The huge cultural authority science has acquired over the past century imposes large duties on every scientist. Scientists have acquired the power to impress and intimidate every time they open their mouths, and it is their responsibility to keep this power in mind no matter what they say or do. Too many have forgotten their obligation to approach with due respect the scholarly, artistic, religious, humanistic work that has always been mankind’s main spiritual support. Scientists are (on average) no more likely to understand this work than the man in the street is to understand quantum physics. But science used to know enough to approach cautiously and admire from outside, and to build its own work on a deep belief in human dignity. No longer.
There follows a critique of the idea that mind is a form of computer, which is the basis of the current scientific paradigm. He calls is “computationalism”.
Or as Edward Feser says (I paraphrase), “having swept all the problems of philosophy under the carpet of the Cartesian conception of mind, they now want to abolish the mind too”. As Gelertner writes:
Man is only a computer if you ignore everything that distinguishes him from a computer.
How can we have a free and open scientific culture when all thought dealing with society, politics, class, sex, race, ethnicity and genetics is forbidden to say or think? Where is the critical thinking being developed?
That science should face crises in the early 21st century is inevitable. Power corrupts, and science today is the Catholic Church around the start of the 16th century: used to having its own way and dealing with heretics by excommunication, not argument.
Science is caught up, also, in the same educational breakdown that has brought so many other proud fields low. Science needs reasoned argument and constant skepticism and open-mindedness. But our leading universities have dedicated themselves to stamping them out—at least in all political areas. We routinely provide superb technical educations in science, mathematics, and technology to brilliant undergraduates and doctoral students. But if those same students have been taught since kindergarten that you are not permitted to question the doctrine of man-made global warming, or the line that men and women are interchangeable, or the multiculturalist idea that all cultures and nations are equally good (except for Western nations and cultures, which are worse), how will they ever become reasonable, skeptical scientists? They’ve been reared on the idea that questioning official doctrine is wrong, gauche, just unacceptable in polite society. (And if you are president of Harvard, it can get you fired.)
The scientific experiments that put consciousness at the centre have already been conducted (see the video at the end of a orevious Barrelstrength post and the one below). They have demonstrated that mind affects directly, across time and space, at faster than light speeds, whether we shall see a particle or a wave, depending on the presence or absence of human observation. It remains for us to understand and internalize the meaning of what has been shown. Like the Copernican revolution, it will reverse everything, only this time subjective consciousness will be placed back at the centre of the universe.
A gigantic conceptual revolution every five hundred years keeps the mind and culture alive.