Sunday, February 6, 2011

Science

Tim Kowal writes:
No, we do not “understand those things” [laws of physics, etc] because of “science.” In suggesting as much, Pollock commits a serious category error. If it’s true, as Pollock supposes, that the problem O’Reilly identifies is that we cannot explain “rules and order” in an atheistic universe, science has precisely nothing to aid us, because science itself depends on the legitimacy of rules and order in the universe. To use science to justify the rules and order on which it depends is to beg the very question.

Reminded FLG of this passage from Bacon:
Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.

Emphasis FLG's.

Perhaps FLG is a little slow, but he has, at times, thought long and hard about that statement -- "Nature to be commanded must be obeyed." Every time he's come to a conclusion similar to something Tim is writing about. Science is a means of learning more about the material world for the relief of Man's estate, but that learning is somehow forever and always circumscribed. Not a moral line that ought not be crossed, but rather Nature can be commanded, but only to a point. At some fundamental level, at some point, you have to take things, such as why there even is an existing order, as given and science will forever have nothing to say on that point.

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