I’m still loving and still reading this fabulous book that is a critique of new atheism, a kind of defence of Christianity … and at the same time a spot-on critique of some of the things that Christianity has become. Thought provoking stuff (and a thoroughly good read).
I was loving one section last night in which Spufford rails against an inconsistent view that reality is complete in science, and indeed, is science. He writes,
“The world believes that it has science on its side. Indeed, by an act of oblivious metaphorical digestion it tends to believe that it is science; it thinks what it sees around it is the bare, disenchanted, unmediated, uncoloured truth delivered by the scientific method. Look no gods! Also no fairies, no unicorns, no griffins, no leprachauns. A quick census of the local fauna confirms it: case solved. But this perceptual world isn’t science. It is a cultural influence of science, specific to the last two centuries in Europe and North America.
He argues that this view “barely touches on the what the world is like apart from us” and goes on to say (and this is the paragraph I loved),
“It doesn’t acknowledge the radical strangeness of quantum mechanics, down in Reality’s basement; it doesn’t engage with the perturbing immensity of cosmology, up in the attic; it doesn’t admit the extraordinary temporariness of even the familiar things we think we posses securely on our middle floor of the universe. It treats us living creatures as the securely-tenured lords of all we survey, rather than the brief ripples of information we actually amount to”