Sin of the Eyes

What follows is not so much a proof of the existence of God, though one can be derived from it, as proof that the most secular of secularists inadvertently betrays a belief in God. An assumption of the existence of God underlies all search for the truth, however buried that assumption may be, however oblivious the person making it. In the case of the secularist, unfortunately, this unconscious recognition of our Lord stems, not from humility, but from pride, as the person assumed to be God is the secularist himself.

According to "The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe" by Andrei Linde, published in Magnificent Cosmos, a special edition of Scientific American, the cosmos consists of "an extended branching of inflationary bubbles." These "bubbles" are "universes" that branch as each universe gives rise to others in an "eternal inflation" that makes the entire cosmos "immortal." The cosmos is magnificent indeed, having taken on characteristics traditionally associated with God.

We cannot see out of our universe, nor could inhabitants of any other universe see ours, but Linde, undaunted, has drawn a picture of this immortal and eternally inflating cosmos . From a tiny yellow bubble at the bottom, three universes branch off, two red and one blue. These branch in turn, forming five more universes, which themselves branch into still more universes, one of them green. "Changes in colors," explains Linde, "represent 'mutations' in the laws of physics from the laws of physics of parent universes."

If our universe is 1/4 inch in diameter in Linde's picture and ten billion light-years in actuality, and if we look at the picture from a distance of, say, fifteen inches, then Linde has implied a point of view 600 billion light-years outside our universe (1/4 inch equals 10 billion light-years; one inch equals 40 billion light-years; 15 inches equals 600 billion light-years). We cannot leave our universe or even see outside it, but Linde has imagined himself more than half a trillion light-years outside of everything we know about or could know about. He has also caused us to imagine the same point of view, and to imagine it calmly, as if this impossible and vertiginous eyrie, which could admit none but the immortal and eternal, were our ordinary perch.

Linde has provided us the occasion for a monstrous sin of the eyes. There we are, immortal and eternal, looking down on an immortal and eternal cosmos, gods surveying our divine realms, free from the laws that govern them, an entire universe appearing to us as a tiny berry on a bush. And this is what a scientific materialist says! God-like universe and God-like man. How can this be?

"Mapping the Universe" by Stephen D. Landy in the June 1999 edition of Scientific American shows in a more prosaic manner the habitual adoption by cosmologists of an impossible point of view outside the universe. The universe, said by an accompanying caption to be ten billion light-years in diameter, is depicted as a 2 inch sphere, implying a distance of 60 billion light-years .

A cosmologist might respond that Landy's picture adopts an imaginary point of view in order to convey information in a convenient manner. But what information would that be? If it is that the universe is ten billion light-years in diameter, then how is the picture of a sphere necessary? The size of the diameter is conveyed not by the sphere but by the caption. As for the shape of the universe, no one believes that the universe is a sphere of the sort depicted, which has an "edge" a certain distance from the center. If we say that the radius of the universe is five billion light years, then 4,999,999,999.999999999 light-years from the center in all directions would be inside the universe, but 5,000,000,000.000000001 light-years from the center in all directions would be outside the universe, assuming that there could be a place outside the universe. There would be a sudden end to the universe, an edge beyond which it would cease to exist. So the only information that Landy's sphere

conveys is the false information that there is a place from which to view the universe some 60 billion light-years away. Far from being convenient ways to convey information, all depictions of the universe from without will be found upon analysis to purchase convenience at the expense of truth.

In "Inflation in a Low-Density Universe" in the January 1999 edition of Scientific American , Martin Bucher and David Spergel speak frankly of the "impossible perspective" of such pictures of the universe. Then they draw their own. They even discuss the perspective of "exterior observers" of an "infinite universe." They do not explain who these observers might be.

One might dismiss pictures of the universe from without as aberrations, and admittedly not all cosmologists draw them. However, cosmologists who try not to imply extra-universal points of view are not motivated by a desire for philosophical precision; rather, they reflect a growing belief that the universe is infinite. They either have not yet fallen far enough to attempt to depict an infinite universe from the outside or lack the ingenuity of Bucher and Spergel.

