inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life


It is to say, though, that if you believe that science provides no basis for God, then you are almost obligated to conclude that science provides no basis for meaning and, therefore, life itself doesn’t have any. In other words, existential claims have no weight; all knowledge is scientific knowledge. Yet the paradox is that scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units. Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity. As strong as that makes its ability to generate claims about matter and energy, it also makes scientific knowledge inapplicable to the existential, visceral nature of human life, which is unique and subjective and unpredictable. Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.

~ Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air 



  1. The yin and yang…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You can name the constellations and mark their places in the galaxy, but you’re still speechless when taking in the carpet of stars…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hmm. It feels like talking apples and oranges, but I can’t quite tweeze it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. both are a part of explaining/experiencing/making sense of the universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. According to Muriel Rukeyser ,
    “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms”

    I say it’s two worlds walking hand in hand. One cannot go on without the other.
    Matters of the spirit are beyond scientific measures.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just started this book. It is going to be raw and good. Thanks for the quote.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: