Tuesday, January 29, 2008

History vs. Science

Given that History and Science are both bodies of knowledge... and both are systems for verifying knowledge... it seems a bit odd that I would choose to juxtapose them so. After all... we're supposed to pit Theism and Science against each other aren't we?

This matchup seems far more logical to me... as the two are in many ways mirror images of each other. Science is the study of what is real. History is the study of what has happened. Again... the matchup doesn't seem natural. After all... what's happened is obviously real... isn't it?

See there-in we have the rub.

The processes of historical investigation are tried and true. They are just as self-correcting as science.

But what can science say about history?

Not a lot really. We can't really experiment to determine if Cesar crossed the Rubicon. In fact... science is really pretty useless for determining anything that may have happened. See science hamstrung by its "repeatability" requirement. Which is odd for something designed to study nature... since nature isn't necessarily prone to performing on demand.

History says... This Happened!

Science says... This couldn't have happened because I don't understand it and can't make it happen again.

History says... Science is irrelevant.

The trouble here is scientists. They have reached the point where they no longer acknowledge that there are things they don't understand. Rather than simply saying, "we don't understand" they claim that the offending phenomena is simply impossible.

History says that Jesus Christ was Crucified and Resurrected. Science doesn't understand it... so it hisses from a safe distance.

3000 years ago we were wise enough to realize that we didn't know everything... Today... we have shiny trinkets and machines that go "PING!" but we're fools. We're stupid enough to believe that if we don't understand something... it must not be possible.

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