I started Herman Wouk's The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion. Here, I'll feature something that Wouk says on pages 10-11:
Bible has long been waning as the core of religious upbringing, a way
of life once handed from father to son down the millennia, rooted in an
epic history and an encyclopedic literature; a practical guide to the
insoluble mysteries, brief joys, harsh blows, and everyday workings of a
human existence. That upbringing survives here and there among our
people, but most Jewish babies----in Israel, in America, in all the
diaspora----are born today into the world view of Feynman and Gell-Mann;
and a Nobel colleague of theirs, the physicist Steven Weinberg, has
written lucid books in which the insoluble mysteries loom especially
large, most of all the old agnostic paradox of an orderly universe
without seeming purpose."
Of course, a
number of atheists will say that people can endow life with purpose,
whether there is a God or not. Perhaps the Bible reflects one attempt
to provide life with purpose----to give people a sense of mission beyond
themselves, to guide them through the ups and downs of life, and to
entertain them with stories with which they can identify.
the Bible "a practical guide to insoluble mysteries"? I think that it
contains a lot of insights that can instruct and edify people. I
wouldn't exactly look to it for natural scientific knowledge, for my
impression is that it reflects ancient Near Eastern cosmology rather
than the cosmos as current scientists understand it. But can the Bible
surprise us by addressing things that some may not expect it to address,
such as what's going on in our lives, or insights of psychology? I
think so. I like the rabbinic statement that we can turn the Torah and
turn it again and be surprised when we find something new. Texts are
complex, as are readers.
If (or, according to most scientists, since) evolution is
the way things are, is life without purpose? I don't think so. Of
course, as I said, there are atheists who believe that we can come up
with our own meaning to life, even without a God. But I don't believe
that evolution precludes God's existence. Perhaps God started the whole
process and has watched it unfold for many years, as complex organisms
have developed and as humanoids have learned and grown, and this God
desires a relationship with us.
Do scientists assume their conclusions?
33 minutes ago