Nevertheless, pictures of the universe from without remain common, and not just in the politically and philosophically correct Scientific American, which I cite because of its free Web access. Students are taught to imagine looking upon the universe from a place outside it. They are generally not taught that such a point of view is impossible, so those who go on to become physicists and astronomers have a long habit of adopting a point of view that in reality cannot exist. It is a habit they rarely break. Astronomy Today by Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan, a textbook used at the University of Texas at Austin, my thrice dear mother, depicts the universe, which it says has a diameter of 1028 megaparsecs, as a 2 inch sphere, implying a point of view 6 x 1028 megaparsecs outside the universe. The University of Michigan depicts the universe as a 1/2 inch sphere, implying a point of view 300 billion light-years outside the universe.

According to Saint Paul, the existence of God is obvious, "plain" even to the ungodly (Romans 1.19). In "the things that have been made" are "clearly perceived" God's "eternal power and deity" (Romans 1.20). Scientists, as experts in the things that have been made, should have an especially clear perception of God's eternal power and deity.

How, then, do we explain people who say there is no God? or people who profess themselves agnostic? or people who, though calling themselves believers, live as if there were no God? How can people to whom the existence of God is plain be ungodly? How can ungodly people clearly perceive God's eternal power and deity? Plainness and clear perception are hard enough for the devout.

We could say that atheists, agnostics, and worldly Christians simply hate God, that, like devils, they know well enough that God exists but have placed themselves in futile opposition to what they recognize as His eternal power. There is some truth to this explanation, but surely we far more encounter indifference to God than hatred. A widespread obliviousness seems to rule the day. Whatever hatred lies concealed by this obliviousness is incapable of explaining the entire abandon with which so many hurl themselves into peril.

Of course, we could say that Saint Paul is mistaken-and destroy the authority of Bible and tradition. Romans 1.20 is the preeminent rationale for Catholic natural theology, and Saint Paul's words are clear enough for any Biblical literalist. Such a scriptural error would wreck Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy.

It seems that Christians must choose between rejecting Saint Paul and rejecting the overwhelming evidence that he is wrong. Worse, the more we learn about the universe and thus the more knowledge of God we should have as a result, the more oblivious we seem to become, so our dilemma grows with the growth of science. How is it possible for eminent scientists, who know so much about the universe, to know so little about God's eternal power and deity? Why are not all scientists holy? Why do we not hear a great chorus of scientists singing praises of the Most High?

The easy thing to do would be to anathematize Saint Paul, perhaps as a self-loathing homosexual, perhaps as the archetypal white heterosexist male. The hard thing would be to trace how the plain, clearly perceived knowledge of God is suppressed (Romans 1.18), how it is hidden both from those who suppress it and those who observe them in their apparent ignorance. Still harder is to trace how the plain, clearly perceived knowledge of God is suppressed even by those who do not wish to suppress it, by those who have dedicated their lives to the service of God, to explain how dedicated believers, with clear evidence of God, nonetheless suffer perplexity and doubt.

If Saint Paul is correct, and even the ungodly have a clear perception of God's eternal power and deity, what happens to that perception? Where did it go? Repression (in a Freudian sense) would be unstable, especially in a world that retains a good deal of belief, as at any moment our repressed knowledge of God could be called into consciousness by the preaching and example of believers, if not first by the new perceptions of God that we must continually have.

No, our perception of God is hidden in plain view. God's eternal power, for instance, can be attributed, not to God, but to the universe. That eternal power is plain and clearly perceived, but now it is the eternal power of the universe, hence all the attempts to rid cosmology of that pesky Big Bang. The deity of God becomes the deity of the earth.

Idolatry hides in the universe our clear perception of God's eternal power and deity. The perception remains. We see eternal power and deity and attribute them to the universe. The ungodly see them as clearly as the most prostrate saint. But the minds of the ungodly are a jumble of perceptions of God and perceptions of the universe, while the saint can tell them apart.

Unfortunately for the Devil, eternal power and deity hidden in the universe are not well hidden. Even materialists can recognize idolatry, though they are less and less inclined to complain about it. Unfortunately for us, eternal power and deity can be hidden in man as well, and better hidden. To discover their hiding place is as hard for us as it was for Oedipus to find the killer of his father-and as discomfiting. Instead of jumbling our perceptions of God and our perceptions of the universe, we jumble our perceptions of God and our perceptions of ourselves. Only the saint has the heart to separate them. The saint knows that if his eye causes him to sin, he will have to pluck it out.

