Science is important. Without science, we could not build a one-room home, much less the 4.5-mile long Jerusalem wall, or the 90 feet long, 30 feet wide Solomon’s temple. Without science/ knowledge, when we saw a very large orange cat looking at us, we would not know to call it a tiger and take evasive action.
Without the scientific theory of Einstein and others, we could never have built the atomic bomb, or created the atomic power, which powers many of the world’s cities. We do not understand electricity. Nobody has seen the electrons, which power the light bulbs and every other electronic device in our homes. Electricity is a theoretical concept, not knowledge, science. Who wants to give up every electronic device we take for granted everyday because we do not know how it works? Much of modern medicine is the same way, based upon theories, not direct observation. Who wants to give up on medicine because of this?
Gwen, who presented with Father Francisco, brought fossils of sea creatures found in the desert. We could take a Gestalt approach and point out that they just look like the sea creatures of our oceans today. There is within us a need to understand our world. We look at the fossils and ask how sea urchins arrived in the desert. We speculate that in the desert where someone found the fossil must have been ocean.
With evolution, we speculate, when we find apes and ape like creatures that look human, the most ape like must have evolved into us. In pure science, we only have bones. This does not mean apes did not evolve into human beings, or that they did. It means we do not know.
I remember reading in the daily Kent Sater, the college newspaper of my Alma Mater. Two anthropologists were given the same case of an ancient village, the layout of the village, the pottery, the tools they used, what anthropologists use to analyze villages.
The first anthropologist, a feminist, looked at the village and wrote, “The women were clearly in charge. They dictated the layout of the village and sent the men out each day to forage for food and supplies.”
The second, a conservative male wrote, “The men were clearly in charge. The women stayed in the village and completed the menial tasks while the men went out foraging for game.”
Which was right? For all we know, the women foraged for game and the men stayed at home and did the menial work. The fact is, all we have is pottery, the tools of hunting, and the usual items anthropologists look at. The rest is “Experts” projecting themselves into what they are studying.
We use the Gestalt processes of similarity and closure to first group the bones into similar groups and then to connect the dots. We assume there must be a timeline for the bones we view to be most primitive to evolve into the bones we view to be the most advanced, us. This is an essential element of human nature and it is required for us to survive. We use Gestalt to group the shape before us as tiger, and our concept of tiger to establish that need to run. We need the Gestalt concept of closure to connect the dots to recognize the shape as tiger.
Father Francisco quoted Kierkegaard, we must, take a “Leap of Faith.” We “Believe that we may understand.” We trust that the concepts in our head are accurate representations of what is in the world. Our lives often depend upon it. The Hebrew word is Ben/understanding. We build up the world inside of our heads to live in the world of reality. Where the scientists fail is in that all-important third idea of knowledge, Shekel. They fail in the feedback process of constantly analyzing to make sure our understanding is correct.
Scientists fail to realize, first, that they are projecting their understanding out into the world as we all do. They also confuse probability with cause and effect. They confuse insufficient data with what Charles Darwin called chance variation. As Gwen pointed out, what faith calls mystery, science calls chance variation. Cause is in the world and it may be that everything has a cause. Daath/Science/ knowledge, cannot not give us that cause. Science needs to join us in faith in seeing that unknown and unknowable cause as an awe-inspiring mystery for us to enjoy.
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