The Scientific Worldview
Generally speaking, the evolution of human understanding can be seen as a move from surface observations, processed by our limited five physical senses, “intuitively” filtered through the educational framework & value characteristics of that period of time, to the technique of objective measuring and self-advancing methods of analysis which work to arrive at (or calculate) conclusions through testing and retesting proofs, seeking validation through the benchmark of scientific causality – a causality that appears to comprise the physical characteristics of what we call “nature” itself..
The “natural laws” of our world exist whether we choose to recognize them or not. These inherent rules of our universe were around long before human beings evolved a comprehension to recognize them and while we can debate as to exactly how accurate our interpretation of these laws really is at this stage of our intellectual evolution, there is enough reinforcing evidence to show that we are, indeed, bound by static forces that have an inherent, measurable, determining logic.
The vast developments and predictive integrity found in mathematics, physics, biology and other scientific disciplines proves that we as a species are slowly understanding the processes of nature and our growing, inventive capacity to emulate, accentuate or repress such natural processes confirms our progress in understanding it. The world around us today, overflowing with material technology and life- altering inventions, is a testament as to the integrity of the scientific process and what it is capable of.
Unlike historical traditions, where a certain stasis exists with what people believe, as is still common in religious type dogma today, this recognition of “natural law” includes characteristics which deeply challenge the assumed stability of beliefs which many hold sacred. As will be expanded upon later in this essay in the context of “emergence”, the fact is, there simply cannot exist a singular or static intellectual conclusion with respect to our perception and knowledge except, paradoxically, with regard to that very underlying pattern of uncertainty regarding such change and adaptation itself. This is part of what could be called a scientific worldview.
It is one thing to isolate the techniques of scientific evaluation for select interests, such as the logic we might use in assessing and testing the structural integrity of a house design we might build, and another when the universal integrity of such physically rooted, causal reasoning and validation methods are applied to all aspects of our lives. Albert Einstein once said “the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge”.