Monday, May 30, 2011

Faith as a Basis for Scientific Knowledge

Thomas Huxley, who strongly supported Darwin's cause in the 19th century, had this to say about science:-
The one act of faith in the convert to science is:
the confession of the universality of order
and of the absolute validity,
in all times and under all circumstances,
of the law of causation.
This confession is an act of faith
because by the nature of the case
the truth of such propositions
is not susceptible of proof.
For those who have ever wondered if science and faith are opposed, this statement should set such fears at rest. Faith, by definition, is the acceptance of belief despite the fact that complete evidence is lacking and proof is unobtainable. It underpins all things, but some things more than others. And yet, if it underpins anything, that thing is based on faith.

It should be noted that Huxley continued by saying that this particular faith was 'not blind, but reasonable; because it is invariably confirmed by experience, and constitutes the sole trustworthy foundation for all action.' This statement, I leave to my readers to evaluate.

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