This is a reference to a short essay by C.S. Lewis. The full essay is well worth the read. Some of the language is from another time, but the conception is solid.
Science is a dream, but theology is the waking world. Science, even when it is correct about the physical world, is only telling us part of the story. It is powerful, but it is also limited. Coming to view science in this limited way, I need not be concerned if science gets the whole picture or not. Of course it does not… I am more concerned about the notion that science is expected to give us a complete view of the world. On the most important things, it does not.
Science doesn’t tell us that life was divinely designed, but I don’t expect it to do so. I’m not sure why anyone should care. Science is just a dream. That is why, I speculate freely about things beyond science. Theology is not scientific, and it does not need to be scientific. Science gives us a limited view of the world, but theology is how we are to understand it all. This is how I know I am passing from dreaming to waking. In the waking world I can give an account of the dreaming world, as I can give an account of science within theology. I cannot, however, give an account of theology within science. Dreaming. Waking.
Thanks for the question @terrellclemmons. Remember, this Christian who affirms evolutionary science, is not a TE or a EC. I affirm evolution as God’s providentially governed way of creating us, only partially described within evolutionary science.
Here is a way to make sense of this. Do you affirm universal human rights and dignity? If you do, can science give an account of this? It cannot. A way of looking at the world that can give an account of this, while also giving an account of science, would be judged more real than science. It accounts for everything in science, but also universal rights and dignity.
But there are all kinds of things which science can give an account of, but other ways of looking at the world can’t. Does this then make science more real? If I can give an account of something, does that make me more real than it? I don’t see how any of this account-giving impacts on reality.
The idea here is that science cannot even explain why it is successful. Certainly it is successful. An account that makes sense of science, is not science, but it contains science within it. CS Lewis argues that theology makes sense of why science is successful. Science does not answer to theology, but his conception of theology contains science, and therefore accounts for everything that science accounts for, and more.
History does bear this out. The early scientists framed their effort and defined the scientific method with theology (see Francis Bacon, @rcohlers). Of course, there may be other ways of accounting for science, but science cannot account for itself. This how Lewis judges theology more real than science.
I don’t know. I think if he feels his theology can account for science, I can understand that. But he should stop there–I don’t see how he takes this extra step to saying it’s therefore “more real”. For one thing, things are either real, or they’re not, wouldn’t you say? Are there really shades of reality? If there are, are we equipped to judge them? We have enough trouble simply judging if anything is real or not
I think it makes less sense now He’s an eloquent guy, and it was an odd question he was answering, I will say that. Maybe it made more sense in 1944 To go straight to his “proof”, he depends on the unsupported ideas that non-objective reason is nonviable, or specifically, lacks “significance”, and that objective reason exists. (Is anyone saying we have perfect knowledge of reality? What contradiction?) And all of the reasoning there sheds no light I can see on his idea about wakefulness/dreaming, though he draws a direct connection. And certainly no light on anything about reality.