Wetenschap: God of afgod 1 Wat zijn wetenschap en Bijbel en hun raakvlakken

Vijanden van elkaar

Het is vreemd, maar veel christenen menen dat Bijbel en wetenschap natuurlijke vijanden van elkaar zijn. Alles wat wetenschap in feite doet, is echter de wereld om ons heen systematisch beschrijven. Goede wetenschap berust op feiten en doet daar verslag van. Waarom zijn zoveel christenen daar dan bang voor? Vrezen zij dat een al te helder licht op de feiten wellicht zou kunnen aantonen dat hun opvattingen over de uiterste houdbaarheidsdatum heen zijn?
Natuurlijk, er zijn gezaghebbende wetenschappers die hun status misbruiken om hun privé opvattingen over atheïsme gezag te verlenen, zoals er ook theologen zijn die hun gezag als theoloog misbruiken om onverantwoorde uitspraken te doen. Dat
zegt weliswaar veel over de beperkte betrouwbaarheid van mensen, maar nog niets over nut of onnut van wetenschap, of van theologie.

Wat is wetenschap?

Wetenschap beschrijft de werkelijkheid. Je gaat uit van waarnemingen, vaak meetresultaten al hoeft dat niet. Die probeer je te verklaren; dan krijg je een ‘hypothese’. Vervolgens redeneer je: als ik dit doe dan moet er dat gebeuren, en dat ga je dan controleren d.m.v. experimenten. Als het klopt wordt je hypothese een theorie. Die theorie is een mogelijke verklaring/beschrijving van wat je in de natuur waarneemt, en daar mogen geen uitzonderingen op bekend zijn. Het vervelende is alleen dat zo’n uitzondering altijd morgen kan opduiken. Als dat gebeurt moet je je theorie zodanig aanpassen dat die nieuwe waarneming daar ook in past.
Als dat niet lukt, moet je hem weggooien en een andere bedenken. Maar een theorie is altijd gebaseerd op waargenomen feiten. En die zijn in elk geval juist. Alleen de verklaring daarvan zou tekort kunnen schieten. In concreto: dinosaurussen hebben bestaan; de vraag is alleen: hoe zijn we er ooit aangekomen, en hoe zijn we er weer van afgekomen. Dat laatste
is een verklaring, een theorie, waar je over kunt discussiëren. Maar te ontkennen dat die beesten ooit hebben bestaan is niet aan de orde.

Wat is de Bijbel?

Aan de andere kant hebben we de Bijbel, Gods instructieboek aan ons, ons ‘Handboek-soldaat’, dat ons alles vertelt wat we moeten weten om een goed christen te zijn. Zoals dat Handboek-soldaat de dienstplichtige destijds alles vertelde wat hij moest
weten om een goed soldaat te zijn.

Maar de Bijbel vertelt je beslist niet waar de dinosaurus vandaan kwam, of waar hij is gebleven, want dat hoef je als christen niet te weten. Zoals het Handboek-soldaat je niet vertelde wie de Mona Lisa heeft geschilderd, of waar je die nu kunt zien. En zoals de wetenschapper er van uit gaat dat zijn waarnemingen juist zijn – dat zij de feiten zijn waar hij zich op kan baseren – zo gaat de bijbellezer er van uit dat de tekst die hij voor zich heeft juist is, dat die de waarheid is waar hij zich op kan baseren.

Strikt genomen is noch het een noch het ander volledig gegarandeerd. Waarnemingen kunnen achteraf wel eens vals blijken te zijn geweest, en evenzo kan de Bijbeltekst wel eens verkeerd zijn overgeleverd, en wij lezen hem in elk geval altijd in een vertaling!
Maar door de band genomen klopt dat allemaal wel.

Maar zoals feiten op zichzelf geen betekenis hebben, en eerst moeten worden geïnterpreteerd voordat ze iets voor ons betekenen, zo moeten we ook de Bijbeltekst eerst uitleggen voordat die iets voor ons betekent.

En zoals een wetenschappelijke theorie achteraf wel eens onjuist, of op zijn minst onvolledig, kan blijken te zijn, zo hoeft ook een theologische uitleg niet altijd de absolute waarheid te zijn. Anders gezegd: feiten liegen niet, maar wetenschappers soms wel, en die zijn in elk geval niet onfeilbaar. Maar evenzo: Gods woord is weliswaar de waarheid, maar Bijbellezers en Bijbeluitleggers kunnen, al dan niet met de beste bedoelingen, soms heel scheve schaatsen rijden.

Welke raakvlakken zijn er eigenlijk

U vindt een en ander geïllustreerd in het schema. Wetenschap is gebaseerd op waargenomen feiten en christendom op de tekst van de Bijbel.
Die kunnen nooit met elkaar in strijd zijn. Dat kan hooguit met de uitleg van die feiten en teksten, maar hoe groot is die kans? Wetenschap gaat vooral over fysieke zaken, en de Bijbel over geestelijk leven. De meeste ‘conflicten’ ontstaan wanneer christenen in bepaalde teksten een beschrijving gaan lezen van natuurkundige of biologische principes. Zoals de middeleeuwse kerk in de Schrift de bevestiging zag van een wereldbeeld met de aarde als het middelpunt van het heelal. Daar kwamen geleerden als Copernicus en Galileï mee in conflict toen ze beweerden dat de aarde om de zon draaide, in plaats van andersom.

De Italiaans natuurkundige, astronoom, wiskundige en filosoof Galilei en Viviani, 1892, Tito Lessi

Maar de Bijbel gaat niet over de fysieke inrichting van het heelal, die gaat over het feit dat God de aarde heeft geschapen als
geestelijk middelpunt van zijn plan met de mens. Wat hier mis gaat is daarom niet de
interpretatie van bepaalde teksten als zodanig, maar het feit dat de Bijbel wordt gelezen vanuit een totaal verkeerde invalshoek. Waarna die invalshoek vervolgens tot zulke misinterpretaties leidt.
Helaas is die middeleeuwse invalshoek tot ons christelijk erfgoed gaan behoren, zodat dit soort misinterpretaties nog steeds voorkomen. Wanneer de wetenschap dan aantoont dat die niet overeenstemmen met onze waarnemingen, ligt dat echt niet aan die waarnemingen. Ja,
de Bijbel is geïnspireerd, en kan niet fout zijn. Maar onze uitleg van die Bijbel is niet geïnspireerd, en kan er wel degelijk mijlenver naast zitten!

