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THE RELATION OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION Some fresh observations on an old problem by RICHARD P. FEYNMAN "The Relation of Science and Religion" is a transcript of a talk given by Dr. Feynman at the Caltech YMCA Lunch Forum on May 2, 1956. In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The great problems of the relations between one and another aspect of human activity have for this reason been discussed less and less in public. When we look at the past great debates on these subjects we feel jealous of those times, for we should have liked the excitement of such argument. The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization. But I have been interested in this problem for a long time and would like to discuss it. In view of my very evident lack of knowledge and understanding of religion (a lack which will grow more apparent as we proceed), I will organize the discussion in this way: I will suppose that not one man but a group of men are discussing the problem, that the group consists of specialists in many fields – the various sciences, the various religions and so on – and that we are going to discuss the problem from various sides, like a panel. Each is to give his point of view, which may be molded and modified by the later discussion. Further, I imagine that someone has been chosen by lot to be the first to present his views, and I am he so chosen. I would start by presenting the panel with a problem: A young man, brought up in a religious family, studies a science, and as a result he comes to doubt – and perhaps later to disbelieve in – his father's God. Now, this is not an isolated example; it happens time and time again. Although I have no statistics on this, I believe that many scientists – in fact, I

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