Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Carl from Beyond

Just finished Carl Sagan's new book (which was quite a feat for Carl considering he passed away a decade ago... Actually the book is based on transcripts of a lecture series in 1985.) The book is entitled The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God. Sagan starts by expressing his opinion that "the objectives of religion and science...are identical or very nearly so." As much as I admire Sagan's impressive intellect, I would have to respectfully disagree. I believe the objective of science is to understand the 'what' and the 'how', while the objective of religion (or at least one objective) is to embrace the mystery of the 'why'. So for me, the subtitle (A Personal View of the Search for God) ended up being a bit of a misnomer. Sagan's strength is (was) in the scientific realm; he doesn't quite have it in the theology department. However, that being said, it's a decent read---and parts are quite thought-provoking.