The Frontal Cortex

Razib has a frighteningly smart post on religion, secularism, Korea, etc., but I thought this excerpt was worth noting:

Religion adapts to the world as it is, engaging in dynamic processes of retrofitting. If supernaturalism is the cognitive default in many then the details of the religious narrative are of only proximate importance. But, I also think it is important to note that the decline of organized religion does not imply a concomitant decline in supernaturalistic or non-scientific thinking per se. An equal number of Americans and Europeans believe in reincarnation after all! The extremely secular (defined by a generally positive attitude toward science and an apathy toward organized religion) Chinese are also responsible for the near extinction of tigers (and other animals) because of the popularity of Chinese medicine. Secular American regions, like the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco, are also “New Age” meccas.

That, I think, is exactly right. Science-types spend a lot of time bemoaning specific cultural incarnations of our cognitive “supernaturalism” (Jerry Falwell, Intelligent Design, biblical literalism) without trying to grapple with the larger psychology issues underlying the religiosity. It’s funny that even people without any religious affiliation need some sort of metaphysical belief system, be it yoga or Chinese herbs or just some vague faith in an afterlife. (Even Sam Harris needs his Buddhism.) My own pet hypothesis is that the human mind craves mystery: we have a deep psychological need to know that not everything is reducible to the callous laws of physics and materialism. Whether we fill that mystery with God or Gods or some New Age chakra is more a matter of local culture than anything else. When people like Dawkins attack wimpy agnostics or moderate believers, they forget that many atheists aren’t uber-rationalists. They carry around tarot cards, not The Selfish Gene.

What’s the takeaway? Two things. First of all, it’s important to note that science isn’t necessarily in conflict with our need to believe in some sort of mystery. Modern science, after all, has discovered some of the craziest ideas around, from the principles of quantum physics to the fact that our head holds a trillion cells trafficking in minor jolts of electricity. These ideas are both materialist and mysterious, since they hint at a universe that exceeds the current capacities of our imagination. What Hamlet said to Horatio is still true.

Secondly, we (the materialists) should recognize that some religions are much more amenable to having their sense of the mysterious be modified than others. Instead of attacking all religions as bastions of anti-science beliefs, we should encourage the faithful to redraw the lines of the faith, to escort God to some new gaps. That said, I still agree with Razib’s final point:

But, I do think the argument that the decline of organized religion is “good for science” is correct in the end because I think these counter-scientific narratives have a more diffuse impact. In short, the problem with organized religion is that it scales supernaturalism into a powerful unified force, like the forcible realignment of iron molecules within ore to generate magnetism. So long as the molecules are randomly oriented then they “cancel out” and don’t result in a net force. Though New Religions, superstitious claptrap and customary cults (e.g., nominal affiliation with a Shinto Shrine and a Buddhist Temple) are common in Japan, there is a societal deference to science because there is no unified counter-force (though Japanese attitudes toward organ donation suggest that “irrational” beliefs can be perpetuated in secular societies).

Comments

  1. #1 Daniel
    June 1, 2007

    I will be 53 on Sunday. (ugh)

    All of my adult life, I have worked in high level science.

    But just lately, I have been changing the way I think about things. I have been acquiring new realizations.

    All of life is a mystery. Science is a mystery. How, is it, that science works? Undeniably, it does work. We do science, and acknowledge science on a pragmatic and superficial level, but there is no real philosphical explanation for it. (Whenever I make this statement, I am met with a cacophony of objection; yet, this cacophony of opinion just shows that my statement is pretty much true).

    We know little. We speculate a great deal. Even on things that we take for granted as certain knowledge, it turns out, that we are mostly speculating. Even on the very laws of nature and science and physics, on which all our science rest, are there really such laws, and what is the nature of such laws? We can suppose and speculate, but even these seemingly basic things are ultimately mysteries.

    I think that this post “Religion, Secularism, and Mystery” is very interesting, and to the point.

