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Posted by Tim on September 4, 2003 03:05:15 UTC

***I never thought of the tree of knowledge metaphor as extending to nowadays. But I agree that it does. Knowledge may yet be the death of us all.***

surely we will die... regardless of the veracity of the metaphor.

***I am not sure if you are saying that science has saved many lives, or will cost many lives. ***

i was trying to say saved, but now you make me realize it also costs lives.

***I like the idea that this is a prediction of the power of science to end our species. However, I cannot agree that scientific understanding suggests that there is a power in nature that is greater than the power of fusion. Perhaps you refer to the big bang as a higher power than fusion. But that is entirely scientific knowledge. It is not for certain that it ever happened or that it happened because of a higher intelligence. And then the big bang is part of nature.

So I guess you have to explain just what you mean by a "power greater than any found in nature". ***

spiritual power. and if not that then at least that power that has been refered to in the common phrase "there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come". such power is i think unleashed by human ambition. i'd say we are only begining to wield such power, as in the example of harnessing nuclear energy, ect.
you wrote in a hopeful way that our religions might bridle the power of science as science it's self becomes more religion like. i'd have to agree that may be our only hope to maintain control. but it does seem to me that science "points" to a power that is greater than nature, i can't use science to prove the existance of such a power but none the less it seems to me that science "points" to such a power. the scientific dogma of our day leads us to not look for certain answers, not ask why, be pragmatic but even with that our science must at least face the fact about uncertainty. it's a human condition and there are as we all know many others, confusion, love, hatred, fear, courage ect. these are conditions of the spirit for which no hard science exists. that they exist in the physical world can be argued, i for one believe that they do. and if they are existant then science should be able to treat them and understand them. science has certainly run headlong into uncertainty. this speaks to the issue of cognition and an understanding of how cognition plays a role in what happens in the physical world. again i believe uncertainty is a spiritual issue, related to faith if you will. cognition 'shutter' i fear may be related to the tree of knowledge. but faith it seems overcomes uncertainty and if it preceeds cognition then the potential for power should be great indeed.

***I also wonder if there is an escape clause in that biblical story. Is species death a certainty? Perhaps we should read the story again and see - considering the analogy of the tree of knowledge to science and the ability to commit suicide as a species- if there is another way suggested. Or are we committed to eventually destroying ourselves from our knowledge??? ***

from the Christian perspective i beleive the escape clause would be faith. which fits in kind of nicely with your idea that the religions of the world should work towards controling science.

regards tim

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