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Language and science

A quick post before I shut down for a few days much needed break.

Throughout the 19th century science was confidently telling us something sure and important about the world. Even when it was controversial (Evolution) it was couched in definitive language. And language is important; it shapes the way we think, indeed there are those who tell us it is the way we think.

Then came Einstein and ‘relativity’, followed by Heisenberg’s ‘uncertainty’, Godel’s ‘incompleteness’, Popper’s ‘falsifiability’. ‘chaos’ and so on. All of these were telling us things that were hard and real and important about the nature of the world, but they were couched in language that sounded more like a retreat from knowledge.

Is it any wonder that more and more people seem to be grasping for the simplistic certainties of religion instead of the complex uncertainties of science?

1 thought on “Language and science

  1. I’m not so sure I agree that religion offers simple certainties. As I see it, the most important aspect of the Catholic religion is that we cannot know God’s motives and that He is the ultimate mystery. We can have faith- and nothing is more indescribable than faith- and we can pray- and what a strange thing prayer is-but if He offers us grace, we cannot know why nor foresee how grace will manifest itself.

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