Refreshing piece in New Humanist from scientist Mark Lorch, about whom I know no more that this piece. I could have written the conclusion myself:
Basically, there’s no single logical explanation for why induction works: it just does. Which means I’m left with the belief that induction works without the sound evidence to support it, i.e. I have faith in the scientific method. This realisation made me stop worrying about how people can hold religious faith and scientific beliefs simultaneously. It demonstrated to me that faith and evidence-based beliefs coexist in my mind, so in a way, I am no different from my fellow scientists who have faith in the miracles of theologies. This realisation has made me no more inclined to believe in a god. But it has given me a better understanding of religious beliefs by demonstrating that, without ever realising it, I too have a deeply-seated faith in my own (scientific) belief system.
Naturally it has sprouted a thread of predictable responses. Problem for archetypal scientists is acknowledging the concepts of faith or belief. Notice no-one said “blind-faith” – this is very much eyes-open faith, the best kind. It’s really not difficult to recognise science as a (very good and very powerful) belief system and move on to more important questions and dialogues.