The Catholic Southern Front

Atheists and the Enlightened do not have a monopoly on Science

Many sciences and crafts  including Astronomy, Mathematics, Chemistry, Medicine, Physics, Psychology, Architecture, Botony and the Arts were already initiated by previous peoples such as the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Egyptians, Persians, Aztecs and Mayans. However , the list of Christian contributors is endless regarding their contribution  to all the subjects, topics and studies (which also include the sciences).

It is important to point out that Christianity as a whole was the initiator of most of the sciences of the modern world, and many clerics, monks, priests of the Catholic Church contributed throughout the ages.

While following the Reformation, the Enlightenment produced many scholars who distanced themselves from the idea of God and Religion, this day the Secular Atheists and the general plethora of the Enlightened cannot lay claim that the field of Science and Scientific research belongs exclusively to the scientist who is void of any grain of Faith, especially The Faith.

http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2007/01/ac-grayling-suffers-flesh-wound.html

AC Grayling Suffers a Flesh Wound

A.C. Grayling’s embarrassment on the Guardian continues. Although he has plenty of anti-Christian headbangers coming to his defence, the fact is that his initial article has been exposed as rubbish. The learned professor has spent the last couple of days frantically rearranging goal posts. Grayling began with an articlechallenging another Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting, by writing, “She tells us that Christianity has “fostered learning and science” in Europe for ‘hundreds of years’. I challenge her to name one – even one small – contribution to science made by Christianity in its two thousand years; just one.”Easy. The challenge was quickly met, by me among others. Grayling replied to me by name (while also tarring me with the American fundamentalist brush) and then realised that his first attempt didn’t really cut it, so tried again the next morning. I repliedto his post in great detail and the professor wisely shut up. He is now asking for something rather different to his original challenge.Incidently, I got outed as a Christian by one of the other posters that I refuted. Not hard, given I was using my real name and Google finds me very fast. Still, I got free advertising and the poster got to feel that his revelation abrogated him from acknowledging what he had got wrong, so everyone’s happy.

Another article appeared this morning on the same question but I doubt we’ll see much progress.

Comments or questions? Post them at Bede’s dedicated yahoo group.

http://idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html

A.C. Grayling, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, had recently laid down a challenge:

“According to Madeleine Bunting, Christianity has fostered learning and science in Europe for hundreds of years. Really?

The impression of confusion is heightened by Ms Bunting’s version of history, which she opposed to mine by name. She tells us that Christianity has “fostered learning and science” in Europe for “hundreds of years”.

I challenge her to name one – even one small – contribution to science made by Christianity in its two thousand years; just one.”

The “debate” can be followed at http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ac_grayling/ 2007/01/bunting_on_science_and_history.html

It is fair to say that Grayling lost his challenge as you might expect.

However, two of the responses, one by the author of Bede`s Journal, usefully set out shortly, cogently and in a civilised manner the response to the type of challenge now being faced. The challenge is to face the argument that somehow people who are Christians, and in particular, Catholics, are somehow unable to reconcile themselves to science, and that Science and Christianity are irreconciliable.

There are other responses, of course. But the following two rest on historical fact and are difficult to refute:

“peterNW1 Comment No. 401923:
January 29 16:36

A.C Grayling writes …

“I challenge her to name one – even one small – contribution to science made by Christianity in its two thousand years; just one”

May I take up the challenge on Madeleine’s behalf?

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), who first proposed the heliocentric universe, was a Polish Catholic priest.

Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, was an Austrian Catholic monk.

The Jesuit astronomer Christopher Scheiner (1575-1650) discovered sunspots before Galileo.

Jesuit Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818-1878) discovered 4,000 new stars. His system for star classification is the basis of the Harvard system.

In fact there are no fewer than 35 craters on the moon named after Jesuit scientists alone.

The Big Bang Theory was proposed in 1927 by Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), a Belgian Catholic priest.

The Jesuit Giambattista Riccioli was the first person to determine the rate of acceleration of a free-falling body, and the first to make a pendulum that was so accurate he was able to calculate the gravitational constant.

Another Jesuit priest, Francesco Maria Grimaldi, discovered the diffraction of light. Grimaldi’s discovery led to hypotheses on the wavelike character of light and to Isaac Newton’s interest in optics.

The lightning rod was invented by a Norbertine priest named Procopius Divisch (1698-1765).

French Catholic priest Rene-Just Haey (1743-1822) was the father of modern crystallography.

But why just list priests? Some scientists who were laymen and convinced and practicing Catholics …

The founder of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur. Andre Ampere. Alessandra Volta. Charles Coulomb.

How about mathematician Blaise Pascal, who when he wasn’t inventing calculators was writing the Pensees, a defence of Catholicism?

I am amazed that A.C Grayling has landed himself a job as Professor of Philosophy if he is able to ask such a dumb question.

JamesHannam:Comment No. 401878:
January 29 16:19

Heliocentricism was finally accepted not due to Galileo`s advocacy, but thanks to the stunning success that Kepler`s Rudolphine tables saved the planetary movements. Kepler, of course, was driven to his elliptical orbits precisely by his belief in a God who didn`t get the orbit of Mars wrong by a few minutes. All his science was informed and inspired by his religious belief. So, Professor Grayling asks for one contribution to science made by Christianity. I offer Kepler`s laws.

There are many other possibilities. Taxonomy is directly descended from the scientific studies of Noah`s Arc in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The need to determine the number of animals led to the concept of a member of one species as something that couldn`t reproduce with a member of another. Likewise, very many early taxonomies were attempts to count how many animals were on the arc and how big it had to be.

An even more surprising connection is the way that concerns about grace spread into the mathematics of change. Fourteenth century scholars wanted to understand how the Holy Spirit imparted grace to individuals. Quite quickly, the techniques they had adopted were turned to thinking about other kinds of change. They also moved on to motion and cracked the problem of uniformly accelerated motion over two centuries before Galileo.

