Science is a religious enterprise. By that I mean just the opposite of what science was once accused of. There was a time when science was perverted into a scientism. This was a highly dogmatic belief that science could eventually subdue mystery, answer even the ultimate questions of life, and somehow provide final salvation. The human project we call science is just the opposite of such dogmatism, however. It is nonetheless, even more clearly now, a project that is actually religious. Science is rooted in a fundamental faith in ultimate truth and value. By various steps it moves towards the ultimate. It observes reality, then by a leap of the imagination it creates new symbols of reality. This is followed by the act of purgation, the ascetical movement of self-denial wherein the mind acknowledges that the fullness of all truth is infinite Mystery, which forever exceeds the limits of every symbol of image. This awareness of the inadequacy of all images does not produce despair or frustration. This is because the underlying faith, the fundamental trust and commitment remains firm. With this faith as motivation the mind continues, creating images but also acknowledging the limitations of every image. And so science ascends towards truth. In doing this, science is but one form of the overall human ascent of the soul towards God.



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