Sistine Chapel Adam and God


The “new story of the world” is what Chet Raymo calls “Science”. And like “telling stories”, “Science” has its own imperfections and distortions at times. Proper science embraces this fallibility of its story as tightly as religious acolytes embrace the fallibility of mankind. He describes in his post “Chimney Smoke”…

  • “Science closes no accounts. The story of science has been a story of unfolding wonders, and there is no reason to suppose that the wonders will not continue. In Michelangelo’s Creation, there is that famous gap between the out-reached fingertips of God and Adam. Science plies its trade in the gap, a gap that may be narrowed but (very likely) never closed. Occasionally, as when observing chimney smoke, the gap may seem to crackle with a divine spark, but the spark may just as well emanate from within things, not beyond them.”

Raymo elaborates on this ever narrowing, but never closing “gap” in his post “Asymptote”…

  • “My pal Brian Doyle has another of his terrific essays in the current Notre Dame Magazine, recounting a moment back in 1974 when, as an ND undergraduate, he bumped into the famed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. ‘I read some of your stories the other day and they were pretty good," said the smug young Doyle, and added that he had in mind becoming a writer himself. The unflappably courteous Borges responded with a few words of advice: ‘Get as close to the truth as you can.’"

The only way to pursue truth relentlessly is to embrace the failure that you never get to it absolutely.