  2. #2 Richard
    June 1, 2007

    Many of the people who reject organized religion still have a great deal of antipathy to philosophical naturalism, and to scientists. They still seem to have that image of scientists, so common in the 1960′s, of the white-coated, crew-cutted, torturers of little animals, or developers of weapons systems. Some people (especially Arts students) really hate scientists as a group, and have almost no interaction with actual scientists. This antipathy leaves them open to accepting all kinds of woo-woo, even as they oppose mainstream religion.

  3. #3 Scholar
    June 1, 2007

    I don’t know too many atheists who believe in astrology or tarot cards. I do however run into a ton of smart folks who are sort of atheists, but they say they also believe in some kind of “connectedness”. In my opinion, that “connectedness” is actually “consciousness” and brain chemistry.

  4. #4 rachelle
    June 1, 2007

    test

  5. #5 moonenite
    June 1, 2007

    My own pet hypothesis is that the human mind craves mystery: we have a deep psychological need to know that not everything is reducible to the callous laws of physics and materialism.

    But it isn’t a craving for mystery in and of itself, the mystery is desired only as a kind of elbow room for maintaining the plausibility of our solution to existential concerns. In other words, we aren’t interested in the gaps themselves, only in the possibility that god/afterlife/meaningfulness might lie behind them. What humans really crave is being able to hold on to belief in some teleological organizaiton to their existence.

    Interestingly, this same type of reasoning is at the core of the psychology of self-deception. In the face of contrary evidence, we retain our belief in religious tenets in pretty much the same way we do when our perception of ourselves as a good drivers is challenged (or whatever talent/flattering characteristic you want to consider). After zeroing in on an indefinate aspect of the assessment (does being a slow driver mean you are cautious or poor at making driving decisions?…can God exist in some form beyond the domain of the scientific perspective?), we then then seize on to the self-affirming conclusion (I’m a good, cautious driver…there is a God despite what we observe) and refuse to examine the issue further with any rigor. While god might not be absolutely disprovable, I think it is rather telling that the whole exercise of religions or spiritual faith is highly similar in its mechanics to our process of preserving everyday gratifying delusions.

  6. #6 crimsongirl
    June 2, 2007

    Thanks, Josh, for a realistic take on this subject. I don’t get the fundamentalist atheism that takes such offense at religion – a brand of holier-than-thou atheism you often see here at scienceblogs.com

  7. #7 Chris Hughes
    June 2, 2007

    “I don’t get the fundamentalist atheism that takes such offense at religion”

    I think offence is taken when the religious attempt to foist their notions of acceptable behaviour on the non-religious, something that happens all too often. Additionally, the expectation of ‘respect’ for what can seem to the rational person to be crackpot supernatural notions can grate…

  8. #8 Marilyn
    June 2, 2007

    Published in “Did Man Get Here By Evolution or Creation?”

    Sir Isaac Newton

    A conversation he had with an infidel friend is related in the “MINNESOTA TECHNOLOG”
    “One day, as Newton sat reading in his study with his mechanism on a large table near him, his infidel friend stepped in. Scientist that he was he recognized at a glance what was before him. Stepping up to it, he slowly turned the crank, and with undisguised admiration watched the heavenly bodies all move in their relative speed in their orbits. Standing off a few feet he exclaimed, ‘My! What an exquisite thing this is! Who made it?’ Without looking up from his book, Newton answered, ‘Nobody!’

    “Quickly turning to Newton, the infidel said, ‘Evidently you did not understand my question. I asked who made this?’ Looking up now, Newton solemnly assured him that nobody made it, but that the aggregation of matter so much admired had just happened to assume the form it was in. But the astonished infidel replied with some heat, ‘you must think I am a fool! Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius,
    “Laying his book aside, Newton arose and laid a hand on his friend’s shoulder. and I’d like to know who he is.’
    ‘This is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?’”

    Newton convinced his friend that whatever is made requires a maker.

