The physicist Arthur Zajonc provides us with his view of science that gives me hope for the future
Science can lead us away from reality into abstractions. It is too easy for the model to take over from the reality it is supposed to represent. The lived experience of the phenomenal world often takes a back seat. Zajonc gives us a couple of examples where the model dominates. The genetic code is one, and the neuroscience of the brain as a representative of the mind is another. If we are not careful our models become idols and the living reality is forgotten.
From a radio documentary featuring Arthur Zajonc he gives his views on Goethe’s science:
If you look at the actual practice that he undertakes it is I think faithful to the core principles of science, namely, it is empirically grounded, it proceeds from one methodical experience to the next, and it comes to a kind of insight, a moment of aperçu, of discovery.
He thinks that all good science proceeds in the way Goethe describes. It begins with insight. An example of which is Newton connecting a falling apple with the movement of the moon.
Here he discusses the relationship between spirituality and science and our understanding of knowledge.
He believes that spirituality should be a part of science just as it is found within religion.
We believe that some significant aspect of “spirit” actually resides on and activates both sides of this mapped polarity…
The polarity he is talking about is that between reason/knowledge/science on one side and faith/belief/religion on the other.
He states further:
For us, spirituality is a term which bears on the most encompassing view of life and human engagements. Our objective is therefore to provide an account of how this may be so. Following advice given by Owen Barfield, we seek to distinguish, but not to divide. (Barfield, Owen 1971)
IMO the practice of science is becoming too compartmentalised, too specialised, where the specialists become something akin to high priests of their selective knowledge.
Our children need to be educated in a scientific method in which all can participate and learning can be seen as an ongoing, enjoyable experience which fills them with wonder, not as a set of hurdles to jump over in order to secure a job at the finish line.