By Chet Raymo
A famous technology author argues passionately and persuasively that technological know-how and faith are at the same time reinforcing methods of experiencing the world--and that phrases corresponding to God, grace, sacred, and spirituality can preserve forex in an age of technology, after they were stripped in their archaic meanings.
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Extra resources for Skeptics and True Believers
There are four kinds of nucleotides: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, designated A, G, C, and T. Adenine always pairs with thymine, and guanine always pairs with cytosine, so that there are four kinds of treads along the DNA staircase: A-T, T-A, G-C, and C-G. It is the sequence of these treads that is the genetic code. The red knot's map and navigational manual are written in a chemical language of only four letters! In each cell of the red knot's body, there are identical strands of DNA, about an arm's length in all, a blueprint for making a small russet bird with an urge to fly and the skills to make a 9,000-mile unpracticed journey.
I move my finger; the sensations change; the form flutters, moves away, I hear a whirr, the tingle ceases. Perception and cognition are hugely complex processes, endlessly debated by psychologists, neurologists, and philosophers. Margeneau's simple schematic of connected circles is itself only a construct, a useful way of describing the devilishly complex business of perception and cognition. The important thing is to realize that our ideas about the world are not the same as the world itself (a point often missed by True Believers).
During those dozen years, no topic has evoked more reader response than the intersection of science and faith. I have received correspondence on this topic from hundreds of readers, the overwhelming majority of whom offered thoughtful, provocative, and helpful responses. One theme emerged from this exchange of ideas: We are a culture divided at its heart. We warmly embrace the technological and medical fruits of science, but often hold religious beliefs that stand in flat-out contradiction to the scientific way of knowing.