Science as Religion
The concept of science as religion is apparently growing. In Berkeley, a new "temple to the religion of science" is soon to open. From the New Scientist story:
"Praise be to Darwin! We are gathered here today to give thanks to those scientists who have given us something to sustain our spirits in this time of religious vacuity. Not that we believe there is such a thing as a spirit, or a soul, but you know what I mean."The temple is actually a work of art, but which explicitly supports scientism. I went to the Web site, and found this quote:
This, I imagine, is the sort of thing that might kick off "science worship" sermons in the "Atheon"--a two-story downtown Berkeley building conceived "to provide a spiritual home for rational people in California".
The Atheon is a secular temple devoted to scientific worship. Delivering spiritual fulfillment through exposure to the latest research in fields ranging from cosmology to quantum mechanics, the Atheon offers a nondenominational alternative to theocentric religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Our credo is to make faith rational.Well, that's oxymoronic, isn't it? Faith can be backed up with rational reasons and evidence to support belief. But by definition, faith is not in the rational sphere.
The shrine was partially funded, the site states, by UC Berkeley. If science is indeed to morph into religion, is this a violation of church and state? (I know, it's an art project.) On a more serious note, I think that the artist Jonathon Keats is right about one thing: Humans have spiritual as well as physical needs and long to find transcendence. We are the only species that have such yearning. In that, we are exceptional.