Thursday, March 26, 2009

Its not about metaphysics

Quick thoughts about some responses ala the Bloggingheads piece.

In trying to chart a different path in thinking about science and its context with what happens in the domains of human spiritual endeavor many people who advocate for one of the poles want an instant movement towards a metaphysical commitment -

Its only god that exists!
No its only hard little spheres!
One must by hyper-rational in all approaches!
No one must rely on scripture!

I am not a believer and I am in love the world science reveals but what is missed in this polarized debate is a discussion about our response to the world – including the world revealed by science. There is no need to go straight to some kind of metaphysics. It is not only about a commitment to a belief about what "is". It is that internal response that I am interested in. Even if you want to hold to some kind of absolute reductionism there is still lots of room to ask about how our response to the world’s beauty and order as revealed by science speaks to those aspects of human being referred to as “religious”.

Beware orthodoxies of ultimacy of any kind. In the name of purity they tend to lead their proponents to strange positions that often have little relevance to world we all actually inhabit. Once again, science is not a philosophy, its an approach to the world. That is what makes it so much fun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Links to two new posts

First a discussion of the Map vs Terrain metaphor for science and religion and reality. This came from the blogging heads diavlog which you can find here.

Next a short intro to Bernard d'Espagnat, this years winner of the Templeton Prize. The Templeton Foundation is very controversial and I have mixed feelings about what they do. I wonder what the general feeling is among people out there in the world about their efforts?

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Science is For

Here is a link to the latest post on Reality Base. I wonder why it is that people are intent on having their religion be a system of ideas about the world so that it must, by nature, crash headlong into the methodologies science?

Much of the last four hundred years has been a story of religions having to adjust to the claims of science. All the while the all important response to the world that was always at the root of both science and religion gets lost in theorizing.