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A Scientific World View

A Scientific World View
Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg is one of Russia's leading scientific minds. A theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, he is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and in 2003 was one of three researchers to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids. At 90, he is a living witness to the advent of both Soviet atheism and the postcommunist renaissance of organized religion. Ginzburg spoke to RFE/RL correspondent Mikhail Salenkov about what he sees as the fundamental divide between science and religion:

There exist two world views: a scientific, or natural-scientific, view, and a religious view. What is the natural-scientific world view? It is when people study nature and natural phenomena, when they conduct experiments and obtain answers, when they propose hypotheses and test them out, and thus move forward.

This is how science makes advances. And these advances are simply staggering. The successes of science, I think, are well-known to any intelligent person. So, this is the scientific world view.

What about the religious world view? A thousand years ago, when there was no science at all, people, naturally, made up all sorts of fairy tales about a god who ruled over all, and so on. That found a vivid expression in the Bible.

By the way, let there be no misunderstanding, the Bible is a valuable work of art and history, but there is certainly no truth in it. What does the Bible claim? That God created the world and, in particular, created humans in their present shape. But science affirms that it is simply nonsense.

Anthropology shows clearly how humans evolved. It is said that humans descended from apes. But those are just words. In reality, there was a common ancestor, and there is a huge difference. And they say that it all happened at once. Clearly, this has nothing to do with reality.

And so the school -- the secondary school -- is the fundamental institution where education takes place. We are not against religion, not at all. If you want to be religious, please do, but science cannot agree with it.

Compulsory secondary education must graduate educated people. To graduate a troglodyte who thinks he was made at one stroke is ludicrous.