The foundations of science

…Our entire understanding of life, our entire science (I speak not of theologial science but of science in general, the scientific spirit) is based on the idea of Logos, on the idea of God the Word. This holds true not only for science but even for the whole of life itself, for the whole structure of our soul. We conceive of everything under the category of the law, the measure of harmony. This idea of logism, an idea that is often distorted to the point of unrecognizability, is the basic nerve of everything that is alive and genuine in our mental, moral, and aesthetic life. The one universal, all-embracing ‘Law’ of the World, the hypostatic Name of the Father, Divine Providence, without the will of Which a hair does not fall from our heads, Which makes ‘the lilies of the field’ (Matt. 6:28) grow and feeds ‘the birds of the air’ (Matt. 6:26), God, Who depletes Himself by His creation of the world and by economy—that is the religious presupposition of our science, and outside of this presupposition, more or less abstratly formulated, there is no science. The ‘unformity of the laws of nature’—that is the postulate without which all science is empty sophistry. But this postulate can be made a psychological reality only by faith in That word about Which St. John prophesies in the first verses of his paschal Gospel: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’ (John 1:1-5). Those are the ‘foundations of science.’ And if we reject them, a cruel revenge is inevitable: the fall of a science that is built on shifting and engulfing sands.
Fr. Pavel Florensky


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