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March 16, 2009 - 12:48pm



Bernard d'Espagnat, a French physicist/philosopher, has won this year's one million dollar Templeton Prize, given to thinkers who attempt to reconcile religious belief and science.

d'Espagnat's ideas are intriguing enough that UD would like to feature them in a series of posts today, especially his claim that

There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a 'veiled reality' that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, even by cogent scientific arguments.

Atheists will argue that what we don't know about the universe we'll know in a matter of time; people inclined toward religious belief will often argue, like d'Espagnat, that immense obdurate mysteries, being a permanent feature of existence, suggest a larger supernatural intelligent design.

Of course, even if we can agree that there are limits to what can be known, this doesn't mean a god lies beyond the limits. Yet d'Espagnat's point of view is worth further investigation, which UD will now begin. She will chronicle her attempt to acquaint herself with d'Espagnat's ideas in a series of posts, of which this is Part One.


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