Thursday, June 04, 2009

Comfortable perspectives of one's own belief system to make sense of the world

Re: Convergent evolution Tony Clifton Science, Culture and Integral Yoga

At the end of the day as far as the wider metaphysical issues that are called into play through these scientific accounts of evolution I really don't think there are any to be had. The evidence of physical evolution remains incommensurable with the explanations that can be given by any spiritual narrative.

In the end all metaphysical conclusions -even those of the atheist- that one draws from evolution are simply matters of interpretation. These interpretations will be constructed from ones own socio-religious orientation so that the final answer one wishes to find regarding the meaning of evolution will always be essentially dependent on the world view of the subject making the interpretation. Stephen Jay Gould as an agnostic will eschew teleology, Conway Morris as a Catholic will find satisfaction in a Christian narrative, a follower of Integral Yoga will defer to Sri Aurobindo's narrative on the evolution of consciousness.

For example in my own view contingency can reconcile to a metaphysical view of evolution that defers to a Lila or the free play of Spirit. But I have to admit that is just my own interpretation, and there are a myriad ways one can find to construct the facts to fit ones own theory.

The scientific narrative of evolution and the spiritual interpretations of the meaning of evolution are incommensurable because they belong to separate discipline that rely on different orders of experience. While one can interpret either discipline in terms of the other there is no master narrative to which one can appeal to verify these claims. Besides the cultural platform upon which both science and spirituality rest there is no meta-discipline to be found to reconcile the two world views of science and spirit, except perhaps to say that both are condemned to language and as such are both trapped within its linguistic and symbolic constraints.

At the end of the day investing physical processes that fall under the scrutiny of science with spiritual meaning or spiritual meaning in terms of quantifiable scientific processes does not so much speak to the "truth" of the matter as it does an attempt to make sense of the world and its phenomena by contextualizing them according to the comfortable perspectives of one's own belief system. tc

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