Nobel Conference XI The Future of Science: Langdon Gilkey - The Future of Science

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Langdon Gilkey, professor of theology at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, speaking at the Nobel Conference XI, held in St. Peter, MN. Gilkey’s address was titled “The Future of Science.”

Gilkey is author of numerous books, including "Maker of Heaven and Earth", "How the World Can Minister to the World Without Losing Itself", and "Religion and the Scientific Future."

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

Our topic the future of science can be interpreted in at least two ways. It can mean the future content of science where it is going what scientists will discover in the future the new understanding of the world. It will provide on this subject. I have nothing at all to offer. The other meaning concerns the role of Science in The Wider cultural context as a factor in the social life of man as a force in future history. This tool can be an important and interesting subject and one possibly on which a non scientists can offer some relevant thoughts. The reason is that science is not only a method of inquiry pursued by scientists and a consequent body of tested hypotheses. It is also an historical force of overwhelming significance shaping the social existence of mankind in ever new directions. It has transformed not only the character of the lives of men and women but also their understanding of themselves their understanding of the history of which they are a part and so their view of their destiny. Strangely an unexpected delay. It has more over had a career in Modern Life not unlike that in former times of my own discipline religion. Our question then concerns the role of Science in our common social future. The creative effects of science are spread before us in every aspect of modern social existence. It is through science the technology which is itself as old as homo father. Has developed to its present astounding levels. And it is through that technological development that industrialism has transformed every facet of Our Lives personal and social. Many scientists as we have seen here resist this close identification of pure science with technology. And emphasize the distinction between the disinterested search for Theory and the practical application of theory to concrete problems of everyday life. Such a sharp dichotomy between scientific understanding and technological practice is however, I believe untenable. Both the history of modern science and a theoretical interpretation of it show that this dichotomy generated out of the Greek understanding of knowing is inapplicable to Modern forms of cognition. It is one might remark as unconvincing as is the argument of the Theologian that is theological understanding is unrelated to organized religion to the church and thus is his profession in no way responsible for the historical excesses of religion. Few funds for Pure science are granted without an eye to practical application as every lobbyist for Pure science in Washington knows nor is Professor. Kush pointed out would major research be publicly funded were it not for its technological possibilities. And no Discovery in the most esoteric branch of pure science is announced to the public without specification by the discoverers of the potential revolutionary practical uses of the discovery. For example on the day. This page was written August 25th, 1975. The London Times carried the announcement by the American Institute of physics and the University of California at Berkeley of the possible observation of quote a particle representing the basic unit of magnetism, which quote could rank as one of the major scientific events of the century unquote immediately after specifying the nature of the discovery. The announcement went on to say quote if the particle could be captured and controlled some of its practical uses in medicine and Industry could be revolutionary unquote and it proceeded to outline some of these exciting Uses in medical therapy in providing new energy resources in more efficient Motors and generators and so on. On the theoretical level the great John Dewey was surely right that the essence of the cognitive method of modern science as opposed to that of the Greeks was to unite manipulation of the perceived environment with theoretical understanding so as to achieve control over a puzzling situation a control to be achieved through knowledge tested by application of the causes and factors at work there to know and to be sure you know said Dewey is to be able to control through intelligent foresight and prediction and so understanding the actual course of events. Thus he argued Science and Technology are in essence one in the same operation of organized Intelligence on its world. Above all as Francis Bacon said empirical knowledge knowledge of the forces that surround us in our world means the power to control and manipulate those forces for human well-being. Greater knowledge always means greater power. Thus whether this be their intention or not and often it is not the knowers in a society bequeathed to their culture ever new powers to transform its life. It is for this reason that no, where's scientific or religious are valued as well as revered by their society the priests robes and the scientists white coat signifying much the same social role of the knower of significant secrets. And so the doer of all-important Deeds modern empirical science has been well aware of this and at each stage of its career including the present. It is Justified the social status and role and funding of Science and of the scientists by appealing to the vast potentiality is latent in scientific knowledge to remake human existence for the better. St. Ology cannot without internal contradiction or external contradiction disavow a concern for human salvation. So pure science cannot disavow technological application without denying its own Essence as a cognitive discipline and without abdicating its predominant creative and well-funded role in our social existence. The