Some of the schizoid scientific attitude, at once materialist and New Age, is captured in a curious incident recounted by Martin Rees in Before the Beginning: "When Hawking received an honorary degree from Cambridge, the Orator quoted the encomium of Epicurus by Lucretius: 'The living force of his mind overcame and passed far beyond the flaming ramparts of the universe, traversing in mind and spirit the boundless whole.'" Who the "Orator" is, Rees does not say, nor why he deserves capitalization, but what we have here is the praise of one atomist by another echoed by the praise of one materialist by another, with atomist and materialist praised with what can only be religious fervor.

That Stephen Hawking does indeed consider himself "far beyond" ordinary universe-bound mortals can be seen in A Brief History of Time, where he portrays the universe as a 1 inch sphere, implying thereby a vantage point 120 billion light-years outside it.

Lucretius and Rees share a vague feeling that great intellects such as Epicurus and Hawking somehow transcend the material world, that there is something divine about them, materialists praising materialists with the peculiar religiosity of atheism. Man is a religious being, so an atheist must be a religious atheist.

So idolatry hides in the universe our clear perception of God's eternal power and deity. How pride hides these divine attributes in man is the subject of this essay. Contrary to what one might think in this New Age of Gaian consumerism, pride does most of the hiding.

Contemporary science suffers a fatal contradiction. The things that have been made give evidence of God. Therefore, the more we know about the things that have been made, the more evidence we have of God. As long as scientists construe the scientific method as requiring that there be no evidence of God, they will be compelled to suppress the evidence. Clearly, science cannot suppress evidence and remain science. And there is more and more evidence to suppress: an apparent beginning of the universe, proof that evolution cannot occur by chance, the fine-tuning of the universe for life.

The more evidence of God scientists find, the more vehement their denunciations of religion. The more reason they have to believe in God, the less they do. The more they discover, the more they have to explain away. The more they perceive their discoveries to have metaphysical significance, the less objective they can be. The more their telescopes, particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and computers declare the glory of God, the more contorted their rationalizations. The more reason they find to be humble, the more presumptuous they become.

Science is transformed from an institution in search of the truth into one dedicated to explaining away the truth that it finds. Eventually, scientists will tire of their Sisyphean labors, sit down on the stone, wipe the sweat from their reddened faces, leave off finding anything in need of an explanation, and abandon their burden at the bottom of the hill.

Linde, who is not at all anomalous, exemplifies how destructive the suppression of scientific conscience can be. The universe is fine-tuned for life. Since tuning implies a Tuner, and since the philosophy of science has ruled out a priori any evidence of God, there can be no evidence of fine-tuning. Since the odds against the fine-tuning that scientists have discovered are infinite, there must be an infinity of other universes, tuned in an infinity of ways. Only then can there be fine-tuning without a Fine-Tuner. There can be either God or an infinity of other universes, so there must be an infinity of other universes, must be an "eternally existing, self-reproducing inflationary universe." Take away fear of the Fine-Tuner, and an infinity of universes disappear.

It is not necessary to draw pictures of the universe from without, however, to assume an extra-universal, that is, divine, point of view. Drawings of universes billions of light-years below our Olympian heights are merely clues to a criminal metaphysics practiced by virtually everyone today.

Understanding modern criminal metaphysics, which is far more pervasive than the impossible perspectives of drawings of the universe from without, is not an intellectual challenge, but a moral one. It requires courage and humility. It requires as well a ceaseless rejection of the insubstantial pleasure of adopting a pseudo-divine point of view, a point of view adopted by many, if not most, people every moment of every day.

Modern criminal metaphysics has its roots in heretical Christianity and secularizing philosophy, but it did not become official doctrine until Albert Einstein popularized it in 1905 with the publication of the Special Theory of Relativity. Ironically, Einstein, who is said not to have been much of a student, learned it from his teacher Hermann Minkowski.

Einstein built a rock house on sandy ground, sound physics on unsound metaphysics, but today all the public sees is rock. Minkowski is forgotten and Einstein widely thought to be the inventor of spacetime, a dogma that implies, as is easily demonstrated, a divine point of view.

A spacetime diagram plots events on a Cartesian coordinate system. One axis is temporal, and either one or two axes are spatial. Because paper has a two-dimensional surface, allowing one temporal and one spatial dimension, a second spatial dimension can only be suggested, as a two-dimensional painting can suggest depth and thus three dimensions. Because we can see in only three dimensions, allowing one temporal and two spatial dimensions, a third spatial dimension cannot even be suggested, and a true four-dimensional spacetime diagram is impossible to draw or visualize, which already suggests that only a mind greater than our own could perceive a truly four-dimensional universe, the universe required by spacetime.

