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You might, at first thought, believe that the title of this article is meant to be metaphorical. After all, the universe is inanimate, and inanimate objects are not conscious, thus unable to speak. Well guess what, we now have another example of how wacky some scientists are becoming. They are so committed to their naturalistic worldview beliefs, that they are now willing to contemplate things that are just nuts. The meaning of this title is actually not metaphorical according to some in the scientific community.
Thomas Lewton is an independent science journalist and filmmaker based in London. His academic background is in physics and science communication. The stated goal of his writing is to figure out how we came to be where we are now. Lewton writes primarily about astrophysics and the environment, and he is obviously a committed Naturalist – someone who believes that the natural universe operating by natural laws is all that exists. In a recent article entitled A New Place for Consciousness in Our Understanding of the Universe, Lewton explores the idea that the universe itself may be conscious.
He begins by stating, “It can seem as if there is an insurmountable gap between our subjective experience of the world and our attempts to objectively describe it.” He goes on to note that “our brains are made of matter – so, you might think, the states of mind they generate must be explicable in terms of states of matter.” In other words, he sees no possibility that there might be a spiritual reality outside of the material. He is convinced that since we are physical beings and our brains are made of physical matter, there must be some kind of physical explanation as to how human consciousness works. And his conclusion – “we will never make sense of the universe’s mysteries ... unless we reimagine the relationship between matter and mind.”
Lewton’s conclusion has no scientific basis whatsoever. It is total speculation based on his naturalistic belief that the only thing that exists is the natural universe operating by natural laws. But here’s the kicker; his view is based purely on faith – it is a religious belief. His basic premise is that anything that exists in the natural world has a natural explanation, but he cannot back up his premise based on a natural explanation. His belief is his starting point, not science.
So what is a supposed scientist doing speculating scientifically about things that science can’t even deal with. Science is the use of observation and experimentation to understand things about the physical world. Of course, in his mind, the only thing that exists is physical reality, so rather than consider any other possibility, he resorts to trying to figure out how non-physical phenomena can be explained based on his worldview beliefs. You can’t get much more unscientific than that.
Human consciousness is, obviously, not a physical object, thus cannot be studied by science (observation and experimentation). We can, of course, observe human beings using their consciousness. And we can create experiments that cause people to express it in different contexts. With that, we can record tendencies and compute trends and averages regarding how people respond. But we can’t observe and experiment on consciousness itself. It is a spiritual expression of humanity that is not subject to scientific inquiry. To insist that it is ignores actual reality. The belief that humans can scientifically study consciousness is a religious conviction – a faith assertion.
The reason Lewton states that “we will never make sense of the universe’s mysteries ... unless we reimagine the relationship between matter and mind,” is that based on science there is no way to get at what he wants to know – even though he is convinced that there must be.
No, what must be true is that his naturalistic worldview is simply false. The only way to truly get a legitimate answer to the true nature of consciousness is to recognize the reality of the beliefs of a biblical worldview.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication,and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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