positive effects of science on Modern culture have been however by no means purely materialistic the results of technology and industrialism on our material standards of living and so on our health comfort and general well-being great as these latter are For in my view at least science has been the most important formative factor in creating what we may call the modern guy store spirit. By this spirit I refer to that view of man of his world of his possibilities his history and so of his Destiny in the future which has distinguished as have also technology industrialism and their effects modern culture from other cultures. The most crucial attribute of modern science has been its capacity to know what has not been known before. To be there for Creative of new knowledge of new understanding of new Concepts new views. A culture dominated by scientific knowledge has therefore developed a critical relation to tradition even its own tradition and a tolerance of the unaccustomed the unorthodox. The Deviant that is itself something new in human history and the most precious aspect of modern culture. But new ideas mean as we noted new possibilities for Life new forms of Life Anew and remade World a new future. Thus again out of science has come a new understanding of human possibilities of the capacity of man to reappraise and remake his world and of history as the locus of these novel possibilities. the American and the French Revolutions in the 18th century as the enactment of the new in history and deliberately so And in the 19th centuries the theories of historical progress and of dialectical materialism as the march of History towards new and better possibilities. These are alike inconceivable without two centuries of modern empirical science. As the judeo Christian understanding of history and of time provided the hither or long-term foundation for modern empirical science. So the latter provided the most important nether base for the Enlightenment and the modern culture that is developed out of the Enlightenment. From this is a reason a new understanding of man as capable of controlling Natural Forces for his own use. Of remaking his social and historical world and so of history as a realm of promise. If man, in former ages felt himself to be the victim of forces, which he could neither understand nor control. Men and women through scientific understanding and technological control have come to feel themselves the masters of these forces and thus even possibly of their own destiny science is given to men and women a consciousness of their own freedom in nature and in history unknown before in human culture and out of this new self-awareness has come the buoyancy and the hope for the future characteristic of modern culture wherever it is penetrated. Well Illustrated even in difficult times and with frightening facts by Professor say Berg's address. The full defense of this thesis would consume all of our time. Suffice it to say that science is not only remade our natural and social environments. It is remade ourselves and our views of the history. We live in giving us a new confidence in our powers to know to create and remake our life and a new hope that through our capacity to know we can Master the implacable faiths and created last a Humane world. moreover science is represented in our culture a most precious human attribute the love or better arrows for the truth and the intrinsic Joy not to say ecstasy a word. I'm sure the scientific Community shies away from the intrinsic joy to be experienced in relation to the truth. Thus it is provided our modern culture with much of its spiritual Grandeur and give an opportunity for countless persons to fulfill their lives in selfless commitment to the truth and to it alone science has shaped a significant and enduring form of human authenticity in our own time. As a cultural Force therefore it has been as creative of our spiritual existence as of our material. Of our aims and techniques of Education of our understanding of ourselves as knowers and doers. Of our views of morals and of human authenticity or Excellence of our confidence in history and the future there is no part of our cultural life including religion that has not been transformed and creatively so I Believe by the impact of science. The question of the future of science is therefore not only a question of our material future. It is also a question of the future of our modern free diverse creative and confident Society in all its many aspects. Few things in human life however, are creative in moderation or even more important are moderate about their own creative powers. Because it brought a quite new and more reliable sense of certainty in The Knowing process. a new freedom from tradition and from absolute spiritual authorities and the new confidence in the power of our freedom to control our future. Science is appeared too much of our recent civilization to laymen Educators philosophers and scientists alike as the salvific force in history this Faith still inspires and supports the confidence of much of the scientific Community as many of us have felt in these days. If only said John Dewey, we could apply the scientific method in spirit to all of our problems. Those problems will recede science will save us if only we hearkened to her. It was the two roles of science that we have noted that gave the new method of science this apparent saving power. As the bearer of testable and so valid knowledge on the one hand and is the key to control on the other? As with all saving religions and science has been a religious Force for our culture as Marxism has been for another culture. As with all saving religions sacred knowledge establishes and guarantees the power to control whatever menaces us. Through that sacred knowledge there is given to those who bear it be they yogin priests or scientists Mastery over the fates. And so the key to Future well-being. In the case of medieval religion, the sacrality of knowledge came from its Divine Source in Revelation and from its power to save us from sin and death. In the case of science. It