I don’t know much about Krista Tippett, who does the Speaking of Faith program on NPR, but I’ve just received a free copy of her new book, Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit. I’m intrigued enough to read it, although I’m not excessively hopeful after seeing that one of the “conversations” is with John Polkinghorne and is called “Quarks and Creation: On the complementary nature of science and religion.” I heard her exactly once, while driving in North Carolina. She was spouting some accommodationist nonsense on NPR, and I petulantly turned off the car radio.
Before cracking the book, I did a quick Google search, and this video came up:
This is not promising:
@4:50 “I actually interviewed an Australian astrobiologist recently for a program we’re doing on the religious sensibility of Albert Einstein, and he says that theology is the midwife of science. And he points out that in Western culture, and even names that we wrongly think of as being opposed to religion—Galileo, Newton, even Darwin himself, and into the twentieth century, somebody like Albert Einstein— you know, especially Darwin, Newton, and Galileo: they thought that what they were doing with science was understanding God better. They went from the premise that, you know, the Americans you just heard a moment ago, hold, that God created the world, that they believed that Nature, that the created world, is the works of God, and in understanding nature and the world as it is, they could understand the mind of God. And that is an impulse that even today is consonant with the way many scientists approach their work, whether they are kind of traditionally religious or not. And that’s being lost in the way that science is being set up as an enemy to religion. . . .
Actually, I know a lot of scientists, but have never encountered a single one who seems motivated by the desire to understand the nature of God. Maybe Newton did that, but certainly not Einstein and Darwin. To claim that those two guys did science as a way of getting inside God’s mind is the most blatant form of factual distortion in the service of accommodationism. Of course science is an enemy of religion, for its method is doubt, empirical testing, and the rejection of ideas for which there’s no evidence. If religious people practiced their faith using those principles, in a very short time there would be no religion.
Is this the kind of stuff I can expect in her book?
Oh, and a big hat tip to Greg Mayer and Matthew Cobb for putting up some great posts during my well-deserved feed in Paris.