  9. #9 Marilyn
    June 2, 2007

    *** ce chap. 14 pp. 175-176 The Human Miracle ***
    Things Only Creation Can Explain
    17 The Encyclopædia Britannica states that man’s brain “is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person’s lifetime.”21 It also has been stated that the human brain could take any load of learning and memory put on it now, and a billion times that! But why would evolution produce such an excess? “This is, in fact, the only example in existence where a species was provided with an organ that it still has not learned how to use,” admitted one scientist. He then asked: “How can this be reconciled with evolution’s most fundamental thesis: Natural selection proceeds in small steps, each of which must confer on its bearer a minimal, but nonetheless measurable, advantage?” He added that the human brain’s development “remains the most inexplicable aspect of evolution.”22 Since the evolutionary process would not produce and pass on such excessive never-to-be-used brain capacity, is it not more reasonable to conclude that man, with the capacity for endless learning, was designed to live forever?

    *** ce chap. 14 p. 171 The Human Miracle ***
    THE HUMAN BRAIN—An ‘Unsolved Mystery’?
    “The human brain is the most marvelous and mysterious object in the whole universe.”—Anthropologist Henry F. Osborna
    “How does the brain produce thoughts? That is the central question and we have still no answer to it.”—Physiologist Charles Sherringtonb
    “In spite of the steady accumulation of detailed knowledge how the human brain works is still profoundly mysterious.”—Biologist Francis Crickc
    “Anyone who speaks of a computer as an ‘electronic brain’ has never seen a brain.”—Science editor Dr. Irving S. Bengelsdorfd
    “Our active memories hold several billion times more information than a large contemporary research computer.”—Science writer Morton Hunte
    “Since the brain is different and immeasurably more complicated than anything else in the known universe, we may have to change some of our most ardently held ideas before we’re able to fathom the brain’s mysterious structure.”—Neurologist Richard M. Restakf
    Regarding the huge gulf between humans and animals, Alfred R. Wallace, the ‘co-discoverer of evolution,’ wrote to Darwin: “Natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of the ape, whereas he possesses one very little inferior to that of an average member of our learned society.” Darwin, upset by this admission, replied: “I hope you have not murdered completely your own and my child”g
    To say that the human brain evolved from that of any animal is to defy reason and the facts. Far more logical is this conclusion: “I am left with no choice but to acknowledge the existence of a Superior Intellect, responsible for the design and development of the incredible brain-mind relationship—something far beyond man’s capacity to understand. . . . I have to believe all this had an intelligent beginning, that Someone made it happen.”—Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert J. Whiteh

  10. #10 Marilyn
    June 2, 2007

    *** Multiple Articles ***
    During this century, science has greatly increased our knowledge of the natural world around us. Its telescopes have revealed the awesome wonders of the starry heavens, just as its microscopes have disclosed the amazing complexities of molecules and atoms. The marvels of design in plants and animals, the wisdom reflected in our own fearfully and wonderfully made bodies—this knowledge also comes to us through the discoveries of hardworking scientists. We are not unappreciative.
    But there is another side to science. Not all its practitioners measure up to the image of the objective, passionate pursuers of truth, regardless of where it might lead. There are too many scientists who select the material that supports their theory and discard what doesn’t. They report studies they have never made and experiments they have never performed, and they fake what they cannot establish. They plagiarize the writings of fellow scientists. Many claim authorship of articles they have never worked on and maybe have never even seen!
    Flagrant fraud may be rare, but some of the manipulating of data mentioned above is common. Even more common, however, are two additional kinds of fraud, both involving deceitful propaganda. The four articles that follow examine the problem.

    *** g90 1/22 p. 3 Fraud in Science—It Makes the Headlines ***
    The image of scientists as invariably dedicated to truth has been tarnished, as these headlined items show. ***
    “Ethics in Science”
    “A fight is building in the U.S. House of Representatives over fraud, misconduct, and conflict of interest in science.”—Science, July 7, 1989.
    ***
    “Two New Studies Ask Why Scientists Cheat”
    “It was an innocent enough question: how do scientists behave when no one is looking? But it has produced an incendiary answer: not too well, reports a paper this month in the British journal Nature.”—Newsweek, February 2, 1987.
    ***
    “The Case of the ‘Misplaced’ Fossils”
    “A prominent Australian scientist has examined two decades of work on ancient Himalayan geology and alleges it may be the greatest paleontological fraud of all time.”—Science, April 21, 1989.
    “Now It’s the Journals’ Turn on the Firing Line”
    “[He was speaking] specifically about how poorly many [science] journals have handled scientific fraud. . . . The same message previously dispatched to other members of the scientific community has now been addressed to the journals: clean up your act or you may find legislators getting into it.”—The AAAS Observer, July 7, 1989
    ***
    “Do Scientists Cheat?”
    “After the initial inquiry by this [congressional] committee into this subject, the committee has had growing reason to believe that we are only seeing the tip of a very unfortunate, dangerous, and important iceberg.”—NOVA broadcast on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) on October 25, 1988.
    *** w90 2/15 p. 28 Insight on the News ***
    “Hijacking Fossils”
    Under that title, the French daily Le Monde reported the case of a paleontologist in India who “for 20 years . . . apparently deceived his colleagues concerning the origin of fossils that he submitted to them for their appraisal.” It is claimed that the “hijacking” consisted of sending them fossils obtained in the United States, Africa, Czechoslovakia, and the British Isles, saying they had been discovered in the Himalaya Mountains. This scientist published his findings in over 300 articles. The fraud was brought to light by an Australian scientist via the British scientific journal Nature. He wondered ‘how it could be that such a large quantity of doubtful findings remained unchallenged for such a long time.’
    One possible reason, according to Le Monde, was the law of silence heeded by many members of the scientific community. The article noted that this fossil “hijacking” has “made useless practically all the facts accumulated [over the past 20 years] on the geology of the Himalayas.”
    Obviously, this new case of fraud in science does not cast doubt on the entire scientific world. It does, however, provide further evidence that arguments of paleontology when pitted against the unfailing accuracy of the Bible record are often nothing more than what the apostle Paul called “the contradictions of the ‘knowledge’ which is not knowledge at all.”—1 Timothy 6:20, The New Jerusalem Bible.

    ***Fraud in Science—Why It’s on the Increase
    “THE competition is savage. Winners reap monumental rewards; losers face oblivion. It’s an atmosphere in which an illicit shortcut is sometimes irresistible—not least because the Establishment is frequently squeamish about confronting wrongdoing.” So opened the article “Publish or Perish—or Fake It” in U.S.News & World Report. To escape perishing, many scientific researchers are faking it.
    The pressure on scientists to publish in scientific journals is overwhelming. The longer the list of published papers to the researcher’s name, the better his chances for employment, promotion, tenure in a university, and government grants to finance his research. The federal government “controls the largest source of research funding, $5.6 [thousand million] a year from the National Institutes of Health.”
    Because “the scientific community shows little stomach for confronting its ethical dilemma,” “has been strangely reluctant to probe too deeply for hard data about its ethical conduct,” and “isn’t keen about cleaning house or even looking closely for malfeasance,” congressional committees have held hearings and considered legislation to do the job of policing for them. (New Scientist; U.S.News & World Report) This prospect wrings from scientists much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Yet, one science journal asks and answers the question: “Is the house of science clean and in order? The bit of evidence that reaches the public invites serious doubts.”
    Some researchers eliminate data that does not support what they want to prove (called cooking); report more tests or trials than were actually run (called trimming); appropriate for their own use data or ideas of other researchers (called plagiarism); and make up experiments or data they never performed or produced (called forging). A cartoon in a science journal poked fun at this last tactic, one scientist talking to another and saying of a third: ‘He’s published a lot since he took up that creative writing course.’
    “What’s the major product of scientific research these days? Answer: Paper,” U.S.News & World Report said. “Hundreds of new journals are being founded each year to handle the flood of research papers cranked out by scientists who know that the road to academic success is a long list of articles to their credit.” Quantity, not quality, is the goal. Forty thousand journals published yearly produce a million articles, and part of this flood “is symptomatic of fundamental ills, including a publish-or-perish ethic among researchers that is stronger now than ever and encourages shoddy, repetitive, useless or even fraudulent work.”

