Science As Salvation?

Science As Salvation?

Say there, sisters and brothers. Ever have a “peak” experience? If you know what I mean. While engaged with Science, that is.

You did?

Then you might of lost track of time while doing this Science “peaking.” Which would only be natural. Did you?

Both yeses, eh?

Then let me ask one more question: Do you find Science a source of spirituality?

If you said yes, then, as new Science research shows—and get a pencil to write this down—you find Science is a source of spirituality.

This discovery we highlight today was found using the very questions I asked you, in the ten-question Spirituality of Science scale, a quantification of the joys experienced while scienceing. From the peer-reviewed paper “Spirituality of Science: Implications for Meaning, Well-Being, and Learning” by Jesse L. Preston and others in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Another of the ten questions: “Science helps to show greater meaning in life.” Which is, somehow, scientifically different than “Science is a source of spirituality”.

The reason for highlighting this new Science is because, as The Times put it

The ‘awe and wonder’ inspired by science can boost mental wellbeing and give life a sense of meaning in a similar way to religious faith, a study has found….

Dr Jesse Preston, a psychology professor at the University of Warwick, concluded that some people appeared to be struck by ‘deeply positive transcendent experiences that emerge from interactions with science that include feelings of connection, meaning and awe’.

Something has to replace a rapidly disappearing Christianity in the West. It may as well be Science. About that, more in a moment.

Let’s first look at this claim: “Those who have this relationship with science also find it easier to study the subject and find they are better able to ‘recall scientific information’, the study found.”

How do they know that those who like and can do Science would be better at it than those do not like it or can’t do it? They asked a bunch of students to rate the sentence “I don’t feel much meaning in science.”

Then they had some kiddies read words about black holes (with pretty pictures) and some read fascinating (surely) passages about “mortgage applications”. Which, I’m guessing, is as interesting to kiddies as rap music is to me.

Which one of these subjects do you guess students would recall better? Wait. Don’t answer yet. For here is what they did next:

Participants rated how they felt during the reading [on black holes or mortgages] on 12 different emotions (bored, engaged, annoyed, excited, in awe, anxious, interested, confused, upset, happy, scared). Participants then completed a five-item Small Self scale…e.g., “I feel the existence of things greater than myself”.

That’s a lot of feelings. And feelings are important, especially in our effeminate culture. “Feelings”, they tell us, “of small self—where one feels tiny in comparison to something or someone greater than oneself—have been shown to be central to feelings of awe…and spiritual experiences.” Well.

At last, “All participants were then tested for recall of science and mortgage information, with three questions about black holes, and three questions about mortgages, based on information given in the readings.”

“As expected,” they tell us, the kiddies on average got about one more recall question right about the black holes than the fascinating mortgages. This is what I expected, too.

But, and here comes the Science, “correct responses to the black hole questions positively correlated with spirituality of science…and feelings Small Self”. Mortgage answers were not related to feelings.

One can master a mortgage but never measure up to a black hole?

Here’s what they say: “Science helps provide a deep sense of wonder, understanding, and connection that we argue here can serve as a source of spirituality for some people,” they tell us. Which, unless you’re an aspiring realtor, one assumes, mortgages can not.

It’s here, after these stunning discoveries, the paper waxes poetical:

Our argument that science serves as a source of spirituality may seem a radical or contradictory approach. How can spirituality be derived without reference to belief in God, the supernatural, or some other aspect of the scared? [sic] But we argue (as others have) that spirituality can be independent of any supernatural belief.

No it can’t.

Science can only be a superficial replacement for supernaturalism, for as fun and pleasurable as Science can be, it can never tell us about itself. It can never answer the questions, the two most important questions, Why is there Something rather than Nothing, and Why is the Something like this and not like Something Else?

For that, we need the supernatural. A word which means that which is above or before nature.

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  1. JerryR

    “ Why is there Something rather than Nothing, and Why is the Something like this and not like Something Else?”

    The cosmological problem and the teleological problem. Science can help but the real solver of these problems and spiritual activity is the use of logic.

    Science is just one tool of logic.

