Science, in our society, is ignored, denied, distorted, and even snubbed. Every enromous discovery, from a sun centered solar system to our relation to other apes has been ridiculed and even hated, as if hating truth ever changes it.
Science is the search for truth. It is, in a sense, the search for what many call God. It can help reveal more about everything, even ourselves. Science is a process. It is not technology, although it leads to knowledge and discovery. It is not something that makes us superior to other life forms, but it allows us to know more each day about how we are connected to all life. It is not contrary to spirituality, or even to religion, although many people think of it that way.
The place for science in society is to teach us our first priority is to know ourselves. What we learn about us through it, is that we are all, in part, air, atoms, water, soil, forests, animals, and substance, galaxies, and space. We can learn to progress, enhance, and sustain society and our planet, if we employ science.
A search for truth, whether that truth reveals we are not the center of the Universe, or that we are primates, as are our closest cousins, can not be contrary to realizing the grandeur of creation. Truth reveals with enlightenment, that we can, and do belong, to something greater than ourselves.
That alone should be enough to garner world peace. Science is therefore, the surest path to the true meaning of our being, if there is one to be found. For society, there is hope. Instead of oppression and starvation, we can learn to cooperate.
Science employs our senses, and our thoughts. We find we need both, to have a balanced life. When we let our head rule, we become arrogant, when we let our senses rule, we forget to mentally frame sensations and feelings as part of our stored inventory of vital knowledge. Science evolved from Natural Philosophy to unite empirical knowing with conceptual knowledge.
Mathematics and solidly based empirical sciences are called elegant and pure because they cannot be influenced by our opinions. However, although one plus one will always equal two in pure arithmetic, in nature we can open our senses, and minds, to the process of science leading us to realize two plus two can fuse together and make one, of which endosymbiosis is just one example.
Also, in biology and geology, one plus one can “mate” and reproduce one, two, three, or more. This shows why we need both our senses, or our instinct, and our brains. Putting science to work for civilization and society means we open both mind and senses to what nature’s law can teach us about sustaining life on earth, using fuels efficiently, what bio-diversity actually gives us, and even learning to get along with cooperation rather than warfare.
A well known saying in physics is that if you think you understand quantum mechanics then you don’t really understand it at all. This is true for almost every field. The more we learn, if we are wise, the more we realize that we do not know. In this way the mystery and spirituality of science is forever appreciated. Yet, it presents something of a paradox, how can we continually enhance our knowing while still maintaining an ever greater “ignorance”? The answer is to approach the laws of nature with supreme open mindedness, objectivity, and most of all humility.
Science does not allow us to master and control nature. For all our tinkering and ever effective ways of burning stuff, mining stuff, and shooting stuff into space’, Science allows us to learn from the Master, not to be the master.
Science may also be called the process that leads us to know ourselves. More than mere psychology, we are connected to a wider world through air, water, soil and more, that keeps us alive. The more we respect and revere these forces and their influence, the more we are able to learn from, protect, and appreciate our amazing world, which is just a “pale blue dot” as the late, great Carl Sagan put it. Our pale blue dot as revealed by early Apollo mission photos made a world wide sensation. We saw ourselves, at last, as one unified world made up of billions of organisms which all need each other. Science led us to be inspired, at least, toward global harmony.
Science is the greatest human invention there could ever be. It is a process where by through care, diligence, and enforced objectivity we learn where our bias is, where our impact is, and always surprisingly, what was there all along, but we failed to see.