Het schema toont ons dat, en we moeten ons dan steeds afvragen of de interpretatie van de feiten onjuist is, of toch onze uitleg (exegese) van de Bijbel. Maar het schema toont ons ook waar het veel vaker mis gaat: feilbare mensen, aan de ene kant of aan de andere, bouwen op hun begrip van de feiten of van de Bijbeltekst een verdere redenering (bij gebrek aan een betere term heb ik dat maar filosofieën genoemd) die in conflict is met wat we aan de andere kant weten. Maar dat mag je de Bijbel niet verwijten, en evenmin de wetenschap. Dat ligt aan de neiging van mensen die iets willen ‘bewijzen’ om daar hun vakgebied
voor te misbruiken, of dat nu Bijbelexegese is of juist wetenschap.
Maar in feite is het geen van beide, in feite is het in beide gevallen een vorm van bijgeloof. In de komende afleveringen willen we daarom een aantal van dit soort confrontaties wat nader beschouwen.

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Aanvullende lectuur

  1. Rond de Bijbel
  2. Bijbel verzameld Woord van God
  3. Boek der boeken de Bijbel
  4. Boek in onze handen
  5. Bijbel baken en zuiverend water
  6. Bestseller aller tijden
  7. De Bijbel als instructieboek
  8. De Bijbel als instructieboek #1 Lezen van de Bijbel
  9. De Bijbel als instructieboek #2 Effectief Bijbellezen
  10. De Bijbel als instructieboek #3 De Taal van de Bijbel
  11. Nut van het lezen van de Bijbel
  12. Missionaire hermeneutiek 1/5
  13. Missionaire hermeneutiek 2/5
  14. Hermeneutiek om uit te dragen #3 Wetenschap
  15. Hermeneutiek om uit te dragen #7 In Harmonie
  16. Hermeneutiek om uit te dragen #8 Tegenspraak

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Gerelateerd

  1. Herman Bavinck on Traveling and the Theology of Nature Hoe leert men dan nog beter dan voorheen de taal van Psalmen en Profeten waardeeren en de heerlijke natuurpoëzie van den Bijbel verstaan?
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Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

In the United States we not only see that religious groups become endangered. Also the female person seems to be placed in a secondary role. We see the growing tendency by several American citizens to consider  the female being as second-class citizen whose place belongs in the kitchen and by her kids. the woman according several man should be subject to a strict social hierarchy. This hierarchy can be observed in every stripe of fundamentalism, from Islamic fundamentalism to Christian fundamentalism and it goes like this:

God/Jesus is the head of the man

Man is the head of the woman, subject only to God

Woman is subjugated to a status which is wholly reliant on having “faith” that her husband will do the right thing because he is specially influenced by God by special decree of the Bible.

Fundamentalist website after website counsels women that if her husband does wrong that the only thing she can do is pray that God will guide him to a different decision, that she is not to disagree with him publicly (or in front of children). She is free (sometimes) to give an opinion, but the ultimate decision is the man’s, because he has special dispensation by God to be in that position. The equal status of women is a threat to this hierarchy, and thus, a threat to God.

According to several writers on the net there is “Anti-intellectualism” at the base of the extremist behaviour of so many evangelicals and for others it is a matter to have everything in control. In order of occupancy of the Oval Office, there is an inverse relationship between the number of Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist presidents of the United States and the percentage of each of those denominations in the broader population. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there are no evangelicals among the current justices of the Supreme Court!

In fact, there aren’t even any Protestants these days!

Dakota O’Leary believes this is why America is seeing so many attacks on women, from trying to pass laws that undermine Roe v. Wade (personhood laws, restrictions on abortions, waiting periods, attempts to push laws to punish abortion doctors, restrictions on being able to get birth control, etc), to going to the trouble of redefining rape as being the woman’s fault, even part of God’s plan, while pushing to give rapists parental rights, to the unfortunate proclamations of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, et. The present president of America even boasted that girls love it to receive the male’s attention and being the prey man has to conquer. Nobody called yet to bring him before court for molesting women, though several women came forward with their story and some even with proof what this man had done to them in the past. To no avail…. He seems to be untouchable.

Many (conservative and evangelical) Americans are convinced that women dress in such a way they demand to be played at and to be raped and that babies born of rape are either a penalty for their attitude or are a blessing from God, (that the female body shuts down its reproductive system when a woman is being raped, etc.).

Controlling women’s bodies while at the same time denouncing “big government” is the popular meme of the fundamentalist mind. Women are simply not meant to destroy that Godly hierarchy set up by the Bible, and in their minds if you can control women, you’ve got half the populace conquered for God.

Fundamentalist anti-intellectualism often manifests itself in a sort of “pseudo-intellectualism” by which those with little or no educational background read a few articles or watch a few videos about a particular subject (usually published by their own religious compatriots, particularly about what a scientific theory is and evolution), and consider themselves “educated” because what they read agreed with their worldview, or, if being highly educated, usually get that education in a fundamentalist educational setting. They even go so far to say that scientists forge or falsify research to mislead pepole and to bring them away from God’s Word. They will then take that “evidence” and proceed to use it against empirical evidence that directly contests and even eviscerates the arguments they have carefully set up around what they have read or seen, and the argument invariably ends with ad hominem attacks against reason, facts, and education — because they have no actual evidence outside of the Bible to use to “win” the argument. A favourite tactic is to call the opposition an “atheist” (or a “liberal”) if someone disagrees with their worldview.

Rick Santorum by Gage Skidmore 12.jpg

Richard John Santorum

By the extremist evangelicals we also may see that education is then “demonized” as being a covert movement to “indoctrinate” the masses in the secular worldview, and thus, part of the forces of Satan. The American attorney, author, and politician Santorum demonstrates this principle admirably. Although he himself is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and JD from Penn State, his Biblical worldview clearly trumps his empirical education and allows him to disregard it as a fly in the ointment in the “light of Biblical truth,” which is, of course, only empirical in that it is in print, in black and white, not empirical that it can actually be proven.

