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Science vs. faith

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JackvsLocke
Jack and Locke, the man of science and the man of faith.

According to the producers of Lost, the question of science vs. faith is a central theme of the show. This especially applies to the peculiarities of the Island, and to the constant battle between two of the main protagonists, Jack Shephard, man of science, and John Locke, man of faith. In a more general sense, the science/faith conflict can be applied to the struggle between the DHARMA Initiative and the Hostiles/Others.

References on the show

Season 1

  • Locke believes it is his destiny to go with the monster. Jack and Kate will not allow him to be dragged into a hole by the Monster and throw dynamite at it before it can claim Locke. ("Exodus, Part 1")
  • Hurley has faith that he can escape from one of Rousseau's traps without getting hurt despite his friends insistence that he cannot. ("Numbers")

Season 2

  • The episode "Man of Science, Man of Faith" deals directly with the issue of science versus faith. The producers have stated that, contrary to popular belief, the title does not refer to the battle between Locke and Jack, but to the internal battle that Jack faces during the episode.

Season 4

Season 5

  • While trying to explain that the moving of the Island is something incredibly difficult for a Quantum Physicist to understand, man of Science, Daniel Faraday, gets slapped by Sawyer, that wants Faraday to share what he knows with the rest. ("Because You Left")
  • Daniel tells Charlotte that it makes "empirical sense" to go back to the Orchid to stop the temporal shifts that are occurring if that's where it began but also adds that when it comes to bringing back the people that left in order to do so, "we leave science behind." ("This Place Is Death")
  • Ben talks to Jack about faith and doubt, and says that, "sooner or later, everyone is convinced." ("316")
  • The Lamp Post, a scientific research lab created by the DHARMA Initiative, is located in the basement underneath a church. ("316")
  • Eloise Hawking tells Jack he should stop thinking how ridiculous her plan is and he should start asking himself whether or not he believes it's going to work. She calls it a leap of faith. ("316")
  • Ben tells Jack about Thomas the Apostle, noting Thomas’ claim to fame was not his bravery, but his doubt regarding the Resurrection of Christ. Jack asks if Thomas was ever convinced. Ben explains that Thomas needed to touch Christ's wounds to be convinced. ("316")
  • Locke believes it was fate that brought him to Jack, Jack believes it was probability. ("316")
  • Jack claims that he's done trying to fix things and now puts his faith in the Island. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")

Season 6

Quote by Carlton Cuse

"I think the question strikes right at the core of the central theme of the show. Jack represents the empiricist camp, and Locke represents the faith camp, and, you know, who is right? Well, the show hasn't fully answered that question yet. [...] But we're always trying to skirt that line between the two possible explanations, the scientific one or a mythical and magical one, and we are purposefully ambiguous about which one might be correct. Obviously, certain things fall into the science category and certain things fall more into the mystical category, and that just sort of depends on what story we're telling that week." -- Carlton Cuse [1]

See also

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