Unity In Diversity - Essays in religion by members of the faculty of the Unification Theological Seminary - Edited by Henry O. Thompson - 1984

The Unification Principle and Science; Promise, Paradox and Predicament - Kurt Johnson

As a scientist,1 I want to address some issues concerning the relation of the Unification Church movement's "Unification Principle"2 and science. There is already some volume of literature on this relatively new subject, and the reader is referred to it for basic discussions.3 Because of the breadth of science, and the problem of topical selection for this kind of compilation concerning Unificationism, it has been important for me, first of all, to decide what subject area should be addressed. One attractive option would be to present an example of how the Unification Principle can be applied to a particular scientific problem. Though this requires a detailed and precise application of aspects of "The Principle" to a particular scientific discipline (which might be useful in demonstrating the potential value of the Unification ideology in science) this approach is probably unnecessarily limited for a publication of more general interest. However, for the sake of example, one particular application of Unification Principle to an ecological problem is summarized in Figure 1 and its explanation.4 For the present compendium of essays, it seems more useful and probably more interesting for a scientist to address a larger range of issues regarding science. For such a discussion I have chosen to consider how the Unification Principle, in its role as a particular ideological viewpoint, will be required by history to have an interesting interplay with science. Such a dialogue with science, with the latter having open inquiry as its nature, will include not only the present situation of Unificationism as an emerging ideology but also Unificationism's potential for creating a sociological environment in which a potential Unificationist society will have to relate to science on a more extensive level.

Science is by definition an area of open inquiry concerning reality and how it works.5 A relevant question, then, is how science relates to ideologies which by definition have variously fixed points of view. Ideologies arise because they hope to provide new information or new insights to already existing societies and their information systems. An ideology aspires to make this contribution in an organized fashion which can exert influence on the already existing system. In the interplay of an emerging ideology and an existing system it can be expected that the new ideology will make some contributions which are constructive and important, some which suggest paradoxes in their relationship with the norms of inquiry in the existing system, and others which will create predicaments or problems. The predicaments caused by the interplay of the new ideology and the existing system arise because the new ideology either seeks to change particular basic directions or content in the views of the existing system, or proposes to do so by means that may not be considered appropriate by the existing system. Without doubt, the aim of an emerging ideology is to add new information to a given system or, at least, to rearrange some information in that system. This is especially true when the source of the new ideology, as with Unificationism, is religious or metaphysical and seeks to dialogue with a society that is basically secular and technological.

Within the above-mentioned dialogue, an ideology (if it is serious at all) must come into a multi-faceted dialogue with science. This is because science functions on numerous levels in a society. One is the "higher" level of its educational research, and technological institutions; another is a "lower" level, a popularized substrate involving the elementary education in a society (that is, early education) and the popular media. There is within every modern secular and technologically-oriented society a popular "scientific mythology", or popular science, propagated by the necessities of elementary levels of education and the popularized media. As will be seen below, this popular scientific mythology is, in every society, quite different than the positions actually held by scientists or by "science." The popular invasion of mythologized science into the world view of peoples within various societies creates an inevitable clash and confrontation in the information-rich arena of world media. One has only to think of the basic differences in world view of a communist youth, a fundamentalist Christian youth, and a fundamentalist Moslem youth to understand this reality. It can be taken for granted that not only does each of these persons or views participate in its society (be it by guns, votes, or by simply being a statistic) but that none of them could be expected to have a particularly fruitful discussion concerning world-views with the educated elite of their respective nation.

The importance of examining the breadth of this problem as regards a new ideology and science is twofold: (a) the new ideology confronts the world arena of competing world views and (b) the nature of science and the nature of the new ideology are both elucidated by examining their potential interplay. The world is an open market for information, whether it be propaganda or empirically demonstrated thought. It must be recognized that any ideology will, by nature, clash with the nature of science as open inquiry and this clash will probably be characterized by a mix of promise, paradox and predicament.