Faith is evidence enough, and reason becomes a threat to faith, thus, reason is from Satan, not God.

A good case in point is the persecution of Copernicus and Galileo by the Catholic Church, regarding the revolution of the Earth around the sun. This old argument, which has been proven in favor of Copernicus and Galileo, has arisen once again to haunt us.

According to a recent National Science Foundation survey, over twenty percent of the respondents believed in the geocentric model popular during the 1500s, that the sun revolves around the earth instead of the other way around. This is old, disproven thinking that comes from the idea that since humanity is God’s creation, naturally, everything revolves around humanity, with humanity at the centre of creation.

Humanity is thus, special. Anything that challenges the idea that humanity is special is thus a threat against God. After all, you can’t feel the earth move, so it must be stationary. You can’t see the stars move (well, you can with a telescope, something called parallax), but you can’t see it with the naked eye, so thus, the earth must be stationary with the sun moving around it.

This is an example of pseudo-intellectualism. You know what you see, but you don’t investigate to see if your assertions are valid under close scrutiny. Fundamentalists cannot afford to indulge in close scrutiny of their ideas, because close scrutiny would most certainly disprove most of what they believe, and they fear, more than anything else, of the erosion of their own faith.

In 1982, forty-four per cent of Americans held strictly creationist views, a statistically insignificant difference from 2012. Furthermore, the percentage of Americans that believe in biological evolution has only increased by four percentage points over the last twenty years.

Susan Jacoby, author of “The Age of American Unreason” and “Freethinkers” sums up the problem of fundamentalist anti-intellectualism succinctly:

This mindless tolerance, which places observable scientific facts, subject to proof, on the same level as unprovable supernatural fantasy, has played a major role in the resurgence of both anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism.

Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted by the Catholic Church for suggesting that humanity on earth was indeed not the centre of the universe. Copernicus did not suffer much persecution while he was alive, but after he was dead, his hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun certainly did. Galileo dared to revive Copernicus’ idea, and packaged it in a mock debate between characters in a book he wrote called Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) in 1632. The Catholic Church’s militaristic arm, the Inquisition, caught wind of what he had written, and banned his book, and placed Galileo under house arrest.

Now, the Catholic Church’s disagreement with Galileo and Copernicus did not make their ideas less true, which the idea certainly was, and revealed to be true through empirical scientific investigation over a period of years. Instead, the Church deflected the facts as “heresy,” which is something fundamentalists are particularly adept at doing. Ken Ham’s Creation Museum is a testament to this deflection of scientific facts as heresy.

By dismissing evolution as nothing more than a “theory,” (which goes to show pure, deliberate ignorance of what exactly a scientific theory is), we see again the application of the ad hominem attack Christian fundamentalists so love to employ when inconvenient facts get in the way.

The fundamentalists of today are a hardy lot, and they will use anything to win this battle for God — the Bible, which is the ultimate authority, the Constitution, revisionist science textbooks, and revisionist American history (a la David Barton) that “proves” America was a nation founded to be their brand of a “Christian nation.”

Their view of a Christian nation is a very restricted view where there is only place for their Christian conservative doctrinal teachings and where there can only some place for other trinitarian christians as long as they do not go against their views.

Never mind they are not Constitutional scholars. The Constitutional scholars are a threat to them because even though scholars have differing opinions about interpretation of the Constitution, any opinion that differs from the fundamentalist worldview is a direct attack on God. Never mind that the fundamentalist that lives in the general population is not a scientist.

They know better, because the Australian Christian fundamentalist and young Earth creationist living in the United States, Ken Ham and the Bible tell them that there is No Way God would use evolution to create (even though the Bible says nothing on the subject of evolution)

The Bible is black and white. God created the world as it is now in six days, and rested on the seventh.

You will rarely see a fundamentalist in a secular college or university because secular universities and colleges do not agree with their worldview (logically). This is why for the most part they are homeschooled, and go straight from homeschool to fundamentalist universities that teach their worldview.By presenting homeschooling by the parents themselves, who did not receive any educational formation to be a teacher, the kids are squeezed the truth and deprived of sound formation. Opportunities to go to a proper high school or to a good university is taken away. For such children is there only an opening to  universities and colleges churned out fundamentalists who are schooled in law, but only an interpretation of law that fits their Biblical worldview. Lawyers or judges who disagree with them, particularly in Supreme Court cases are dismissed ad hominem as “activist lawyers” and “activist judges” (i.e. enemies of God).

This lack of empirical education is changing American society into one that has eroded science education, particularly with their attempts to force the school voucher issue, which is nothing but a bid to get taxpayers to fund fundamentalist education, yet they object to taxpayer funded public education because “secularism” is persecuting them for their beliefs by simply disagreeing with them (because again, nothing they believe is based on empirical evidence).

Jerry Falwell Jr. has ambitious plans to affect life, law and culture in America, and it’s all being germinated at Liberty University, the fundamentalist bastion his father founded. (Source: Americans United)

The lack of empirical education is eroding American society in favour of a “faith based” education that has nothing whatsoever to do with facts that threaten their worldview. Liberty is something they interpret as the freedom to live in a society based solely on their Biblical worldview and does not at all give any liberty to free expression or freedom of thought. Freedom of religion for others in an inclusive society is anathema to them, because such freedom threatens to sideline them to the fringes. Individual liberty does not exist except for them, because they have an inherent distrust of the individual to make reasonable decisions, unless those decisions are based on their interpretation of Scripture. Thus, mainstream Christians are not their brethren; mainstream Christians are simply misinformed individuals who have deluded themselves into believing they are of the family of Christ, and only the clear lens of fundamentalism can see that mainstream Christians have been deceived by the enemy of God which is secular society. In this lies a big problem. They think they have to spread their ‘true religion’ all over the world and consider themselves as the chosen people of God and therefore they also consider themselves as the connected with the Zionists aiming to have peace in the Middle East. Though they do forget that by their refusal to see and understand that Jesus was not his real name, but that is was Jeshua and that he spoke Aramaic and as such used the word “Allah” for “God” plus that in the present day still millions of pepole use that word “Allah” which disgusts those American fundamentalists. And by their action against that word they bring resentment in several believers their heart. Their action against the use of non-english words for “God” gives not only peevishness, but lets many wonder if they belong to the right Christian religion of worse should not become a worshipper of the Only One true God and have to become Jew or Muslim and leave the Christian Trinity doctrine aside. A pity not more by those extremist Christians offended Christians go looking for an alternative Christianity where there is praised the God of Jeshua (Jesus Christ (Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) and where they still can use their Catholic or protestant Bibles with that word “Allah” in it when it talks about The God.

