Scientific Laws, Dogma & Revolution

The global awakening has created an intellectual revolution.

Individuals are questioning their realities; and self-educating on a wide variety of topics. Why is it that so many people see science as a threat to their belief system? According to the English Oxford Dictionary, a law of nature (philosophy) is “a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct, or a regularly occurring or apparently inevitable phenomenon observable in human society”.

Life can be a bit of a mysterious irony. Through history, dogmatic individuals have had a difficulty accepting the idea of nature being ruled by physical laws because it dismisses God’s omnipotence. Stephen Hawking, in his book The Grand Design, states: “In 1277 Bishop Tempier of Paris, acting on the instructions of Pope John XXI, published a list of 219 errors or heresies that were to be condemned… Interestingly, Pope John was killed by the effects of the law of gravity a few months later when the roof of his palace fell on him”.

Even though the concept of natural law first made its impact in the seventeenth century during the scientific revolution when Kepler came up with his laws of planetary motion; we still have people today who refuse to even open their minds to the possibility of the universe being understood because they blindly believe that “the lord works in mysterious ways”—  a sentence often misattributed to the Bible; yet, It isn’t found in the book.  

René Descartes (1596 –1650) claimed that laws of nature are valid in all places at all times, and don’t necessarily require a conscious mind behind the processes. Often, these derive from the initial conditions, which determine the patterns of evolution. In science, it is possible to predict outcomes based on the the initial conditions of anything. In other words, by learning how something begins, it is possible to establish the laws of nature that govern the particular phenomena.

Isaac Newton’s (1643-1727) laws of motion and gravity were seen as a “godsend” by other intellectuals in the era. Because his theories were highly illustrated and elaborated within the mathematical framework, these became the pillars of many scientific principles that are still taught today. Alexander Pope (1688-1744) stated in his poetry: “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, let Newton be! And all was light”, as a way to praise the enlightening works of the revolutionary physicist and mathematician.

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