  11. #11 EtherNet
    June 4, 2007

    I agree with your statement “some religions are much more amenable to having their sense of the mysterious be modified than others”. One religion that I have found to be well inline with scientific thinking is Matrixism. Understood thoroughly it reduces religious expwerience itself to a science without taking away from its mystery or majesty.

  12. #12 Marilyn
    June 8, 2007

    THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, IN THAT, It is capable of “maintaining” the attention of the most “naïve” to the most “intellectual.” It encompasses the complete range of human intellect. It contains the entire scale of human emotion. No publication produced by humans is capable of this umbrella of Wisdom. All of humanity has the same fundamental needs and desires, whether one lived centuries ago or in our twenty-first century. All have suffered equally. Men and women alike throughout Bible history were our counterparts in every way, the only difference between them and we are basically their culture. They too, struggled with the questions; “Why God permits wickedness.”

    Universities teach knowledge! The Bible teaches one how to live!
    Proverbs 2:1-9

  13. #13 Marilyn
    June 15, 2007

    *** g77 7/22 p. 29 Watching the World ***
    Einstein and Jehovah
    ? In a letter published by the magazine Physics Today, a member of Rutgers University wrote about her impressions of Albert Einstein’s letters to his ‘old crony,’ Michele Besso. In her opinion, the letters showed that Einstein studied “God’s works . . . in the laws of physics. There are numerous references to Jehovah in the letters.”

    *** g02 6/8 p. 4 How Did the Universe and Life Originate? ***
    How Did the Universe and Life Originate?
    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”—Albert Einstein.
    OURS are times of astonishment on a scale previously unknown. New discoveries from space are forcing astronomers to revise their views of the origin of our universe. Many people are fascinated with the cosmos and are asking the ancient questions that are raised by our existence in it: How did the universe and life come about and why?
    Even if we look in the other direction—within ourselves—the recent mapping of the human genetic code raises the questions: How were the multitudes of life-forms created? And who, if anyone, created them? The sheer complexity of our genetic blueprint moved a U.S. president to say that “we are learning the language in which God created life.” One of the chief scientists involved in the genetic decoding humbly remarked: “We have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.” But the questions persist—how and why?

    *** ct chap. 5 pp. 73-74 The Handiwork—What Is Behind It? ***
    Chapter Five
    The Handiwork—What Is Behind It?
    AS NOTED in earlier chapters, modern scientific discoveries offer an abundance of convincing evidence that the universe and life on earth both had a beginning. What caused their beginning?
    After studying the available evidence, many have concluded that there must be a First Cause. Nonetheless, they may shy away from attaching personality to this Cause. Such reluctance to speak of a Creator mirrors the attitude of some scientists.
    For instance, Albert Einstein was convinced that the universe had a beginning, and he expressed his desire “to know how God created the world.” Yet Einstein did not admit to belief in a personal God; he spoke of a cosmic “religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image.” Similarly, Nobel laureate chemist Kenichi Fukui expressed belief in a great framework in the universe. He said that “this great link and framework may be expressed in words such as ‘Absolute’ or ‘God.’” But he called it an “idiosyncrasy of nature.”
    Are you aware that such belief in an impersonal cause parallels much of the Eastern religious thinking? Many Orientals believe that nature came into existence on its own. This idea is even expressed in the Chinese characters for nature, which literally mean “becomes by itself” or “self-existing.” Einstein believed that his cosmic religious feeling was well expressed in Buddhism. Buddha held that it was not important whether a Creator had a hand in bringing forth the universe and humans. Similarly, Shinto provides no explanation of how nature came to be, and Shintoists believe that the gods are spirits of the dead that may assimilate with nature.
    Interestingly, such thinking is not far removed from views that were popular in ancient Greece. The philosopher Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.) is said to have believed that ‘gods are too remote to do you any more harm than good.’ He held that man is a product of nature, probably through spontaneous generation and the natural selection of the fittest. You may sense from this that similar ideas today are by no means modern.
    Alongside the Epicureans were the Greek Stoics, who gave nature the position of God. They supposed that when humans die, impersonal energy from them is reabsorbed into the ocean of energy making up God. They felt that cooperating with natural laws was the supreme good. Have you heard similar views in our day?

