Thoughts on the Nature (and Religion) of Science

Disclaimer: I would firstly like to say that I am not a scientist. I have not studied traditional science since I was 16, and I have only dabbled in dance science at university. I welcome constructive criticism, and feedback, from any of my readers that have greater knowledge in this area than I.

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These ideas were recently brought to my attention after reading the book ‘Earthdream: The Marriage of Reason and Intuition’ by British mathematician, scientist and writer Robert Hamilton. Throughout this book he aims to build bridges between scientific and intuitive world views in order to save the world from its current state of “spiritual impoverishment and material waste”. Hamilton provides a deep analysis of our current situation, suggests resolutions and explains the growing view on the interconnectedness of reason (science) and intuition (the ‘metaphysical’).

science has entirely despiritualised nature, penetrated and indoctrinated our society, and as we stand now, nothing can exist as ‘fact’ without validation from scientific fields”

To start this article, I would like to head back in time to the early struggles between science and religion. It is considered common knowledge, particularly in the Western world, that religion has suffered immensely due to the rise of scientific reason. Now, religious ideas are still fighting for scientific validation. Before science as we know it came to the forefront of mass consciousness, religion was the ruler of social order. It created a societal structure put in place by God and provided the people with a sense of “existential security”. That is, until Descartes and science came along, and demanded that everything could only be understood through mathematical reason. Since then, science has entirely despiritualised nature, penetrated and indoctrinated our society, and as we stand now, nothing can exist as ‘fact’ without validation from scientific fields. Throughout our schooling, we are not taught to question science until a university level. We have been conditioned to believe that the views of religion and science collide, and that science saved us from the constraints of religion.

“Science exists only as the scientists view of the universe at the time of publication. Science should be seen as a cultural reflection and an ongoing exploration of that which exists around us, rather than absolute truth.”

I would like to propose that science has actually taken over the role of religion to maintain social order. We just have to look at how much science has changed over the year to note that things that have been defined as ‘fact’ are now considered outdated and untrue. Science exists only as the scientists view of the universe at the time of publication. Science should be seen as a cultural reflection and an ongoing exploration of that which exists around us, rather than absolute truth. It should be approached with critical thinking; its purpose should be to add to our pot of ever-growing knowledge, and aid in helping the natural world that we live in by bringing the universe to life. Instead, the sad truth of the matter is that science and the state have a deep, intricate and interconnected relationship. Only the ‘right’ kind of projects and research receive funding, and only the ‘right’ kind of results are published. As a result, traditional science has left us with an environmental price tag.

Traditional science, claims that we are insignificant. We have no destiny, no meaning. We are simply a tiny speck of dust floating throughout a vast and infinite universe without direction.”

Traditional science, claims that we are insignificant. We have no destiny, no meaning. We are simply a tiny speck of dust floating throughout a vast and infinite universe without direction. As a result, rather than acquire for meaning or purpose, the common westerner acquires for wealth. For money, power, and influence. This has ultimately left us with a deep emptiness, chronic boredom, and widespread depression. In reflection of this, as we grow more sick, the Earth grows sick too. Climate change is being recognised more and more by scientific fields of study and according to The Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems (anxiety, depression and drug use) are the main causes of disability and disease burden WORLD WIDE. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced one of these common mental health problems. One must ask, where are the answers from Science? The fountain of all knowledge and truth has not been able to save us from this pandemic. Of course they have been aware for years of this decline, yet have been essentially powerless to help, due to the constraints of the state.

This being said, at a university level and higher, science is presented as a topic to be questioned and criticised. However for those of us who never made it past GCSE – we are not presented with this option. Similarly, the term ‘science’ is incredibly broad, new topics are accepted into ‘science’ every year. Some scientists even disagree with other sciences being labelled as science.. because they’re not ‘science-y’ enough.

People are waking up to the power of perception, and the veils of illusion that have been clouding our judgements. More and more we are aware that we each have the freedom to chose our own truth.”

However, recently in specific scientific fields, in particular independently funded projects, there has been a turn towards the study of consciousness, intuition, and that which cannot be explain by mathematics, labeling it as ‘the metaphysical’. Currently we are living through a widespread awakening. A greater awareness of the metaphysical is becoming prevalent in mainstream media and mass consciousness. People are waking up to the power of perception, and the veils of illusion that have been clouding our judgements. More and more we are aware that we each have the freedom to chose our own truth.

Now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of us, as well as our scientists, to start the catalyst for change. As previously mentioned, as we grow more sick, as does the Earth – and vice versa. I believe that the way forward is to spark a change within ourselves. Start by recognising that science and consumerism have become the latest ‘religion’, and work on criticising and evaluating everything that you ‘know’. Together we manipulate science into its truest form. We can bring the universe and the natural world to life in front of us, and use scientific knowledge to inspire and create, rather than to set barriers and limitations.

namaste.


References:

Fuller, S. (2013). Science vs. Religion. 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons.

Hamilton, R. (1990). Earthdream. Bideford: Green.

Sandstrom, G. (2012). How many ‘sciences’ are there?. [online] Social Epistemology. Available at: https://social-epistemology.com/2012/09/14/gregory-sandstrom-how-many-sciences-are-there/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2017].

Mental Health Foundation. Mental health statistics: UK and worldwide. [online] Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-uk-and-worldwide [Accessed 27 Jun. 2017].

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