Science and Citizenship
If we understand by spiritual power a set of
nature, foresees their possible developments, and conceives his ideals of human life in terms of the optimum expression of known potencies. In Bacon's phrase, man controls nature by obeying her. In this respect science is just the ordered and growing knowledge of the ways of nature leading to human evolution. Science, in its pure and applied forms, here stands for the collective resources of the race available for the maintenance and advancement of human life. Science is thus—in terms of the illustration used above—a sort of generalised mother of men, as it were, a race-mother. And if the policy and ideals of science for her children are slow of formulation, that is because of the slow evolution of science itself. Arrested at the cosmic stage of thought, the majority of scientists do not recapitulate, with sufficient completeness, the racial evolution of the group to which they belong. Such racial recapitulation is, as has been well said, nature's way of preparing for a fresh start. And unless, therefore, the individual scientist in his own personal development passes on from the cosmic, physical or naturalist phase to the humanist and idealist phase, he does not undergo the preparation necessary to enable him to contribute to the advancement of science in its proper historical evolution. In this arrested development of most individual scientists is doubtless to be found an explanation of the slow evolution of the humanist or sociologist sciences.