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By Dave Pruett:
Science and Faith:
“What is consciousness if you cannot poke it with your finger?”
During a moment of classroom epiphany in 2004, Erin, a precocious honors student at James Madison University, spontaneously put her finger on science’s most perplexing question and why science was loath to take the bait.
All that can be said of God is not God. — St. Catherine of Siena
I once skated perilously close to the edge of religious fundamentalism. It almost killed me. Literally, not figuratively. The year I turned 30, the thought of taking my life never left me. Fundamentalism, I’ve realized in hindsight, is a straitjacket for the human soul. With its penchant for absolute certainty, fundamentalism squeezes the sap of mystery from the tree of life. And life without mystery is so dull and constrained as to be hardly worth the living.
In the lot next to where we used to live stood a skeleton house, whose restoration could only be described as lackadaisical.
Roofless through a winter of many rains and several snows, the plywood sub-floor degenerated into a checkerboard of sneering panels. The previous winter a two-inch crack had split the brickwork into two exact halves. Workmen had undermined the foundation by excavating for a basement, and then abandoning the task. Through twelve seasons, the duration of our stay in the neighborhood, empty window frames, like eyeless sockets, opened into a soulless interior of dust and decay.
Some day, after mastering the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
we will harness for God the energies of Love,
and then for the second time in the history of the world,
man will have discovered fire. — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The poetic words above hint at a hopeful turn of events around the bend of humanity’s future. Religion and science, which separated after Copernicus and divorced after Darwin, may one day reconcile.
Lernen aus Deutschland
One of the greatest things this nation has ever done was to rebuild Germany and Japan after the Second World War. Our former enemies are now models of functioning democracy and industrial might. It wasn’t just a magnanimous instinct on our part. We had learned the hard way that retribution against Germany after World War I only paved the way for Hitler, who came to power by exploiting the empty stomachs of Germans.