Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Just a thought …

The world I was born and raised in offered two views of reality. A mythopoetic one to start you off and a scientific-historic one later on. The mythopoetic outlook seems to have been primal, the way things looked when man first noticed them. But don't sell early man's scientific acumen short. To survive, he had know how to observe, draw connections, take chances (experiment), figure things out. Over time, he figured out quite a lot: how to raise crops, herd animals, use fire. He even figured out how to communicate using sounds he made by means of breath, tongue, and lips.
These days, the conventional wisdom is that the scientific view is sound and the other merely quaint. Given that the later view grew out of the earlier one — chemistry grew out of alchemy, astronomy out of astrology — this seems dubious. The genuinely scientific approach would be to understand the mythopoetic on its own terms and see what it tells us about reality as initially encountered by persons who may just have been as smart as we think we are.

1 comment:

  1. As for the mythopoetic v. scientific, I have been wrestling with a theory (not at all original with me) that full exploration and understanding of the scientific (including especially physics and mathematics) will solve the mysteries of the universe (which have otherwise been explained in the mythopoetic). But, alas, my physics and math aptitude is so low that I cannot proceed further with this theory beyond musing and idle hypothesis. If I could be more like Einstein and Hawking, for example, I might have a fighting chance at going beyond musing. But I must settle for low-level intellectual wrestling. Who knows! God might be the supreme and sublime physicist and mathematician. I hope he doesn't give me an "F" when the final exam comes around.