Friday, December 26, 2008

Quote of the day

"There can be no scientific dispute with respect to faith, for science and faith exclude one another. Not that one makes the other impossible, or vice versa, but rather that belief has no place as far as science reaches, and may be first permitted to take root where science stops." - Rudolph Virchow, "On Man" (1849), collected in Disease, Life and Man (1958)

Virchow appears to have been an early proponent of Stephen Jay Gould's "nonoverlapping magisteria." Although I don't agree with either that religion and science don't conflict or overlap (the real world demonstrates that they actually and often do), I do appreciate the sentiment expressed by both, as it is far superior to that of fanatics who believe that "science" should only exist to the extent that it can be put in service of their beliefs.

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