came from the objectivity of its method the shareability of its conclusions and it's obvious utility in technological application to the pressing problems of everyday life. Whenever knowledge and control have such a sacral or sacred character that is whenever they promised to us salvation from what we take to be our most fundamental ills they dominate the culture that forms itself around them. As religion that dominated the civilization of the medieval period so therefore science is dominated ours. It is determined education molded our sense of Human Excellence grounded our hopes for the future and established itself as the new queen of all the other disciplines of learning it became quickly the method of inquiry According to which all the other Vistas often must remake themselves or be excluded from the academic Court. It's empirical and objective techniques represented the form of knowledge to which every other form of knowing had to conform or be banned from serious consideration. It alone therefore defined what was real and effective in intelligible and so rational experience. As logical positivism the philosophical counselor Advocate and I will say it handmaiden of the new Queen said existential statements statements of what is the case in the world are scientific inform or else they are meaningless. Relevant reality is known and dealt with only in this way. All deviant claimants to knowledge be they aesthetic moral philosophical or religious are merely emotive. And so tell us nothing of what is real. The other disciplines quickly fell in line with the new Queen psychology in the study of man social and political Theory literary criticism history though history was hard to handle philosophy and Heaven Help Us even theology sought to become scientific if they were to be recognized at all in the new Academia as in the medieval period every discipline claimed to have a theological Foundation as the guarantee of its validity and of its usefulness to human welfare. And as with all queens there were Rewards. as the church ended its Reign owning one-third of Europe so science in the modern University along with the athletic department one might say Shows where a split personality I suppose though Professor seberg seems to have been combined. The two ultimate concerns is too liquid say very well. So science in the modern University receives and uses the vast majority of private and public funds. Far from seemingly irrational or unjust all this is to each of us as obviously reasonable as the corresponding role in stature of religion was to an ordinary medieval man. Is it not science that alone promises valid knowledge if such knowledge be possible for humans and is it not scientific understanding that alone can guarantee our control over nature and the remaking of again such be possible of our psychological and social existence? Sacral knowledge and the power it gives overall that seems to threaten us makes of any discipline a queen. And let us note just as it was not only the theologians who made theology the queen they couldn't have done it alone. But people of All Sorts who revered as sacred and so is saving the knowledge formulated in theology. So it was not a lone scientist in there in right in pointing this out or even their spokesman who brought science to this position of dominance. It was also those in all walks of life who found scientific method to be the key to valid knowledge in every field and to contain the cherished Promise of Greater human well-being. Queens however are not always so they have their day and then decline possibly into banishment coup d'etat Palace revolts and changes of rule, uncomfortably take place in cultural as in political life. The development of modern culture since the reformation and the enlightenment especially has seen not only the rise of science to cultural dominance. It is also witnessed the decline of the church as foundational to social existence in all its aspects. and correspondingly the eclipse of theological understanding as the ground of every valid field of inquiry and so Sovereign Over All If you wish you have a perfect right to regard all these remarks as sour grapes. As everyone familiar with this history knows they were innumerable causes of this loss of ecclesiastical and Theological sovereignty. Central among them. I believe was the fact that the church and its truth claimed in absoluteness that nothing human could or should claim to be sure. I believe the god to which Christian faith Witnesses and the divine grace it proclaims our absolute but the human response to God and so the historical forms of Christianity its doctrines its moral laws its human institutions and it's clerical authorities. These were not at all as absolute unambiguous and pure as their representatives in their enthusiasm for the saving power of religion believed. That's the claim to absoluteness LED in the end only to disaster for religion and for the society in which it was Central absolute faiths clashed with one another for two centuries absolute moral laws bread hypocrisy in Justice and in the end irrelevance. Absolute spiritual authorities found it necessary to crush every evidence of developing autonomy of mind and of spirit and so in the end religion was dethroned. Some concluded from this process that every form of religion was destructive illusion. So that religion could be successfully eradicated from intelligent existence that this view was wrong has been shown by the fact that religion has reappeared in even more absolutist and destructive forms in our political economic and social existence and that other queens for example science or politics now preside with equal absoluteness over the academic courts of our modern world. Others interested in religion slowly realized that human religion while an essential aspect of our life as creatures of God is still human influenced by culture and so characterized by the relativities of History. Thus so they argued if she be true to herself religious faith has no business claiming the right to control the wide varieties of human existence nor any call to become