Einstein's God

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Krista Tippett, host of American Public Media's Speaking of Faith and author of Einstein's God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit, talks about science and spirituality.

Event: Krista Tippett in conversation with Andrew Solomon Wednesday, March 3rd, 7:00pm, New York Public Library Tickets and Information Here


Krista Tippett

Comments [23]

louis profeta from new york, new york

I read this question in a Zen reading and it made me understand many of today's chaos. the question is "What is God's religion"

Feb. 28 2010 08:22 AM

eastvillage: anything more nuanced than "Science looks for the truth. Religion looks for anything that can justify their falsehoods of the past" would be a vast improvement!

Feb. 26 2010 11:00 AM

Dan from Chelsea:

because we are going to die, for one.

Feb. 26 2010 10:53 AM
Peter Gradilone from New Rochelle, N.Y.

When using the term "God" in discussion it is perhaps best to clarify what we mean. Joseph Campbell stated that if you tell me you believe in God, I will say that I do not. Tell me you don't believe and I will say that I do. When we use "God" or "god" (your choice) as Spinoza or Einstein did we are in the realm of metaphor. God is a term for identifying that which is beyond all category of human thought. The term "religion" is true to its Latin root. It means to rebind on the experiential level. An individuals beliefs are always subject to critique. An individuals experience can be quite a different matter.

Feb. 25 2010 05:54 PM
eastvilliage from eastvillage

(16) Appealing to Einstein to validate religion is merely to stop thinking for yourself. Your qoute of Einstein's is a version of Kant's claim that concepts w/out intutions are empty and intuitions w/out concepts are blind.
(18) It is clear that Tippett wants to appeal to God and not just traditions to shed some light on ethics and why we are here. She is not merely saying "Hey, we can learn from cultural-religous tradations without submitting to the belief in God." God is and always will be a matter of faith not of science and the two are wholly and completely separate, except for those who believe that science, in the place of theology, will answer all questions and should be submitted to by all thinking persons.

Feb. 25 2010 02:37 PM
Emily from Brooklyn

I think that some of the commenters here have missed the mark in objecting to Tippett's project as if it's an attempt to rectify science with faith. Her book and her radio program engage much more with questions of "spirit" than those of religious principle or orthodoxy. Her journalism is focused on investigating the sources we draw from to inform our lived experience of the world--what we turn to shed light on issues like how we should treat other human beings, how we should understand and navigate conflict, how we should define terms like "justice" or "freedom"... among many others. This book merely looks at places where religious traditions and scientific insights might be seen to be in conversation around such ethical, experiential questions. I think the point of the book is not to draw conclusions but rather to create dialogue out of an acknowledgment that science and religion are both significant forces in the modern world.

Feb. 25 2010 02:12 PM
eastvilliage from eastvillage

No. 15. You have not made a case. What are we supposed to have missed from Ms. Tippett's talk and what non-simplistic notion about religion are we supposed to know?

Feb. 25 2010 12:50 PM
Peter Gradilone from New Rochelle, N.Y.

Krista framed the discussion regarding science and religion quite well, when she referred to the causal and purposeful nature of "why"? We can observe and accurately describe the carbon based molecular structure of the Carrara marble that Michelangelo used in the Pieta. We can also leave the lens, take ten steps back and experience the religious awe that this work of art inspires. Einstein proclaimed the following: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind". Too few see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

Feb. 25 2010 12:41 PM
Kitchen Philosopher from Central New Jersey

I am stunned at so many commentators having such a negative attitude towards this segment. Apparently they weren't really listening, and/or never have listened to Krista Tippett before, and have only very childlike simplistic notions about religion!

WNYC does NOT have a religious agenda, BTW.

Feb. 25 2010 12:32 PM
Rene Ardila from nyc

Many fiction writers have made up Genesis-like stories, but we don't take those stories as the truth because there is no scientific evidence supporting them. Why is it acceptable to take Genesis as non fiction?

Feb. 25 2010 12:01 PM
Serena from UWS

Comment page isn't working.
[6] Thanks for your comment.
I can't support NPR's religious agenda.

Feb. 25 2010 11:49 AM
Monica from NYC

As a scientist I agree with the fact that science and religion cover entirely different realms of human existence. Science looks for 'how.' It is generally not interested in the 'why's' not because they are not intriguing but because this question is not answerable by empirical criteria. Science is not dogmatic to the same extend religion is. Despite Kuhn's 'Structure of Scientific Revolutions,' the rules of science are continuously changing, while the rules of religion are static and ever lasting. Science is about facts. Religion is about beliefs. Beliefs have no place in Science. One more thing, just because we evolved and were not created or just because our feelings are electrochemical reaction, does NOT make them less relevant or less beautiful. I challenge anyone to pick up a molecular biology book and read. The beauty and complexity will bring tears and I think are much more magnificent that the idea that everything was created. Evolution is a lot more awe inspiring than God.

Feb. 25 2010 11:48 AM

The real philosophical challenge to religion is not science, but *science fiction*, which raises the same questions from a completely different perspective -- eg, could intelligent beings from a previous incarnation (big bang cycle) of the universe have influenced the current laws of physics to make life more probably in the next cycle?

I got that from Stanilaw Lem's "His Masters Voice". For me, stuff like that is way more believable and interesting to contemplate than some archaic/atavistic (and hopelessly vague) concept about a "divine being".

Feb. 25 2010 11:48 AM
kp from nj

Darwin did not use the word creation in the first edition of 'On the Origin of Species'. He inserted it in later versions as a bow to public pressure.

Feb. 25 2010 11:47 AM
Dominic A from Brooklyn

Krista takes only the pure sciences on board & ignores psychology, sociology, philosophy etc, which do seek to find out, via the scientific method to questions on 'what we should do'.

Feb. 25 2010 11:46 AM
dan from chelsea, ny

why do we waste our intellectual energies on such queries about God? should we equally devote our time to ghosts, tooth fairies, santa claus,d yetis, and loch ness monsters? Why not devote our intellect to progressive philosophy, political ideas, the arts, and science.

Feb. 25 2010 11:46 AM
Bill from New York

Really? What happens in the soul? What is the soul and where is it found?

Nothing eliminates the need of ever positing some thing called a "soul" than the study of the brain.

Feb. 25 2010 11:44 AM
eastvilliage from eastvillage

Theology generally speaking concerns itself with "knowledge" of and the truths about God and the relation between God and people. Science does not concern itself with theology; it concerns itself with the explanatory laws of nature that are not connected with theology. There simply is no connection. If you do not believe, have faith, in God, theology is merely a curiosity. Your guest is generally trying to use our ignorance of why there is something rather than nothing, existence generally, as an entry into accepting the possbility of theology.

Feb. 25 2010 11:42 AM
Ed H. from Larchmont, NY

No danger in studying the brain: the brain mirrors what happens in the soul.

Feb. 25 2010 11:40 AM
Bill from New York

I thought Einstein's god was Spinoza's god. Whatever "should-be" one derives from that, it's decidedly not moral and it practically obviates the need even to name what it names as god.

Feb. 25 2010 11:40 AM
Mike from Atlanta, GA

This makes no sense. Science looks for the truth. Religion looks for anything that can justify their falsehoods of the past

Feb. 25 2010 11:38 AM
Ed H. from Larchmont, NY

Einstein sought out Catholic priests to discuss the doctrine of the Eucharist, it fascinated him. He had great religious wonder.

Feb. 25 2010 11:37 AM

No he isn't.

Feb. 25 2010 11:34 AM

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