    *** ce chap. 11 p. 151 par. 21 The Amazing Design of Living Things ***
    21 Some of the world’s most famous scientists have found it hard to believe. They see intelligence in the natural world. Nobel-prize-winning physicist Robert A. Millikan, although a believer in evolution, did say at a meeting of the American Physical Society: “There’s a Divinity that shapes our ends . . . A purely materialistic philosophy is to me the height of unintelligence. Wise men in all the ages have always seen enough to at least make them reverent.” In his speech he quoted Albert Einstein’s notable words, wherein Einstein said that he did “try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.”13

    *** gh chap. 6 pp. 53-54 pars. 9-10 The Source of Good News—“God” ***
    9 Even famous scientists have at times acknowledged their own smallness in comparison with the stupendous power and wisdom apparent in creation. For example, Albert Einstein once testified:
    “It is enough for me to . . . reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.”
    10 The discoverer of the “law of gravity,” Sir Isaac Newton, was another who was deeply impressed by the evidence of God’s invisible qualities that are to be seen in His creation. The following account relates how Newton testified to his belief in Almighty God:
    Newton once had a skilled mechanic make for him a model of the solar system. Balls representing the planets were geared together so as to move realistically in orbit. One day an atheist friend visited Newton. On seeing the model, he operated it, and exclaimed in admiration, “Who made it?” Newton answered, “Nobody!” The atheist replied, “You must think I am a fool! Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius.” Newton then said to his friend, “This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker!”
    Newton’s friend came to acknowledge that the great Designer and Maker of all things is God. Surely we, too, as we look on the marvels of creation about us, in the heavens and on earth, must acknowledge that an all-wise Creator made it all! How thankful we should be that this mighty Creator lovingly placed man here on this earth and that he is deeply interested in us!

    *** g92 1/22 pp. 9-10 The Source of True Values ***
    Scientists See Mysteries Only God Can Explain
    Very interesting is the fact that as science learns more of the earth and the universe, some scientists gravitate toward a belief that a supreme intelligence must be behind it all. They balk, however, at accepting the God of the Bible.
    Astrophysicist George Greenstein, in his book The Symbiotic Universe, set out “to detail what can only seem to be an astonishing sequence of stupendous and unlikely accidents that paved the way for life’s emergence. There is a list of coincidences, all of them essential to our existence.” Greenstein said the list got longer, the coincidences could not be by chance, and the thought grew that some supernatural agency was at work. “Is it possible,” he thought, “that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?” He felt “an intense revulsion” at such a thought and arbitrarily said: “God is not an explanation.” Yet the growing list of “coincidences” had forced the questions from him.
    Another astrophysicist, Nobel prize winner Fred Hoyle, in his book The Intelligent Universe, discussed those same mysterious coincidences that troubled Greenstein: “Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy accidents. But there are so many of these odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them.” Hoyle also agrees with Greenstein that they could not have happened by chance. Consequently, Hoyle says, ‘the origin of the universe requires an intelligence,’ ‘an intelligence on a higher plane,’ ‘an intelligence that preceded us and that was led to a deliberate act of creation of structures suitable for life.’
    Einstein spoke of God but not in the sense of orthodox religion. His concept of God related to “the infinitely superior spirit” he saw revealed in nature. Timothy Ferris, in his article “The Other Einstein,” quoted Einstein as follows: “What I see in nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of ‘humility.’ This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. . . . My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. . . . I want to know how God created this world. I want to know his thoughts, the rest are details.”
    Guy Murchie, after discussing some of the incomprehensible mysteries of the universe, comments in his book The Seven Mysteries of Life: “It is easy to see why modern physicists, who have been pushing the frontier of knowledge into the unknown probably more profoundly than any other scientists in recent centuries, are ahead of most of their fellows in accepting that all-encompassing mystery of the universe commonly referred to as God.”

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