December 8, 2012
Hi Kent, I hope this finds you and that it finds you well.
I read a couple of books recently that made me think of you. The first was Richard Dawkins' THE GOD DELUSION. I didn't read it because I thought I'd learn some wisdom about the nature of God and science, quite the opposite. I have been giving a few talks lately about my book and I use THE GOD DELUSION as an illustration of a mistaken mixing of spirituality and science. When I read Dawkins' book, I was even more convinced and became perplexed that a man who developed a brilliant interpretation of Evolution (THE SELFISH GENE) could be so obtuse.
However, I did learn something very interesting. Dawkins wrote a few pages on Stephen Gould's ROCK OF AGES: SCIENCE AND RELIGION IN THE FULLNESS OF LIFE. Dawkins spent a few pages lambasting Gould's concept that science and religion are "non-overlaping magesteria." ie non-overlaping fields. I read ROCK OF AGES and found great wisdom. In it Gould defines wisdom as understanding that science and religion co-exist (Dawkins can't seem to get his head around that), but that they are non-overlapping. Gould's wisdom reminded me of something that you wrote once. It was an explanation that one of your mentors gave to the way we have to deal with the domains of science and humanity.
What particularly attracts me to Gould is the "non-overlaping magesteria" part. That is what I was trying to communicate with you. That from the perspective of science, humans are 'things' and cities are organisms. But, from another perspective we are human, not things. Like Gould, I see these perspectives as non-overlapping.
Does that make any sense to you?