Consider that the exploration of cause-and-effect relationships, the hallmark of good science, is a direct result of magical thinking characteristic of the ancient religions. Science worships gods no longer but continues to practice ancient religious rites. No practice is as ancient as that which strips complex, interconnected experience of its interrelations by focusing on single narrative threads. Magical thinking reduces magic to thinking by making believe that we influence events by arbitrary actions.

Push a doorbell and hear the thunder sound. We immediately estimate that another push might compel another roiling of the sky.

Science seeks to influence events by nonarbitrary actions. With wild success.

Nonetheless, science still follows the ritual format of making believe the world can be understood and influenced by exploring these single threads. Ignored is the notion that all the threads connect.

There are seven million stories in the Naked City. We can only tell them one by one. We would not presume to suggest a single Dragnet adventure is the same as all Los Angeles that day. Nor would we suggest that the reproduction of a single story is the same thing as what actually happened to those people.

Science does not presume to be able to explain the universe by the experiments it runs. Science does behave like the universe is no more complicated than the results of an almost infinite number of experiments. There lies the rub. An infinite number of stories do not add up to a single thunder clap, the sound of one sky clapping.


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