We would also have to be able to "see" a span of time in an instant in a manner analogous to the way we can see a span of distance in an instant. So if there is an audience appropriate to a spacetime diagram, it is an audience not simply more intelligent than we are, but one in a fundamentally superior relationship to the material world, an audience that can survey in one glance events far apart in time, a divine audience.

Einstein's own student, John Archibald Wheeler, according to Martin Rees "an inspiration to successive generations of physicists" and inventor of the term "black hole," states unambiguously that "the paper picture of spacetime [a spacetime diagram] is a lie!" Like Bucher and Spergel, Wheeler is honestly dishonest, and his Spacetime Physics is filled with the spacetime diagrams he forthrightly calls lies.

There is no "now" on the temporal axes of most spacetime diagrams; they are temporal axes without past, present, and future. In other words, they are temporal axes without time, atemporal temporality.

Some spacetime diagrams do depict a "now." But what sort of a "now" is it? It is not the "now" of my writing. Nor is it the "now" of your reading. Presumably, it is the "now" of the composition of the diagram. But that "now" is not a typical "now." It is not a "moving now," but a stationary one. In other words, it is not really a "now."

Some spacetime diagrams do depict a "now." But what sort of a "now" is it? It is not the "now" of my writing. Nor is it the "now" of your reading. Presumably, it is the "now" of the composition of the diagram. But that "now" is not a typical "now." It is not a "moving now," but a stationary one. In other words, it is not really a "now."

Spacetime diagrams, then, cannot portray a true "now," cannot portray past, present, and future, cannot portray time. They imply, therefore, an observer for whom time does not exist: a supernatural observer.

Time is a universal phenomenon. That is, time pertains to the universe in its entirety and to the universe alone. No part of the universe is immune from time, and time does not extend beyond the universe. So a spacetime diagram, which freezes our throbbing universe into an immobile image, robs it of time, removes it from the temporal realm, making it divine and making its observer divine. A spacetime diagram removes all movement from the universe, and to do so, it must either remove the movement by taking a still picture of the universe, in which case it would no longer be a spacetime diagram, which must encompass a span of time, not an instant, or remove the movement by removing everything that moves, and since everything in the universe moves, by removing the universe from the universe, leaving only God and the angels. It must either cease to be a spacetime diagram or cease to be a depiction of anything material. In the latter case, all that is left to populate the diagram and its observer are divine beings. We are left with an infinitely inadequate image of God's eternal vision.

When we view a spacetime diagram, we are presumably stationary with respect to the events portrayed on it: we do not move along the spatial axes. But we do "move" along the temporal axis. If we should treat the temporal dimension as truly spatial, it would be as if we were viewing the diagram while moving steadily past it, as if, for example, we were walking past it while someone held the diagram out for us to see. The appropriate audience for a spacetime diagram, then, is an audience that does not move in time, a divine audience.

The scientist who draws a spacetime diagram calls himself divine; when we look at it and accept it, we accept its flattering statement that we too are divine. The scientist flatters himself, and we accept his flattery of us. We both prefer pride to the truth. Iago does not make a more disingenuous appeal or find a more credulous audience.

Spacetime diagrams are sometimes combined with pictures of the universe from places outside it to create a doubly impossible, doubly deceitful sin of the eyes. The diagrams of Linde, Bucher and Spergel, and Hawking are of this sort, as is the cover of The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity by Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin, a book that purports to foretell the future of the universe from now to eternity. The cover depicts the universe at various ages as small spheres superimposed on what appears to be the spring of a clock. From the dizzying height of hundreds of billions of light-years, we see at a glance the universe at ages separated by so much time that ten billion years is not even a blink of an eye in comparison.

A review in the July 1999 issue of Scientific American praises this stupefying vision: In The Five Ages of the Universe, Adams, who teaches physics at the University of Michigan, and Laughlin, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, deftly invoke all known laws of the universe to spin an entertainingly scary picture of our distant future.

What scares me are the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley.

The descent of science into unreason could not go so unnoticed were the general public not itself plunging. In the 16th century, during the initial stages of the development of modern criminal metaphysics, arose in France, home of the reductio ad absurdum, the theory of the Three Unities of dramatic composition. Extrapolated from Aristotle, the theory required that a play exhibit unity of action, time, and place. Even playwrights sympathetic to it found the theory confining, as in its strictest form it requires that the length of time of the events portrayed in the play equal the length of time of the play itself and that the stage represent but one place. A play should appear to spectators much as actual events would appear to them. Shakespeare could give us either Macbeth seeing the ghost of Banquo or three witches stirring a pot, but not both. We could witness either the conspirators stabbing Caesar or Mark Antony's oration, either Romeo and Juliet at the window or Romeo and Juliet at the tomb. A play about World War II might have to last four years.