ruling Queen of the diverse and free Sciences. Now the main point of these remarks is that in our day. We are I think witnessing a similar process the de thrown moment or possible de Throne moment of the new Queen of the most recent Queen one could cite many evidences of this shift in cultural Sensibility. The rise of the interest in the occult and in mysticism, so astounding among our educated youth represent a direct challenge to the supremacy of the scientific Consciousness and the world view it has created. And the general disillusionment with technology bespeaks a deep questioning of applied science as the answer to human problems. any visitor to the meetings of the NSF Canfield, they're even in that Center of social Prestige economic power and political clout a new nervousness and uncertainty about the role of science about in fact, it's predominance in our cultural life when I was in Washington and that marble building near to the center of all power on Earth in tuxedos to I felt when the Copernicus Festival I could well, imagine what it was like to be among the Bishops in 18th century, France. I'm very shaky nervousness and uneasy I to the facts outside and unbelief in a change of sensibility and the same bafflement and puzzlement that one felt there. If one seeks for the deeper causes of this widespread uneasiness about science, they don't lie. I believe in the same profound fault as was evidenced in the career of the erstwhile Queen religion. There we saw that religion fell from sovereignty because although it is an essential and very creative aspect of human existence. It made itself absolute predominant over the other aspects of life and the sole source of knowledge and of healing I believe the same has been true science also essential and creative I shall seek to show this and it's ambiguous consequences in relation to three important aspects of science as a cultural Force. There is first of all the question of the absoluteness of the scientific Consciousness as the entrance into what is actual. Is the method of science the soul cognitive Avenue to the real? Or put in terms of our court analogy should science or any other discipline be the ruling Queen. Although a great deal of valuable philosophical thought has been given to this question since the rise of science one thinks in our own time of her Cyril of Whitehead of buber and of tillich I shall argue my point in terms of the career of science itself. As we have seen science has represented in our cultural life and intense and continuing experience of human self Transcendence of the power of human inwardness and autonomy to rise above every form of Prior conditioning to know the truth objectively and that's the meaning of the word of the power of inward commitment to the truth to transcend tradition and Authority in order to achieve new Concepts and of the power of informed intelligence creatively to remake it's given world. The sense of the self is free potentially objective. And so creative within the stream of events has been uniquely characteristic of our modern culture of Enlightenment culture. It is the direct result. I believe of science or better more accurately the direct result of the experience of being a scientist within the scientific community and experience that has been very creative for The Wider cultural life. Modern man has known of his own potential Freedom over his own prejudices his own base her desires over tradition and conditioning and over his world largely through the experience of themselves as knowers and manipulators, which the members of the scientific Community have for several Generations enjoyed. Here, however, a strange contradiction enters that is most significant. For scientific method knows only an object never a self-transcending free committed and creative subject or is Professor Echols put it it knows only world one when science through its method has spoken officially of man. Therefore it has as it repeatedly is said found no shred of evidence of such a creative autonomous self. It finds only a complex natural organism conditioned in all it does by the various factors genetic physical chemical biological psychological and social The factors which have made it what it is and which for objective inquiry determinate subsequent career. The reality and effectiveness of human creative autonomy of human subjectivity has been vividly experienced and insofar known and repeated over and over by the scientific Community itself, when it speaks of Science of history and of the future we heard it yesterday and through them indelibly impressed on human history yet that Community when it Knows by The Very method that gave it this experience and this known Freedom knows and can know it says no such autonomy. Clearly what this strange in fact weird contradiction within science as a historical Force signifies, is that the reality which is experienced and known by the scientific Community itself in doing science. Is much wider than the reality which the objectifying net of the method itself can capture. This wider reality of the self presupposed in science as a creative human activity is known by the self-awareness of the scientist his inner consciousness of himself and of his community as the subjects of the knowing process as held to the truth by their commitment as manipulating intentionally and freely their perceived world as formulating new hypotheses and charting and reflection their future consequences as testing those hypotheses for a validity that is conditioned only by their congruence with their predictions as being aware of themselves as no hours. And as a consequence envisioning new ways to shape their world. Science knows as a community and as an activity the mysterious depths and freedom of the subject through this self experience of the scientists and it is this self-transcendence self-awareness of the scientists as a committed Transcendent free intentional and creative self that has given the sense of subjectivity autonomy and freedom to our recent cultural life clearly science knows much more than officially it says it knows that