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I am totally sympathetic to the spirit of Baxter’s eloquent defense of the life of the heart and mind and the value of our human classical heritage. But the panopticon, logical positivist scientism and the days of Marinetti are long gone, science has added a whole raft of ideas and fields that are not reductionist at all and indeed deeply in the exploratory and inventive spirit of nature itself. And the social media, enemy of any depth of thought, are just as hostile to science as any cultural conservative, as all the various forms of paranoid denial demonstrate. The horrors of the social media are not new: Dante found them all in the inferno before Galileo even existed. Real science may be part of the answer, not the problem. Gregor Mendel, father of modern genetics, and Georges Lemaitre, father of Big Bang theory, were both members of Catholic religious orders.

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