Friday, December 15, 2006

Religion and Science

Landes, a Havard economist, has argued that the rise of Europe was partially based upon the belief that the sciences improved religion, unlike much of the rest of the world, for which science was considered antogonistic. Newton, and many of the mathematically minded of his day, proved god by finding order in the universe. Einstein's statement that "God does not play dice...", has more to do with the concept of an ordered universe than any belief in God.

In comparison, think about the period of the Spanish Inquisition, which drove out much of Spain's intellectual capital and hastened its descent from empire. Italy persecuted the sciences; of note is Galilleo. The list goes on. Northern Europe's belief that science did not interfere with god allowed both to flourish, as opposed to much of the rest of the world, where science was suppressed to foster religion. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What Religion Are You?

Reading the science blogs, I came across someone writing about a test from BeliefNet, the Belief-O-Matic, which attempts to classify a person's beliefs into a religious grouping.  The results for my tests are below:
1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (99%)
3. Liberal Quakers (86%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (83%)
5. Nontheist (79%)

I would agree to my beliefs as matching the site's definition of Secular Humanism, but the test weights values as well, and assumes atheism has no particular humanitarian bent.  According to the weighting, my liberal and humanitarian values would classify me as fitting the more liberal religions.

A Journey — if You Dare — Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

My responses in a NY Times comment section for the book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson ...