History is bigger than science

In March of 2000, historian John Lukacs spoke at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. While on the ENC campus, Lukacs was interviewed by professors Donald Yerxa and Karl Giberson. That full interview was featured in the July/August 2000 issue of Books & Culture. Here's the section of the interview in which Lukacs talked about science:

"When the view of the modern universe began to arise in the sixteenth century, which in a way displaced the earth from the center of the universe, man smiled at the older, geocentric view. We shouldn't be so smug. Now at the end of an age we have all sorts of absurd and ridiculous ideas: black holes and big bangs.

"I am not a prophet, but I am reasonably certain that 300 or 400 years from now our descendants will not only smile but laugh at the views of the universe that were so current at the beginning of the twenty-first century. I say this not to elevate the historians and reduce the prestige of astrophysicists. Just do not forget that we are historical beings. Everything we know about the universe is our mental creation. We are not separated from it. We cannot live but forward and think but backward. And the essential thing -- and this is not arguable -- is that history is bigger than science, because it is science that is part of the history of mankind."

Perhaps best known for his book Historical Consciousness: Or, the Remembered Past, John Lukacs has been called "an historian with the literary talents of a novelist." Author of more than 20 books, two of his most recent ones are A Thread of Years, a series of imaginative vignettes of everyday life in the twentieth century and Five Days in London, May 1940, focused on Churchill and his cabinet.

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