There have been breathtaking advances in science and engineering in the past century, as we continue to be dazzled by the next new thing in electronics, that seem to be perpetually making our lives easier and more fun. With all this progress, it may seem to many that the engineers and doctors have everything under their control, and have it all figured out. The big bang and Darwin’s theory of natural selection are thought to explain creation, with the universe and human beings being the machine like, or computer like, deterministic products of random forces.
Unfortunately, the past century has also been a time of wide spread existentialism, with its atheism, despair and to many a bleak view of modernity and humanity. For all its technological wizardry, modern life seems to lack something fundamental, a sense of meaning and a connection to something greater than ourselves. It seems to me that although it is advanced in its understanding of the material world, science has not solved the fundamental mysteries that have engaged humanity since its beginnings, and we need to look elsewhere to have an understanding of the spiritual questions that are still with us, regardless of our technologically advanced lives.
Some of the mysteries that have not been solved by science to me include:
1) How the world was created. Darwin’s theories being just one way to explain what was driving the evolutionary process, as the intricate balance and beauty of nature seems to me more likely to be the product of a designing consciousness, rather than random, purely materialistic forces.
2) Is there a higher power? Regardless of how they’ve tried, the existence of a hidden, guiding higher power has not been proven impossible by science.
3) Is there an afterlife? This whole damn journey seems absurd if it all ends up as dust in the desert.
4) How and when a person will die. For all modern medicne’s advice on the healthy lifestyle, it is always a mystery until it happens how we will eventually perish, and the only certainty is that we all will one day.
It seems to me that it is time to acknowledge what we have figured out with our science, and to also admit its limitations, so we can turn to other sources, such as religion, philosophy and the arts, to meet our famished needs for meaning, purpose and courage in the face of mortality.
If you liked these thoughts, may I suggest you check out my other newsletters at http://www.kloschinskyblog.com.
You can also check out my work in poetry, songwriting and photography at http://www.kloschinsky.com.
In song and in spirit,