancer in his 40s, suffering intensely for two years yet proving, through his survival, the seemingly useless abstract nature of statistics. As a campaigner against creationism, Gould advocated approaching science and religion as two distinct fields that simply do not overlap, not unlike Dawkins but with a drier explanation that unexpectedly becomes much more beautiful. We may understand Gould to mean that one can have both a scientific and religious perspective on the world, but more importantly, his account pinpoints how nature does not, because it cannot, provide evidence that would somehow be available through the moral lens of the human. We cannot apply such tools toward mechanisms that require a different mode of operation.…show more content…
Gould tries to show us that a world may exist in itself despite our desire to understand it through our fallible, or at least non-mechanical and hence spiritual or moral, perspective. This lack of ours, however, does not determine the reality of that outer world, and it would provide a clearer and even more sublime appreciation if we could accept the distinction and the relevance of that outer world from within the beauty of our human lens. Recognizing that we are responsible for how the world is viewed and treated reminds us of the responsibility we have to it and all its
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