Unificationists should be comfortable with this confrontation for two reasons. Firstly, Unificationists can hardly be expected to abandon any of the views they claim are derived from revelation. These impose arbitrary opinions on certain matters of world view. Secondly, Unificationism (or any ideology) shares with science a general method of dealing with reality. This includes the setting up of certain pre-supposed conditions and from these developing logic and concepts. Both science and ideologies, therefore, are bound to have untested "sacred cows." These will rise and fall only with much conflict and trepidation. History has seen nothing so far in science or religion that has ever survived in a consistent conceptual form.

Because of the juxtaposition of science as open inquiry and the nature of ideologies as variously arbitrary, discussion of Unificationism and science by one scientist can obviously be biased. This bias can favor either the point of view of the ideology or the many possibilities open to science as open inquiry. In this essay I will try to avoid this potential bias by placing emphasis on suggesting problems rather than describing solutions. Since the topic involves Unificationism as an emerging ideology, it is expected that all of the areas addressed in the paper will find their eventual solution only through the historical development of actual events.

Scientific Information in Societal Groups and Other Systems

In order to understand what science is and how accumulated scientific information comes into dialogue within and between societies, it is first important to understand how scientific information is placed into and subsequently circulates within a given social system. Science itself is an organ for gathering information and carefully discerning modes and ways in which this information can be conceptualized and applied. As such it is a strict discipline. Science, however, has no mechanism to control the use of its information as it "trickles down" to the popularized levels of societies. At the popular level, scientific information is used not only in the creation and selling of sensationalized ideas, but in the various coercions of politics which seek to use scientific information to sway the populace to causes, fears, promised solutions and their associated political enfranchisements. Very often, much of the scientifically based information involved in the latter processes is either distorted or incorrect. This problem is a difficult one simply because the misuse of scientific information within a society is most often inadvertent. For instance we have a "fight to cure cancer" though within science cancer can hardly be considered one "kind" of disease. We have classified various behavioral abnormalities as "mental illnesses" implying that they are "diseases" that one can "get." We have popular concepts of "ecology" and "evolution" which have little to do with what ecologists and evolutionary biologists actually study. We have "arms races" based on technological arguments and billions of dollars spent on "illegal" activities (such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, prostitution, and firearms) though by sociological definition these activities are seen as deviant.

Far from the disciplined work of research laboratories and the so-called institutions of higher learning, popularized scientific books are written and bought by the millions, propaganda prepared and distributed with zeal, and media money-makers produced and viewed by the masses. All of these form world views, and their reality, no matter how far from actual reality, takes on a very powerful reality of its own. If popular institutions cannot be expected to produce constructive world views that have any basis in scientific reality, the education system is no less promising. In a strict appraisal, there is actually no education before the doctoral level which can in any field hope to include a real sensitivity to how information is derived, how it can be used to draw conclusions, and how it relates or does not relate to what one wants to know. The emerging new ideology cannot escape from this reality in which the gap between science as discipline and science as popular myth is great.

The relevant evaluations concerning an emerging ideology, then, are these: (a) how is science used in the new ideology? and (b) what kind of position is predicted for science in the sociological context implied by the new ideology? The question is even more complex if the new ideology is "religious." This is because not only does the realm of religion include all the dynamic interplay concerning accuracy and popularization which have been mentioned above concerning science, but because by nature the "religious" ideology will have a particular and inevitable clash with science.

As with other sources of information, religions vie for adherents and territories of control and influence in a society. Within the various sects and denominations a few thousand to several millions of adherents hold this or that set of information as the most basic and true. Some feel called to convert others to their beliefs whether by educational, economic or political means. Some feel that pluralism is good, others that they are destined to assimilate everyone else. Outside of established religions, in the realm of popular myth and fantasy, salesmen promote everything from space-alien origins and cleansing of the body with supposed "nonchemical" organic substances to various apocalyptic promises. Yet within all this, mankind as a species is still made up of individual persons who search for truth and in this search come to believe that this or that view of life, no matter how disparate or varied, is true. Within societies it is the basic mode of popular belief that dominates the economic, political and day-by-day circumstances of man. Learning, or the tested learning characteristic of science, holds little sway.

