Brazilian physicist Marcelo Gleiser: "Science does not kill God"


The Templeton Annual Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to "confirming the vital spiritual dimension", was awarded Tuesday in Brazil's Marcel Gleiser – theoretical physics, which advocates the demonstration of science and religion, is not an enemy.

Professor of Physics and Astronomy with Specialization in Cosmology, 60-year-old Gleiser was born in Riu de Janeiro and has been in the US since 1986.

Agnostic does not believe in God – but does not want to completely abandon the possibility of God's existence.

"Atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method," Gleiser told AFP Monday at Dartmouth College at the University of New Hampshire, where he taught since 1991. "Atheism is a belief in non-belief."

"I will keep the open mind because I understand that human knowledge is limited," he added.

The prize is funded by John Templeton Foundation – a philanthropic organization named after a US presbyter who met on Wall Street, who decided to "search for the divine agency in all branches of science" Economist to tell.

Gleiser joins Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and the dissident Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn as the recipient of the prize for the first time in 1973. The $ 1.1 million ($ 1.5 million) prize money is much higher than the Nobel Prize.

Physics focuses on the availability of complex topics. He wrote about climate change, Einstein, hurricanes, black holes, human conscience – following the links between science and humanities, including philosophy.

Author of five English books and hundreds of articles in the US and Brazil, Gleiser also explored in depth how science and religion are trying to respond to questions about the origin of life and space.

The first thing you see in the Bible is the story of creation, "he said. Whatever your faith," everyone wants to know how it has become. "

This fundamental curiosity combines science and religion, although each of them gives very different answers: science has a methodology where hypotheses are eliminated.

"Science can answer certain questions to a certain extent," Gleiser emphasized.

"This has long been known in philosophy, the problem of the first cause is called: we stumble," said the physicist, the father of five children. "We should have humility to accept that there is a mystery around us."

Scientific arrogance

So what does he think of people who believe that the Earth was created in seven days?

"They set science as an enemy … because they have a very outdated way of thinking about science and religion, in which all scientists try to kill God," he said. "Science does not kill God."

On the other hand, he accuses "new atheists" of doing harm to science by making an enemy of religion: in particular British scientist Richard Dawkins, who called for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI over pedophilia in the Catholic Church – and the late journalist Christopher Hitchens, who criticized Mother Terezo.

For Gleiss who grew up in the Jewish community of Ria, religion does not only talk about belief in God: it provides a sense of identity and community.

"That's how at least half of the world's population," he said. "Scientists are extremely arrogant to come from ivory towers and make these statements without understanding the social significance of belief systems."

"When you hear the famous scientists who make statements like … cosmology has explained the origin of the universe and the whole, and we do not need God anymore. That is complete nonsense," he added.

"Because we did not explain the source of the universe at all."


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