Project of IISHJ


Celebration (1988) 

Science needs courage, the courage to live with uncertainty. 

 Over the past few centuries, we have learned so much about the world. We have so much more information than we ever had before. We have so much more power than we ever thought possible.  

But the universe is vast. Most of its events are still unknown to us. Many important questions still remain unanswered.  

 It would be so nice to understand the origins of the universe. It would be so helpful to see clearly the origins of life. But the evidence is still too stingy for definite answers. All we can honestly say is, “We do not know.” 

 Admitting that we do not know when we do not know takes courage, especially when we want so much to know. It is too easy to grab at answers simply because we cannot bear the uncertainty of not knowing.  

 “I do not know” is a brave and dignified answer, especially when it is true.

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Note on sources: The Jewish Humanist  was the monthly newsletter of The Birmingham Temple. The periodical Humanistic Judaism was the quarterly journal of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Center for New Thinking was Wine’s adult learning program beyond Humanistic Judaism. Selections from Wine’s books are appropriately cited.
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