Bridging the ideological gap with a science of theology

Raymond E. Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE

Ray Gangarosa is an engineer, physician, and epidemiologist who has been studying the interface between science and theology in relation to life and civilization. He blogs on this topic on Theprodigalspecies.org.

As a scientist exploring civilizational dynamics, I’ve found that the Trinitarian perspective from early Christianity offers a striking way to stabilize interactions between minorities, progressives and conservatives, in ways that resemble the unicellular-to-multicellular transition involving the three basic embryonic cell types. Accordingly, we can identify progressives (concerned with sustaining those who are alive) with the endoderm, which is fated to become the gut; conservatives (concerned with steering society) with the ectoderm, fated to become the nervous system and skin, and minorities (entering late into economic equality) with the mesoderm, fated to become the musculoskeletal system and visceral organs. Such societal-level forces would provide much greater resilience and stability than our individual-level unicellular-like economic incentives. This multicellular viewpoint establishes that all three viewpoints are valid, complementary, and essential to the emerging whole. 

There are good reasons why all of life should organize itself and develop around these principles. The interactions that govern chemical affinities establish multi-step sequences at ever higher organizational levels, as a way to understand both scientific principles of common interests and theological doctrines like the body of Christ. In practical terms, organizing human civilization like a multicellular organism would represent a spectacular improvement in design, which could heal the matrix of haphazard and clashing design flaws that have built up through the ages and are causing such a catastrophic meltdown. These concepts offer a much-needed bridge between progressive and conservative viewpoints, as a way to envision reducing tensions now and establishing profound cooperation in the (hopefully near) future with a respectful dialogue spanning science and theology. They also suggest ways to transform our approaches to policies and practices. 

I urge my fellow progressives to expand their perspectives to consider theological principles that have striking relevance for modern scientific research and current events. We progressives might consider entering a respectful dialog with conservatives to retrace humanity’s historical orbit starting from the early Christianity with humanity’s much greater current knowledge and experience, as a way of erasing past mistakes, stabilizing human civilization, and forging promising new paths.

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