Feynman on Science and Religion

February 17, 2010

The following quote is from a talk by physicist Richard Feynman called The Relation of Science and Religion, which I consider a apologia of sorts:

I don't know the answer to this central problem – the problem of maintaining the real value of religion, as a source of strength and of courage to most men, while, at the same time, not requiring an absolute faith in the metaphysical aspects.

I feel that’s the core of the conflict. Whatever aspects religion has, they are thoroughly dependent on an unquestioning acceptance of some metaphysical model, whether a minimalist one such as in Deism or one as expansive and involved as in Animism. This is the aspect that is antithetical to science, not just in science’s conclusions (it’s hard to falsify a deistic model, unlikely that will occur any time soon) but fundamentally in its approach.

Feynman on Science and Religion - February 17, 2010 - Michael Katsevman