Identity in an infinite expanding universe

Astrophysicist Laurance R. Doyle is a principal investigator at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in Mountain View, California. SETI's mission is to explore and explain the nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Dr. Doyle's peer-reviewed projects track questions such as, How many stars have planets and how many of these planets might support life? The following excerpted comments are from a recent webcast discussion on, moderated by spiritual healer and speaker Reed Harris.

Laurance Doyle: Where science runs into a conflict with the sacred is in not accepting a limited version of the Source—a limited version of the Creator, a limited version of Mind. You can't convince a scientist who works with googleplexes and galaxies and accelerating universes, much less quantum probabilities, that God is a tribal god that will fight. In the scientific community, a colleague of mine said, "You're not trying to mix religion and science, are you?" I said, "Oh, no, no, no. I'm trying to make religion scientific." And he goes, "OK. That's OK." So that's acceptable—to make things scientific.

The philosophy I have of science is that you're doing science when you take the evidence of intelligence above the evidence of the senses. The earth used to be thought to be flat. Well, it took evidence of intelligence to say it was round, because the senses say it's flat. Same thing with the sun going around the earth, or the earth going around the sun. Bertrand Russell, the mathematician/philosopher, once said that physics is based on the assumption that things are as they appear, and then [the physicist] proceeds to prove that things are not as they appear.

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