Mar 19, 2014 · 7:00 PM
Dewitt Community Library
Investigating our history of inquiry: My scientific, atheistic view on the value of religious texts and religious creeds
Daniel Curewitz, Ph.D., is a secular humanist and atheist but still finds great value in the religious writings, stories, myths, and belief systems we humans have invented. When he looks at the history of the human quest for knowledge, he finds that the basic questions that still drive our inquiry remain vibrant and in many cases have been articulated in the religious writings of many theistic traditions. These questions include: How does the world work and why? What is our place in that world? How can we best organize ourselves and our behavior to survive and thrive in the world?
Asking the first question, even knowing beforehand that the answers will most likely be wrong, is the entry point into scientific inquiry. How do religious stories shed light on our attempts to extract knowledge from our surroundings and to use that knowledge to our direct benefit? In our contemporary world, how did those stories stop being gateways to inquiry and start being impediments to progress?