Index of D. B. Larson's books

A Note on Metaphysics

Some of the readers of my latest book, The Neglected Facts of Science, are apparently interpreting the conclusions of this work as indicating that the Reciprocal System of theory leads to a strict mechanistic view of the universe, in which there is no room for religious or other non-material elements. This is not correct. On the contrary, the clarification of the nature of space and time in this theoretical development removes the obstacles that have hitherto prevented science from conceding the existence of anything outside the boundaries of the physical realm.

In conventional science, space and time constitute a framework, or setting, within which the entire universe is contained. On the basis of this viewpoint, everything that exists, in a real sense, exists in space and in time. Scientists believe that the whole of this real universe is now within their field of observation, and they see no indication of anything non-physical. It follows that anyone who accepts the findings of conventional science at their face value cannot accept the claims of religion, or any other non-material system of thought. This is the origin of the long-standing antagonism between science and religion, a conflict which most scientists find it necessary to evade by keeping their religious beliefs separate from their scientific beliefs.

In the Reciprocal System, on the other hand, space and time are contents of the universe, rather than a container in which the universe exists. On this basis, the “universe” of space and time, the physical universe, to which conventional science is restricted, is only one portion of existence as a whole, the real “universe” (a word which means the total of all that exists). This leaves the door wide open for the existence of entities and phenomena outside (that is, independent of) the physical universe, as contended by the various religions and many systems of philosophy.

Inasmuch as the Reciprocal System is a theory of the physical universe only, it arrives at no conclusions as to the validity of the contentions of the various non-scientific schools of thought, but it removes all justification for the assertions that are frequently made to the effect that those contentions are scientifically impossible. Those scientists with strong religious convictions who are now looking askance at the Reciprocal System under the mistaken impression that it envisions a purely materialistic universe should, in fact, welcome it, because it removes the basic conflict between science and their religious beliefs.