Issue Date: January 14, 2013
Science, Religion, And Wisdom
In his letter to the editor, George B. Kauffman makes an excellent case for tolerance in America: We’re all Americans! (C&EN, Oct. 22, 2012, page 4). However, he somewhat undermines his own appeal for greater unity by positing a dichotomy between religion and reason, as if the two were incompatible. They are not; the list of religious scientists of the first rank is long and distinguished, including Pascal, Newton, Euler, Faraday, and Gibbs—none of whom can be accused of relying on “faith rather than reason” or failing to “come to terms with change and progress” in their work.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.”
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