Skip to comments.A New Foundation for Positive Cultural Change: Science and God in the Public Square
Posted on 10/28/2006 3:22:14 PM PDT by betty boop
click here to read article
Must leave now, but I look forward to making some further comments later this evening.
I think it's easy to lose sight of this. Neils Bohr's take on the issue is fascinating to me:
...We realize the simple fact that natural science is not nature itself but a part of the relation between man and nature, and therefore is dependent on man.Man, in his relation to nature, is "suspended in language" when he attempts to articulate that relation. And that gets complicated; for as Bohr noted,
"A word is such a complicated thing that we couldn't possibly hope to represent it by a mathematical symbol. A mathematical symbol [the language of natural science] can only represent that discrete aspect of the word which is at the center of our thoughts. However, I need hardly stress that the word itself raises something into the full light of consciousness, but at the same time, it raises many other things which are only in a shaded light. And all these things enter into our consciousness at the same time. What surrounds the word provides it with meaning. And so we are suspended in language in such a way that we cannot say what is "up" and what is "down."Which to me gives the lie to the idea of science as an independent "thing in itself." The reduction of science to doctrine -- as is evidently the case with, say, neo-Darwinism -- denies the irremedial contingency and indeterminacy that characterizes man's relation to nature. It seems to me "the observer problem" is alive and well here. Yet it seems to me there must be some Truth "beyond" nature that does not depend on man in order for the world to hold together, thus to make science possible in the first place.
To me, another name for that Truth is ... Logos -- in the sense of Saint John's Gospel. FWIW.
Thank you for your great posts, cornelis!
I'm afraid I don't recall any of these authors giving any detailed discussion of the soul or other such metaphysics.
Yes, I think Chesterton said, if people cease to believe in God, it doesn't mean they will then believe in nothing. Rather, they will believe in anything. Things move in to fill the void.
That may explain why rank superstition thrived more widely in the Renaissance (the witchcraft craze, practice of magic) than it did in the middle ages, and why superstition is so prevalent in the modern age, in the most highly developed countries, since religion was removed from the public square and the schools. Crystal gazing, channeling, Gaia, Wiccan, Satanism, you name it, and you'll find people who believe in it.
Welcome, dearest sister! May I refresh your glass? :^)
Dude, man. Why are you trying to haul me before the bench? I knows what I said. No ifs, ands, or buts. Especially non ifs. I said "and you know, Dimensio is right."
Great quote, betty boop. And as you say, there is an "irremedial contingency and indeterminacy that characterizes man's relation to nature."
This interaction between the knowing person and the objects of knowledge is a relation that demands honesty and humility.
Think about it. Our situation is one of limited knowledge. Don't we do a disservice in the education of the next generation to pretend otherwise?
Yes, cornelis, we absolutely do. Yet it seems today there are many people who do not extend their time horizon to include the next generation....
Thank you so much for your beautiful essay/post!
I'm in the medical field...
The more I know the more I discover how little we actually know.
With each layer peeled back there is another layer of complexity...
So I hear. With cell motility, what moves the cell? On any given level of observation, we are continually led on to another anterior cause.
Heisenburg.....The observer plays a role...
God is observing the universe into increasing levels of complexity.
Sure would have the last laugh...
I try to read this every year. It is very worth the effort.
Life on this planet almost requires a good deal of pretending..
i.e. pretending that we know what we know..
Maybe the pretense keeps us sane.. or saner...
"Suddenly I'm falling out of the sky
Don't let me go, or I will die.
Whose hands are these?
On my trapeze?
Take hold of me and rescue me
Or I will be a tragedy.
Thank you for the recommendation. I'll have get a copy.
Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe often points out that science is the interpretation of the facts of nature, not the facts themselves (analogous to how theology is the interpretation of the facts of God's word. Just as there can be good and bad theology, there can be good and bad science. But facts are facts, regardless of the interpretation).
I don't believe an interpretation is possible without being affected by some sort of bias of the worldview of the interpreter. An example might be whether or not a person holds to a dualistic view (body and soul) of human nature - the study of the mind, of ethics (is sociology a science?), etc., are all impacted by how the one doing the studying views the roots of human nature.
In such a view, it doesn't seem (as you point out) that science can be some sort of standalone endeavour, untainted or unaffected by human prejudices.
The unilateral discarding of metaphysics would seem, in a number of areas, to greatly impact how successful science can be at providing satisfactory and/or complete answers.
If you believe that the theory of evolution actually has inherent bias, then it is your responsibility to demonstrate as much.
The inherent bias is that metaphysical considerations are not allowed. Evolution must explain all human behaviors and the outcomes of those behaviors. Human free will is not an acceptable factor for consideration, since in a system where, ultimately, ALL behaviors are the product of, and allegedly explainable by, physical processes, there is no such thing as true free will. We are all, as Pearcey states in her book Total Truth, machines made out of meat.
And Pearcey illustrates the logical conclusion of such thinking, by evolutionists, with the examples brought out in the article at the beginning of this thread (e.g., Pinker).
Oh, I do agree with you, apologist! FWIW I doubt sociology is a science.
I also strongly agree with this:
The unilateral discarding of metaphysics would seem, in a number of areas, to greatly impact how successful science can be at providing satisfactory and/or complete answers.Well said! Thank you so much for writing!
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