Eastern Science: An Outline of Its Scope and Contribution

Eastern Science: An Outline of Its Scope and Contribution

Eastern Science: An Outline of Its Scope and Contribution

Eastern Science: An Outline of Its Scope and Contribution

Excerpt

The power of Science lies in a method. This inductive method is the means by which men interpret the working of God's laws in nature. Being a human interpretation it is penultimate and can merely explain in more and more exact terms how natural processes operate. Why natural laws take certain forms and not others is a question of ultimate cause: God only can know in full, and the order of nature is His.

Science however implies Faith, faith to rely upon the immutability of this Divine Order, and though Science may be regarded as supplementary to Religion, it cannot ultimately be in conflict with it. Thus behind the material world of transient phenomena perceived through the senses and explained by Science in terms of energy and time and space there is the Mystic Immanence, and it has been a characteristic of many of the great sages of the East that they have forsaken the former (Māyā) for the latter, and have claimed Truth by self-renunciation in God. The approach to Truth by way of scientific investigation of matter, which would seem to give no meaning to ultimate cause, was of doubtful appeal, and such an outlook has frequently coloured whatever attempts have been made in the scientific field in the East. It is therefore useful to regard the past history of Eastern science within its philosophical context, and to expect little emphasis upon technological development which the Western mind has to-day come to regard as the invariable deductive consequence of any new scientific discovery. The old term 'natural philosophy' might well be revived and applied to it.

Professor George Sarton has divided men into those who . . .

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