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Most Scientists Embarrassed By Strange Religions

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on February 8, 2001 20:51:54 UTC

Most Christian scientists in the US would be embarrassed seeing a Ph.D. in Physics passing out flowers at the airport for the Moonies or similar group, or wearing Quaker clothes and refusing to use electricity, or trying to sell Watchtower books that say the world will end in 1979 (or any other date) for the Jehovah's Witnesses, or refusing to use modern medicine, or giving away Book of Mormons as proof that the American Indians are one of the tribes of Israel rather than Asians, or giving all their property to a Jim Jones and moving to Guyana, etc.

Some scientists (such as those you mentioned) might not be embarrassed by all these things, but most would be.

Respectable scientists would only want to be members of respectable religions doing respectable things. "Respectable" religions are those that are willing to reinterprete the scriptures to match scientific knowledge.

I recently watched a former physics professor (of Princeton, he said) do a magician's spoon-bending trick on video to convince his audience that there are powers beyond the laws of science. It was apparent in the video that he began to bend the spoon before the audience was supposed to notice. When I offered to show the person watching with me that I could do the same thing without using his magical words or ESP powers, she said "Not with one of my good spoons, you won't." I would have been embarrassed watching him even if I were still religious.

Would watching such a thing have embarrassed you?

As scientific knowledge grows scientists will become less and less willing to devote themselves to one of the currently existing religions. I predict that atheism and agnosticism, among scientists especially, will increase in the future.

How long will it be before you adopt an atheist or at least an agnostic point of view?

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