Shakespeare made fun of the Three Unities in The Winter's Tale, and Aristotle did not say quite what was attributed to him, but the alternative, which today comprises almost all plays, movies, and television shows, is not so different from a spacetime diagram: both presuppose a divine audience.

The Three Unities presuppose a human audience. Spectators watch enactments of events that a human being could at least in principle watch. Someone could watch Macbeth in a banquet hall or three witches stirring a pot, but we cannot watch Macbeth in one place and time and soon after three witches in a different place and time. We cannot watch the invasion of Poland and two hours later see the bombing of Hiroshima.

Our movies and television shows impute to us divine powers of observation. One minute we are in New York and the next in Los Angeles. We can see an adult one minute and the same person as a child the next. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, we see a proto-human throw a bone into the air and a second later see a manned spacecraft on the way to the moon. Both spacetime diagrams and modern entertainment presuppose an observer who can see at a glance events widely separated by space and time. Both assign to us a divine role. Both give us a "God's-eye" view of the universe. Both appeal to our pride. Hemlines may rise and fall, ties may narrow and widen, but flattery is never out of style.

Science cannot justify looking upon the universe from a place outside it. As presently constituted, science cannot explain why scientists would look upon the universe from without, either in the crude physical sense of looking upon it from a nonexistent place outside it, or in the metaphysical sense of looking upon it from a position of ontological superiority. Greek philosophers and the sons and daughters of Abraham can explain these things.

The reason that scientists look upon the universe from a position of ontological superiority is that they are ontologically superior. All people are. People are body and spirit. Scientists do not recognize spirit, however, and thus cannot explain why they act as if they are ontologically superior. They are ontologically superior but do not believe in ontological superiority. They construe evidence of their ontological superiority as a manifestation of an inadmissible religious contamination of science. Instead of frankly acknowledging their superiority, they dream up unscientific and irreligious travesties of that superiority, for example, spacetime.

Having denied the ontological superiority they in fact possess, they claim it implicitly, so they can be superior without having to pay homage to the divine order that creates that superiority. Furthermore, they deny the ontological supremacy of God, which they do not possess, but they implicitly claim it too, so they can be supreme without having to pay homage to the God who possesses it.

Scientists cannot justify a perspective they cannot fail to adopt. Natural reason tells them that they are ontologically superior to the purely material world. It tells them that they cannot be explained in purely material terms. As ontologically superior, as both body and spirit, they must look upon the world in a way that transcends their materiality. They cannot look upon it in the way a purely material being would, assuming a purely material being could look upon the world, for they are not purely material. They believe, however, only in matter. They do not believe in spirit, but they cannot not be spirit.

This is not a brief for French theorizing, which entirely misses the point of art. For thousands of years poets prayed for divine inspiration. They began their epics with invocations of the Muses. The religious nature of art was a commonplace.

We do not put our souls in jeopardy by watching Shakespeare. There is, however, a fundamental difference between Shakespeare's stage and the modern one. Shakespeare knew that he was assigning a divine role to the audience. Shakespeare knew that his creative activity was a tenuous reflection of God's creation of the world and providential guidance of it. Shakespeare's stage figured the universe, and the audience sat outside that stage- universe:

In the fullest sense, the stage itself was an emblem of the universe. The loft above the stage, located under the shadow or half-roof, was termed the "heavens." Out of it gods might drop. The space beneath the stage was the hell out of which devils might spring. A trap in the center of the platform provided access from below or, with need, could serve as Ophelia's grave. Between heaven and hell rose the facade of earthly life. Just as we never quite lose the sense that we are peeping into someone's home in the picture-frame theatre, so, we might suppose, the Globe audience never quite shook off the impression that it was witnessing events on a "more universal stage" than the one it sat before.

The audience sits outside the stage-universe much as the implicit audience of a spacetime diagram looks upon the diagram-universe from without; Shakespeare's audience, however, is aware not only of its ontological superiority to the material universe but also of its ontological inferiority to God and the angels. The scientists retain the superiority but omit the inferiority. They do it by omitting all reference to spirit while looking on the universe from without, as if they were spirit. They implicitly retain their own spirits while denying spirit to other people, to the angels, and to God.

