Monday, April 2, 2018

The Savior of Science

Christo Pantocrater
The socio-economist Gunnar Myrdal . . . lived long enough to see that reason alone was of very limited effectiveness to solve the problem of poverty and other even greater problems. His last years were a period of disillusion. The world, he remarked, was “really going to hell in every respect.” It was not hope but grim resolve that made him add: “We must not let the injustices of the world take over.”

Hope was not so absent in Einstein’s often quoted remark: “It is easier to denature plutonium that it is to denature the evil spirit of man.” Such a view implied that there was something enduringly defective in man’s readiness to choose life instead of death in more than one sense. That Einstein did not spell out that process of changing one’s nature in terms of love, let alone of Christian love, cannot be simply ascribed to his being above all a man of scientific intellect. Such a man was Bertrand Russell, the co-author of Principia Mathematica, who in 1950 spoke of Christian love in terms that would have done credit to the finest and most orthodox Catholic theologian. The most informative thrust of his words, which I have quoted on more than one occasion, is not that they represent a rebuttal of his life-long crusade against religion and certainly against Christian religion which he had earlier denounced for its “deprecation of intelligence and science.” Nor should that thrust be seen in his biting reference to the cynicism with which, he knew, much of academia glorying in science would greet his words. Not even his acknowledgement of Christian love as an already very old and still indispensable commodity which provides a “motive for existence, a guide for action, a reason for courage” constitutes the thrust in question. The thrust is carried in his emphatic statement that only by having Christian love shall one have “an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty.”

Honesty borne out of that love, which demands utter unselfishness, will help one to reconsider cultural history, global as well as Western, and straighten one’s resolve to discard hardened clichés, however hallowed. Some of the most misleading among those clichés relate to the historiography of science, burdened as it is with many vested interests. The importance of the historiography is amply revealed by its taking on the role which the study of classics played until recently in the formation of Western cultural consciousness. A principal cliché in that historiography is that science is the savior—a tragic absurdity if one considers the great, potential and actual, setbacks dealt to science by those who presented it as the ultimate and only truth available for man. Condorcet, Comte, Mach, Spencer, the “scientific” Marxists (Lenin, Stalin, Mao), logical positivists and Darwinian paradigmists proved themselves chief enemies of science as they tried to substitute it for Christ and everything He stands for. Unlike those misguided and self-anointed spokesmen of science, the truly anointed Mashia or Christos followed a course of proper priorities as befitted One who existed prior to any and all. That course revealed its uniqueness by providing real sense for human history. Modern historiography owes its birth to that sense which also became the matrix for the only viable birth of science. This is why Christ rightly looms large, before eyes sensitive to His unique grandeur, as the Savior of Science.

~S.L. Jaki: Excerpt from The Savior of Science, Chap. V—The All Saving Love. 

The Savior of Science
by Stanley L. Jaki
The Savior of Science is available at Amazon and RVB.