The Arrogance of Science

“Teach us the meaning and value of creation, so that we may join its voice to ours as we sing your praise.”

That’s from the church’s morning prayer today. I thought of the article I read in yesterday’s New York Times called “A Country’s Lasting Aftershocks,” by Satoru Iekuchi, Genichiro Takahashi and Mitsuyoshi Numano. It’s was about science’s arrogance, which is a division of human arrogance.

Here’s an excerpt from that Japanese article:

“The physicist Torahiko Terada wrote in 1934, “The more civilization progresses, the greater the violence of nature’s wrath.” Nearly 67 years later, his words appear prescient.

Humans have become increasingly arrogant, believing they have conquered nature. We build ever larger, ever more concentrated, ever more uniform structures. Scientists and engineers think that they are responding to the demands of society, but they have forgotten their larger responsibilities to society, emphasizing only the positive aspects of their endeavors.

The catastrophe facing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant epitomizes this phenomenon. Although earthquakes are so frequent in Japan that it has been described as “a nation lying atop a block of tofu,” we have built some 54 nuclear reactors along the coast, vulnerable to tsunamis. It should have been foreseen that an earthquake of this magnitude might occur, and if the plant could not withstand such an event, it should not have been constructed.” For more…

We usually think of Lent in terms of human reconciliation, how we relate to our neighbor. How about our relationship to creation?

1 thought on “The Arrogance of Science

  1. peggy nitka

    Hi Father Victor,
    Thanks for referencing that article yesterday. The earth seems to be telling us something but we have our hands over our ears. Thanks for your Lenten thoughts, both here and in your new book. I am using it each day and find myself to be on pilgrimage with your guidance again. It is beautiful and down- to-earth practical at the same time.
    Blessings,
    peggy

    Like

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