“Human understanding remains provisional and fragmentary”

“Human understanding remains provisional and fragmentary” July 24, 2019


Three Sisters in Canmore
A scene in Canmore, not too terribly far from where we’re staying, though at a slightly different season.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)


Some science-related links that caught my attention today:


“India’s first lunar lander is on its way to the moon: Chandrayaan 2 mission’s rover will explore closer to the moon’s south pole than any other rover”


“How today’s global warming is unlike the last 2,000 years of climate shifts: Previous cooldowns and warm-ups were regional, driven by natural forces, paleoclimate data show”


“Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months”


“Did Neanderthals Speak?”


“‘Fruit from the Sands’ explores the Silk Road origins of apples, tea and more: A new book explains how many popular foods went global”


“Droplets of these simple molecules may have helped kick-start life on Earth: Small blobs that break apart and reform can host protein and RNA”




I have been announced as a student of science. But I also like to think of myself as one who loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For me there has been no serious difficulty in reconciling the principles of true science with the principles of true religion, for both are concerned with the eternal verities of the Universe. . . .

So I would like to address my remarks to those who find themselves troubled by an inner conflict between the traditional teachings of the Christian faith on the one hand, and on the other the challenge of modern education to explore, to dissect and to test in the cold light of fact and demonstrated proof. I believe that many of our young people have impoverished their lives by a thoughtless denial of all aspects of the faith of their fathers in their desire to be what they call scientific and objective.

Now I am also of the opinion that some theologians have unwittingly assisted in this rebellion by taking positions so dogmatic as to stifle the honest and thoughtful inquiries of youth when they needed help and sought it. . . .

Apparent contradictions between religion and science often have been the basis of bitter controversy. Such differences are to be expected as long as human understanding remains provisional and fragmentary. Only as one’s understanding approaches the Divine will all seeming contradictions disappear. Such complete understanding is to be approached as a part of the eternal progress which will continue in the life to come. In the meantime, we can only continue our quest for the balanced view that comes from weighing all evidence carefully in the search for enduring values. The road is a long one, but the outcome is assured if we are willing to travel it. . . .   (Henry Eyring)


Posted from Canmore, Alberta, Canada



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