According to a Lisa Randall (professor of physics at Harvard) op-ed piece in Time magazine (3 Oct 2011):
Today’s politicians seem more comfortable invoking God and religion than they do presenting facts or numbers. Of course, everyone is entitled to his or her own religious beliefs. But when science and reason get shortchanged, so does America’s future. . . .
When Rick Perry, who defends teaching creationism in school, says evolution is merely “a theory that’s out there, it’s got gaps in it,” he’s demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific theory. And when he chooses to pray for the end of a drought rather than critically evaluate climate science, he is displaying the danger of replacing rational approaches with religion in matters of public policy. Logic tries to resolve paradoxes, whereas much of religious thought thrives on them.
And I might add, with science and reason get shortchanged, so does Mormonism’s future. Among a meriad of other problems, you alienate progressive youthful members.
Randall’s op-ed piece elicited two interesting letter to the editor (10 Oct 2011):
I’d like to thank Lisa Randall for putting forth in a delicate but convincing way the need to trust science and for politicians to take it into account when developing public policy. Science can no longer be ignored, even if it contradicts some religious beliefs. There is too much at stake. Vincent M. Carini
There is no inherent conflict between faith and science. The proponents of creationism who oppose science and evolution are fundamentalist throwbacks and do not represent the views of enlightened faith. The contribution of both Jewish and Christian faith is that we are all one family, co-creators with God, and are to treat the earth with respect and practice good stewardship. Enlightened faith and science are partners, not enemies. The Rev. David L. Middleton
While I agree with Middleton, I would rather the first sentence read: “There should be (instead of is) no conflict between faith and science.” The part of Middleton’s polemic that I like this best is his assertion that we are “co-creators with God.” This is a strong belief of mine.