Saturday, August 06, 2005

A joyful noise

While reliable knowledge of the world is the firmest foundation for a civilized society, humans cannot live on science alone. We need too the artists to "absorb the new knowledge of the sciences and assimilate it to human needs, color it with human passions, transform it into the blood and bone of human nature." (I quote from Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Defense of Poetry.") The best way to oppose ignorance and superstition is to celebrate the real, in so far as we can know it, and to show by living it that all that is natural, and palpable, and present is shot through with mystery.