It’s August already? How is that even reasonably possible.
I was going through my RSS feeds this morning and, unfortunately, clearing out ones that haven’t been updated in a while. It’s also given me a chance to get a bit nostalgic. Case in point, I was reminded of an anime blogger I used to follow who also had a side project where he discussed philosophy from a religious perspective. I didn’t agree with much of what he said, but I thought his Biblical defence of homosexuality and other progressive causes were valuable for reaching people I probably couldn’t.
Back in 2018 Jason attempted to reconcile his thoughts on science. The entire post is worth reading, but I think he fell into a common caricature of what science is. I heard you liked mixed metaphors.
Now here’s the thing – science is not obviously fundamental. It rests on some bedrock foundational assumptions that we’re not in the habit of turning over every now and then.
Science cops this from both sides. Either its perceived fluidity and continual improvement are a challenge to those who crave certainty in the universe, or it’s perceived as closed-minded and unwilling to change. Both logically can’t be true.
I would argue that science is fundamental. Unlike other avenues of inquiry, science is the only one for which the corpus of observations it can’t explain only trends downwards. When people invoke thoughts that science has usurped, such as how the tides work, or the efficacy of masks at reducing aerosol spread, it’s a sign of ignorance. Galileo’s torture and execution having discovered heliocentrism serves as another cautionary tale.
songs, poetry, festivity, ritual and Worship. It should be no wonder that the world has been religious. For better or worse, we seem to have come with these romances built in, and we would be unwise to dismiss them on the rash assumption that science has supplanted them.
Leonardo da Vinci would like to have a word, sir! Science doesn’t supplant art, it expands and enables it. We’re communicating using language over an electronic medium that couldn’t have happened before. Science has allowed for entire new avenues to explore the human condition in the exact ways Jason describes.
think it must be acknowledged that much of it came first from feeling – which is of course a dangerous word in science.
Nothing could be further from the truth. What motivates scientists to build telescopes, or Large Hadron Colliders, or DNA sequencers? It comes from a deep-seated need and yearning to understand how the universe works, and in doing so, learning something about ourselves and improving our lives, whether it be through medicine or art. That’s why science is both honest and beautiful.
I’ve barely scratched the surface here. My friend Sashin is one of the most intelligent and articulate people I’ve ever met, and he dedicates his entire blog to such topics which I encourage everyone to check out. His quote from English physicist and shameless crush Brian Cox seems especially apt:
The story of the universe is our story.