Science and A New World
February 25, 2020
We are learning: slowly, but learning. What holds us back are our present ideas. The inertia of our belief in our present ideas holds us back.
From realising ideas that cannot be bettered and that have been available for millennia. Available as The Word of God; especially the Word of God in Christ.
We have been taught: “As you measure out so shall it be measured out to you” “As you sow so shall you reap”. And 'Watch, and pray”
So many years, more than 2000, since Christ, and we are still only 'on the way' towards understanding His meaning.
Here and now we are facing environmental crisis; climate crisis; resource crisis; political crises; social crises;…
... for handling all of which our most favoured approach is an adversarial application of science
Our adversarial view of science has been born out of concepts such as laissez faire free-for-all brawling in the marketplace; …
...biological survival of the fittest; economic self-interest benefiting the wider community; us considering that man is the measure of all things; ..
...out of cald wars and nuclear deterrence; out of arms races; all these being bolstered by, as a hallowed legacy and the descendant of…
...The Age of Reason – The European Enlightenment.
That Enlightenment that took off during the 18th century in France and which has grown worldwide to have generated a dystopian parody of Our Lord's word,..
… and into a grotesque Enlightement Movement which claimed to iteself 'emancipation of the human spirit' from the trammels of 'benighted religious superstition'.
With hindsight we are seeing, and will be seeing ever more clearly in the future, that this Enlightenement, this emancipation…
... has been rather more like like loosing a pack of starved bloodhounds in chase after an illusory prey; than it has been an emancipation for anyone.
Out of this 18th Century Movement arose to prominence and primacy the disciplines of science as we understand them today
Science is a lynchpin in most people’s understanding of the world as they see it.
Science is at present at the cenrtre core of belief inth eminds of the peoples of the world and their societies
Science being the central concept around which coagulates all other beliefs and hopes and aspirations
I am not denying the validity of science and of the scientific method. I am asserting that much which comes packaged as sicence,…
coming from scientists, from politicians and authorities, role models, what have you, and into the minds of us Mr and Ms Averages, Ordinaries, as staple…
… is in fact excess baggage and not science proper at all; but rather socially and/or politicaly ideological, often biassed, often misguided, often wrong.
The claims of the theory of Evolution might be seen as in part having been generated out of the prevalent economic means of production and distribution…
… conceived as it was at a time of High Capitalism in Victorian Britain; a time when labouring men and women were referred to as ‘hands’, …
...a time when rights we take for granted today did not exist for those ‘hands’.
Our outlooks upon science see it as being a set of studies and disciplines. But in addition our views of science are coloured, and are skewed,…
... warped by prevailing social beliefs; and by those causes we espouse that may be dear to our hearts.
In this way it has become a commonplace to hear people on radio TV in the street talk about scientists ‘battling with nature’ and about ‘science mastering nature’ etc
Looking back a person can see that traditionally our science has taken an attitude that it could master nature, that it should master nature;…
and so harness it; and break it. By us pursuing this approach we have indeed broken nature; and as a consequence nature is now breaking us.
Because after all is said and done, we are part of that nature that we have broken...we have been like Satan in my text, who by driving out Satan, his house cannot stand.
Our attitude towards the natural world has been adversarial; and continues to be as it always has been belligerent, exploitative, utilitarian, avaricious…
...as well being as covetous, reckless, relentless, and our science has been at the forefront in this rampage.
The words Empires and Colonies leave a sour taste in our mouths. Either we have been oppresors or oppressed by our histories attached to these words…
Yet they are apt – not as metaphors but in plain English – to describe very well our global attitudes to the progress and hegemony of science in the world
The words of Genesis where God gives Man dominion over all living things has been taken by us to be an imperial and exploitative and slave to master relationship.
This is not what was meant at all. Christ's words about us receiving accordingly as we give deny this meaning absolutely.
The course of secular history has been a litany of wars, of seizing of land and rights, usualy from weaker, lesser parties; of enslavements, …
...of cunning trickeries, betrayals, murders, genocides, fearful threatenings, tortures – all so that one man has been able to get advantage over another
It's such a common theme that it is taken to be the 'normal' state of affairs by many of us. Sadly very often no-0one expects things tobe, could be, any different.
But our Christ, and Christ is ours, He is for everyone, and this is not His theme – His theme is truthful loving liberty – and for all.
The European Enlightenment, which has heralded, probably precipitated, our current global impasse of environmental degradation and depletion,…
..indeed the whole shooting match of our present disarray and dysfunction, this Enlightment has been merely a less physical, more ideological, variation on the same imperialist, rapacious, theme
And instead of a culture and nation minding its own business come under the yoke of powerful predatory foreign avarice, it has been nature the victim instead.
And our science is and has always been just another expression of man's will to dominate like a despot the natural world, …
and especially, and as part of that natural world, to have men to held in thrall to other men, to be exploited, used, - I include women – and children – in the word ‘men’ I use.
And Christ is not this at all. He is love, all love; he is liberty, all liberty; he is joy; all joy; he is grace, …
… and he is compassion, forgiveness, caring and sacrificial giving, in an abandon of unconditional love. And He is for all men.
His is that Finger of God which prefigures the arrival of The Kingdom of God. He is that Person who has 'cast out' Satan,…
... and He has defeated those forces which men, having use only of worn out ideas, still use to remain tyrannical robbers of others, and predators upon nature.
These worn out ideas and their forces are by their nature 'against themselves' and so 'cannot stand'. Our environment, our delpletions of resources; our political and social and scientific crises - all endorse this fact.