is to say science Knows by self-awareness the wise potent man in the white coat capable of informed judgments and new hypotheses who writes the book just as surely as it knows the object by inquiry the passive and conditioned patient on the examining table about whom the book is written. An absolute ties scientific method misunderstands the scientist who uses that method and thus contradicts itself. This contradiction reveals the error of regarding this method is the one entrance into reality and Truth. It shows how one-sided and infect untrue to its own deeper knowledge a culture dominated by scientific method can be and I would suggest it helps to explain the deep and even angry reaction against an absolute eyes science presently. So characteristic of our cultural life. Secondly an absolute ties scientific method misunderstands the object of inquiry that which the scientist seeks to know insofar as what he knows through inquiry scientific inquiry is taken to represent the full reality of the object known. What cannot be known at all is not there for us. We use the word knowledge to specify what is taken to be real independent dependable and in that sense objective. To confine knowledge to one method and to a method that abstracts away from all subjectivity centeredness and uniqueness is to constrict the world that is real to us infinitely in its depth and mystery. It is to objectify into a determined subject less realm all that with which we have to do. With men and women this is obviously a dangerous error as if all others than the Inquirer is themselves Who Remain subjects were mere conditioned objects empty spaces as tillich once put it through which external forces pass. Such a view of human reality expanded into the social and political Arenas would strip Society of persons and create a social world of usable objects. The contradiction of this view of man with science itself as a creative human activity as with the rest of life we have pointed out. Such a view of the object of knowledge. However also has devastating consequences for our relation with nature as we are fast discovering. The relation of scientific method to the technological and Industrial use misuse and ultimate despoliation of nature is not merely the technology applies for the purposes of manipulation the knowledge gained in scientific inquiry. It is also an essential relation consequent on the objectifying character of inquiry itself. For scientific inquiry Knows by manipulating its object by converting its qualitative Gestalt, n' into homogeneous and so Universal units. By investigating it with regard to its invariant relations with all the conditions it. Thus does inquiry strip its object of all its qualitative characteristics of its inherent Integrity unity and centeredness. Such a world is known only through our manipulation of it. Consequently such a world has reality for us only insofar as it can be used by US for our own purposes. objective inquiry taken as our sole cognitive relation to reality becomes the ideology of technological and Industrial manipulation. In order to live creatively within nature as well as with each other. We must allow ourselves to know the objects we encounter Through participation and Union as well as through objectification and manipulation. Thirdly as we noted, perhaps the major component of the reverence for science in modern culture. Has been the promise which applied science seemed to offer for human security and well-being. Our culture has swallowed bacon hole. Empirical knowledge we have believed is power to control the forces that run our world the forces of nature of our genetic and psychological structures in the forms of our society. Through such knowledge and the control it brings we can make our life infinitely better. History however has rudely awakened us from this Enlightenment dream. For control of the earth through technology and has meant also the misuse pollution and death boy Elation of the Earth. Further it has Unleashed and Infinity of industrial expansion and appropriation that threatened soon to divest the Earth of its available resources. That's far from guaranteeing human survival and well-being. The unimpeded expansion of our own technological control now precisely threatens that very survival and well-being. Ironically that cultural Force which want once promised to free us in the future from all that menaced us disease hunger cold poverty and irrational tyranny to free us from the fates now is disclosed as itself a menacing and even potentially mortal fate history and our own Wills that helped to shape history now appear as much more mysterious even demonic than they once did. The current despair about the scientific future do which I hear refer what has been called the doom. Boom. May well have been overlooked worked as are most prophecies religious or scientific. But that technological development could produce such a boom and appear as a threat rather than a promise to our future bespeaks a vast change of cultural Consciousness a realization of the essential ambiguity of applied science, which is quite new in our post-enlightenment world. Homophobe are has been by us regarded as the creature who threw his practical intelligence was of All Earth's creatures most capable of adaptability. Equipped with modern technology this same homo Faber. Thus seemed the very Paradigm of survival and of increased well-being. It now appears that homo Faber can through that same power of practical intelligence destroy both his world and himself with it. Does this mean the technological Freedom the power to shape and control events by intelligence is the key to our Extinction in history our fatal flaw so to speak and not to survival as we thought that would indeed be an ironic end to a culture that glorified and felt secure in that freedom. It seems it may be unless it man is more than technological man and learns not more about how to control nature but more about the control of himself. The absolute ization of applied science has the Cure of our problems as the key to freedom from Fate has proved to be a mortally