It is upon this complex stage that the Unification Movement emerges as another group with saleable information, that is, potentially persuasive information. It is characteristic of the Unification Movement to want some of this information accepted as "new" and other parts of it as at least a preferable rearrangement. Working within an evangelistic framework, the Unification Movement has the potential to envision and attempt to create a sociological structure characterized by aspects of its beliefs. Its claim is that such a structure will make things "better" for mankind, and even "better" for God. This kind of claim goes far beyond the realm of science, for science is simply groups of people studying reality within a certain disciplined framework of inquiry. It is useful, then, to inquire about science within such a megaphenomenon as apocalyptic movements and the societies they predict.

Science Within Unificationism Itself

How is science used within Unification Principle itself? Does or can science as science exist within the framework of a particular ideological world-view? Is such science, and can it remain real science? Or is it quasi-science, or doomed to be pseudo-science?

A brief and objective look at Unification Principle indicates that it is characterized by theism (a belief in a supernatural being, in this case one also seen as active in the contemporaneous world) applied through a theistically modified dialectical ontology. According to Unificationism, the theism hopes to address religion with a unifying potential, or at least be capable of generating a new platform for productive inter-religious dialogue. The dialectical ontology hopes to bring to bear the persuasive powers of Marxism, but without necessary atheism. Through theistically modified dialectics (e.g. modify the basic Marxist mechanics by discarding the ontology of contradiction and process of negation, replacing them with mutuality and cooperation toward a common purpose), Unificationism hopes to embrace science and technology within one unified world-view. By removing the atheism, Unificationism hopes to avoid the negation of the individual so common to the history of Marxist political regimes and replace it with reverence for the individual based on a religious view of God as the common parent of all mankind. By this distinctive theistic feature Unificationism hopes to address the problems of disunified and fragmented societies which have become dysfunctional through internal splitting along racial, economic, and other self-interest lines.

At face value the combination of theism and theistically dialectical ontology is promising. Theism has the promise of imbuing a transcend-ant view of reality with a reverence for the value of the individual, while dialectics promises to allow a view of the material universe which is compatible with sciences very general understanding of complementary particles and principles and hierarchies of order based on the elaboration of these. As a dialectical theism, Unificationism seems to rid itself of several of the pitfalls of dialectical materialism. Rudimentally, the presupposed relations of the complementary components in Unification ontology do not relate through struggle based on inherent contradiction. Progress does not occur through negating the integrity of one component by aggressive action and the assumption of superiority by the other. Rather, a more humane ideal of progress is suggested by having the complementary model of all relations, and the basis for resulting hierarchies, in the context of a larger complementary model including a transcendent dimension and a complementary physical dimension. This complementarity of the transcendent and physical dimensions of reality in Unificationism allows for the reality and claims of religion while proposing a set of mechanics which can include science, both as an area of open inquiry and a social arena for applying technological knowledge. For the scientist, the most interesting feature of such an ideological proposition is whether it predicts something new or promising as regards methodologies in science which may be a counterproposal to reductionism.

A problem occurs, however, both in Unification Theology as a revealed religion and in its dialectical ontology as a basis for science. The problem is inevitable but remains to be solved all the same. Unificationism's religion is allegorical, that is, it presents one accepted interpretation of scripture, and for only one of the world's religious traditions at that. Unificationism's ontology is presented as a series of assumptions based less on philosophical principles than on allegorical arguments of creation by design. The ontology grapples with a mythological framework limited to the symbolic imagery of creation stories from one near eastern people -- the ancient Israelites. This theology, based on a particular allegorical interpretation of certain scripture, is seen as inevitably assimilating all other previously revealed religions. The science is seen, at least so far in the history of Unificationism, as an adjunct to the theology. Since the theology is apocalyptic, the ontology predicates a deterministic view of history based on the same principles that are offered for subjective science.

