Just came across an interesting interview from a couple years ago with the neuroscientist, Christof Koch in an article titled The Spiritual, Reductionist Consciousness of Christof Koch. He worked with Francis Crick on the neurobiology of consciousness. “Crick, a legend in science, was an outspoken atheist, while Koch, 40 years younger, was a Catholic yearning for ultimate meaning.”
Though not an evangelical, he might have made a good contributor to this site. I wonder if anyone here knows him professionally? (If so, how about sending an invite?)
Here are a couple of excerpts which others might find interesting, as much for what they reveal of his faith as for the science. There are a lot of easily understood explanations about consciousness generally early on. Anyhow a couple of the more interesting excerpts concerning faith-and-science:
An exchange regarding his faith:
It sounds like you lost your religious faith as you learned about science.
I lost my religious faith as I matured. I still look fondly back upon it. I still love the religious music of Bach. I still get this feeling of awe. In a cathedral, I can get a feeling of luminosity out of the numinous. When I’m on a mountain top, when I hear a dog howling, I still wake up some mornings and say, “I’m amazed that I exist. I’m amazed there is this world.” But you can get that without being a Catholic.
In reference to a week long visit he and some other scientists had with the Dalai Lama:
They have no trouble with the idea of evolution and other creatures being sentient. I found that very heartening—in particular the Dalai Lama’s insistence on the primacy of science. I asked him, “What happens if science is in conflict with certain tenets of Buddhist faith?” He laughed and said, “Well, if this belief doesn’t accord with what science ultimately discovers about the universe, then we have to throw it out.”
That made me wonder. Does his willingness to toss aside those of his beliefs which run afoul of science mark the Dalai Lama as faithless or as a person of still greater faith.