Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scientist Affirms There Just Might be More to Reality Than Meets the Eye

To begin this posting, it would be most helpful for the reader to have a bit of knowledge concerning the John Templeton Foundation.  The Mission Statement of the Foundation presents its mission in these words:

The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.

Many of these big questions that the Foundation supports investigating cross the line and begin to impinge upon religion.  That is certainly the case of the Templeton Prize winner this year. The announcement of the winner took place only a few weeks ago at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

The winner, Bernard d'Espagnat is one of the formative physicists in the area of Quantum Mechanics.  His research lead him to the conclusion that science cannot adequately explain the "nature of being."  In a statement, d'Espagnat stated that since science cannot reveal anything with certainty concerning the nature of being, it likewise cannot tell us what is not.

He writes, "Mystery is not something negative that has to be eliminated.  On the contrary it is one of the most constructive elements of being."

It is extremely rare to find a religious individual that is willing to admit to possible errors and misconceptions in the content of his/her faith.  Certainly, it is unheard of in confessional/creedal statements.  We have fought to gain the dogmatic high ground.  We are not likely to relinquish it any time soon.  It is even more rare, strangely enough, to encounter a member of the scientific priesthood who clings to mystery-- even embraces it, admitting science's inability to arrive at all of the answers.

Readers interested in this topic might find my book chapter on myth an interesting read.  You can access it here: .

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