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Science and intelligence

Frithjof Schuon

There is close relationship between rationalism and modern science; the latter is at fault not in concerning itself solely with the finite, but in seeking to reduce the Infinite to the finite, and consequently in taking no account of Revelation, an attitude which is, strictly speaking, inhuman; our quarrel with modern science is that it is inhuman, or infra-human, and not that it is ignorant of the facts which it studies, even though through prejudice it ignores certain of their modalities... [Stations of Wisdom, p. 37].

A striking feature of modern science is the disproportion between the scientific, mathematical, practical intelligence and intelligence as such: a scientist may be capable of the most extraordinary calculations and achievements but may at the same time be incapable of understanding the ultimate causality of things; this amounts to an illegitimate and monstrous disproportion, for the man who is intelligent enough to grasp nature in its deepest physical aspects, ought also to know that nature has a metaphysical Cause which transcends it, and that this Cause does not confine itself to determining the laws of sensory existence, as Spinoza claimed. What we have called the 'inhuman' character of modern science also appears in the monstrous fruits it produces, such as the overpopulation of the globe, the degeneration of humankind, and, by compensation, the means of mass destruction. [Stations of Wisdom, p. 38-39].