Leaving Us to Wonder
An Essay on the Questions Science Can't Ask
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
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This all began before we met, of course. One of us trained in biology and the other in philosophy. It is likely if we were both to have followed the seductions of our initial studies and trainings, then we would in all likelihood have been enemies in today’s so-called science wars. As it stands we both set out on paths diverging...
Chapter One: A Place to Begin
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Always, no matter how much or how often we satisfy our never-ending curiosity with facts, something profound remains untouched. That which remains—something far apart from curiosity—is the experience of wonder. We might call...
Chapter Two: The Persistence of a Question
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Our interest is in the workings of the material world and its relation to the intellectual, moral, and in the broadest sense of the word, religious life of humankind. The contemporary discussion that we are entering is yet another round in a debate that goes back in our culture at least to the Ancient...
Chapter Three: What Darwin and Nietzsche Saw
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Charles Darwin’s enduring contributions to science and natural history are astonishing in their scope and detail. He is best known as an evolutionist whose book The Origin of Species revolutionized the way biologists interpreted the natural world.1 He is less well known for his extensive and...
Chapter Four: Provoking Thought
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It is not enough simply to have the facts presented to know what those facts mean. All facts demand an interpretation to be meaningful. Furthermore, using Darwin’s and Nietzsche’s accounts of moral evolution, as we saw in the last chapter, fundamental presuppositions or hopes for the...
Chapter Five: The Limits of Science and the Danger of Scientism: Drawing out the Consequences for Thinking
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We have in the preceding pages reflected on the claims of scientism as to science’s preeminence with respect to knowledge. The belief follows that science ought to be the guide for all decisions and actions that are ultimately of great importance to our culture. Discussions about science and...
Chapter Six: Leaving Us to Wonder
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It requires neither research scientists nor philosophers to persuade us that much is wrong and much is missing in the world today and that the problems are serious and pressing. However, after we agree with this rather obvious point, where and how do we proceed? Reflecting on this state of affairs...
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Page Count: 173
Publication Year: 2005
Series Title: SUNY series in Philosophy and Biology
Series Editor Byline: David Edward Shaner