The Sciences

I'm in Playboy

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJan 4, 2011 10:33 PM

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To be more specific: I have an article in the Pamela Anderson issue currently on newsstands. The article does not appear to be online, but it's on p. 168 of the magazine--the Playboy forum. (Kinda hard to find, but you'll get there.) The piece is about scientists who aren't religious, but are spiritual, in an atheistic sort of way. An excerpt:

But can scientists who say they are awestruck by nature and moved by their research really relate to more traditional religious experiences, a la those reported by saints? Aren't "awe" and "wonder" nondescript notions that add emotional embroidery to the brute facts of the universe? Perhaps not. Feelings of awe, wonder and mystery recur in the context of human quests for deeper understanding or revelation. In his 1917 work The Idea of the Holy, German theologian Rudolph Otto singled out a sense of awe as a key characteristic of our encounters with what he termed the "numinous"--an overwhelming power or presence beyond ourselves. Science can unleash this feeling too. Just sit in a darkened room and look at nebulae pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, as University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank describes doing in his book The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate. "Scientists are not the only ones who catch their collective breath before these pictures," he writes. "The momentary hush and the gasp that follow are involuntary."

Please note...if looking at the Pamela Anderson cover image makes you feel awe, wonder, or spirituality...you may need a type of care beyond anything that this blog can offer.

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