dangerous error. As the Greek and the Christian traditions of emphasized more than technical knowledge is necessary for life. In fact techne by itself as our ecological crisis shows is inherently self-destructive. Knowledge and control of the self of its limits of the Infinity of its desires or concupiscence of its inherent waywardness and capacity for self-destruction is also necessary lest increased technical power spell disaster. This wisdom enshrined in the mythical and religious traditions of our past was regarded by a scientific and technological culture as a function merely of the scientific and Technical weakness of early mankind or is a gloomy fairy tale made up by priests. It has by the contradictory career of that same culture now been empirically prove to the hilt here. I believe is the deepest reason for the fall of the queen. The Salvation that in the period of her Pride. She promised has turned out to be lethal. Clearly modern scientific culture it placed the problem of human existence at the wrong point. It had seen the major problems of life to stem from our lack of control over the forces that impinge upon us from the outside. Thus reasonably it concluded that increased control over those forces would create an existence free of massive suffering and want It forgot the mystery and the ambiguity of the controlling self of the user of Science and of Technology whose greater Powers through knowledge May free him from external forces. But who may remains Bound by his own greed and insecurity to miss use those powers and so in the end to destroy himself. It is the bondage of our will not our ignorance or lack of power that threatens our historical existence as a race. But Science and Technology could not by themselves cope with this more intractable problem is no fault of theirs. Neither one is equipped so to do but that in their day of Glory, they taught us to ignore these deeper issues and even to laugh them out of court is their fault again. It was in the absolute ization of Scientific Technology as a saving force in history that the error lay This point that the problem lies in the self in the will in man himself and not just in his intellectual ignorance or his lack of practical know-how. Is not only an important lesson for the scientific Community it can also let me suggest provide a defense in their behalf in a culture that is increasingly disillusioned with and distrustful of science. For as with religion in the 18th century many are now seeking to blame science for all our technological and ecologically lilz. A complaint that has been well voiced here to cry out for its rigid control or even extermination and to regard it much as freethinkers did world religion as a dangerous cancer in the body social. We are closer together than many of you gentlemen think the fault. Let me reiterate lies not with science as intelligent inquiry nor with technology as the application of knowledge. These are in themselves good evidences of the vast creativity of human existence and replete with immense potentiality for human good Incidentally, even though as noted they may now threaten our survival and I think they do they are also paradoxically utterly necessary for that survival. We cannot now do without them even if foolishly we would what has been at fault is not our knowledge, but our pride in our knowledge not our technical power, but our misuse of that power in the service of our material insecurity our national pride our insatiable greed. It is interesting that when it's a just War were glad to help it as scientists when we're not sure about the war. We say science has nothing to do with it science is glad of what it did in World War 2. It says what happened in Vietnam was not science. I'm not sure you can hold both positions. Like everything else that is cumin including religion Science and Technology can be and have been misused to say this is to defend them from their fanatical detractors. But let us note to say this is also to admit that they are not Amna competent unambiguous saving forces in history other ways of resolving other types of problems other forms of knowing other disciplines are also necessary in human existence necessary precisely if Science and Technology are not to destroy us the queen can save herself from banishment only if as religion once had to do she is willing to abdicate her role as Queen What is called for therefore is a reassessment of Science in our cultural life and one conducted soberly by the scientific Community itself and Not Alone by those who now distrust it. Such a reassessment is always painful as it surely was for religion when it came under vigorous criticism in the Enlightenment and the post-enlightenment worlds. It was hard for those deeply concerned with religion and conscious of its saving power in themselves to face. The fact that sincere piety as a cultural Force could be a confining rather than a freeing factor and could be destructive rather than creative in social life. So it is now difficult for much of the scientific community and its Les adherents to give up the belief that scientific inquiry represents the one pure disinterested and so objective form of knowing and the consequent faith that the application of organized intelligence to Life's problems is likewise, pure disinterested and unambiguous. The strange contradictory career of a scientific culture like that of a religious one has proved otherwise and as the free thinkers of the Enlightenment for saw the death of religion or its confinement to special deviant groups. So today is an example Robert Hale Bruner himself a social scientist for C's in the future a return to a static traditional culture in which scientific inquiry will play a controlled subservient and very minor role. As an absolute sized religion had proved destructive of social peace. So he argues and absolute ties Science and Technology have become destructive of nature of a resources and of so of our common chances for survival. The only answer he concludes will be a return to spiritual and political levels of authority that will make the scientific