Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B
knally

The Uncertainty of Science

Usually, of course, there's no set format to Quaker meetings, but the first Sunday of each month we have the tradition of starting with a reading. This morning's was from 'Quaker Faith and Practice' :

26.39 True faith is not assurance, but the readiness to go forward experimentally, without assurance. It is a sensitivity to things not yet known. Quakerism should not claim to be a religion of certainty, but a religion of uncertainty; it is this which gives us our special affinity to the world of science. For what we apprehend of truth is limited and partial, and experience may set it all in a new light; if we too easily satisfy our urge for security by claiming that we have found certainty, we shall no longer be sensitive to new experiences of truth. For who seeks that which he believes that he has found? Who explores a territory which he claims already to know? Charles F Carter, 1971

The reading inspired some great ministry, and reminded me that last year I did seem to keep tripping over Quaker scientists. I read The Invention of Clouds about Luke Howard who was the chap who came up with the names of clouds. I was reading about astronomy, and came across Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar which led me to his 'rival' Arthur Stanley Eddington. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a discoverer of pulsars, became a Dame in 2007. And finally, one of the Swarthmore Lectures I read was Playing in the Presence by Jackie Leach Scully which provided a useful introduction to genetics as well as looking at the ethics.
Tags: quakers
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