The extremist fundamentalist Christians say their sole aim is to “obey” God in creating conditions favourable to the return of Christ – and this one thought, this one design drives American foreign policy with Israel (they believe that when the Jews all return to Israel and the 3rd temple is rebuilt that Christ will return, (but not without sacrificing 2/3 of the Jewish people in the process), then all the remaining Jews will become Christians.

American fundamentalists are only interested in Jewish people and Israel insofar as it furthers the return of Jesus Christ. That is all.

Dakota O’Leary is convinced that because fundamentalists are engaged in the idea that they are warriors in a fight for God, (something Christian fundamentalists hold in common with Islamic fundamentalists), and says

they have the sort of mindset that if it came to it (which it has not yet, I do not think), they would not afraid to die for their faith. Proof of this idea was given a disturbing form by a video game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces,” which advocates killing anyone who doesn’t agree with them (i.e. can’t be converted to their idea of Christ):

Katherine Stewart writes

Aimed at conservative Christians, the game’s story line begins in a time after the “rapture”, when fundamentalist dogma contends that Christians will go to heaven. The remaining population on earth must then choose between surrendering to or resisting “the Antichrist”, which the game describes as the “Global Community Peacekeepers” whose objective is the imposition of “one-world government”.

“Part of the object is to kill or convert the opposing forces,”

Simpson said.

This is “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, adding that he was dismayed by the concept in “Eternal Forces” of using prayer to restore a player’s “spirit points” after killing the enemy.

In the game, combatants on one side pause for prayer, intoning, “Praise the Lord”. A player can lose points for “unnecessary killing” but regain them through prayer.

But Simpson counters,

“The idea that you could pray, and the deleterious effects of one’s foul deeds would simply be wiped away, is a horrible thing to be teaching Christian young people here at Christmas time.”

Troy Lyndon, CEO of Left Behind Games Inc., which is promoting the new video, has defended the game as “inspirational entertainment” and said its critics were exaggerating. The game is based on the popular “Left Behind” novels, a Bible-based end-of-the-world-saga that has sold more than 63 million copies.

Dakota O’Leary reacts

Now, while this is a disturbing element, and the Left Behind books have genocidal scenes that seem to justify killing masses of unbelievers because they are incorrigible (not ever going to convert to the fundamentalist mindset), it should be reiterated that fundamentalists are not yet at the point in the US where they want to kill people, so let us not be alarmist. However, that being said, the way some fundamentalists are choosing to portray institutional racism and genocide (as punishment for sin and disbelief) to school age children is disturbing, and it is the belief of this scholar that the elements for radical action portrayed in the video game are there – but would need utter desperation in order to explode into being. It is the opinion of this writer that fundamentalists are not yet this desperate, but attempts to normalize killing for God are disturbing, to say the least. The Guardian had this to say about the subject in May of 2012:

The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics.

“In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,”

writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).

In the fall of 2012, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, were scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, came from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.

The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that “the Amalekites were completely defeated.” In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:

You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.

“That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.

Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed.

Dakota O’Leary writes

Educating Christian fundamentalists simply doesn’t work. They do not accept any education that is in direct conflict with their worldview. What remains is to educate the rest of the American populace about Christian fundamentalism and dominionism, educating the American populace about the David Bartons of the world, so that when elections occur, an educated populace can reject the infiltration of fundamentalism on the rest of American society, which will, given the right opportunity (usually in a climate of fear like 9/11), erode American democracy entirely and push our nation into the fringes of the world into irrelevance.

Every American should know that Anti-intellectualism – as advocated by large and vocal elements within the Republican Party is dangerous to the future of their nation. but they also should know that those fundamentalist Christians threaten world peace, by their continuous actions against Muslims and against people who use the word “Allah”.

For the future of the States there is also the education danger, by having the students not to see how the world evolves and how everything is related with each other. Students who are protected from “globalist” views and real science will not grow up to be leaders. If the Americans themselves do not take care of providing a sound education to their children and to give them an understanding of other peoples and other languages they shall have to face a downfall of their nation.

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Dakota O’Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week.

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Preceding

Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

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Additional reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Migrants to the West #2
  4. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  5. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  6. A last note concerning civil rights
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Religious Practices around the world
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  11. You might be an extrimist if …
  12. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  13. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  14. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  15. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  16. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  17. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  18. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  19. A New Reformation
  20. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  21. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  22. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  23. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people

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Further related

  1. On Biblical inerrancy and the priorities of fundamentalists
  2. Are there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical?
  3. How America’s Endless Civil War Between Protestant Sects Is at the Heart of American Identity
  4. Where Is Reality, as Fundamentalist Christians Think They Are More Discriminated Against Than Muslims?
  5. Christian, Jewish and Muslim Fundamentalists Agree that Natural Disasters Are God’s Revenge on the Modern World
  6. MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism — Sightings (Martin Marty)
  7. Sorry LGBTQ People and Fertile American Women
  8. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  9. Are Christian Fundamentalists Driving Our Country into the Dark Ages?
  10. Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages…
  11. More about Christian Nationalism and President Donald J. Trump
  12. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  13. Trump is not a nativist
  14. Party Like It’s Armageddon?!
  15. Chris Hedges: Home Grown Hatred–Anger and Alienation in the US (2009)
  16. Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)
  17. Betsy DeVos and The Christian Right’s “Big Ideas”
  18. Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: Donald Trump and Christianized Fascism
  19. These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis
  20. Adsorbing/Deflecting a curse
  21. Satan Sprinkles A Few More Stegosaurus Bones Across Nation To Test Christians’ Faith
  22. The Handmaid’s Tale – An American Dystopia?
  23. Typical Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail
  24. The Evangelical Identity Crisis
  25. Jordan Peterson – Atheist Researchers vs Christian Fundamentalists

Ian Barbour connecting science and religion

After World War II the deadly possibilities of the Atomic Age raised questions that science couldn’t answer. the world had seen two horrible wars where lives of people were destroyed as if they where of no value. Man had chosen to play god with several experiments, trying to get a proper human Germanic race, destroying those which were seen as the unjust or as the haters of Jesus. Men had become playing for God, wanting to create there own justified world and taking the right to judge in their own hands.

