Reforming Science: Beyond Belief
In the 17th century Sir Francis Bacon advocated the patient study of Nature for the benefit of mankind. Most of science today, in its study of medicine, genetics, electronics etc., continues that pragmatic Baconian tradition without fuss. Over the years, however, as its investigation of Nature probed ever deeper into regions far removed from common experience, science has increasingly exhibited traits more usually associated with fundamentalist religion that with dispassionate study. Articulate voices from biology preach the belief in 18th century materialism in the study of evolution; those from physics promulgate a kind of mathematical theology in its study of elementary particles and cosmology; both inveigh against heresy. But science should be beyond that sort of belief. It should not see its undoubted success in manipulating matter as justifying any sort of religious status, as offering a spiritual foundation alternative to religion. As a scientist myself, Brian Ridley is appalled by such theological trends, hence this book. It is an attempt to address these concerns, to reform science, to place science in its broad historical and philosophical context where dogmatic belief has no place, to remind science itself that it has limitations.
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The Soul No Matter Never Mind
A Short History of Animism
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animism Anthropic Principle appear Aristotle aspect atoms became become belief Bergson Big Bang theory body bosons brain century Christian claim classical physics complementary concept consciousness cosmic cosmology creation crystal density Descartes described doctrine dogma earth Einstein electric electromagnetic electron elements energy equation everything evolution evolved existence experience explain famous Fechner fermions force fundamental galaxies gravity helium Hermetic Hoyle human hylozoism idea intelligence interaction intuition known laws light living machine magical magnetic mass materialism mathematical theology mechanics meta-universe mind and matter monism motion mysterious myth nature Neo-Platonism neutrons nucleus observed organic panpsychism particles philosopher photons Planck's Planck's constant planets Plato Plotinus possible predicted Principle problem properties quantum field quantum theory quarks radiation relativity religion scientific scientists sort soul space space-time special relativity speed Spinoza spiritual stars string theory substance symmetry things tion universe vacuum velocity virtual particles wavelength waves