A Retort and a Report - monday 2003-01-06 2013 last modified 2006-04-04 1606
Categories: Daily Grind
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Retort

Hypothetically speaking, what would you say if the President asked you to be his science advisor?

Above, all, Mr. President, I think your science advisor needs to help you help our country learn to be comfortable with uncertainty, and - as hard as this might be to believe - to put reason ahead of belief.

Alan Alda

Science, no matter how far it's come over the millenia, is still a belief system where empirical data, logic, and the scientific method are the chief pillars of support. It, like any good belief system, is one lense through which to view the world. Put simply, if something is unreasonable, it is unscientific and outside the realm where science is good and useful for describing the universe. Unlike any good belief system, science does not provide any satisfactory answers to the non-rational, to the human element. By virtue of being unscientific, they are dismissed and left to some lower level of human thought, as Alda suggests is a great and necessary idea.

He missed something. We are what we believe, and it's the very uncertainty he wants to uphold that leads us to the crises and formations of belief. America does seem startlingly ignorant of basic science, and that kind of lack taken to an extreme leads to Miss Cleo devotees, but I'd much rather have a country searching its soul for answers to, "Why does it hurt? What can I do to find solace?" rather than passing on the hunt for real, life-affecting answers in exchange for the sterile impotency of true rationality. Lay down my beliefs to the god of science? Tell me, what is the reasonable answer to a search for solace? When all that I find good and enjoyable in life is gone, how will science heal my wounds? The best thing it can do is skirt the issue and manipulate my endorphins by prescribing Prozac.

Report

Lately I had the opportunity to hang out with folks I haven't seen in a long time, furthering my conviction that I must be missing something if all these people I've not seen keep jumping back into my life (as if my life were somehow central to anyone other than me). I should probably exercise that New Year's resolution to use my phone more often.

I need a better understanding, in an applicability sense, of 2 Corinthians 5:15-16, that is, because of Christ gave His life for all, and those who believe in Him in turn give their lives to Him, we lose our right to see the world solely from our worldly view (or "the eyes of the flesh"), but instead with the eyes opened by a new life.

That is, people are not just the everyday talking heads we see around us, in all their multicolored and aged splendor, but they are also those whom Christ has given life to or who may yet discover the life He has to give. I wished the church I left would have learned this as I hope to learn it. I hope the next church I find already knows it.

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