mlimber writes: The New York Times is running a provocative piece on the faith-based nature of science: "The problem with this neat separation into 'non-overlapping magisteria,' as Stephen Jay Gould described science and religion, is that science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way.... [B]oth religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.... [U]ntil science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus."
i_like_spam writes: The New York Times has an interesting story about a paper published in 1955 by Homer Jacobson, a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College. The paper, entitled "Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life", speculated on the chemical qualities of earth in the Hadean time, billions of years ago when the planet was beginning to cool down to the point where, as Dr. Jacobson put it, "one could imagine a few hardy compounds could survive." Nobody paid much attention to the paper at the time, but today it is winning Dr. Jacobson acclaim that he does not want — from creationists who cite it as proof that life could not have emerged on earth without divine intervention. So after 52 years, he has retracted it.