Ian Barbour

Ian Barbour in his office in the chapel at Carleton College in 1999, when he won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In the 1950s, when Barbour began to promote discourse between the two fields, scientists had little tolerance for religion, and theologians had little interest in science. His was a lonely voice for rapprochement. (Jean Pieri, St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Born in Beijing, China the second of three sons of an American Episcopalian mother and a Scottish Presbyterian father, Ian Barbour spent his childhood in China, the United States, and England.  After completing his doctorate in physics he enrolled in Yale University‘s Divinity School and forged a career devoted to bridging the chasm between science and religion. Even before completing his divinity degree in 1956, he was appointed to teach in both the religion and physics departments of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., in 1955. With his degrees in Theology and Physics, Ian Barbour explored the theological implications of science and methodological issues in both fields. In the 1970’s, he co-founded of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program at Carleton, which later became the Environment and Technology Studies program. He retired in 1986 as the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society, but continued to put his ideas on paper. He wrote or edited sixteen books. From 1989 to 1991, he gave the Gifford lectures from 1989 – 1991 at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and in 1999, he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

In the citation nominating Barbour for the 1999 Templeton Prize, John B. Cobb wrote

“No contemporary has made a more original, deep and lasting contribution toward the needed integration of scientific and religious knowledge and values than Ian Barbour. With respect to the breadth of topics and fields brought into this integration, Barbour has no equal”

Barbour pledged $1 million of the prize money to the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, an educational organization affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.

Barbour claimed the basic structure of religion to be similar to that of science in some ways but also differing on some crucial points. Both being part of the same spectrum display ‘subjective’ as well as ‘objective’ features. The subjective include the theory on data, the resistance of comprehensive theories to falsification, and the absence of rules for choice among paradigms. Objective features include the presence of common data, evidence for or against a theory, and criteria which are not paradigm-dependent. The presence of subjective and objective features in both science and religion makes his thinking valuable and original. Barbour’s arguments have been developed in significant and diverse ways by a variety of scholars, including Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Sallie McFague and Robert John Russell. His subjective / objective approach is prominent in the evolving paradigm of Religious Naturalism.

Critical realism could be seen as an alternative to the competing interpretations of scientific theories: classical or naive realism, instrumentalism, and idealism.

A critical realist perspective sees scientific theories yielding partial, revisable, abstract, but referential knowledge of the world that can be expressed through metaphors and models.

Director of the association’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, Jennifer Wiseman said:

“Scientists particularly have appreciated the humble and insightful ways he has considered how we imagine and model the unknowns in each realm.”

His book Myths, Models, and Paradigms (1974), which compared concepts and methods of inquiry in science and religion was nominated for a National Book Award.
Religion in an Age of Science (1990) and Ethics in an Age of Technology (1993), a two-volume set based on a series of lectures he presented in Scotland, received the 1993 book award from the American Academy of Religion.
He later published an updated and revised version of Religion in an Age of Science as Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (1997). In When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? (2000), translated into 14 languages, Barbour reviewed possible responses to the conflict between science and religion, ultimately concluding that the two are not mutually exclusive. In the book he looks at ‘Religion And Science’, The Beginning: ‘Why Did the Big Bang Occur?’, Quantum Physics: ‘A Challenge to Our Assumptions About Reality?’ and Darwin And Genesis: ‘Is Evolution God′s Way of Creating?’.

Barbour’s wife of 64 years, Deane Kern, died in 2011. Barbour suffered a stroke on December 20, 2013 at his home in Northfield, Minnesota, and remained in a coma at Abbott Northwestern Hospital until his death four days later. He is survived by his brother Hugh (Sirkka) of Sleepy Hollow, New York; four children, John (Meg Ojala) of Dundas, Blair of Oak Park, Illinois, David of Richfield, and Heather (Tom Eberhart) of Arlington, Virginia; three grandchildren, Graham Ojala-Barbour (Yinfei Wu) of Minneapolis, Alexandra Barbour Albers of San Francisco, and Reed Ojala-Barbour of Big Bend, Texas; and his great grandson, Edgar Deane Ojala-Barbour.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 18th, at 3 p.m., at Carleton’s Skinner Memorial Chapel with a reception following in Great Hall. Remembrances of Ian may be left in the comments below. The family’s obituary is available on the Bierman Funeral Home’s website.

Ian was a member of the First United Church of Christ in Northfield, where he was a steady worshiper and active member of his congregation. Ian left a wide and deep intellectual legacy, and he also led a life of great kindness and generosity. He was a humble man of deep faith, finding awe and wonder in the natural world, and great love and joy in his family and friends.

Ernest Simmons (Concordia College) wrote:

As a mentor and friend in the theology and science dialog, Ian opened a world of creative interaction for me and his groundbreaking book Issues in Science and Religion contributed to me becoming a theologian and committed to the dialog. He demonstrated that one could be a scientist and with intellectual and scientific integrity affirm the existence of God. My faith was sustained because of his reflection. No words can fully express the gentle kindness with which he approached others whether they be friends or detractors and modeled a way of intellectual and scholarly debate that was constructive to the field. Also, no words can fully express what he has meant to all of us in science and theology as a founder of the field. Blessed be the memory of Ian Barbour. We are all better persons for having been touched by such a gentle giant of an intellect housed in such a kind and caring human presence. Pax Aeterna my friend.

Takashi James Kodera ’69, Professor of Religion, Wellesley College; Rector, part-time, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Hudson, MA, wrote:

May I share with all those who have known Ian Barbour my heart felt gratitude for his pioneering teaching and scholarship. Trained first as a physicist, and later in the academic study of religion, with an abiding commitment to the Quaker tradition, he spearheaded the field of “Science and Religion.”

