I will admit I know nothing about the person(s) you sleep with, if you will admit you go to bed at night with some of the latest scientific reports crackling in your thoughts. You see, you’re reading and watching these reports on average 3-4 times a week. From new drug studies to current DNA cases to some remarkable claims as to how your brain waves apparently determine how you eat, fall in love, watch TV, raise kids, bet in the stock market, vote Republican, think of death, and obsess-or-resent tweets & blogs.
That’s more weekly information than from any other academic source in your life. So you can be fairly sure this 24/7 assault is helping make you the person, the fellow-worker, and the citizen you are. Advertisers and political campaigns certainly believe this with hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
No, that isn’t a Huxleyian indictment of our modern scientific age [although brother Aldous did draft a powerful indictment in his classic ‘Brave New World’]. Rather, it’s a breaking-ranks challenge to today’s existential reverence for all things scientific [there are no sadder words of tongue or pen than the freer spirits we might have been].
In generations past, Religion and Clergy were the high priests to our search for life’s answers. In recent generations here in the West, they have been replaced with Science and Technologists. There were times when the Aristotle’s, Thoreau’s, Monks, Dostoevsky’s, and Adlai Stevenson’s retreated into their hearts or souls to find and follow their best answers. But lately more of us retreat first to the most approved pill, therapy, regimen, geneticist, surgeon or biological think tank.
Now here’s my problem. I gladly go to Science and Technology for answers. But when the answers they give me are strictly the empirical ones with which they deal, I require more. That’s when I am usually advised: “There is no more, because nothing more can be verified as reality only illusion.”
Turns out that for tens of centuries humanity has believed there ARE realities beyond the immediately empirical ones available to microscopes and telescopes. I believe so too. Which means for every brave-new-world of reports I find, I find more beckoning questions than final answers. Onward…!
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