A proposal for continuing a scientific dialog
To be submitted to a national scientific body

By most measures the scientific worldview has been more successful than any other.  Yet most thoughtful people will agree that, despite its success, it could be saddled with a fundamental misconception.  I submit that such a defect could have serious consequences.  Furthermore, we have an obligation to explore and, if necessary, respond to this possibility.  The misconception that is both the most likely and the most consequential would be our failure to discern a nonmaterial basis for reality.

Such a possibility naturally boggles the mind.  Would this not take us beyond the realm of reason?  What would it take to persuade us to adjust our patterns of thought in such a fundamental manner?  It may require the prospect of the end of the world, and it is to that prospect that I speak.

That the apparent materiality of the world could be illusory, as almost every sage has suggested, is of no consequence unless the illusion were to become transparent.  That would be tantamount to the end of the world.

Nonetheless, the material illusion has been remarkably stable for at least the half dozen millennia of recorded history.  However, scientific materialism is coming under increasing scrutiny at the same time that its explanatory powers are being pushed to the limits of reason.  Perhaps we have already gone beyond those limits.

Finally, one could argue that the anticipated inversion of the materialist paradigm to immaterialism would constitute a spiritual revelation of biblical proportions.  As such it should be anticipated as an ‘act of God,’ thereby absolving us mortals of responsibility.

This last argument forces the activist to adopt a prophetic role.  Barring any alternative that is the role I must accept.  But as a prophet, should I not be addressing an audience other than scientific?  Not as long as my message is sufficiently scientific in content.  I submit that it is sufficiently so, and I base that claim on twenty years of dialog with scientists on this topic.

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rev. 1/17/99