January 2, 2007

BY NEXT THERMIDOR AT THE LATEST:

No religion and an end to war: how thinkers see the future (Alok Jha, 1/1/07, The Guardian)

People's fascination for religion and superstition will disappear within a few decades as television and the internet make it easier to get information, and scientists get closer to discovering a final theory of everything, leading thinkers argue today.

The web magazine Edge (www.edge.org) asked more than 150 scientists and intellectuals: "What are you optimistic about?" Answers included hope for an extended human life span, a bright future for autistic children, and an end to violent conflicts around the world.

Philosopher Daniel Denett believes that within 25 years religion will command little of the awe it seems to instil today. The spread of information through the internet and mobile phones will "gently, irresistibly, undermine the mindsets requisite for religious fanaticism and intolerance".

Biologist Richard Dawkins said that physicists would give religion another problem: a theory of everything that would complete Albert Einstein's dream of unifying the fundamental laws of physics. "This final scientific enlightenment will deal an overdue death blow to religion and other juvenile superstitions."


Watching "leading thinkers" predict such occurrences is at least as amusing as attempts to pinpoint the apocalypse.

Posted by Matt Murphy at January 2, 2007 7:03 PM
Comments

Dawkins' childlike faith in the inevitable end of religion is almost touching. Almost.

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 2, 2007 8:53 PM

We can't get Islamists to stop blowing themselves up in the name Allah. Somehow their going to shoot right past Reformation to atheist in just 25 years?

Posted by: Pete at January 2, 2007 8:55 PM

"What are you optimistic about?" Did any of them say "My 401K!"?

Posted by: KRS at January 2, 2007 9:20 PM

Sounds great to me: the atheists all renounce war.

Posted by: MFEM MF MFEMFEM at January 2, 2007 10:06 PM

I perused a small (but presumably representative) fraction of the posts, and the funniest thing about the whole project is the notion that "thinking" in any way accurately describes the typical contribution...

Posted by: b at January 3, 2007 2:11 AM

scientists get closer to discovering a final theory of everything: that God created the world.

Anyway, why should we believe a theory? Can they prove it? Some people call the originator of the universe God, scientists call it theory.

Posted by: ic at January 3, 2007 4:27 AM

Dawkins' childlike faith in the inevitable end of religion is almost touching

He's a true believer waiting for the Rapture only so that he can be "left behind" and finally rid of all those stupid Christers.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 3, 2007 11:02 AM

"Biologist Richard Dawkins said that physicists would give religion another problem: a theory of everything that would complete Albert Einstein's dream of unifying the fundamental laws of physics.

Delicious! The Carl Sagan Syndrome in full bloom. When Mr. Dawkins demonstrates any competence in partial differential equations and tensor calculus, I might take his opinions seriously.

Posted by: jd watson at January 3, 2007 12:20 PM
« MY FONDEST MEMORY OF GERALD FORD...: | Main | MISNOMER: »