Science and Immortality

The Boston Journal

Dr. William Osler, in his Ingersoll lecture on "Science and Immortality," finds nothing in scientific discoveries to buttress the idea of immortality. But, on the other hand, he finds nothing which disproves it. The most that he can say for himself is that he would rather be mistaken with Plato than be right with those who deny altogether the life after death.

But it need occasion no surprise that modern science finds no proof of immortality. The processes and the instruments of science are not fitted for such an investigation. It remains forever true that the things of the spirit are spiritually discerned. It is not to the telescope and the microscope but to the human consciousness that the appeal lies. The soul is not less real because its connection with the outward physical frame and its control over it remain inscrutable mysteries.

February 11, 1905

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