For those of you seeking intellectual sustenance on Christmas Day, and are interested in how science fits in the greater scheme of things, you may find the following of interest:
‘How to think like God’
Sunday, 25 December, 8PM GMT
Swedish Twitter University
For more details on how to participate etc: http://svtwuni.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/stu11/
Without denying that many – though exactly how many is far from clear – people not only don’t believe in God but also appear to object to the very idea, it might be a good idea to get a sense of what it would mean to think like God. At the very least, this would give both believers and non-believers a clear sense of what they’re talking about. One might think that ‘theologians’, whose name literally means ‘scientists of God’, would offer some straight talk on the subject. And while some theologians do, many if not most are compromised by having to speak within one or another church stricture.
In any case, what better time to discuss this matter than the Christmas season! After all, the sort of God whose mind is worth fathoming is the one that led a motley crew of dissenting European Christians in the 17th century to initiate the Scientific Revolution. It’s this version God, which I believe remains very relevant, that I wish to discuss in my lecture. Even today, it’s pretty difficult to rationalize science – especially if we look at both the positive and the negative sides of its score sheet – unless we imagine ourselves as over time, albeit in fits and starts, getting closer to the mind of this hypothesized God, in whose ‘image and likeness’ the Abrahamic religions maintain that we have been created.
Of course, some believe that science was a big mistake to begin with, or that we’re likely to be doomed if we don’t curtail science’s development. But that’s not my starting point.”