Some interesting comments on the relationship between science and religion - especially from the book's author, but also by Mr McGrath.
A couple of excerpts:
Ward rightly criticizes the explanation of religion in terms of memes, which he calls a "pseudoscience" (p.221). While it may be that ideas are transmitted in a fashion that parallels genetic evolution, it may well be that (as in the case of our vision and our mathematics) our ideas provided survival value because they were correct, beneficial or otherwise useful.I don't necessarily disagree that memetics is a pseudo-science, but the comment that the ideas survive because they are beneficial....isn't that precisely what memetics would have to say about them? We select them because they are beneficial or useful - and, like with genetics, take along with them whatever extra baggage might be piggybacking along for the ride?
...(2) if the choice is between "a huge number of universes, all of which exist for no particular reason" and a "Supreme Intelligence", one may perhaps be excused for concluding that the latter is "the simpler and more rational hypothesis" (p.235).I would perhaps have phrased that as: 'one may perhaps be excused for concluding, or at least wishing that the latter is "the simpler and more rational hypothesis".
(Not having read Ward's book myself (yet), I'm not sure here whether - particularly in the second excerpt - I'm commenting on Keith Ward's statements, or on James McGrath's interpretation of Ward's statements... So I hope the respective authors will take my comments with that in mind!)