Since the first post was more of a re-post just to get started, I decided that this would be a good time to introduce myself more thoroughly by answering the questions that Thomas posed.
1. What does science mean to me? I really have no scientific training, other than what I did in high school and Biology 101-103 and in my psychology labs. But even at that elementary level, I learned how science works to satisfy our curiosity about the natural world. It is an objective process of eliminating the bad answers of cause and effect, creating an objective means of sharing and creating knowledge. Science is surprising, fascinating and ever-expanding. It is also maddening, because cherished notions can be dashed at any time.
The discoveries enrich us intellectually. Philosophy and science are interdependent, because philosophies based on false facts don’t aid understanding, while raw dated not analyzed is meaningless. Learning about science and what it reveals is fascinating and enhances my world.
2. How do you interact with science? I read and try to learn the complex concepts of science. I also try to learn by writing about it. I often regret not choosing science as a career path, but I also recognize that I don’t have the patience and discipline to do it well. I am thankful that there are so many who have chosen this career path.
3. Are you atheist, agnostic, Christian or something else? I am a strong atheist, but it doesn’t have so much to do with science as it does the difficulties I had with honestly seeking answers through religion. I didn’t think that I was getting any answers that made sense to me, and finally decided that the answers would not be forthcoming through religion. It was hard to face, and I didn’t really want to be an atheist, but now I am much happier that I accepted it. It is a matter of being able to be honest with myself.
4. Have you ever been anything else? Yes. I grew up Catholic because of my family. I spent several years as an evangelical Christian but not with a formal church. I went back to Catholicism again for a while, then went through continual searching through other religions. The last religion that I actively practiced was Wicca before realizing that I am an atheist.
5. How do you see faith and science interacting? From the early 1800’s I see that science has crowded out the evidentiary need for a Creator. I would say that people who still have faith and are aware of how everything came about base their faith on something other need to understand the things that science can’t explain. I can only guess that because there are questions that science will never be able to approach, they hope to find them through their faith. I don’t need to know the “meaning of life” because I think that life has great meaning without spirituality.
I also think that in many cases religion is reluctant to give up its explanatory power.