As a result there are two disparate kinds of science involved in the presentation of Unificationism thus far in its history: (a) the more or less valid mobilization of selected scientific facts to buttress the Unificationist's allegorical theological argument of creation by design and its resultant historical determinism and (b) Unification ontology as applied to philosophy and science which as a conceptual model offers itself as one potentially encompassing more intellectual territory than others to date. To scientists with some awareness of (a) science as various systems models and paradigms of assumptions and logic and (b) science as a deductive process in which statements about reality are tested and discerned according to criteria of veracity, consistency, parsimony, repeat ability, predictability, and unity, it is the latter part of Unification science that is attractive. This part, however, is nearly completely undeveloped. Rather, the former approach, of attempting scientific proof-texting of arguments for creation by design, is currently dominant in Unification education. One cannot expect all adherents of any religion to have intellectual pursuits as a prime value. However, as noted before, it is the creation of the popular myths of a world view within a society that actually hold sway, and so it is in Unificationism.

Despite this current historical problem, Unificationism still stands as a potential basis for significant development of non-reductionist views of reality (that is, views which limit causality to purely material or physical bases). Reductionism seems at its heart more congruent with the nature of scientific inquiry. However, it must be entertained that if the cosmology of the universe is non-reductionist in nature and contains a transcendent dimension, the reductionist paradigm is necessarily frustrating and inadequate. Unificationism offers a system based on a gigantic complement of transcendent and physical dimensions. The realities of input, information flow, and output in such a system offer a unique philosophical dimension. Unification's model of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, as metaphysical complements including a transcendent and physical dimension, allows the introduction of new information, control, or management from somewhere other than within or below the sums of the parts in a physical system. Certainly, such a model cannot be scientifically applied simply within reference to its unscientific transcendent claims. However, it is possible that the assumption of such a cosmology as a basis for framing methodologies may have some demonstrable value. For instance, based on Unification Principle, some methodology which is within itself scientific may make some significant contributions in two areas:

a. molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and theoretical biology where the study of systems might be better approached through a cosmology allowing input of information from more than just the bottom or within the sum of the parts.

b. offering a progressive creationism that could possibly address the transcendent and value-laden nature of man in a context of the overwhelming evidence supportive of the continuing origin of biotic and inorganic diversity through the various natural evolutionary processes accompanying the historical process of time.

However, even a successful non-reductionist paradigm has problems. If allowing input of information from a transcendent dimension is placed into the methodology a priori, no more reason is apparent for expecting consistency in relation to the scientific criteria of veracity, parsimony, testability, repeatability, predictability or utility than would be expected when reductionism is posited a priori. There are paradoxes in this view because it is questionable to what extent a purely Unificationist methodology could be developed without imposition of the Unification model as a doctrine. If, however, results in a coherent and scientific system based on the allowance of the Sung Sang/Hyung Sang assumption were more veracious, parsimonious and internally consistent, or allowed higher incidence of predictive value, this might lend credence to considering that the assumptions of a Sung Sang/Hyung Sang cosmology are more satisfactory than the reductionist one. To science, it would simply be a matter of which lended itself more to the goals of scientific inquiry. The development of workable methodologies based on the Sung Sang/Hyung Sang cosmology, which could compete with other world views, would have to involve specialists who prefer the viability and usefulness of the Unificationist view. It is not known how soon such persons will be available or even understood within present Unificationism. Certainly the application of the idea of input of information from the transcendent component in relation to a claim of progressive creationism is characterized by gaps between the major biological groups. The Unificationist view, in this regard, is attractive and compatible with current salient features of information in evolutionary biology. It is reminiscent of the kind of view that Catholicism has developed with Teilhardian evolutionism. But Unification Principle adds a problem to exclusive claims when it understands that the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang metaphysical components act simultaneously. If, as stated in Unification Thought, the actions of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang are simultaneous, Sung Sang action leaves a "trail" (or a reconstructable record) in the Hyung Sang. The paradox of this is that it presupposes that purely physical explanations of the activities of the Hyung Sang, based on the trail (e.g. the fossil record, biologically retrievable diagrams of evolutionary, spatial and geological divergence, etc.) would in themselves be quite persuasive. Hence, modern evolutionary biology does claim that all of the major features of biotic diversity and its inter-relations can be accounted for by the explanations of the mechanisms within the biosphere itself. Similarly, over half of the world seems to have found materialistic views persuasive. It remains to be seen whether the eventual value of the cosmology based on Sung Sang and Hyung Sang will be determinable by Unificationist scholars coming forward with arguments, models, and methodologies acceptable to the scientific community to others. Another alternative for Unificationism is to press itself onto science as a doctrine through religious, economic, or political activity. This is one area in which the paradox of the situation will only be resolved through seeing the actual course of Unificationism. Marxism has had all of these problems and more, so the parallel is well taken. Marxism established itself as a doctrine and then attempted to work out the problems of its methodologies.

