Isaiah vs. E.O. Wilson (a play)

A brief play from Wendell Berry’s Life is a Miracle:

Isaiah (finger in the air and somewhat oblivious of the historical superiority of the modern audience): The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as of the flower of the field.

Edward O. Wilson (somewhat impressed, but nevertheless determined to do his bit for “evolutionary progress”): But . . . but, sir! Are you aware of the existence of the electromagnetic spectrum?


You’ll (perhaps) better understand the context of this random post by reading the discussion I have been having on the Times & Seasons blog regarding the scientific validity of Noah’s flood.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments of this post.

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4 Responses

  1. I read through the comments of the Times & Seasons blog article. I am extremely surprised that Dennis seems to be the lone voice that doesn’t bow down to the metaphysical assumptions of modern science (or, worse, equate them with ‘reason’ itself). Science-talk can be fun and even productive, but it isn’t a clean window to reality (contrasted to faith being “through a glass darkly”). Science has become a sort of deity–a thing to be mentioned as a source for inspiration and knowledge–even when there is not necessarily cause to do so. An (orthodox) scientist might laugh at the theist who says “thank God” when he finally finds his keys–I laugh at the scientist who says “thank science” when he uses reason and hard work to come up with an answer to a problem. As I’ve said elsewhere, why the reference (reverence) to science?

  2. Dennis,

    By the way, this is a good illustration of why I don’t like Dr. Williams’ definition of science. When science is defined too broadly, people misunderstand, misapply, take things too far.


  3. Just for the record: E.O. Wilson, award winning scientist, evolutionist, ecologist, and entomologist, was raised in a very strong protestant tradition, and I have never heard him say anything but praise and respect for it. I do not know if he considers himself now to be a theist, but I would not necessarily label him as anti-religion either.

  4. S. Faux,

    You have to read Life is a Miracle to get a sense of what Berry is talking about. At any rate, the post doesn’t refer to the anti-religion of Wilson (not sure about this), rather to his scientism.

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