By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
There is a lot of talk going around these days about science. Science, as we usually refer to it, has been a significant part of our experience for the past three hundred years. Of course, science has always been here since creation. We are rather lately getting around to consider science. Earlier than that, we got into what we now call politics or the state. Before science became a topic of discussion, we were talking about how we get along with each other or not, as the case may be. We started writing about that around five thousand years ago and still are. Way before the state and science, we started to think about and talk about God. God was the major topic of discussion before politics and science came along to add more areas of reflection to the human experience. So, now we have a big swirl of matters to talk about and write about, but let’s just say for the sake of this writing that God, the state, and science are the big three matters of being human today.
Consider the breadth of each of the three. Spelling God with a small “g”, this matter covers comparative religions, the more mysterious workings of the imagination, dreamlife, morality, and myth making. The state includes economic systems, maps, measurements, debate, constitutions, laws, and military matters; but mostly how we obtain, organize, and exercise power on all levels. Science is about medicine, engineering, organic matter, geology, astronomy and the like. Mathematics, art, and psychology mingle throughout God, state, and science. Education is about God, state, and science. No one of the three should be neglected. Likewise, a thorough knowledge of one requires a working knowledge of the other two.
Now consider this: a person who seems to know a lot about God, but very little about the affairs of state or science, is flakey and we should not drink the Kool-Aid. A person who seems to know a lot about science, but barely enough state to get a driver’s license and nothing about the soul, is a boring nerd. A person who knows very much about the state, politics, and power but only a smattering of science and no hint of God, is a danger to everyone.
There’s a lot of talk going around these days about science. The God fearers and political types want to get in on that, but they need to remember something in achieving their hidden and not so hidden agendas. Science and real scientists are about uncovering and generating new evidence. Science, rightly understood and rightly exercised, makes points about life as we can know it based upon empirical evidence alone. Science is not about political positions or articles of faith. Unlike religion and the state, science at least tries to have the appearance of objectivity.
We should listen to the scientists and science. We should demand objectivity from scientists and eschew any subjectivity and cultural colorations they may exhibit every now and then. (We all do that, don’t we?) Science should inform matters of faith and state. Scientists also might realize that their new findings will almost always raise ire in religious and political circles.
We all need to listen to the folk whom we are not. The theologian, the statesman, and the scientist each inform the other with something they each need to hear. Likewise, popular religious professionals, candidates for public office, and culturally captive scientists are fully capable of passing rubbish off as the truth. Let’s be careful out there! Nonetheless, the science needs to be heard, heeded, and assimilated. It’s about time.