In conclusion it can be stated that within the Unificationist ideology there are several aspects which imply potentially useful scientific models. It remains to be seen whether these can be developed into comprehensive contributions which would achieve acceptance by establishment scientists. In a parallel situation, Marxist models of phenomena have not necessarily been viewed as successful or preferable by scientists outside Marxist dominated countries. They are preferred only within the arenas where Marxism has itself been established through economic or political means as a social doctrine. Still, there are areas within Unificationism which have particular promise for science. These have interest in themselves and their potential value should not be denigrated.

Science Within A Unificationist Society

Science in Education and Religion: There are purely utilitarian evaluations which are relevant to the relations of ideology and science. It is quite possible that some societies will choose to emphasize ideological doctrines and prefer these more than those prompted by rational inquiry. For instance, a religious society might choose to balance its scientific aspect (especially as to what it teaches children) by favoring a progressive creationism model of natural process (regardless of its testability). This is because the society feels that a materialistic view of man leaves the children possibly devoid of a basic appreciation of values. Such a position by a society is certainly not scientific per se, but it must be recognized that many groups and societies favor untested beliefs as opposed to ideas derived from open inquiry. Further, the same society or particularly a movement might choose progressive creationism based on an Adam and Eve story (with commitment to this story either as literal truth or symbolic truth) because it feels the problem of racism can only be solved through man's embracing the concept of God as a common parent.

Historically societies have a poor record for relating testable truth to what is claimed by their social or religious points of view. Unificationism, to the extent that it has doctrines, shares this same sociological potential. How science would function in such a doctrinaire society is questionable. Interplay between Unificationism (as allegorical religion) and science (as open inquiry) would take extreme sensitivity. A society with fixed religious assumptions may not be open to a freedom to falsify its own religious claims. Also, its usages of scientific information to support its religious ontology may result in an unrecognized but chronic pseudoscience. This is the predicament of a religion when its teaching involves some science and some religion. On the other hand, we must entertain the historical possibility that some group might come up with "the Truth", perhaps by revelation as is claimed by Unificationism. If certain positions expressed by Unificationism are indeed true per se -- one might expect the inevitable clash between its science and its religion would somehow be avoided or at least be less protracted. Marxism does not seem to be in much different a position historically. It is quite possible that if Unificationism would adopt the profile of a religion capable of creating persons of high moral character, civic virtue, and altruistic motivation in a free society, as opposed to the organization of an authoritarian society around its ideology, science could function as science. The historical issue is whether science within one particular ideological framework is actually science or inevitably becomes pseudo-science. Even if science could function as science in a Unificationist society, in many areas of scientific pursuit (like the individual disciplines) it is hard to imagine why an individual scientist would adopt a Unificationist model for explaining his information if another model was just as or more satisfactory. It seems he would only do so if Unificationism was the assumed ideology, as in the case in many Marxist explanations of phenomena.

