Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Age of Scientific Discovery May be Nearing its End

Telegraph: The age of scientific discovery may be nearing its end as the limits of the human mind make further breakthroughs impossible, leading scientists have said.

Experts say the “low hanging fruit” of scientific knowledge, such as the laws of motion and gravity, was attained using simple methods in previous centuries, leaving only increasingly impenetrable problems for modern scientists to solve.

Uncharted areas of science are now so complex that even the greatest minds will struggle to advance human understanding of the world, they claim.

In addition, the remaining problems are becoming so far removed from our natural sensory range that they require increasingly powerful machines, such as the Large Hadron Collider, even to approach them.

Russell Stannard, professor emeritus of physics at the Open University, argues that although existing scientific knowledge will continue to be applied in news ways, "the gaining of knowledge about fundamental laws of nature and the constituents of the world, that must come to an end”.

He said: “We live in a scientific age and that’s a period that’s going to come to an end at some stage. Not when we’ve discovered everything about the world but when we’ve discovered everything that’s open to us to understand.”

SH: In the end only what the Almighty alone saw marks the difference between scientific "law" and scientific flaw. A flea on a kitten knows more than the hubris of man.

"A little error in the beginning becomes a great error in the end"---St. Thomas Aquinas

--->Apropos of The Above, It's Been Obvious, The Mystery That Dwarfs...

--->Benedict XVI: Follow God’s path in life, it will be too late to repent after death "Inspired by the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in today's Gospel, Benedict XVI told the people in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace that "the first lives in luxury and selfishness, and when he dies, ends up in hell. Instead the poor man, who eats the leftovers from the table of the rich, on his death, is carried by angels to the eternal abode of God and the saints. Blessed are you who are poor, - the Lord had proclaimed to his disciples - for the kingdom of God is yours' (Lk 6:20). But the message of the parable goes further: it reminds us that while we are in this world, we must listen to the Lord who speaks through the Scriptures and live by his will, or, after death, it will be too late to repent. So this story tells us two things: the first is that God loves the poor and raises them from humiliation and the second is that our eternal destiny is determined by our behaviour, it is up to us to follow the path God has shown us to come to life, and this path is love, understood not as a sentiment, but as service to others in the love of Christ" ...Read it all

--->"Sunday Best": The danger of trusting in externals is that Dives wore his 'Sunday Best' ("was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day") but went to hell because he stepped over the poor to get to liturgy in self-righteousness. The Lord said "Is not this the fast I have chosen..."?

--->The U.S. bishops are cautioning about a book that claims to teach "Catholic anthropology" but in fact goes against Church doctrine on human sexuality. See also, Today's Challenges to Marriage and the Family by the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family

--->Holy See urges more cancer therapy in poor nations

--->I ache for Christopher Hitchens' who once compared worshiping God to constantly praising the North Korean dictator, saying that as long as you constantly praise the tyrant and flatter the Dear Leader for his 'graciousness,' he might not crush you.

But worse, he said that at least with Kim Jong-Il it was theoretically possible to get away, whereas with God the persecution will continue after death.

If I could I would have wanted to sincerely ask Hitchens, whether he ever loved life, ever exulted in the sheer wonder of being, as even so many who suffer do, and all the gifts he was given; and whether we would really be better off without God's commandments, the ontological foundation of all law, protective right and wrong, beyond any and all mere social contracts? If he said, yes, at least sometimes, I would have urged him to shhh... just for a moment, and asked whether one could really compare any cruel dictator to the Author of that---his---life?

After death, according to Christianity (Jesus), we only continue being what we were in life; the fathers said the "tree then [only] remains where it falls," the verb finally becomes a noun. We can know little more than that about the afterlife and judgment, since "we see now as [only] through a dark glass," with our blurry, limited vision according to St. Paul; and also since we know that the Lord used mixed, non-homogeneous images to describe the final destiny of our choices, for good or ill, both for those who returned thanks for the Gift and for those who abused that gift of life, even if for the latter it must, like the abuse itself, be terrible, tragic beyond comprehension.

I would have wanted to ask him if he ever exulted like Chesterton, another brilliant Englishman, who wrote

"Here lies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And tommorow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?"

I would ask him how men can see so differently; how even his brother, Peter Hitchens, a former vehement atheist, like countless others, rather late unexpectedly changed his mind, and I would urge Christopher to reconsider it all, everything, and whether he ever followed certain memes and narratives perhaps because he was expected to after so long a time, because he had become something of a commodity, conditioned by public expectations, perhaps feeling he was no longer free to change on such a defining matter. But then I would want to take his hand and tell him while he still has breath, that we are all just a bunch of old fools, but the wonder is he is free still, for that is what we all are, not robots, automatons, but free, even in extremis, until the tree falls. In the deep silence and split second of one's heart one is free to change one's mind, one's orientation.

“I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”---Jean Paul Sartre, just before he died.