(Still) Speaking of Science

When I reviewed Krista Tippett’s new collection of interviews, Einstein’s God, last month for KtB, I was having to read between the lines for Tippett’s own views on the eternal interplay between science and religion–views, informed by her decades-worth of conversations with major players in these issues. Her recent Huffington Post article, “Religion and Science: Finding Their Kindred Spirits,” conveniently distills her philosophy. The debate between science and religion is “an abstraction, and a distraction.” Science and religion: different, but not enemies. The narrative of animosity between the two is “politically-fueled,” and we should focus on the two “not as argued, but as lived.” All well and good. But what is the proposed solution? Focus on the questions that science and religion both ask, rather than the answers they each provide. Here, I fear, Tippett trades one abstraction for another, with Templeton-style vaguery. And I’m still uncomfortable with her dismissal  of “politics” as divisive and irrelevant to the conversation. But read the article and decide for yourself. Judging by the 981 impassioned and argumentative comments Tippett’s article received on HuffPo, the politics of religion-and-science, while they may not be pretty, are alive and well.

Brook Wilensky-Lanford is the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011). An editor of Killing the Buddha, she lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Follow Brook on Twitter: @modmyth