Science as Salvation: A Modern Myth and its Meaning

Routledge (1992)
Science as Salvation discusses the high spiritual ambitions which tend to gather round the notion of science. Officially, science claims only the modest function of establishing facts. Yet people still hope for something much grander from it--namely, the myths by which to shape and support life in an increasingly confusing age. Our faith in science is abused by some scientists whose adolescent fantasies have spilled over into their professional lives. Salvation, immortality, mastery of the universe, humans without bodies, and intelligent self-reproducing computers are just some of the notions and speculations that are now found--not on the pages of science fiction--but on the pages of science itself. The danger is that these concepts are given to a myth-hungry public who turn to science now that religion has lost its ability to create myth. Science as Salvation discusses the function and meaning of such fantasies. Midgley examines the need for and the use of myth in science, and how science and religion are related. She argues that we need to develop a realistic understanding of scientific imagination and its importance. Taking them seriously as symptoms of a genuine myth-hunger, it suggests that the proper function of science may need to include wider perspectives, which would make it plain that such desperate, compensatory dramas are unnecessary.
Keywords Science Philosophy  Religion and science
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Reprint years 1994
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Call number Q175.M613 1992
ISBN(s) 0415107733     9780415107730
DOI 10.2307/2219913
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