I received an interesting critique on my column - The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” - I appreciated the questions and enjoyed the opportunity to correct the writer's misunderstanding regarding what I wrote. I invited the writer over here to share, but alas, it never happened. So, I'm going to share his critique anyways.
Critique: It appears to me that the author is considering every product of the human mind just as imaginary as every other.
For instance the completely subjective religious experience, and the striving to be objective science are both: "products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down."
Citizenschallenge: That’s an incorrect assumption.
"Imaginings" is more akin to “inventions of the mind” or products of our mindscape.
The critique misses out on the evolutionary aspect. Religion was amongst the mindscape’s earliest inventions, probably a couple hundred thousand years ago.
It took humanity tens of thousands of years and even civilized humans took many more millennia before the human mindscape developed the understanding and discipline that enabled it to invent science, barely 500 years ago.
Now, it is true that every single recorded phenomena, experience and so on must have either begun as some sort of sensory input influencing our mindscape, or came as a product of the workings of said mindscape (something commonly known as imagination).
Precisely my point.
Of course just because something is relayed through a human mind, this doesn't automatically make it imaginary.
I never implied it did!
In a sense the author is trying to put a divide between the real world and the way we perceive and interpret the real world, equating the latter to imagination.