Our culture has a strange and self-contradictory relationship with science and the nature of reality. We have largely forgotten that science is a method for devising models of selected parts of reality to seek the underlying causes of our experience of the world. These models are of necessity incomplete; the only truly complete model of a thing is the thing itself. And the models arrived at by the scientific method are always subject to being revised or discarded when another model matches more closely what we observe – for instance, the scientific model of vision as being caused by rays sent forth from the eye gave way to our current understanding that it is the result of light entering into the eye from the outside. Yet, we all too often look to science not for the power of its models to help us understand our experience, but for permission to believe that we actually had the experience at all. That science has not yet explained a thing does not mean the thing does not exist: apples fell long before Newton; people saw clearly before we understood the anatomy of the eye; and we need not abandon faith because we cannot weigh the soul or photograph spirit.
At the same time, as a culture we choose to ignore, at our peril, that science is actually quite effective within its domain. It can tell us that glaciers are receding due to climate change; that bees are dying from exposure to neocortinoids; that same-sex copulation is common among a multitude of species; and that there is actually no such objective thing as race. Large numbers of us perversely choose to draw incorrect conclusions from the lack of scientific evidence for some experiences, while ignoring the sound scientific explanations for events and processes in clear evidence all around us.
[social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”default”]We need to regain our understanding that accurately measuring the age of the earth does not make us unfaithful in the eyes of God, nor does an inability to measure it mean that we do not experience God’s presence. Above all, we must understand that despite the inevitable differences in how we experience the world and how we explain those differences, our only viable path forward as a species is one based on kindness, compassion, and acceptance.[/social_quote]
Do you agree? Disagree? Have an experience to share? Leave a comment below!