Post: Readers Respond

Kudos to Art Mampel for two resonating and delightful poems in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue. His work just keeps getting better. Also, deep appreciation for Dennis Moon’s “Holiness is Justice.” Inciteful exegesis on a timely issue.

Craig E. Anderson, Plantation, Florida

Having just read Jay Phelan’s excellent guide to some current literature on the relationship between science and theology (Fall/Winter 2016), I am moved to put in a good word for the God of Science. My thesis is that what our world desperately now needs is the kind of truth produced by traditional science.

I am talking about the kind of truth that can be objectively sought and determined using the universal tools of measurement, data collection and mathematical description. Unlike beauty, scientific truth is not in the eye of the beholder. And unlike religion or politics, scientific truth is not determined by belief. This is not to denigrate or dismiss these other disciplines but to simply point out that each looks at “truth” in a different way, using different tools.

However, I would suggest that scientific truth is the kind most needed in our world today. Given the divisive passions driving so much decision-making in power centers throughout the world, we desperately need the kind of truth that only science, at its very best, can provide: truth that is based on factual reality, versus the too-often misguided conclusions, beliefs and opinions found in politics and religion. Unfortunately, these non-scientific conclusions are driven, in many instances, by a desire for power and/or wealth in a specific group – political, religious, national – as opposed to what is truly best for the human race as a whole.

The examples of non-scientific truth claims are many and obvious – beliefs about climate change, economic solutions, etc. And when these pronouncements are elevated to the level of “real truth” without supporting scientific evidence,

resulting debates and decisions are not only divisive, but often dangerous.

So, if we truly want answers based in reality, we must honor the kind of truth that is universal and objective – not mock or misrepresent it for personal or political gain. In the long run – which in today’s turbulent world may be measured in years and decades versus centuries – that is the only hope for the survival of our planet and our humanity. Obviously, we must use the insights of other disciplines to decide how to apply the knowledge we gain from science. But without that knowledge to begin with, we are prone to wander in the wilderness rather than find the truth that can set us free.

I believe that God is the author of all truth – including scientific truth. And I would suggest that those who ignore or mock scientific truth are really engaging in blasphemy.

G. Timothy Johnson, Lincoln, Mass.