When I took my first Religion course at Carleton as a “foreign student,” in today’s PC phrase “international student,” it was a course, team taught by Ian Barbour and Bardwell Smith. Due, in large measure, to my woeful language preparation, I did not follow the class proceedings very well. As a “courtesy grade,” as the put it, I received one of the lowest but passing grade.

What I remember of him is the rare combination of personal gentleness and intellectual acumen.

His beloved wife, Deanne, preceded him.

May their souls rest in eternal peace.

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Please Browse Inside Religion and Science by Ian G. Barbour

Find more articles on the relationship of Science and Religion

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Additional reading:

  1. Ian Barbour dies at 90; academic who bridged science-religion divide
  2. Ian Graeme Barbour  (October 5, 1923 – December 24, 2013)
  3. Notices of the passing of members of the Carleton community: Ian Barbour
  4. Ian Graeme Barbour (October 5, 1923 – December 24, 2013), American scholar on the relationship between science and religion.
  5. Ian Barbour, in full Ian Graeme Barbour

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Science and Religion are portrayed to be in ha...

Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Ian Barbour: An Appreciative Note Now That He Has Died (ithinkibelieve.wordpress.com)
    The eminent, perhaps the original, scholar of science and religion leaves a huge legacy behind, one which many of us are very thankful for. Anyone who takes science-and-religion seriously is familiar with his classic 1966 book, Issues in Science and Religion. He had a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and did graduate work in theology at Yale. He was, by all accounts, also a very pleasant man.
    +
    He isn’t announcing how science and religion ought to or should relate, but rather attempts to understand how they do relate. And the fact is that they relate in several different ways. There’s nothing wrong, as such, to throw your lot in with one particular kind of relation – say, independence, like Stephen Jay Gould did with his NOMA model -, but you’ve stopped being a scientist when you do so, and have proceeded to sit down in the philosophical armchair. Which is quite all right, of course. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But it isn’t scientific.
  • Ian Barbour, academic who bridged science-religion divide, dies at 90 (mcclatchydc.com)
    He “gave birth almost single-handedly to the contemporary dialogue between science and religion,” said Robert John Russell, the founder-director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, a nonprofit teaching and research institute affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. “He made a convincing and lasting case that science and religion are more alike and analogous than unlike and conflictive.”
  • Science without Religion (thoughtuncommon.wordpress.com) > Science without Religion (mortusvox.wordpress.com)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
    +
    Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)  > Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
    Religion (or spirituality or relation to the Divine, as you prefer) is the realm of the unknown, the unseen, the ethereal and subjective. Science deals with the head, religion with the heart.
    +
    If we can open our minds to science and our hearts to religion, the conflict disappears and harmony results.+Mooney on the Psychology of Evolution Denial
    Our brains are a stunning product of evolution; and yet ironically, they may naturally pre-dispose us against its acceptance.
    +
    Religion, especially the extreme versions, is soon going to disappear as well. I don’t believe that those seven things are innate, hard-wired, ways of thinking. They are mostly learned behaviors. There’s no reason to suspect than we can’t teach our children different, and better, ways of thinking. There’s no evidence that I know of that convinces me that essentialism, teleological thinking, dualism, and inability to understand vast time scales are more “natural” than other ways of thinking.Well, if Mooney is wrong about the science that’s one thing. My experience teaching mathematics suggests to me that careful, logical thinking is not something that comes naturally to most people, and the sheer ubiquity of religion in the world suggests that there is some underlying psychological basis for it. So I’m not sure why Larry regards Mooney’s hypothesis as obviously false.
    +

    Texas A&M professor blends neuroscience, religion in new course

    The course objective is to show that science — especially neuroscience — and religion don’t have to contradict each other.

    “I admit, it’s complicated,” Klemm said. “And sometimes people don’t want to think about complicated things. It’s easier to gloss over ideas.”
    +
    the important issue to Klemm is how the brain decides what to believe. His syllabus states that an important objective “is to explore how past experiences, secular and religious, train the brain to respond to experiences in spiritual ways and determine the neurobiology of emotional and cognitive processes by which the brain comes to believe anything it accepts as valid.”
    +

    Einstein’s famous quote about science and religion: what did he mean?

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

    It’s often used to show both Einstein’s religiosity and his belief in the compatibility—indeed the mutual interdependence—of science and religion.  But the quote is rarely used in context, and since I’ve just read the essay in which it appears, I’ll show you that context. But first let me show you how, in that same essay, Einstein proposes what is essentially Steve Gould’s version of NOMA (Non-overlapping Magisteria):

    It would not be difficult to come to an agreement as to what we understand by science. Science is the century-old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thoroughgoing an association as possible. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization. . .
    +

    Science & Religion
    While Science speaks of facts and logic, religion rely on hope and faith. Science deals with material world that we know; religion is concerned with a divine order that we imagine. Science believes in things that can be proved; religion deals with spiritual ideas that cannot be proved. Science depends on reason; religion on intuition and inner conviction or faith. The scientist works in the laboratory of material world; religious teacher probes into the chambers of the inward mind. The goal of science is achievement; that of religion is realization.  The truths of science can be proved to all; the truths of religion have to be taken on trust. Thus, the two worlds are antithetical.

