Louis T. More: Prophet of the 20th Century

(Theo Theocharis)


Strange Rapprochment

"Belatedly ... a strange rapprochement is under way between the forces of religion and science." (Peter Stanford, "Science meets God half way", The Sunday Times News Review, p. 3.9, 27 October 1996.)

As I have been pointing out since 1977, and as I shall show below, this rapprochement is a debut-de-siècle [beginning-of-century] matter, not a fin-de-siècle [end-of-century] affair.

<<The Chief Rabbi [of the UK] Dr Jonathan Sacks [has said]: "I don't think there would have been a single social observer in the year 1900 who would have predicted that religion and religions would be as strong in the world today and, indeed, even in the liberal West, as they are.">> (John Tusa, "They said God was dead - why won't he lie down?", Church Times (UK), 8 November 1996, pp. 12-13.)


But at least one "social observer", Louis Trenchard More, who of course had to be knowledgeable in all the subjects that matter, came very close to making this prediction not much later than 1900 - specifically in 1912. The understanding shown in 1912 by L. T. More, ("The Theory of Relativity", The Nation (USA), Vol. XCIV, pp. 370-371, 1912) is so deep, the insight so visionary, and the prescience so profound, that the following relevant passage deserves to be quoted in full:

<<Both Einstein's theory of Relativity and Planck's theory of the Quanta are proclaimed somewhat noisily to be the greatest revolutions in scientific method since the time of Newton. That they are revolutionary there can be no doubt, in so far as they substitute mathematical symbols as the basis of science and deny that any concrete experience underlies these symbols, thus replacing an objective by a subjective universe. The question remains whether this change is a step forward or backward, into light or into obscurity. It is held, and apparently rightly, that the revolution effected by Galileo and Newton was to replace the metaphysical methods of the schoolman by the experimental methods of the scientist. Now the new methods might seem to be just the reversal of that step, so that, if there is any revolution in thought, it is in reality a return to the scholastic methods of the Middle Ages.>> (Louis Trenchard More, "The Theory of Relativity", The Nation (USA), Vol. XCIV, pp. 370-371, 1912.)


In his regular column "Hard drive" in the London Daily Telegraph weekly supplement Connected, Peter Cochrane is described thus: "Peter Cochrane holds the Collier Chair for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the University of Bristol." In the opening paragraph of his "Bricks in an unreal city" (Hard drive, 10 February 2000), Peter Cochrane wrote with evident admiration: <<Richard Feynman was ... a founding father of our most fundamental atomic understanding. One of my favourite Feynman key pronouncements is the shrewd:

'I think we can safely assume that no one understands quantum mechanics.'>>

In fact Richard Feynman was the best known living scientist in the world from the 1960s until he died in the 1980s. Moreover, the curious "no one understands quantum mechanics" viewpoint articulated in the very last year of the 20th century by a Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at a leading University has been the standard viewpoint of establishment science and philosophy throughout the 20th century. I recognised the stark and gross inconsistency pointed out here from the very beginning of my scientific studies in the 1970s when I also devised my standard rebuttal:

"A theory that no one understands is not scientific but hopelessly mystic." (Theo Theocharis "Men of [Surreal] Ideas", The Listener, 4 May 1978.)

Science Re-Enslaved by Religion

"The 17th century is better remembered as the time that science liberated itself from theology." (Malcolm Povey, "In need of perspective", Financial Times, 20 June 1994, p. 26.)

Prediction: The 20th century will be better remembered as the time that science re-enslaved itself to theology.

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[A presentation of the author can be found in Episteme N. 4]