At the book club I attend, we recently discussed the book "Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves" by James Le Fanu. The author believes that as science has progressed, it has become clear that the boundaries of human knowledge are within sight, and science has fallen short on the promise to reveal all of nature's secrets. He supports his thesis by highlighting three areas of research: evolution, the double helix, and the brain. He believes that it is abundantly clear that the philosophical materialism that has dominated science since the enlightenment, has, through its own efforts, revealed its inability to fully explain the human experience. Le Fanu views this state of affairs as an indication of a non-material realm that exists along the material. Though he never speaks directly of God, he clearly believes that material explanations alone will not suffice in answering questions that continue to persist about who we are, how we came to be this way, and how exactly we work. I will take a look at some of these questions in my next post.
There certainly is much we still have to fathom. We and our world continue to be objects of mystery. This is why I would have difficulty ever confidently declaring myself to be an atheist. There is so much we don't know and so much that we experience as transcending material explanations. However, that doesn't mean material explanations can't someday suffice. Le Fanu, though, would beg to differ.