  • Science vs Religion (shawnong.wordpress.com)
    Using force to obtain one’s ambitions results in devastating consequences and instils intense resentment as seen from historical world events, such as World Wars and the Holocaust. Figures like the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis exemplify the use peaceful methods as opposed to using force, and have consequently attained immense public approval.Therefore, to create union is a forced process of blending everyone into the same mixture. It’s like how one pizza does not have every kind of topping but there are many pizzas with different toppings and that works with pizza-lovers.
    +Science is human’s natural mode of exploration while Religion answers a whole different set of questions.“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.” ― Galileo Galilei
  • Science & Religion (lacecurtain.wordpress.com)
    I saw that science and religion are forever locked together, back to back, facing opposite directions, each turning in their own direction opposite to each other, yet both together turning in the same direction, rolling along the path of truth.
  • Science and Religion (nasirghumman.wordpress.com)
    One of the epic and historic controversies, which involves certain disputes which changed the course of history over time to a great extent, which affected the definition of faith and which made us to reconsider our believes and faith, yes of course the dispute between Religion and Science. This historic dispute falls back into the 1600s to the time of Galileo Galilei, if we specifically talk about a dispute between Christianity and Science. But of course, in modern world, this dispute is not over yet, rather it has taken a different form.   From the beginning, when humans evolved enough to use the brain and made certain theories, the questions were also born with such evolution, the questions pointing towards their origin, how is this universe came into existence, how our Earth was born, why are we here and what is the purpose behind our existence. Man has been trying to get answers to each of these particular questions and some other questions too. For this purpose, Religion steps forward and tries to provide answers. Gradually, Science becomes powerful enough to compete Religion and provided mankind with more relevant answers along with the logic. But there is one Religion whose teachings are those of Quran’s, Islam. Islam tend to answer each and every question which mankind has asked of it’s origin. Quran, acting as a complete code of life, explains every aspect of life to mankind. This fact that, many Scientific laws and principles have been predicted long ago by Quran, has been admitted by many scientists all over the world. For instance, Quran says that the only reason mankind is created is that it worships it’s true Lord, Allah or God, one single God.
  • Science….Religion….Science?….Religion…. (freecitizenproject.wordpress.com)
    They are the two sides of the spectrum that tear the world in half by its groin.The job of empirical science is to observe and find absolutes, where as religion serves as a solution to the unanswerable.Although so different, they inevitably coincide, and I am utterly fascinated with them both.
  • An Interesting, Yet Scary, Debate (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    A couple years ago Bill Nye released a video on youtube entitled “Creationism is Inappropriate for Children.”  While this post was a bit extreme in my opinion, the science he presented was 100% accurate.  Of course, Ken Ham, who’s just as much, if not more militant, has to respond with his ignorant, ridiculous ideas.  Now, as if all of this garbage between these two guys wasn’t enough, Nye has agreed to debate Ham.  I’m interested to see this debate for many reasons.
  • Science & Religion: The Paramount Candour (umbrascriptor.wordpress.com)
    Scientific truths are cautious. Science believes that nothing is absolutely true. What is regarded as true today may be proved to be false the very next day by further experiments and observations. Thus, there was a time when the earth was supposed to be motionless and the sun was supposed to go round it but gradually science proved that this was wrong and showed that it is the earth which goes round the sun. Similarly, Newton’s law of gravitation held the day till Einstein came out with his superior theory of relativity. In this way, science advances towards truth as absolute. But whatever is written in religious books is regarded as absolutely true. Anyone who criticizes the teaching of religion is considered to be a heretic and is violently condemned. In the past, those who dared to question a religious truth were mercilessly persecuted and punished, and the example of Galileo readily comes to mind in this connection. Even more, who knows not about the Darwin’s theory of evolution. In short, science is progressive and dynamic while religion are static and orthodox and this shows that there is a great conflict between science and religion.
  • A Savvy Investor’s Spiritual Exploration (nytimes.com)
    Templeton, who died in 2008 at 95, practiced thrift and, once he entered the investment world, preached a doctrine of patience and of looking for opportunities in pessimistic times. Beginning with the Templeton Growth Fund, his investment businesses enjoyed impressive success, partly because of his early enthusiasm for foreign markets.

Templeton, who died in 2008
at 95, practiced thrift and, once he entered the investment world,
preached a doctrine of patience and of looking for opportunities in
pessimistic times. Beginning with the Templeton Growth Fund, his
investment businesses enjoyed impressive success, partly because of his
early enthusiasm for foreign markets.

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English: 1. Believers 2. Religion 3. Atheists ...

1. Believers 2. Religion 3. Atheists 4. Science (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bible containing scientific information

Does the Bible contain scientific information unknown at the time?

Answered by  

Some attempts to find scientific knowledge in the Bible are misplaced. For example, in Isaiah 40:22 the ‘circle of the earth’ does not describe the earth as a sphere; the Hebrew word for ‘circle’ is used, not the Hebrew for ‘sphere’ or ‘ball’. However, the Bible does contain information which has historically been of considerable scientific value.

Demythologizing the cosmos

Aristotle

Aristotle (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Unlike every other Ancient Near East cosmology, the Bible describes the universe in naturalistic terms. The sun, moon, and stars are inanimate objects rather than gods, the universe was not created from the recycled body parts of divine beings, and the universe operates according to fixed laws. Early Jewish and Christian commentators understood that nature is regular and orderly, since everything in nature takes place according to fixed laws which God has instituted, which never change. [1] [2]

This concept of the universe, which we take for granted, was revolutionary in the Ancient Near East and was not even approached by the Greeks until around the 4th century BCE. In fact the inadequacy of Greek science led to a complete dead end. [3] Unable to free itself completely from mythology, Greek science finally stagnated and failed to advance any further. [4] Western science was not revived until the 6th century CE Christian philosopher John Philoponus challenged the pagan cosmology inherited from the Greeks. [5]

“Expositio et quaestiones” in Aristoteles De Anima by Johannes Buridanus, 1362?.

A pagan Greek philosopher,  Proclus, had written a massive polemical commentary explicitly criticizing the Biblical description of the universe and its origin, on the grounds that it was scientifically unsupportable. Philoponus destroyed Proclus’ arguments in his reply, demonstrating the many flaws in Proclus’ work. [6] He also wrote numerous commentaries on Aristotle’s works which identified their errors, using the Biblical cosmology as his tool. [7]  This breakthrough was instrumental in the formation of Western science as we know it. [8] Philoponus’ work was used by later scientific investigators such as such as Bonaventure, Gersonides, Buridan, Oresme, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton, all of whom made significant scientific progress as a result.

The universe had a beginning

Philoponus had defended the Christian cosmology, deriving powerful arguments from observations of the universe that it must have had a beginning, and that it was finite in duration. He singlehandedly debunked the greatest pagan philosopher and cosmologist in recorded history (Aristotle), as well as burying Proclus’ criticism of the Christian cosmology. Later Jewish and Christian cosmologists throughout the medieval era made similar arguments, based on the same observations. Christian scientists from Francis Bacon to Isaac Newton all understood this, for centuries.