Science as we do it and understand it has since its emergence played the role of henchman to Satan over the course of many centuries …
… and as its acolytes we as a race have been sold into slavery to the workers of sin in the world – those who would store up in newly-built barns their store, but who like us are called to die nonetheless.
Science as practiced has been belligerent and oppressive, an imperialism over nature, and has pursued land-grabs on nature, has been dismissive of nature's requirements, of nature's welfare and good order.
Yet even as man has been and remains part of that despoiled nature, science has been considered by too many of us in our elevation of pride to be above, superior to nature.
But now we as a people are in danger of being brought low, and this danger is a result of our general acquiescence in, and our enjoyment of, that rash of short term novelty goodies that science has provided to us.
For decades The West has enjoyed, or is it suffered?, massive overproduction of goods and services; Westerners have enjoyed too much disposable income; ….
… along with too many (and too many waived) opportunities; listlessly showing too little compassion and a depleted sympathetic empathy
Not merely towards nature; but towards fellow men – even towards those who manufacture those novelty goodies The West so much indulges …
...those sweatshop women in Bangladesh who sew and make, export, innumerable items of clothing
… and the black lads waist deep in toxic pools of mining effluence who dig out the rare earths that feed our incessant conversations we hold on buses trains merry-go-rounds
There's a play by Shakespeare called King Lear. This King Lear is thrown out into the wilderness by his daughters where he goes mad with grief and frustration. He befriends a mad beggar.
In the wilderness he is made aware of the colossal scale of human suffering and misery which until now his Kingship had allowed him to ignore. In the light of this, his new awareness, he says:
“Oh, I have ta'en Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp. Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the superflux to them And show the heavens more just.” But what can be done, now, so late in the day? And who is able to do it?
Take heart and recall there were men idle in the marketplace at the eleventh hour who yet found employment and a good wage as their reward.
Now my theme turns towards hope, and towards the future, and towards the theme I began with: towards learning.
We do well to keep in mind that this nature, of which we are part, and which we have sorely abused - is God's nature - …
...and it is a chief conduit through which God's Providence to us works benevolence to us.
It is my belief that God is applying through nature means that will work towards teaching us, by practical instruction, that thing needful which we lack, and which is able to fix our mess.
These depletions and depredations and the various states of crisis in the world, in which we find ourselves increasingly embroiled – are of our own making
But what if these stupidities of ours are to be made into the very tools, through and with which, nature, by way of God’s Providence, is going to teach us better behaviour?
It’s a Biblical theme. The carrying away into Babylon; followed by the Resorationof Israel.
The sufferings of the Israelites under Pharoah; followed by the Mosaic passage through the Red Sea and leading to The Promnise Land
Go via His natural world - is He teaching us to find ourselves? To discover again for ourselves our inherence, our dependence, upon nature.
Teling us no, no matter what we think, we are not Masters of the Universe.
Telling us that other entities in nature, organic and non-organic, alive or not alive, tangible or ethereal, of apparent use or not, of apparent value or not …
... that all is His, and by his care and love, ours to respect and to care for.
Tellingus that in respecting and caring for other entities, people, nature, resources; and regardless of their immediate use or human worth,…
...thereby we are respecting and caring for ourselves. Telling us that this is part of men being recommended to seek:
“first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. Those things that we stand so much in need of, we are promised will be 'added unto us”…
...but note, only as side-effects, and by the way, and arising out of our caring deliberately and primarily for nature as being God's realm, others as being God’s images.
And just as God has shown us the way forward in Jesus 2000+ years ago, right now He is Prime Mover in this endeavour which is aiming to be our approaching reformation…
...as a people reform, as a species, and as a natural phenomenon
These pollutions and distressing scars and molestations we have made upon planet earth, and upon one another, and which comprise our history..
...going down to the sophistications of The Enlightenment right to our doorsteps today; …
Tell us that we are still living in times in which our leading secular ideologies and belief systems remain arcahaic and predatory...,
... more subtle than but as rapacious as were Sennacherib's or Assurbanipal's...
...Let us all pray that this hopeless attitude will be taught away by God from us…
... as we begin, as we, in a unity of man, seem to have begun, to reconsider more properly on our follies with the planet, and how they might be repaired and resolved.
As leading this venture, this turnaround, I foresee and I pray for the time to come soon when science is be looked upon differently, and done differently…
… so that its predatory outlook on nature and other men will be amended
The course of nature apears to be heading towards catastrophic disaster unless we amend.
Our realisation of this will make sure that science turns around and begins working in partnership with nature; so allowing nature its due respect and scope.
A very simple and limited example is found in science conceding to nature.
In situations when and where nature needs to have its way; where and when nature offers too much resistance
I mean by resistance not just impracticability – but also where the cost estimated to nature by the science being applied is too great, and unmanageable by nature herself.
No more of storing up troubles for the evil day, by science and its works; of fast forwarding a whirlwind to our descendants for them to reap. No, we treat nature with respectful love instead.
Science will become brother to nature and relinquish wicked stepfather roles. Nature in its turn will return to science as its son who will be spotted from afar, and science will come out to meet him with arms open.
And by this realisation, no matter how irksome at first to be adhered to, science will be taught by God in the course of this adherence, that this its new found respect for nature is God's will in action.
In fact to be very sanguine, that traditional sacred cow called science, which has aimed to do so much to curb, to kill, religion over the years of its heyday, will become religion's primary support and advocate
And so through, and by way of science, will be taught the Lord's Word; His will for others, spillingover into all disciplines, all ways of life, and of learning.
In this way those who were lost are found; that which was against God receives a Damascene peripetaeia, the scales fall from its eyes, and it sets to work as Apostle to the Nations