Pike continues with his thoughts about science in relationship to the mysteries of nature and God, like when he wrote, “Science deals only with phenomena, and is but charlatanism when it babbles about the powers or causes that produce these.” You see, scientist often believe they are smarter than God, just like our ancient brethren who built the tower of Babylon, who also felt they were “existing and operating independently of a Divine and Supra-natural power.” How foolish we humans are. Enjoy:
Science deals only with phenomena, and is but charlatanism when it babbles about the powers or causes that produce these, or what the things are, in essence, of which it gives us merely the names. It no more knows what Light or Sound or Perfume is, than the Aryan cattle-herders did, when they counted the Dawn and Fire, Flame and Light and Heat as gods. And that Atheistic Science is not even half-science, which ascribes the Universe and its powers and forces to a system of natural laws or to an inherent energy of Nature, or to causes unknown, existing and operating independently of a Divine and Supra-natural power.
That theory would be greatly fortified, if science were always capable of protecting life and property, and, with anything like the certainty of which it boasts, securing human interests even against the destructive agencies that man himself develops in his endeavors to subserve them. Fire, the fourth element, as the old philosophers deemed it, is his most useful and abject servant. Why cannot man prevent his ever breaking that ancient indenture, old as Prometheus, old as Adam? Why can he not be certain that at any moment his terrible subject may not break forth and tower up into his master, tyrant, destroyer? It is because it also is a power of nature; which, in ultimate trial of forces, is always superior to man. It is also because, in a different sense from that in which it is the servant of man, it is the servant of Him Who makes His ministers a flame of fire, and Who is over nature, as nature is over man.
There are powers of nature which man does not even attempt to check or control. Naples does nothing against Vesuvius. Valparaiso only trembles with the trembling earth before the coming earthquake. The sixty thousand people who went down alive into the grave when Lisbon buried her population under both earth and sea had no knowledge of the causes, and no possible control over the power, that effected their destruction.
But here the servant, and, in a sense, the creature of man, the drudge of kitchen and factory, the humble slave of the lamp, engaged in his most servile employment, appearing as a little point of flame, or perhaps a feeble spark, suddenly snaps his brittle chain, breaks from his prison, and leaps with destructive fury, as if from the very bosom of Hell, upon the doomed dwellings of fifty thousand human beings, each of whom, but a moment before, conceived himself his master. And those daring fire-brigades, with their water-artillery, his conquerors, it seemed, upon so many midnight fields, stand paralyzed in the presence of their conqueror (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 810-811).
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