The above comments suffice concerning some conditions confronting science at the professional level in a Unificationist society. The other aspect of science in societies, that of the substrate of popular belief and early education, also requires comment. With Unificationism, the consideration is important because it is expected that a Unificationist society will exhibit the kinds of problems characteristic of societies with a monolithic world view. The agenda of restoration in Unificationism implicitly implies that the Unificationist view is to be taken as a guideline for a sociological system. In such a society there would be one preferred religion requiring particular educational norms. Since, as has been noted, there is a distinct gap in the nature of scientific information operating at public levels and that operating in professional sciences, a Unificationist society could not be exempt from this problem. Hence, it can be expected that the norm of education in a Unificationist society, at least before the doctoral level, would be that reinforcing the allegorical religious views of Unificationism. We can consider some contemporaneous comparisons to enlighten this view. In the United States a majority of persons are taught from birth that there is a God and that God created the universe. These persons generally begin to confront alternative views of the universe when they enter the secular educational realm. Ina Unificationist society there would be no separation of church and state. Hence, there is an open question about what kind of creationism would be taught in the schools: would it be a creationism based on a literal interpretation of Unificationist scriptures similar to that of fundamentalist Christianity, or would it involve a more open teaching based on the more scientific views and possibilities in Chapter One of the Divine Principle, "The Principle of Creation." As has been noted earlier, there is not necessarily a conflict between the teachings of Chapter One of Divine Principle and the demonstrations of modern science. The contradiction only arises when the view of creationism in Unificationism is placed totally within the allegorical context of Unificationist religion. To date it is the latter kind of creationism that is taught in Unificationist education, that is, the literalistic fundamentalist approach. However, the fact that the other variety has been emphasized to some extent at the Unification Seminary evidences some sensitivity to the problem. It may be that Unificationism may evolve a situation similar to Christian denominations. Here, theological students, entering seminary to study for the ministry, discover a different view of the scriptures and theology from their professors than what they had been taught in the home or in the Christian preparatory schools. Even if this latter situation were the case, however, it would be expected that the normative view of science in the Unificationist society would still be that typical of other societies, that is, the popularized view. The major question is that posed before: would the Unificationist society opt for a simplistic short cut to the enfranchisement of its world view, that is, an authoritarian structure in which the creative portions of its theology were subordinated. In such situations, common throughout the world, ideals are taught only as abstract ideas. Or, would Unificationism successfully experiment with sociological models based on its professed ideology -- one that clearly sees the integral balance between the components and the integrity of the parts. It is clear in the parallel of Marxism that Marxism has opted in most cases for the former counter-productive short cut. Marxist ideals of equality and egalitarianism exist in the professed beliefs of Marxist systems, but are contradicted by the actual praxis of most of their societies.

Science in Unificationist Social Structures: The most salient advantage of a projected Unificationist society based on the best parts of its ideology would be a theistically oriented society providing a unified and mutualistic emphasis. This would be characterized by the Utopian aspect of Marxist goals but without the denigration of the individual so often seen in Marxist political regimes. Unificationism in a westernized framework could at least provide a cohesive world view that would be less prone to split along the lines of racial, economic, and self-interest groups. The difficulty is whether such a unified world view in context of actual political and bureaucratic institutions could actually be enfranchised without itself becoming intolerant of pluralism. Though pluralism is a healthy characteristic of societies which claim to be open and governing in the best interest of human beings (since someone is always bound to disagree) it is precisely what dedicated practitioners of one belief often find most objectionable. It has already been stated that within Unification principle per se there is no problem of an unbalanced view of the positions and integrity of the parts. There is, in fact, an extreme sensitivity to this problem such that the issue of priority and posteriority (the sense of which side needs to win out over another) is addressed in a manner definitely eclipsing that in Marxism. Yet such idealistic world views are often very difficult to put into practice. Such general ideals of freedom, equality, egalitarianism are also present in most of the world's great religions, in Marxism, and even in the Soviet constitution. That such ideals exist is no promise that they can actually be fulfilled. The short cut of a controlled rigid society, along with the compelling political nature of human beings and their interests in power and social control, are always tempting historically and have most often won out. A challenge to Unificationism will be to experiment with its ideology in ways that can try to put its ideal view of relationships into actual practice. It is precisely on this point that Unificationism needs to be extremely careful. This is because its general characteristics -- religious world view, allegorical theology, historical determinism, and apocalyptic eschatology -- ah fit the categories that have been least successful historically in approximating their world views with actual concomitant systems of praxis. If Unificationism successfully argues that Marxism, as dialectical materialism, has failed to deliver the egalitarianism it promised, what guarantee can it offer that dialectical theism will do any better? This question can only be answered in time, but in the meantime it is useful to sketch out what Unificationists should be wary of and where they should be skeptical and sensitive. As a modern-day colloquialism aptly states: if you do not know where you are going, you may end up somewhere else. Unificationists should be aware that a wise way to proceed would be as if no amount of historical determinism could magically solve the gravity of the kinds of problems -which have been reviewed in this paper. The position of science in the society is determined to a great extent by the relative openness of the society. This problem of science and arbitrariness is not simply limited to pure science. It is even more important to technology. Technology can survive in societies which are basically intellectually closed, but usually it only survives as a mimic of technologies that are being developed elsewhere in creatively open societies. The resources for the creative development of technology, which certainly must be a part of a scenario of world restoration, lie in the creativity of pure science and an environment for pure intellectual pursuits.

