Science never saw a ghost: John Muir

After a few years in the Sierra, encouraged by friends, in the 1870's John Muir quit his job running a sawmill in Yosemite Valley and began to explore the Sierra mountains in earnest. At the same time he began to take scraps of paper along with him on his forays into the higher elevations, and writing down his thoughts by the campfire.

In one observation, still unpublished* Muir wrote:

Science never saw a ghost, nor does it ever look for any, but it sees everywhere the traces of a universal intelligence.

It's the "nor does it ever look for any" in that quote that echoes in my mind.

Is this scientific idealism he speaks of, or scientific blindness?


*John Muir's Transcendental Imagery, by Richard Fleck, in "John Muir: Life and Work," ed. by Sally Miller, University of New Mexico Press, l990, Albuquerque

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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