There is something divine about reason. The natural law is part of the eternal law. So when we reason, we use a divine instrument, whose source is God. No matter how mundane out thoughts, they are divine when they are true. That means that we do not own our thoughts. We are responsible for them, but that responsibility includes thanking God for our knowledge of the truth, our appreciation of beauty, and our love for one another. That we can solve a problem in mathematics is no reason for boasting, for to God belongs both the mathematics and our understanding of it. Scientific materialists have stolen credit from God. They praise themselves as the fount of truth, beauty, and love, and they refuse to thank God for them. Modern criminal metaphysics is a metaphysics of theft.

Sacred writings, the dialogues of philosophers, and literary masterpieces tell us that we are outsiders; that all understanding is from above; that we are in the world, but not of it; that we are both participants in this world and spectators; that we are spiritual pegs in material holes; that we are strangers in a strange land, pilgrims against the day of our return; that we are finite but open to the infinite; that if we but open our eyes and look and ask ourselves where we are, we can answer that we are looking in upon the world from somewhere else, as if we were using an underwater camera to look out on the depths of the ocean while we breathe the air above. Reason tells us almost all of this.

We will adopt a divine perspective. We will look on the universe as outsiders. We are incapable of adopting a perspective that is not divine. We are outsiders. God is divine, and Satan is divine. Heaven is outside, and Hell is outside. We may be inside-out, or we may be outside-in; what is crucial is whether, while remaining in the body, we look down from heaven or we look up from hell.

The public clearly has no right to accuse scientists of playing God, but neither should it look to them for inspiration. Christians are right to say that knowledge is one, so that religious truth and scientific truth must ultimately prove consistent. On the other hand, the Constitution is not whatever the Supreme Court says it is, and science is not what scientists say. Religious believers should be realistic, as cold and subtle as serpents. People who do not believe in God or who live as if the God they believe in does not exist do believe in science and do hear from scientists a justification of their lack of faith.

The World, the Flesh, and the Devil have collaborated on a charming, little fairy tale that lulls Christians to sleep like a lullaby and a goodnight kiss. You can enjoy the benefits of both science and religion, coo the enemies of both. You can go to those quaint churches of yours late Sunday morning, and we will enrapture you 24x7 with dazzling technological marvels. We will ease your pain, assuage your guilt, conquer your neuroses, increase your self-esteem, whiten your teeth, improve your memory, remove your fat, enable you to realize your potential, wake you up, put you to sleep, beautify your nose, alter your mind, expand your consciousness, replace your parts, give you hallucinations, design your children, take away your hallucinations, enhance your breasts, heighten your orgasms, prescribe you months afterward pills, unlock the secrets of the universe, give you erections, put you in orbit, fly you to the moon, and make you stand in awe, while all that Jesus offers you are a couple of splintery boards, a few rude nails, and a scratchy hat. He turned us down when we made him the same offer, but we know that you are too intelligent to make his mistake. In short, religion can achieve a modus vivendi with science, and science can go from height to height, with the increasing pace of discovery limited only by infinity.

Most people, it is true, do not expect religion to fare very well in competition with scientific advance. We would likely turn first to science to solve our problems and give us pleasure. Be that as it may, science cannot advance indefinitely without first moving to a house with a foundation of solid rock. God is as essential to the salvation of science as He is to the salvation of individual souls. Science was built by the sons and daughters of Abraham, and they will have to repair it.

People expect science to advance because they confuse science and technology. Technology makes machines; science seeks the truth. IBM is a company in the technology sector; NASA is supposed to be a scientific organization. IBM--or a nimbler competitor--will likely continue to produce better and better computers and software for a while, but NASA has an almost presidential regard for the truth.

I vividly remember the intense curiosity about the natural world that my fellow students and I felt. Now, if students are asked their motivation for becoming scientists, they often say, "I want to save the Rain Forest," "I want to fight AIDS," and "I want to preserve the environment." Truth as the goal of science has been replaced by utilitarian concerns, if not outright politics. Some of these ends may not be evil in themselves, but they are not scientific ends, which are truths.

"What is truth" the scientists ask themselves, "compared to saving the planet?" But what gaineth a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? And who is it who says that we would gain the whole world anyway?

Jonathan David Carson, Ph.D.

An edited version of this essay appeared in the November 2001 issue of The New Oxford Review.