In his Tillich lecture at Harvard this year, Stuart A . Kauffman says, “Reason is an insufficient guide to living our lives. … Therefore, we need all we’ve got. We need reason, emotion, intuition, imagination, story …” (Spoken at 48:20 minutes into the recording.)
Kauffman asserts that it is time to break the Galilean spell – the faith that all aspects of the natural world are governed by natural laws – that has driven science for the past four centuries. With examples ranging from DNA and cell differentiation to Darwinian preadaptation, consciousness, and human technological advances, he argues that not everything that happens in the universe is governed by natural laws. The evolution of the biosphere, human economic life, and human history are partially indescribable by natural law, he writes.
Further, science alone simply doesn’t have the ability to predict the complex processes that occur every day. According to Kauffman, we do not lack sufficient knowledge or wisdom to predict the future evolution of the biosphere, economy, or human culture. Rather, it is that these things are inherently beyond prediction. We live in an emergent universe in which ceaseless unforeseeable creativity arises and surrounds us, writes Kauffman. And since we can neither prestate, let alone predict all that will happen, reason alone is an insufficient guide to living our lives forward.