co-existing -> fuzziness -> transfiguration -> LO24465

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/26/00

Replying to LO24441 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < > quotes:
Prof. Richard Dawkins. Preface to 1989 edition. 'The Selfish Gene'

>Rather than propose a new theory or unearth a new fact, often
>the most important contribution a scientist can make is to
>discover a new way of seeing old theories or facts. - A change
>of vision can, at its best, achieve something loftier than a theory.
>It can usher in a whole climate of thinking, in which many exciting
>and testable theories are born, and unimagined facts laid bare.

Greetings Andrew,

Thank you for this quote.

Is it not interesting that should I qualify this quote in my thanks by
something like "beautiful quote" or "arrogant quote" that I can influence
the minds of some other learners?

Is it not interesting that even without using an adverb or adjective the
mere verb (becoming) or noun (being) used, can also do the same. For
example, Dawkins used the word "transfiguration" by continuing your quote:

>What we are talking about is not a flip (from this to that) to an
>equivalent view but, in extreme cases, a transfiguration."

The word "transform" has the prefix "trans-" which means "crossing over to
the other side". Its stem "-form" refer to a unique quality which all
content have and which is always different to the content. In other words,
"transform" means to give content a different form. Thus "transform" is a
special kind of change which has to do with form rather than content.

The word "transfiguration" itself is a special kind of transformation. It
has the meaning qualified by "glorious transformation", almost as if
saying "supernatural transformation". What Dawkins thus refer to, is a
change particular to form so peculiar that we can qualify it as a "godly
change in form".

Now is this not a tall order for scientists in present times? We know that
the majority of scientists avoids faith and religion at all costs.
Scientists allow empirical facts to change their theories, but will never
use an article of faith to do the same. The simple reason is that and
article of faith cannot be demonstrated by empirical fact.

The curious thing about it all is that scientists do come to certain
beliefs by following their peculair scientific method. One such a belief
is the very fact that they allow only empirical facts to change their
theories. They are unable to suppress the emergence of beliefs in their
scientific thinking. I think that this emergence makes it necessary for
scientists to extend their scientific thinking. Scientific thinking will
become more fuzzy.

With this in mind, let us get back to Dawkins. I fear to ask the question
otherwise since it will open a pandora box of religious attacks. The
question is this:
    How does a change becomes godly?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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