Sept 8, JC posted the question : “How many “ways of knowing” are there? alluding to a talk by E Scott from the National Center for Science Education. Here is the first paragraph: “ I’ve become rather ambivalent about Eugenie Scott — and, indeed, about some of the policies of the organization she heads, the National Center for Science Education. On the one hand…Scott is a really nice person (I and, more important, she and the NCSE have done absolutely terrific — and award-winning — work battling creeping creationism in America. The NCSE’s intercession in the Dover intelligent-design trial, for example, was critical in the victory (sic). But Scott also travels around giving strongly accommodationist talks, reflecting the NCSE’s policy that science and religion, when properly conceived, are harmonious. This is, of course, the NOMA stance. (THIS IS WRONG). “The NCSE has made a tactical decision that selling evolution is most efficacious if you proclaim — never mind what you really think — that religion and science are compatible, occupying their own magisteria”. The “NOMA” stance is SJ Gould non-overlapping magisteria, a perfectly sensible idea AND by definition NOT harmonious: there is nothing to harmonize; everybody makes the same mistake in the US. The following is via Metamagician and the Hellfire Club, Russell Blackfor, a particular strong kind of acid: “In any event, it was the first part of the speech that worried me. This emphasised the claim that science (Scott said “science”, not “reason”) is only one way of knowing. The others that she mentioned were personal insight and authority (I don’t think she was saying that these three are the only “ways of knowing”)….. She counted revelation, including the words of holy books, as a sub-set of authority, and explained that the problem is when empirical claims are based on revelation. Scott also said that science is a limited way of knowing because it can only investigate natural phenomena and can only offer natural explanations for them, and so cannot deal with supernatural claims” end of quote. This gentleman launches a blitzkrieg against the Catholic church in this issue.
Back to JC: “This is what i suggest is important: It’s perfectly clear by now that neither Scott nor the NCSE will ever deal with the ideas that 1) the other “ways of knowing” don’t produce truth, 2) science can indeed address the supernatural, at least some aspects of it, and 3) a lot of people DO NOT find science and faith compatible”
I wont quote the whole haggis, but i would like to consider a few “angles” ( like j. turturro playing scumbag asking: whats your angle? there is no angle! etc). So in summary, according to E. Scott: science is a-one-way of kowing, personal insight and authority, other forms of knowing. Authority as in the case of written bibles, talmuds, oriental texts, codices so forth. I suggest this whole discussion is set on wrong “theorems” and confusion about NOMA. This is the link to SJ Gould original delightful posting of the NOMA: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html In key paragraphs SJG writes: “…..Evolution has encountered no intellectual trouble; no new arguments have been offered. Creationism is a homegrown phenomenon of American sociocultural history—a splinter movement (unfortunately rather more of a beam these days) of Protestant fundamentalists who believe that every word of the Bible must be literally true, whatever such a claim might mean” AND “The text of Humani Generis focuses on the magisterium (or teaching authority) of the Church—a word derived not from any concept of majesty or awe but from the different notion of teaching, for magister is Latin for “teacher.” We may, I think, adopt this word and concept to express the central point of this essay and the principled resolution of supposed “conflict” or “warfare” between science and religion. No such conflict should exist because each subject has a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority—and these magisteria do not overlap (the principle that I would like to designate as NOMA, or “nonoverlapping magisteria”). The net of science covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for starters, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the arch cliches, we get the age of rocks, and religion retains the rock of ages; we study how the heavens go, and they determine how to go to heaven”. The no-spin zone. How many arguments would be dead in 2 seconds if people only read the original sources?
In p. 83 of Vine Deloria Jr., posthumous book : C.GJung and the Sioux Traditions that was published this past summer, he quotes CG Jung: “The native primitive-American indians, but Jung means innocent-doesnt believe, he knows”, because the inner experience rightly means as much to him-her-as outer..[experience]”. So..there. This is the moment in history in which belief and knoweldge are identical. This is what Indians call Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge-TEK and more . All is ecology for tribes, thence and now, everywhere in the world. This is a way of knowing. Lets leave it here.
Piet Hut, Princeton, has been asking for a long time ” What else is True?” and also about Others way of knowing: although i dont agree with all what Piet suggests, his deep insight becomes a handle to intiate an exploration inside and outside from sources of knowledge, not necessarily bound by experimental confirmation. But this IS not knowledge-belief-from revelation. It is first and third person coming to know. To end: Dr. George F.R. Ellis from South Afrika has published some beautiful work regarding aspects of others ways of knowing. Will comment later