||0. Why do flowers bloom?
Why do flowers bloom? "Because pollination occurs at flowers. They bloom so that they can preserve their species." ---This is a scientific explanation. When I heard this for the first time, I admired science that explained such a natural phenomenon. But now I think such explanations are meaningless in daily life and they are contrary to our dreams. Even if it is scientifically true that flowers bloom for preservation of their species, I want to believe flowers bloom to make our world bright, or to watch lovers silently.
1. The pursuit of universality
I think there are three mysteries in the natural world; the birth of the universe, the birth of life, and the birth of human beings (or the birth of human brains). Natural scientists are trying to make clear those mysteries. I myself think as a prospective scientist, it's wonderful, but at the same time I have another hope that those mysteries should not be elucidated. Mysteries are what is beyond human's knowledge, and the clearer they become, the less I cannot imagine or dream about them freely.
The admiration for science and the belief of religion --- those two feelings are inconsistent, but they also have common roots; the desire for universality. (The reverence for mysteries is a basic aspect of religion. So from here I discuss on religion instead of mysteries.)
Science has been developed to clarify the universal truth that dominates this world, and religions are concepts that can explain this mysterious universe by using external power. In short, both science and religion pursuit the universality, and I think we all have the desire for it by nature.
Now there is antagonism between natural science and religion. Pure scientists deny religion because it is unscientific, and teachers of religion deny science because it defiles their god. But I think they are on an equal footing that is "Pursuit of Universality", and the difference between them is only the way they pursue it.
I believe in science, but when I think about the three mysteries in this world, I sometimes feel external power. For me science and religion seem not so different.
In the case of Christianity, there was an era science and religion walk the same way.--- The age of Scholasticism.
2. The history of the pursuit
(Change of the relations among the God, nature, and human beings)
a) From the Middle Age to the 17, 18th century (fig.1)
At Christianity, the God created this world and God's will dominates the nature. The fact that "Catholic" means universal tells us that in Christian world, God is equal to the universal truth. There was also universality in the nature, but it was made by God's will. Human beings whose appearance look like God's form are given the right to know God's will in the nature and Scientists at this age pursuit it. Even Copernicus who published the heliocentric theory believed the Creation, and Newton, Descartes, and other many scientists were within the world of God.
b) From the 18,19th century to now (fig.2)
At the 18th or 19th century, science became independent of God, and began to pursue universal truth outside of God. Scientists think universal truth exists not in the nature God created but in the "pure nature". Thus science and religion began to go different way from around this time. The symbolic incident of this change is the publication of "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Robert Darwin.
Since this change of paradigm, pure scientists have believed universality exists only in pure nature, and teachers of religion have believed only God has universality. (Of course there are many people who have taken middle positions.)
3. The limitation of pursuit
Human beings have pursued universality such various ways, but have they found it? --- The answer is "No". I think the pursuit of it has limitations.
a) In the case of science
In physics, the principle of relativity and quantum theory were found, and physicists have made clear many mysteries of the universe. Hawking, a space physicist in England, says that we can elucidate all phenomena of the universe without God some day. But Great Universal Theory (GUT) has not been completed yet, and even if it is done and all mysteries of the universe are elucidated, the universe is not so simple and beautiful as the Creation and the Last Judgment. According to Hawking's theory, there are no beginning, no end, and no boundary in the universe, and we must use 'imaginary time' to understand it. So, I think even if Hawking finds universality in the universe, it won't look so universal for us, ordinary people. Furthermore the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics (that says that observers cannot define a position and a velocity of particles at the same time) and chaos theory (that treats irregular and complex phenomena in nature) indicates the limitations of determinism. Hawking himself points out that even GUT cannot predict all happenings in the universe.
In biology, for a long time since Watson and Click discovered the double helix structure of DNA, many biologists thought life was completely determined by DNA. But now, they found life is not so simple. It is true that life is the expression of DNA, but other factors also affect the formation of life. Tomio Tada, Japanese immunologist, says immunity is the "super system" --- an active system that organizes itself referring to changing self. This system also applies to many other complex life systems such as development, brain and nervous system, and life itself. They cannot be elucidated by determinism. The diversity of life was caused by the randomness and contingency of super system, and there is no universality.
