Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Makes Science Possible? Polkinghorne on Science and the Rationality of the Universe

We are so familiar with the fact that we can understand the world that most of the time we take it for granted. It is what makes science possible. Yet it could have been otherwise. The universe might have been a disorderly chaos rather than an orderly cosmos. Or it might have had rationality which was inaccessible to us...There is a congruence between our minds and the universe, between the rationality experienced within and the rationality observed without. -John Polkinghorne Science and Creation

11 comments:

Bob Prokop said...

I for one refuse to be taken in, either by the atheist screaming "science trumps religion", or by the fundamentalist with his head in the sand, denying the obvious.

It's time for theists of whatever stripe to proudly raise the banner of science alongside that of his faith. After all, we OWN science. Science was invented by theists, developed by theists, and nourished by theists. Its greatest luminaries were and are believers. (I've listed them elsewhere. I won't repeat myself here.)

THERE IS NO CONFLICT BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION - NONE!

Shackleman said...

@Mr. Prokop

Three cheers!!!! I stand with you! Or, if you prefer in the spirit of Gimli, son of Gloin:

"You can have my ax!"

Bob Prokop said...

I just finished reading for the first time an essay by C.S. Lewis in the book "God in the Dock", entitled "Dogma and the Universe". I have never read a better argument for why science and Christianity are in perfect accord. In ten pages, Lewis absolutely annihilates the notion that there is any conflict between the two. I urge in the strongest possible terms that anyone sincerely interested in this debate read this essay.

Nick said...

Excellent Bob. Excellent.

The whole thing I think is a myth. We have all these supposed gaps that were filled by God, but I'd really like to see that case made by history. For instance, Paley's watchmaker. Did Darwin overthrow him? No. You can have evolution and the watchmaker both. Neither one necessarily cancel out the other. If evolution is true, we should all say "Fine!" If it's not, we say the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Well, sure, if you're a scientific realist. But what about a scientific anti-realist/instrumentalist?

Al Moritz said...

Bob, I am a scientist and I agree.

Bob Prokop said...

Al: Well, I'm not a scientist, but I do play one on TV... Seriously, although I am in no way a professional scientist, I am an avid reader of scientific publications and an amateur astronomer (in fact, president of our local club), so I do keep current on "what's hot" in research and theory.

Which is why I have absolutely zero patience with anyone (on either side of the theist/atheist debate) who tries to drive an artificial, nonexistent wedge between science and religion. Such nonsense will get nowhere with me!

Nick said...

Darn it Bob! I'm a philosopher! Not a scientist!

Bob Prokop said...

I hope that wasn't a "Trekkie" reference!

Bob Prokop said...

This is a test post.

GREV said...

I'm doing some reading in physics right now that talks of experimentation establishing the idea of an underlying consciousness to the reality we experience.

The idea of consciousness must speak of a certain order and rationality.