“Most religions are uncomfortable with evolution, because it seems incompatible with their own creation stories, especially when those stories are understood literally. But if religions are to remain relevant today, they need to embrace biological evolution and focus on its spiritual dimension and meaning.
“Most scientists also have a limiting belief: scientific materialism. There has been a power struggle between this particular dogma and authoritarian religion for hundreds of years. The resulting culture war is one of the sideshows that confuse our real quandary. In the face of an unprecedented crisis of biological extinction–including the very real possibility of the disappearance of our own species–we need to put meaning and spirit back into the scientific model. Humanity today deserves a deeper truth to live for than either religion or science has provided alone.”
–From “At the Edge of the Roof: The Evolutionary Crisis of the Human Spirit” by John Stanley and David Loy
“My daughter (she is the only child I have) is at the age at which the laws allow the most ardent of them to marry. She is of a backward constitution, slight and soft, and has been brought up by her mother accordingly, in a retired and private manner: so that she is now only just beginning to grow out of the naivete of childhood.
She was reading a French book in my presence. The word fouteau occurred, the name of a familiar tree. The woman she has to train her stopped her short somewhat roughly and made her skip over that perilous passage. I let her go ahead in order not to disturb their rules, for I do not involve myself at all in directing her: the government of women has a mysterious way of proceeding; we must leave it to them. But if I am not mistaken, the company of twenty lackeys could not have imprinted in her imagination in six months the understanding and use and all the consequences of those wicked syllables as did this good old woman by her reprimand and interdict.”
–From “On Some Verses of Virgil” by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)
(Note: Un fouteau is a Beech tree, not to be confused with foutre, which the dictionary defines as “Vulg. and not decent; generally written f….”)
Today I just have some questions: How can the spiritual and scientific spheres be presented in an inclusive way? And what is the answer to a partial and clouded presentation of the world? And last, but not least, how do we know if our understanding is broad or narrow? What’s more–who should be in the business of education?