Star Trek fans will remember the episode of TNG titled Relics in which Scotty helps the Enterprise escape from inside a Dyson Sphere. The concept of a Dyson Sphere was lifted from physicist Freeman Dyson, who speculated that an advanced alien civilization, somewhere in the Universe, would encompass a star within a sphere and live on the inside surface of the sphere. It’s a fantastical idea.
Well, recently I finished reading Freeman Dyson’s book of essays (book reviews actually) called The Scientist as Rebel. And overall I found Dyson’s writing to be unsophisticated, a bit trite, and super apologetic, where religion is concerned. A perfect example is the last essay in the collection, Religion From The Outside, which is a review of philosopher Daniel Dennett’s book Breaking The Spell.
Dyson cites T.H. Huxley (an agnostic), who sat on England’s education commission. Huxley said, “Every child should be taught the Christian Bible as an integral part of English culture”.
Dyson then writes, “In recent times the scope of religious instruction in England has been extended to include Judaism and Islam. As a result of this policy, no strong antagonism between religious parents and the public schools has arisen, from 1870 until the present day. The teaching of religion in pubic schools coincided with a decline of religious belief and a growth of religious tolerance. Children exposed to religion in public schools do not as a rule take it seriously.”
Dyson fails to take into consideration the continuous flow of immigrants from Islamic countries into the UK, which prevents Islam from becoming pacified like Christianity. This results in a conflict between Islamic parents and the UK public schools. Many Islamic schools and Islamic communities in the UK do, in fact, try to keep their students separated from Western ideas, which include secularism. Therefore, Freeman Dyson seems to be out of touch with reality when he claims that “Children exposed to religion in public schools do not as a rule take it seriously.” Some of them take it very seriously.
Many UK Muslims suffer from the same delusion as American Christian fanatics, that their religion is the only true religion, and that the whole world needs conversion.
Some physicists suffer from a similar ailment, which causes them to think physics is the only true science. Too bad. If physicists only studied biology a little closer, perhaps some of them would understand humans behavior better.