and technological freedoms. We now enjoy merely pleasant memories. There is enough truth in Heil Bruner's diagnosis as there was in the and irreligious diatribes of the 18th and 19th centuries to compel the scientific Community to rethink its role in cultural life in a similar situation. The only way religion has been able to recover its own integrity and ReDiscover a creative role has been to take herself through such a painful process of reassessment. Yes, even of repentance and disavowal. Let me assure you when others reassessed the role of religion. She found herself banished from the court. When the religious community itself asked the question if religion be neither the Spiritual Authority governing all of public life nor the queen of all the disciplines. What is her role in status then a creative or at least a tolerable answer appeared such it seems to me is one of the tasks of the scientific Community as it faces. What is surely to be a quite new future? Although this reassessment is primarily a task for the scientific Community itself. Perhaps a friendly Observer may make three suggestions. First one of the myths. I'm not as bad as Voltaire was you've got to admit that. First one of the myths of an absolute ties science was that its knowledge that is the forms of its Concepts and symbols were purely self-generated arising solely from scientific experience and scientific logic and thus in no way relative to the general notion circulating in its wider cultural environment. As Orthodox religion founded alone on divine revelation disavowed any cultural and so historical relativity to its dogmas. So unorthodox science saw itself is a purely cumulative discipline based only on its own inquiries scientists enjoyed the belief that while the content of other disciplines depended on what they new scientific knowledge was in no way dependent on the knowledge gained in the other disciplines of the University. Recent studies in the history of science. However, have shown that this self-understanding was in great part and illusion. The categories models and paradigms of scientific understanding in each stage of its development have been related to and in many cases directly dependent on Notions generated in other fields. As a human and so cultural activity science is relative to its historical context. expressing through its own specialized categories Many of the economic political social psychological philosophical and even religious presuppositions that have determined that environment as of course does any formulation of religion? It does not therefore represent a pure or totally objective form of knowing validly dominant over all the relativities and partialities of culture in its other aspects. At each stage of its life science itself represents an aspect of that same relative cultural Vision itself therefore to be corrected and supplemented by other aspects of culture and even by other cultures and not only by its own future developments. It is well-known that no form of Orthodoxy Orthodox Catholicism and Marxism have been good examples understands its own doctrines through a careful study of the history of their development. On the contrary each Orthodoxy understand its own history only in the terms of its present and absolute dogmas. It is not insignificant in this respect. That science is not taught to Young scientists in terms of its history. In the vast majority of cases science is studied and so viewed by Young scientists only in terms of the present point of its development as if controlled experiment and logic provided it's only components and the cultural Matrix out of which it arose were irrelevant to its full understanding. One suggestion therefore in the reassessment of science is that it be studied historically as our art social theory literature philosophy and religion and with the express aim as in those other disciplines of showing the intrinsic relation of its major models and paradigms to their changing cultural context as religious. Orthodoxy has found history is a very effective detergent of absolute ization a historical view of science will help in the achieving of a realistic reassessment of our actual role in cultural life. Secondly, as we have argued scientific inquiry does not represent the soul cognitive relation that men and women possess with what is actual. As Whitehead argued like the sensory experience on which it is based scientific method abstracts for certain purposes from the totally encountered World from our constitutive relations with things from awareness of the subject of knowing awareness of natural beings around us and awareness of persons as persons. To confine knowing to this one significant but objectifying method is to strip natural objects of their inherent reality and value and persons of their selfhood their creative freedom. And so their Humanity science must therefore see itself as only one aspect to be sure a most important and valuable aspect of human cognitive creativity and thus one supplemented by and dependent upon other aspects if it is to take its rightful and and not dominating role in our cultural life. Such a reassessment implies an acquaintance with other modes of cognition in literature and social existence in the Arts. And in religion and it necessitates an understanding of the interrelations of these modes of knowing to science that only philosophy of science and philosophical epistemology can bring when theology lost its absolute base in revealed Dogma, it was incumbent upon it to reinterpret religious knowledge in relation to the other valid modes of human knowing history to science to psychology Thus did the discipline of philosophy of religion come to prominence and such a critical and philosophical interpretation of religious knowledge is now a part of all advanced education and religion as is the study of religions history. A corresponding reassessment of scientific knowledge in relation to the other cultural modes of encountering knowing and shaping reality would set science among the Humane arts and thus help to humanize rather than to dehumanize our common