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At a time when the gulf between religion and science is growing ever greater, an artist has erected a temple for scientific worship.
Jonathon Keats, designer of the petri dish God, built The Atheon to get people thinking about what a scientific religion (or religious science?) would look and feel like.
Keats’ conception of that idea took shape as a two-story building complete with stained-glass windows patterned after cosmic microwave background radiation and a liturgy based on the sounds of the Big Bang. The Atheon opened Sept. 27 at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California.
But, could science replace religion?
The question has intrigued both rationalists frustrated at the persistence of what they see as superstitious dogma, and religious believers — as well as all-purpose skeptics — unwilling to promote science, with its mixed and messy history, to a position of absolute authority.

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