Open to Agnosticism

imageWell this, by Adam Frank, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Rochester, Hubble Fellow and NPR “13.7 Cosmos & Culture” blogger caused a bit of a stir in NPR land:

So, to be clear, I am not agnostic because I hope that my soul will ascend to Science Heaven, where I could spend eternity learning more about thermodynamics and quantum information theory (and where Firefly ran for 100 seasons). I am not agnostic because I hope souls exist. I doubt they do. I am agnostic about what happens after biological functioning because neither I, nor anyone else, understands consciousness and its fundamental relation to biology, chemistry and physics.

Adam Frank is a nonbeliever in God. Get that straight. He authored The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate; he has given the subject a lot of thought. This was just too close to sounding religious for some others. The message was clear: if you don’t have evidence that there is afterlife then you must, from a scientific worldview, presume there is not. I am reminded of the old Bertrand Russell teapot argument.

Then again, I am reminded that so many skeptics take this position on the shroud: if you can’t prove it is authentic then you must assume it is not. Why? Because it is a religious object? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone like Adam Frank examining the literature on the shroud.

Open to thinking: You And Your Brain. On Agnosticism And Consciousness.

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