The Sleep of Reason Produces One-Eyed Monsters
Which is a puzzling trap to be in for a person who supposedly believes in evolution, for if evolution is occurring, there is no reason to believe that our current scientific understanding is anything like what it will be in 100 or 1000 years. Not only does the content of science change, but so too do entire paradigms, i.e., the frameworks within which science perceives and contextualizes its facts.
In contrast, traditional metaphysics does not change. For example, no scientific finding will ever overturn the principle that the world is uniquely intelligible to man's intelligence. For if this principle were not true, the practice of science would be impossible. Likewise, it is only because truth and being converge that we may know the truth of being.
I realize that my own racket of psychology is not a science in the materialistic sense. But that's the whole point. It can never be a science in the way that physics or chemistry are, because the mind is not a material object, precisely.
Yes, there are still many hard scientists who believe that mind is reducible to brain, but what can you say to them except that they need to get out more often? Seriously, the only "cure" for them is a deep experience of the undeniable reality of the soul. But if one is defended against such an experience, it is much less likely to occur. True, with spirit all things are possible, but it helps if one cooperates rather than fights with it.
The traditional view has always been that there are different degrees of reality, and that one cannot apply the same method to study them. One cannot understand the mind in the same way one does the body. To imagine otherwise is to commit a category error so fundamental, that there is no possibility of pulling yourself out of your philosophical death spiral. But I suppose it's not really a death spiral at all, for the truth is, such an earthbound philosophy never really achieves flight.
I guess I first realized this after reading Ken Wilber's Eye to Eye, in which he distinguishes between the physical eye (which knows sensory/empirical reality), the rational eye (which knows math and logic), and the eye of contemplation or intellection (which sees the higher realms of consciousness and deeper truths of being). Each of these is separate and distinct, and not reducible to the other.
It's painfully obvious once you think about it, for how can one possibly understand, say, the square root of negative one in empirical terms? Nor can you use empirical measurements to explain why the tone of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar is so perfect. And although the Trinity is a "number," to imagine that it can be understood mathematically is the height of folly.
Regarding my own field, psychology, I've witnessed its evolution (and devolution!) on a first hand basis. One thing you will have noticed is that the higher up one ventures into the great chain of being (i.e., matter, life, mind, spirit), the greater the potential for fragmentation, schism, and competing theories.
Now, I don't happen to believe that this fragmentation is necessary, and that most of it is due to sloppy, undisciplined, and unsystematic thinking (in fact, it's not really "thinking," more like fantasy). But one of the primary reasons contemporary thinking is so sloppy is the pervasive reductionism and materialism that prevent people from ever acquiring the proper skills and methods to explore, map, and colonize the higher realms.
For the essence of science -- at any level of reality -- is the reduction of multiplicity to unity. As such, there is clearly an appropriate kind of reduction, so long as it confines itself to its own domain, and doesn't try to pull all of the other ones down with it. Even if the material realm operated under completely mechanistic principles, that would have no relevance to the manner in which the mind operates. Your Dreamer, for example, couldn't care less about linear causation or Aristotelian logic.
When psychoanalysis was invented by Freud in the 19th century, he tried to make it completely consonant with the naively mechanistic and positivistic scientific paradigm of the day, which is why some of his ideas are absurdly outdated. America had its own version of a mechanistic and "scientific" psychology with the development of behaviorism. Here again you see how otherwise intelligent people can be "trapped into seeing in the science of the day its ultimate phase of development."
In my view, we should begin our philosophizing with those things that will never change, or with the eye of Spirit. Nothing that occurs in science has any relevance to these truths, since they are timeless. And although they have no direct relevance to the practice of science, they certainly have an indirect relevance.
For example, if a scientist insists that Darwinism proves that there is no objective distinction between good and evil, or that beauty is entirely subjective, we know that he is a fool. And there is no reason to try to argue him out of his delusion, any more than one can explain to a blind man why he shouldn't wear brown shoes with a tux. In both cases, the eyes must be open (the eye of flesh in the case of the blind man, the eye of spirit in the case of the blind Darwinian).
There is another absolute prerequisite for the practice of science, and that is freedom. The scientist must be free to put forth hypotheses and arrive at conclusions, and be unhindered by authorities who insist that only certain truths are acceptable. Which has immediate political implications, for it means that the most free societies will have the most robust scientific activity. Which makes it all the more ironic that there are scientists who are passionate men of the left, when the very purpose of the left is to limit freedom at every level, from having to devote four months per year working for the state, to campus speech codes and other constraints on thought and inquiry.
Even worse, there are scientists who deny free will! Again, if a scientist denies free will, there is absolutely no reason to regard him as anything other than a crank, for it is as if he is salting the soil - the very spiritual conditions -- in which science flourishes. There are obvious religious reasons why science only developed in the West, one of which is our metaphysical certitude of the reality of human freedom: Where the Creator is, there is liberty. Conversely, where liberty isn't -- e.g., Iran, the Soviet Union, liberal humanities departments -- those shriveled and desiccated souls have sequestered themselves from the ultimate reality that is their source and destiny.