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John West on C. S. Lewis and science

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In connection with the book The Magician’s Twin:

John West had a great conversation on the Pints with Jack podcast about his book The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society. Dr. West reminds listeners of an insight of Lewis’s that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, perhaps because it comes in the Epilogue of the last book Lewis completed, the fascinating The Discarded Image. It’s not his Lewis’s most widely read work. The subject matter is not what everyone associates with him — not fantasy, or science fiction, or apologetics, but an account of the Medieval mental picture of the world.

David Klinghoffer, “John West: C. S. Lewis and the “Human Fallibility of Science”” at Evolution News and Science Today (May 4, 2022)

2 Replies to “John West on C. S. Lewis and science

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    “The notion that science is our guide to morality, policy, and beyond is called scientism. The idea is ripe with possibilities of totalitarianism. But it’s what Americans and other Westerners seem to want.”

    Yes, and the notion that science is or should be the foundation of the way we think is a joke.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    More Great Lewis from “The World’s Last Night”

    “The difficulties which I have so far discussed are, to a certain extent, debating points. They tend
    rather to strengthen a disbelief already based on other grounds than to create disbelief by their own
    force. We are now coming to something much more important and often less fully conscious. The
    doctrine of the Second Coming is deeply uncongenial to the whole evolutionary or developmental
    character of modern thought. We have been taught to think of the world as something that grows
    slowly towards perfection, something that “progresses” or “evolves.” Christian Apocalyptic offers us
    no such hope. It does not even foretell, (which would be more tolerable to our habits of thought) a
    gradual decay. It foretells a sudden, violent end imposed from without; an extinguisher popped onto
    the candle, a brick flung at the gramophone, a curtain rung down on the play—”Halt!”

    To this deep-seated objection I can only reply that, in my opinion, the modern conception of
    Progress or Evolution (as popularly imagined) is simply a myth, supported by no evidence whatever.
    I say “evolution, as popularly imagined.” I am not in the least concerned to refute Darwinism as a
    theorem in biology. There may be flaws in that theorem, but I have here nothing to do with them.
    There may be signs that biologists are already contemplating a withdrawal from the whole Darwinian position, but I claim to be no judge of such signs. It can even be argued that what Darwin really accounted for was not the origin, but the elimination, of species, but I will not pursue that argument.

    For purposes of this article I am assuming that Darwinian biology is correct. What I want to point out
    is the illegitimate transition from the Darwinian theorem in biology to the modem myth of
    evolutionism or developmentalism or progress in general.

    The first thing to notice is that the myth arose earlier than the theorem, in advance of all evidence.
    Two great works of art embody the idea of a universe in which, by some inherent necessity, the
    “higher” always supersedes the “lower.”

    Andrew

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