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