Aspects of Science

Aspects of Science

Aspects of Science

Aspects of Science

Excerpt

This book is an essay on faith. Not the faith which grew out of weariness and fear of oblivion, and which projected life beyond life, but faith in the reign of reason, which was to conquer fear and lead the triumphant march of man towards a more abundant life. Not the faith that moved mountains, but the faith that made the mountains yield up treasures which for eons lay inert in their bowels. Not the faith that rose to heaven in vociferous credos, but faith that indignantly denied that it had credos.

Faith that the world revealed to man by his senses was not a sheer chaos, but a universe; that this universe was accessible to his reason, nay, that it was the Supreme Reason, of which his own was but a feeble reflection. Faith that through recurring impressions man could wrest from Nature her secrets, that by willed acts he could foster these impressions and thus accelerate the acquisition of knowledge; that no bounds could be set to these willed acts, for what was done once could ever be repeated. Faith that the laws governing the universe were independent of man's cognition, of the processes which led to their discovery, of the modes of reasoning and interpretation; that these laws were immutable, and that even as the present derived from the past, so was the future predetermined by the present. Faith that man at last was on the way to the peak from which he could survey the universe and estimate his own place within it. Faith that by extending his knowledge man would increase his control over Nature; that through this growing control he would eventually be-

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