Imaginary Numbers, Once Rejected, Now Commonplace
|September 4, 2007||Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design|
Once again I direct our readers to First Things.Ã‚Â This time Amanda Shaw discusses how imaginary numbers, once rejected as “Impossible, irrational, delusionary, absurd, untrustworthy, fictitious, imaginary,” are now a staple of everyday math.Ã‚Â See http://www.firstthings.com/
Is there an analogy to ID here?Ã‚Â The fact that imaginary numbers were not part of the math “system” did not mean they were not out there waiting to be used by those who were willing to look beyond the blinders of the existing paradigm.Ã‚Â Now, as has been argued at this site before, ID can be fit within the existing scientific paradigm; but even if this were not the case, the point is should we cling to a limiting paradigm that prevents us from seeing greater truths?Ã‚Â Shaw’s last paragraphs are very good:
“Scientific positivists, pencil and paper in hand, peer through shatterproof, UV-protected glasses at a world of animals, vegetables, and minerals. But genuine scientistsÃ¢â‚¬â€true seekers of knowledgeÃ¢â‚¬â€are not afraid to let the sunlight dazzle them, not afraid to seek and imagine what our myopic reason calls absurd.
“Impossible, irrational, delusionary, absurd, untrustworthy, fictitious, imaginary: It is always easier to approachÃ¢â‚¬â€or rather, ignoreÃ¢â‚¬â€mysteries of math by dismissing them as false or unintelligible. And how much more for mysteries of faith. So is God like an imaginary number, waiting to be discovered and accepted in a renaissance of faith? The simile is ridiculous, on its face. But, in a curious way, the ramblings of scientific history remind those who strive for reason just how vast reality is. The realization is at once unsettling and exhilarating: Truth is far richer than our mindsÃ¢â‚¬â€always confined by the here and nowÃ¢â‚¬â€can prove or even imagine.