In fact, as I have found, Christianity had an important impact on every step of the road to modern science. Let me now summarise exactly what they were:

The preservation of literacy in the Dark Ages

Because it is a literary religion based on sacred texts and informed by the writings of the early church fathers, Christianity was exclusively responsible for the preservation of literacy and learning after the fall of the Western Empire. This meant not only that the Latin classics were preserved but also that their were sufficient men of learning to take Greek thought forward when it was rediscovered.

The doctrine of the lawfulness of nature

As they believed in a law abiding creator God, even before the rediscovery of Greek thought, twelfth century Christians felt they could investigate the natural world for secondary causes rather than put everything down to fate (like the ancients) or the will of Allah (like Moslems). Although we see a respect for the powers of reason by Arab scholars they did not seem to make the step of looking for universal laws of nature.

The need to examine the real world rather than rely on pure reason

Christians insisted that God could have created the world any way he like and so Aristotle’s insistence that the world was the way it was because it had to be was successfully challenged. This meant that his ideas started to be tested and abandoned if they did not measure up.

The belief that science was a sacred duty

This is not so much covered in this essay, but features again and again in scientific writing. The early modern scientists were inspired by their faith to make their discoveries and saw studying the creation of God as a form of worship. This led to a respect for nature and the attempt to find simple, economical solutions to problems. Hence Copernicus felt he could propose a heliocentric model for no better reason that it seemed more elegant.

Not all these factors were unique to Christianity but they all came together in Western Europe to give the world its only case of scientific take off which has since seen its ideas spread to the rest of the world. “

Well to the above we can add:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_Kircher

Catholic Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (sometimes erroneously spelled Kirchner) was a 17th century German Jesuit scholar who published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of oriental studiesgeology, and medicine. He also invented the first megaphone.

Catholic Lay Polish Woman Marie Skłodowska–Curie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Sk%C5%82odowska-Curie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polonium

Also tentatively called “Radium F”, polonium was discovered by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie in 1898[16] and was later named after Marie Curie’s native land of Poland (LatinPolonia), and not for the Hamlet character, Polonius.[17][18] Poland at the time was under Russian, Prussian, and Austrian partition, and did not exist as an independent country. It was Curie’s hope that naming the element after her native land would publicize its lack of independence. Polonium may be the first element named to highlight a political controversy.[19]

This element was the first one discovered by the Curies while they were investigating the cause of pitchblende radioactivity. The pitchblende, after removal of the radioactive elements uranium and thorium, was more radioactive than both the uranium and thorium put together. This spurred the Curies on to find additional radioactive elements. The Curies first separated out polonium from the pitchblende, and then within a few years, also isolated radium.

 

nicholascopernicus1

Nicholas Copernicus: Catholic Monk

Atheism could be also viewed as a statement on the existence of God and atheists  could be viewed as the greatest non-believers in science.

As a scientist draws up conclusions on the gathering of empirical data, when a true   scientist is questioned on the belief of the existence of a Creator/God, the only logical thing the scientist can say is that he/she doesn’t have any proof, empirically speaking, on the existence of a Creator/God. Belief in God depends on Faith. For a public atheist, who has no Faith in a Creator/God, and who declares openly that “God does not exist” or “there is no big man up there” would mean that he/she has travelled to the ends of the universe and to the corners of every dimension and also must have travelled way back into the past, way before the point of creation, in an attempt to empirically collect proof that in these locations there is no Creator/God. As Christians we believe that God is everywhere. However, the self-proclaimed atheist is supposed to rely on proof, empirical that is. Since the above mentioned voyage was not carried out by any human, nor is there in existence any instrument to detect a Creator/God than logic states that a God neither ‘exists’ nor ‘does not exist’. However, the atheist insists that “there is no Creator/God” therefore the conclusions gathered expose the atheist as a ‘hater’ of proof. He concludes and asserts without ‘proof’ – the anti-thesis of Faith – he states out of faithlessness. Would this not also make a person who believes in God a ‘hater’ of proof ? No, as the latter hopes in the existence of God, while the former categorically denies the existence. The atheist usually speaks about science, as though it is science which prevents him from believing in a Creator/God, while a person of Faith never brings science into the equation, due to Faith, and thus a person of Faith does not sully the concept of ‘science’ as an atheist does.

So as an atheist uses science badly, he turns out to be a non-believer in Faith and a non-believer in science.

An atheist believes that nature came about spontaneously and was not in need of the premeditated will of a Creator/God. The atheist attributes the ‘premeditated will’ to a God. In its own turn nature developed and evolved in life, life into many species including Man. Man created many inventions, such as the nuclear bomb, artificial intelligence etc.. these inventions could also be used for destruction, so Man premeditated and willed destruction. As these attributes belong to the gods, then in the little heart of an atheist, man is therefore a ‘god.’ These qualities, denied to a Creator/God are now freely given to Man. For the atheist – Man is god – if Man is god in destruction, how much greater a God is the Creator who premeditated life ? So, the atheist is indirectly stating that the more will and premeditation needed, the more powerful the god involved. A God existed to create the universe and bring life from darkness and  in open view of all.

Therefore, an atheist treats science as rubbish and indirectly states that a premeditated will of a Creator/God exists.

 


2 Comments »

  1. […] Atheists and the Enlightened do not have a monopoly on Science […]

    Pingback by Scientists give a whole new meaning to the word “Bastard” « E.U.tilitarian Commons — December 14, 2008 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  2. I believe God is within, you need not look outside. And God need not be justified… Pax Vobiscum.

    Comment by Chaplain Dan Regan, United States Chaplain Service. — June 11, 2011 @ 6:41 am | Reply


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