Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Absolute Physics

In E. A. Burtt's judgment,

For Newton, then, science was composed of laws stating the mathematical behaviour of nature solely--laws clearly deducible from phenomena and exactly verifiable in phenomena--everything further is to be swept out of science, which thus becomes a body of absolutely certain truth about the doings of the physical world....Science is the exact mathematical formulation of the processes of the natural world. Speculation is at a discount, but motion has unconditionally surrendered to the conquering mind of man. (The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, 226)

So which is it? Is physics a "god's eye" view of the world, or is it "subject to fashion and whim"? Here we have the difference between the project of modernity and the aftermath of its collapse.

"We are gods," said modernity.

But we found out we don't know so much as we thought.

"Ok," said post-modernity. "We are still gods, just capricious ones."

I, for one, am glad to repent of this non-sense and trust in the triune God of steadfast love and faithfulness.

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