MYSTERY AND THE INTANGIBLE



Why is a bear of steel magnetized under a shock if held in one position and not in another?.

Why does matter sometimes repel and sometimes attract matter?.

Why, at the temperature of liquid air, does phosphorus lose its violent affinity for oxygen, and sulphuric acid no longer turn litmus paper red?.

Why to extremes of heat and cold produce similar effects?.

To what are due the varying cohesive, elastic, frictional, viscous, electric and magnetic properties?.

“All the facts of this order (early evolution of matter) belong to the category of unexplained phenomena of which nature is full, and which becomes more numerous as we penetrate into unexplored regions. The complexity of things seems to increase the more they are studied.” (LeBon, “The Evolution of Matter,” page 262.).

“The more the materialist has investigated such matters,” says an eminent engineer, “and the greater his experience of them, the more uncertain has appeared his knowledge, and the farther he has seemed from any fixed laws”.

Science has not fully solved even one of the many mysteries it has attempted to explain, nor carried one of its partial solutions into the realm of final causes. True scientists, even if materialists, are modest and humble. They confess their limitations. In sympathy, but not entirely in accord with Auguste Comte, who said in his “Positive Philosophy”: “The scientific mind is content merely to record the fact that certain things always occur simultaneously or in sequence and to ignore causal connections”; they find today a spokesman in Dr. George E. Vincent, President of Rockefeller Foundation, who is his “Review for 1922,” speaking of the scientific spirit in medicine, says;

“It recognizes the intricacy of its problems; it realizes that only a beginning has been made; it does not hesitate to admit ignorance or to suspend judgment. Its constant aim is the discovery of truth and its application of human need”.

Stuart Close
Stuart Close