‘Science’, from the Latin Scire, related to the words ‘Cognition’ and ‘Consciousness’, is a form of Knowledge, a type of Knowing.
Science is important. Except for some arrivistes like ‘Liberal Humanism’ or older elites like Agnosticism, it is the Modern Educated Man’s most embraceable Religion.
[And like all religions, it offers tremendous solace and hope. Religions have their reasons to be.]
Nickolaus Copernicus, a Renaissance scholar and a catholic cleric, began the Modern Age of Science. In his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium:
‘There is no center for the celestial spheres; the center of the Earth is not the center of the Universe; the spheres revolve around the Sun..‘.
Before him, dear old Earth was the static center of the Universe [‘Geocentric’ paradigm]. The Heliocentric Theory [‘Helios’, the Greek Sun-God] found a new deity. The real center, it said, was in-fact the Sun.
Science as a Modern Religion began with planetary self-displacement. Where we stand is not the true center. The Observer is not the unmoving ground.
But Science keeps replacing every displaced god with a new deity. Science hasn’t finished the job, stepped-back only half-way. It needs to step back all the way, to the absence of all centers, of any center. Step back all the way to Shūnyam.
[Martin Luther, whose reinterpretation of Rome let loose the Prometheus that reshaped World Order helped publish Copernicus’ work, if I recall. One, a Catholic cleric, the other its nemesis, in a brotherhood of defiant ideas. I’ll have to fish my old files for the details.]
I liked the way Haldane put it:
‘My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose‘.
A vital distinction. As for its path to acceptance:
‘I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages: a) This is worthless nonsense b) This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view, c) This is true, but quite unimportant, d) I always said so.’