What Are You Optimistic About? January 1, 2007

What Are You Optimistic About?

The Edge released it’s annual question, posed to the brightest minds of the day, along with the responses. This year’s question:

What are you optimistic about? Why?

Read the responses here.

Some excerpts can be found after the jump.

Richard Dawkins:

I am optimistic that the physicists of our species will complete Einstein’s dream and discover the final theory of everything… I am optimistic that [this] will furnish a totally satisfying naturalistic explanation for the existence of the universe and everything that’s in it including ourselves. And I am optimistic that this final scientific enlightenment will deal an overdue deathblow to religion and other juvenile superstitions.

Daniel Dennett:

I’m so optimistic that I expect to live to see the evaporation of the powerful mystique of religion… Of course many people–perhaps a majority of people in the world–will still cling to their religion with the sort of passion that can fuel violence and other intolerant and reprehensible behavior. But the rest of the world will see this behavior for what it is, and learn to work around it until it subsides, as it surely will.

Michael Shermer:

I am optimistic that science is winning out over magic and superstition.

Marcelo Gleiser:

I’m optimistic that the debate or, should I say, war, between science and religion will see new light… I do not forget what is behind the power of religious thought. Quite simply: hope… Yes, it’s wild to believe in supernatural influences in the world, yes it’s crazy to devote your life to a God that seems to have vanished from the world for, under conservative estimates, “at least” 2000 years. But scientists cannot forget that most people need some sort of spiritual guidance, a kind of guidance science, at least as is taught today, cannot offer…

My hope is that people will begin to see science as a vehicle for mutual understanding and for respecting life… I am optimistic that scientists will teach people these lessons, instead of simply try to rob them of their faith and offering nothing in return.

(via Fark)

[tags]The Edge, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Marcelo Gleiser, religion, Science, atheist, atheism, Christian[/tags]

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