What is the Scientific Worldview?
The recent popularity of atheistic books, such as Dawkin's "The God Delusion" and Hitchen's "God is Not Great," appear to be a reaction to the religious conflict that still afflicts much of the globe. Reasonable people have difficulty comprehending the absurdities promulgated by belief systems not their own. The contradictions between religions are becoming more obvious as communication becomes increasingly global. Students in Kansas, for instance, can lookup "evolution" and "the scientific worldview" without their relatives finding out. The ideas behind these words challenge beliefs that have instilled and enforced political loyalty for millennia.
"The scientific worldview" is bandied about with very little specificity concerning exactly what it is. Until recently, there was no book with that title. Before "The Scientific Worldview," there were two other worldviews that were scientific rather than religious: classical mechanism and systems philosophy. The first overemphasized the outsides of things; the second overemphasizes the insides of things. As modern scientists we have developed the habit of drawing spheres around the portions of the universe that we want to study—ignoring whatever is outside them. The Scientific Worldview argues for a combination of these two previous views. This combination amounts to a new universal mechanism of evolution: “univironmental determinism,” the proposition that whatever happens to a thing is a result of the infinite variety of matter in motion within and without. The upshot is that evolution is occurring to all portions of the universe during every microsecond. What prevented the scientific worldview from being expressed as clearly before, is my beginning assumption of microcosmic and macrocosmic infinity. Infinity never could be completely amenable to the mathematics of Newton or Einstein or to the common belief that the universe had a beginning, just like everything else.The proponents of the Big Bang Theory (BBT) are cock-sure that the universe had an origin. They have forced us to confront the ultimate question: Has the universe exploded out of nothing or has it existed everywhere for all time? The answer to this question will never be known with complete certainty. Nonetheless, the rejection of the BBT and the acceptance of the universe as infinite and eternal remains the last step in overcoming the myopia of our pre-Copernican heritage. It is my fondest wish that "The Scientific Worldview" will play a significant part in that ultimate transition.
Posted by Glenn Borchardt at 11:45 AM