Once again we refer to the declaration of Michael Shermer¹ (publisher of Skeptic magazine–skeptic.com), this time also offering commentary on his writing style².


   Here goes: “For millennia, the greatest minds of our species have grappled to gain purchase on the vertiginous³ ontological cliffs of three great mysteries–consciousness, free will and God–without ascending anywhere near the thin air of their peaks…”


For more use the DOOR.




[Continuing with no break]

“…Unlike other inscrutable problems, such as the structure of the atom, the molecular basis of replication and the causes of human violence, which have witnessed stunning advances of enlightenment, these three seem to recede ever further away from understanding, even as we race ever faster to catch them in our scientific nets.”

   After a fascinating brief overall discussion–that I recommend you read–Schermer concludes discussion of what he calls “mysterian” issues, he concludes with this:

   “Although these final mysteries may not be solvable by science, they are compelling concepts nonetheless, well deserving of our scrutiny if for no other reason than it may lead to a deeper understanding of our nature as sentient, volitional, spiritual beings.”

   Forgive me if I overstate, but I detect here a growing humility about the need to go beyond science for important–useful and sharable–information. I suspect that recent learnings from science–even from Hubble discoveries and quantum theory, as well as research in neurobiology–have some bearing on this.

   As a Christian with some knowledge of science, I welcome this posture and attitude.


   ¹ All the details here (except for coloring and boldface to assist “a dozen seconds” hasty readers) are from Michael Schermer, “The Final Mysterians” that appeared on p.73 of Scientific American (July 2018). Yes, the adventurous vocabulary (that we sometimes address) is “up there” but on target. Smile at the glitter while you consider the content.

   ² One of our oddball interests.

   ³ Remember, your online dictionary is only a couple of clicks away.