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November 16, 2007

God's Sophomore Year at Harvard

Jude on December 5, 2007 01:32 PM EST writes:
Why be "educated"?

Hoffmann's comments are right on the mark, in my opinion. The question of the role of the spiritual is not only a burning one on a personal level for many, but, as Hoffman points out, an ongoing dialogue in history. Too bad Harvard wasn't willing to step up to the plate and take on this challenge. It should be - and will- be addressed as this culture matures (particularly with respect to ongoing scientific discoveries) and it would have been valuable for Harvard to have been part of that process. As it is, a great university has denied itself participation in one of the critical discussions of the age.
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Pam on November 20, 2007 02:13 PM EST writes:
Not all of one stripe

Thanks for your read on the debate at Harvard. I am an admirer of Steven Pinker (even read his entire "How the Mind Works") but saw that he, in this case, fell into the pervasive perception that all religious types are of a single stripe, and can be characterized solely based on the profiles highlighted (created?) in the media: religious folk as conservative/single-issue/child-abusing/anti-science/bible-hugging/intolerant individuals. I argue that there is plenty of room for lively discussion with many people who call themselves religious about many of the issues you highlight here at the intersection between science and reason (indeed, I see SOMA as a good example of this). I guess students who want a robust conversation about religion & culture & science will need to go outside of Harvard Yard -- to MIT, or Boston University, where science & religion coursework appears alive and well.
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