  2. Carlos Julio Casanova Guerra

    This “study” is a shame for the great collection of shamefull things. It’s not worthy of comment. But science as a source of truth about the order of the world, of course, can be a source of spirituality, as much as spirituality is a source of science. Science has been developed in societies where religion taught that the universe is an intelligible order and that studying it was a way of knowing God, His plans, His works. Studying those works point to the Creator: it’s Wisdom XIII, Romans I,16 and ff., it’s the 5th way of Saint Thomas, etc. It’s Fred Hoyle leaving atheism after considering the proporties of the carbom atom and, in general, organic chemistry: the Super Intelligence toying with the universe and the laws of physics, chemistry, etc. It’s Anthony Flew, doing the same. As George Wald and so many otbers. It’s Nietsche: “Indeed, nothing has yet possessed a more naive power of persuasion than the error concerning being […]. After all, every word and every sentence we say speak in its favor. Even […] Democritus, among others, when he invented his atom, still succumbed
    to the seduction of [the] concept of being. ‘Reason’ in language — oh, what an old deceptive female she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar” (Twilight of Idols, Reason in Philosophy, n. 5). With testimonies such as this last one, there’s little more you can say, even if, like in this case, the order is a source of hatred for the person, it’s very powerful….

  3. Sumguyfromsomewhere

    New poster to your site.
    I have to say, after perusing through your absolute slaughtering of The Science™? and the purple haired gender benders who currently worship at its alter, “I F’n [heart emoji] science” (gesturing with two hands curled against thumbs in a heart symbol over my chest)

    This is quickly becoming a place I can call home.

    As to the post…
    Has The Science™? been reduced to publishing studies conducted by mental patients? Because only a lunatic could seriously believe that anything meaningful was done here.

    The last few years of my life, reality has become more hilariously entertaining than the funniest comedy bits of my youth. I feel like I live in an episode of Seinfeld.

  4. JerryR

    A new book has just been published. It is titled “The Best Argument for God”

    Since I just started it, there is not too much to comment on but it does contrast science and philosophy in the introduction. Here is the description of science

    “The purpose of philosophical investigation is to answer philosophical questions. Simple, yes? However, it is critical to understand that not all questions are philosophical questions. For example, What happens when I mix chemical (x) with chemical (y)? is a scientific question and should be answered in a controlled environment. What separates the scientist from the philosopher is special knowledge and special equipment. The scientist answers questions by engaging in technical research and using specific forms of experimentation, which frequently require training and technology that are not available to everybody.

    Philosophers, on the other hand, think about the data of common experience that is available to everyone, always. There is no special technology required for the philosopher to do their work (cushy armchairs aside) because the only work for the philosopher to do is to think hard about the puzzles that arise from ordinary life. Philosophers don’t run laboratory experiments; scientists do.”

    This leads to a question: “What does one call it when one analyzes the results from a scientific experiment?” Is that science or philosophy? Or does it depend or is it something else?

  5. Hagfish Bagpipe

    Science as a new religion? It does have its mysteries and explanations, it’s rites, it’s priesthood in white lab coats murmuring inscrutable formulas, it’s factions that all hate one another, plus its endless hunger for money and power already give the appearance of traditional religious trappings. And yet I suspect most people really don’t give a hoot about whether water boils at 212 degrees or 211, whether the moon is a balloon or green cheese, or what’s the smallest particle. Nobody cares. For all its billions and billions! Science isn’t sexy.

    If moderns want to worship a new god that everyone actually cares about they should worship Money. Its mysteries are endlessly fascinating, it creates its own reality, it is the fundamental particle of modern physics, has a priesthood of high finance, its own jumbo-jumbo, its competing sects, physical gold coins and silver bars are positively hypnotizing, money enhances the power and sex appeal of all who possess it even losers and scientists, and everyone already loves and cares for it. Money is Modern God.

    [By reading this comment you agree to pay its author $465 in $20 monthly installments @16.5% monthly interest, compounded, subject to late fees, adjustments, and special assessments]

  6. Cary D Cotterman

    “How can spirituality be derived without reference to belief in God, the supernatural, or some other aspect of the scared?”

    Fear of God is big in religion, but I assume you meant to type “sacred”.

  7. Johnno

    Black holes?

    So staring into the void about these entirely mythical creatures that like angels are invisible to the naked eye is more spiritual than opposed to watching water reach its boiling point?

    So is it science that is spiritual or is it Materialist Fantasy Tales of the Unknown that are spiritual?

    They should’ve measured their reactions to reading a list of known side effects from Pfizer’s vexxine data.

  8. It’s providing the powers that be with the societal functions of religion, a stick to beat the peasants with.

  9. Gunther Heinz

    Black hole, also known as Baltimore.

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