What We Still Don’t Know: Martin Rees

What We Still Don’t Know: “Are We Alone?”, “Why Are We Here?”, “Are We Real?”, fascinating questions explored in three fascinating documentaries with Martin Rees. Lord Rees the Baron of Ludlow, is a cosmologist and astrophysicist who has been the Astronomer Royal since 1995 and the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.  With credentials like his, one might be wary of his ability to communicate with mere mortals. However Rees’ skill at communicating complex scientific concepts to non-scientific minds is remarkable. 

Unlike many of his colleagues, Rees does not shy away for mixing science and religion. “I would support peaceful co-existence between religion and science because they concern different domains,” Lord Rees said. “Anyone who takes theology seriously knows that it’s not a matter of using it to explain things that scientists are mystified by.”

The Friendship of Science and Religion

image“I also think we need to maintain distinctions – the doctrine of creation is different than scientific cosmology and we should resist the temptation, which sometime scientists give into, to try to assimilate the concepts of theology and the concepts of science.” (Pocklinghorne)

Years ago, while visiting Cambridge, I happened upon a lecture being given by John Pocklinghorne. Since then, I have felt compelled to read his work in an attempt to wrap my non-scientific mind around the complex relationship between science and religion. Pocklinghorne’s description of the relationship as one of friendship helped me to see beyond the all too often enforced boundaries between these two ways of seeking understanding reality.