world. Finally as we have seen the application of scientific knowledge has revealed itself to be an instrument of man's will and thus subject to all the distortions of which that will is capable. Knowledge is power and power can corrupt even when that power Springs from knowledge gained through objective inquiry. Informed intelligence can be the servant of our greed and our desire for security. It has not as was hoped been there master. Apparently the more technical know-how we possess the Freer. We are to Ravish the Earth and to plunge ourselves into a new one freedom of scarcity conflict and ultimate authoritarian control. It has been another cherished myth of our culture the technology raises only technical problems and to do every technical problem. There is in potentiality a technological answer. Thus again through myths about themselves where Science and Technology regarded as self-sufficient in our social life dependent on no other aspects of culture for their own self realization and for the realization of Greater well-being. These myths the development of medical expertise of genetic capabilities of urban culture. And finally the ecological crisis have exploded. We now know the technology raises political social legal and moral problems on every front. And consequently that the proliferation and expansion of our technological capacities must be guided by legal social and ethical wisdom if self-destruction or authoritarianism are not to result. The increase of Man's power through applied knowledge has not increased his virtue or his wisdom. Rather by threatening his human well-being. If not his survival that increase has raised the question of his virtue and his wisdom more sharply than ever. A scientific and technological culture has not made the existential and moral questions of religion are relevant as it had thought it is posed those questions a new and in a terrifyingly intense form as crucial to the realization of that cultures own potentialities and to the avoidance of that cultures own self-destruction. unfortunately as Socrates and Saint Paul both knew there is no available graduate educational program that can guarantee either wisdom or virtue to any of us either a program in religion or in science possibly as in current religious studies, however, an acquaintance with the sociology of science how ideological class National and professional prejudices effect, not the sincerity but the application of scientific knowledge to the world's problems and a study of the ethics of science would help a little Together sociology of Science and ethics can if taken seriously as a part of the education of the scientists Open the Eyes of the future scientific Community to the dangers of their own increasing power to the responsibilities of their future role and to their intellectual and moral dependence on legal ethical and religious wisdom if they are to be creative and not destructive in our common future. In the end however science and applied science, like every other aspect of human creativity must learn to live with and to deal realistically with the vast ambiguity of their own creativity. And that is an existential moral and religious problem facing every profession, but new I suspect to the scientist as it was once new to the priest. For the lesson of history, and now the history of a scientific culture and surely also the message of the Gospel is that it is the is the very creativity of men that can spell their Doom that their knowledge can be turned into blindness and their power into self-destruction. To recognize this mystery and uncomfortable one latent within even that which is most creative in our life is a part of wisdom and the beginning of repentance such repentance on the part of all of us who have helped to create the very dubious Destiny. We shall bequeath to our children may possibly help to soften that destiny. Without such repentance and such new humility by a scientific and technological culture the future that science brings to us as well as the future of science itself May well be darkness and not be light. Such wisdom and repentance may also become an entrance into a much deeper faith. As we have seen modern culture experienced and had confidence in the promise of life and of the future. Because it believed that informed an organized intelligence to use Dewey's favorite phrases could resolve all our problems. Now that such intelligence both as science and as technology has revealed itself as essentially ambiguous as raising as many serious problems of survival and well-being as they solve the question of the meaning of our history of philosophical and religious question is again forced directly Upon Us Now by the career of a scientific culture itself. Not only do the two of them reveal the reality of the bondage of our will they disclose as well and the new the ambiguity and deep mystery of human history the real possibility of self-generated catastrophe and so the need for a deeper basis for our confidence in the future than our own virtue and wisdom. If we look carefully at the ecological evidence the future of our scientific civilization can be presented in dark colors indeed, ironically Despair and not confidence seems in truth to be the issue of a technological culture when it is begun to run its full course. A word however must be said in his sharp contradistinction to that new despair as to that cultures former optimism. Our human history is not compounded merely of human creativity and of our destructive use of that creativity both of which Science and Technology have now disclosed to us. There is also the Lord who brings judgment on cultures that are too proud of their wisdom and power and we are experiencing that who gives the possibility of repentance and of New Life to those who listen to that judgment to each community that does and who is with a captive Israel always holds out the promise of a New Covenant a new act a new possibility in history that may redeem the times and bring light even to the Future that is coming towards us. Thank you.


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