Summary and Conclusions

This paper has reviewed a number of issues that will confront Unificationism as it approaches its inevitable dialogue with science. It also has examined some characteristics of Unification science itself, and some aspects of Unification science which are predicted by Unification Principle and Unification praxis to date. These have concerned the present role of science in Unificationism, Unificationist teaching, and the position of science expected to occur when Unificationism has established a society of its own guided by its ideology. Certain problems concerning science as a realm of open inquiry and the inevitable arbitrariness of ideologies have also been reviewed. Numerous examples have been given concerning potential value in certain Unificationist concepts in regard to science. The direction that some of these might be pursued and developed has been suggested. The general purpose of the paper has been to suggest aspects regarding science and Unificationism which might best be resolved if anticipated in advance. As stated, it remains to be seen what direction Unificationism will take in dealing with the above-mentioned challenges.

Explanation of Figure

Example of Unificationist ideology applied to one specific scientific problem. The Unificationist "Four-Position Model" was used to illustrate the following content from the text of an ecological publication by the author: "The native vegetational communities comprising true prairie, mixed prairie, and the short grass disclimax prairie were closed communities. Each was composed of a characteristic species diversity, with correspondent percentage admixtures and population densities varying with environment conditions of particular localities. On a larger scale, however, they replaced each other in a broad geographic transition. Their basic nature was a dynamic 'two-tier' variance. Herein, an evolutionarily stable, but dynamic flora was in evidence, suited to an equally dynamic climate, and providing natural rhythms suited to adjust to broad transitions through space or environmental variations in particular localities through time. Hence, the 'entire' character of this native environment at any one time was an almost random assortment of ecological situations providing the spectrum of niches for supported fauna, both broadly and specifically adapted. In this context, the micro-climax of specific localities at any one time recapitulated the macro-climax of the region which was based on a co-dominant system of plants. These plants had dispersed into the region from different evolutionary origins following the Pleistocene epoch and established the dynamic co-dominant climax pattern." The Four Position Model was chosen because it allowed the illustration of co-existing dynamic levels contributing to a larger dynamism distinguished by a distinct recapitulation of certain general characteristics. The diagram consists of a Four Position Foundation containing the inner action of other Four Position Foundations (see Unification Thought). The top of the Four Position Foundation (P) represents the purpose: to explain the epiphenomenon. The two interacting elements beneath it (at level 1 in the diagram) represent the "Division" stage of "Origin-Division-Union" action in Unificationism. At this interactive level, the two complementary components are as follows. (1) at the left the inner Four Position Foundation represents the interacting factors of the macro-climax characteristics of the environment based on geographic transition. These are: 'purpose' being to model the macro-climax characteristics; components of the 'division' level being (left) macroclimactic factors across an east-west transition of several thousand miles at mid-latitude in North America in the subjective position and (right) the admixture and species diversity of flora and fauna available in all possible combinations for the region; resolution at the "union" level being the macro-climax factor available at any particular locality to influence interaction with local conditions. (2) at the right the inner Four Position Foundation represents the interacting factors of the micro-climax characteristic of the particular geographic locality based on moisture versus slope. These are: purpose being to model the micro-climax characteristic of any one geographic locality; components of the "division" level being (left) availability of ground water at any location based on moisture versus slope and (right) the admixture and species diversity of flora and fauna available in all possible combinations at the locality; resolution at the "union" level being the micro-climax factor available at any particular locality to influence interaction with regional conditions. The characteristics of the macro-climax are seen in the subjective position at the interactive level because they determine local parameters generally; the characteristics of the micro-climax are seen in the objective position at the interactive level because they determine local parameters generally; the characteristics of the micro-climax are seen in the objective position at the interactive level because they limit the regional parameters specifically. At the resolution ("union") level of the entire diagram (level 2) the general "two-tier and recapitulating" nature of the plains and prairie co-dominant evolutionary system is illustrated. It is characterized by a pattern that is random at any one point in space and time but specifically systematized within its larger context. The ability of the plains and prairie closed ecological community to maintain its entire regional character without any specific local structure at any one period in time had hitherto been difficult to understand. Also understood by this modeling is that opening of the community leads to its destruction. This is because the introduction of any non-random phenomenon across the broad geographic transition or at the specific geographic locality "breaks a link in the chain." Once a factor is taken out of the ability of this community to shift and adjust at random, it quickly breaks down. The demise of the closed co-dominant climax community took place in the United States within sixty years of man's initial interference.


