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  Science & the Myth of Progress—the quantification of nature Back to the List of Slideshows
    
slide 10 of 16

Wendell Berry exhorts us to cast off the ignorance that leads us to replace our timeless cultural traditions with the scientistic world-view that is heralding our destruction:
By almost any standard, it seems to me, the reclassification of the world from creature to machine must involve at least a perilous reduction of moral complexity. So must the shift in our attitude toward the creation from reverence to understanding. So must the shift in our perceived relationship to nature from that of steward to that of absolute owner, manager, and engineer. So even must our permutation of “holy” to “holistic.”

It seems clear that humans cannot significantly reduce or mitigate the dangers inherent in their use of life by accumulating more information or better theories or by achieving greater predictability or more caution in their scientific and industrial work. To treat life as less than a miracle is to give up on it.

I am not of course proposing an end to science and other intellectual disciplines, but rather a change of standards and goals. The standards of our behavior must be derived, not from the capability of technology, but from the nature of places and communities. We must shift the priority from production to local adaptation, from innovation to familiarity, from power to elegance, from costliness to thrift. We must learn to think about propriety in scale and design, as determined by human and ecological health. By such changes we might again make our work an answer to despair
Wendell Berry
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