From examples of physics and biology I wrote above, I think it is difficult for natural science to find universal truth in pure nature, and many scientists who think the same way are searching for a new way of science.
b) In the case of religion
How about the pursuit of universality by religion? Almost all religions have myths of the origin of this universe, and also have gods or something like those as symbols of universality. Of course there are some differences. For example, roughly speaking, in the West, they are monotheism and God exists outside of nature, while in the East, they are polytheism and gods exist inside of nature. But all religions are based on the people's desire for universality.
Then, did religions succeed in acquiring universality?--- The answer is "No", the same as the case of science.
In the case of Christianity, until the 15th century, churches had a very strong power and the societies were dominated by Christianity, but after science departed from religions and proved many facts that didn't agree with the Bible such as heliocentric theory or the theory of evolution, Christianity began to lose dignity. And at the 16th century, the Reformation took place and people began to change the Christian world.
Now, religions are very diverse, and antagonism between religions is a serious problem. There are many wars caused by the difference of belief, and a part of fundamentalists go to terrorism. This world looks chaotic on the point of religions, and I can see no universality in religions now.
My conclusion is that the pursuit of universality has limitations in both cases of science and religions.
4. The age of humanity
Human beings have believed universality exists in the nature or God, and both nature and God are outside of them. In the case of science, Descartes thought nature was outside of his spirit and could be understood mechanically and objectively, and his thought became the foundation of modern science. Now most of modern science is "exo-science" in which scientists are outside of the systems they study. In the case of Christianity, human beings are creatures of God and of course God exists outside of human beings. So nature and God in which human beings have pursued universality are outside of them.
But I think the age of outside universality has finished and the age of humanity has begun.
a) From the point of science
In the case of science, "exo-science" came to a standstill when uncertainty principle and chaos theory appeared. Science couldn't continue without treating human beings, and "endo-science", in which scientists is in the system they study, began to be developed.
In space science, "Human Principle" appeared. It says that the universe in which human beings exist is the only one human beings can recognize, and this is the answer to the question why this universe has conditions that make the existence of human beings possible.
Many biologists failed in attempts to treat life as machine made of just matter, and gave up "exo-biology". They began to have interest in human beings. For example, Dr. Takeshi Yohro, a Japanese anatomist, advanced "cerebralism" (Yui Nou Ron) in which human brains and the world recognized by human brains are the only real things.
Now biology is getting near to the humanity or human science, and many interdisciplinary studies have been born between them. The representation of them is "cognitive science" that studies the structure of human brains in the method of biology, physiology, computer engineering, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and so on.
The nature without humanity is pure but it looks far from daily life of us. From now on, the object of science will be human beings inside of the nature and the world human beings recognize by their brains, and it will bring us wilder view of nature.
b) From the point of religion
In the case of religion, when we discuss on religious problems in this world, Whether God exists or not is not so concerned, but what people believe is the problem. According to "Yui Nou Ron" of Dr. Takeshi Yohro, belief exist just in human brains. This doesn't deny the existence of God, but it is true that believing in something is function of human brains. Conflicts between different religions break out because of different ways they believe, and this is the problems of human brains rather than God. So, I think from now on, religious problems should be treated on the level of human beings. Now when beliefs are very various, we all should accept other people's senses of values, which is the best way for human beings to coexist peacefully. The age of humanity will begin in the world of religions, too.
c) New relations among the God, nature, and human beings (fig.3)
Fig.3 means neither that human beings are the ruler of nature nor that human beings take the place of God. I just say that we need to think nature and God on the viewpoint of human beings so that we can know them more profoundly. And now it is sure that the concerns of science and religions are going to human beings.
So I want to call the new age as "the Age of Humanity". Human beings are getting interesting now.