1. The author is, by training, an evolutionary biologist.

2. Generally, the theological content of Unificationism is referred to in the movement as "The Principle." Various books have appeared concerning this thought, including those called "Divine Principle" and outlines or explanations of "The Principle." "Unification Thought," "Unification Theology," and "Counterproposal to Marxism" are used for respective philosophical, theological, and other specialized applications of "The Principle." For the sake of discussing aspects of "The Principle" and science, in this paper I will use the term "Unification Principle." This is chosen because it is many of the non-theological attributes of "The Principle" (such as the world view presented in Chapter 1 of Divine Principle) that bear most upon its relation to science. A detailed analysis of the relation of Unificationist ontology to aspects of science would require a broad comparison over numerous areas of science, as has been attempted to some degree in The Scientific Basis of Divine Principle (see footnote 3). In this paper such a comparison is impossible because there is not ample space to review the precise details of Unificationist ontology itself. To date this topic is best explored in Explaining Unification Thought, a publication of the Unification Thought Institute.

3. There has been little development of Unificationist science to date. Issues of The Journal of the Society for Common Insights (NY: SCI Press), vols. 1 and 2 (1976, 1977) included several articles concerning the Unification Principle and science. An informal book entitled The Scientific Basis of Divine Principle was developed by me and several other contributors for a course in science and religion at Unification Theological Seminary. This was not an official publication of the Unification Church and cannot be considered authoritative. Several dialogues on science and Unificationism have been sponsored by the New Ecumenical Research Association but their contents have not been published to date.

4. Adapted from my "Prairie Plains Disclimax and Disappearing Butterflies in the Central United States" Journal of Invertebrate Conservation, 1983 (in press).

5. A broad definition of science is difficult because of the methodological spectrum between the so-called hard sciences and soft sciences. For purposes of this essay I consider science any activity that studies phenomena through some process of testing either in an inductive or deductive mode.


Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Divine Principle. NY: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1973.

Johnson, K. "Plains and Prairie Disclimax and Disappearing Butterflies in the Central United States." Journal of Invertebrate Conservation (1983) (in press).

Johnson, K. and Johnson C, et al. The Scientific Basis of Divine Principle. NY: The SCI Press, 1981.

Society for Common Insights. The Journal of the Society for Common Insights. Vols. 1 and 2. NY: The Society for Common Insights, 1976 and 1977.

Unification Thought Institute. Explaining Unification Thought. Barrytown, NY: Unification Thought Institute. 

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