Incredibly, some of the greatest 20th century scientists such as Eddington and Einstein claimed it could not be true (apparently Einstein later said it was possibly the greatest error in his career). Eddington even admitted he didn’t want it to be true, for philosophical reasons. [9] It was only recently that scientific evidence for the ‘Big Bang’ proved that the universe did indeed have a beginning and would have an end, contrary to what many scientists had believed.

Health & hygiene regulations

Examples of cleansing rituals (and other commandments), carried out under the Law of Moses with excellent hygiene benefits include:

  • Carrion is not to be eaten (Leviticus 7:24)
  • The examination and cleansing of objects known to have come into contact with infectious persons, and their destruction if they are unable to be cleansed (Leviticus 13)
  • The quarantine and routine inspection of those suffering from infectious diseases, and the washing or destruction of objects touched by that individual while infected (Leviticus 13, 14)
  • Dwellings known to be infected with mold are to be repeatedly cleansed and examined until the mold has been completely removed, persons in the dwelling to wash themselves and their clothes, any physical material in the house which carries the mold is to be disposed of outside the residential area (and replaced with new material), and if the dwelling cannot be cleansed or if the mold keeps reoccurring the entire dwelling is to be destroyed and the debris disposed of outside the residential area (Leviticus 14)
  • Men and women with abnormal genital discharges were to wash themselves and their clothes, if they touched anyone or anything without washing their hands that person or thing had also to be washed (Leviticus 15)
  • Cleansing rituals involved washing with running water, avoiding the danger of stagnation and the transmission of infection by contaminating a static body of water with unclean material (Leviticus 15)
  • Those in contact with a dead body to wash themselves and their clothes, and any open container which was in a room where a person had died was to be considered unclean, together with its contents (Numbers 19:11-20)
  • Latrines to be dug well clear of residential areas (Deuteronomy 23:12-13)

Historical, medical, and scholarly commentary on these passages has noted the value of these instructions. [10] [11] [12] [13] George Washington actually used and enforced the hygiene rules in the Law of Moses to improve the health of his troops, and to give them a significant advantage over their English enemies, who were not so aware. [14]

Egyptian medical science was crippled by its belief in the supernatural cause of many illnesses. [15] The Law of Moses never attributed sickness to supernatural evil such as demons (unlike the nations around them). This gave them a tremendous advantage when approaching the issue of health and medicine. [16] [17]


References

[1] Sirach chapter 16, verses 26-28, 180-175 BCE.

‘When the Lord created his works from the beginning, and, in making them determined their boundaries, he arranged his works in an eternal order, and their dominion for all generations. They neither hunger not grow weary, and they do not abandon their tasks. They do not crowd one another, and they never disobey his word.’

[2] Basil of Caesarea, ‘Hexamaron’, chapter 5, sections 10, 370 CE.

‘It is this command which, still at this day, is imposed on the earth and, in the course of each year, displays all the strength of its power to produce herbs, seeds, and trees. Like tops, which after the first impulse continue their evolutions, turning upon themselves, when once fixed in their center; thus nature, receiving the impulse of this first command, follows without interruption the course of ages until the consummation of all things.’

[3] John McKenna, article ‘John Philoponus, Sixth Century Alexandrian Grammarian, Christian Theologian and Scientific Philosopher’, Quodlibet Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, January 2003.

‘The Greek concept of God caused a deep confusion between cosmology and theology and was a dead-end to science, as we know it in our time.’

[4] Wilderberg, ‘John Philoponus’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

‘Reading Philoponus as well as the writings of his great adversary Simplicius, one gets the sense that in the 6th century CE, traditional pagan Greek learning had become desperately insular.’

[5]  Dan Graves, ‘Aristotle’s Earliest Creationist Critic’, 1998.

‘A widespread religion of Philoponus’s time was pantheism, a belief system that sees God as equivalent to nature. In his rejection of this, Philoponus argued that the Creator transcends nature rather than being within it. Having been created, nature exists without constant intervention by God. This radical conception shocked the pagans who believed the gods were imbedded within the material universe.’

[6] Wilderberg, ‘John Philoponus’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

‘The Athenian Neoplatonist Proclus (c. 411-485), the teacher of Philoponus’ own teacher Ammonius, had written a defense of the pagan Greek (Aristotelian, Platonist) belief in the eternity of the world. His aim was to show that Christian creationism was intellectually untenable.’

‘Like the polemic against Proclus, Against Aristotle is mainly devoted to removing obstacles for the creationist. If Aristotle were right about the existence of an immutable fifth element (ether) in the celestial region, and if he were right about motion and time being eternal, any belief in creation would surely be unwarranted. Philoponus succeeds in pointing to numerous contradictions, inconsistencies, fallacies and improbable assumptions in Aristotle’s philosophy of nature relating to these claims. Dissecting Aristotle’s texts in an unprecedented way, he time and again turns the tables on Aristotle and so paves the way for demonstrative arguments for non-eternity.’

[7] John McKenna, article ‘John Philoponus, Sixth Century Alexandrian Grammarian, Christian Theologian and Scientific Philosopher’, Quodlibet Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, January, 2003.

‘However, of greatest important is Philoponus’ cosmology, based upon his monotheism. Believing that heaven and earth were both created by God ex nihilo  he vehemently attacked Aristotle’s assumptions with regard to the eternity of the universe and its dichotomy into a heavenly and sublunary region.’

[8] Dan Graves, ‘Aristotle’s Earliest Creationist Critic’, 1998.

‘Philoponus’s application of Christian theology to physics prefigured a new era in science. The Alexandrian scholar was the first to combine scientific cosmology (the study of the nature of the universe) with monotheism and the Christian doctrine of creation. In doing so, Philoponus anticipated not only the findings but also the methods of modern science.’

‘Philoponus’ replies anticipated the great Renaissance scientists Galileo (1564-1642) and Simon Stevin (1548-1620).’

[9] Arthur Eddington, ‘The End of the World: From the Standpoint of Mathematical Physics’, Nature, volume127 (1931), p. 450.

‘Philosophically, the notion of a beginning to the present order is repugnant to me.’

‘I should like to find a genuine loophole.’

Eddington also acknowledged that the theory of the universe expanding, as proved by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, was a powerful argument for the truth of the Biblical description of the universe as having a beginning (Eddington, ‘The Nature of the Physical World’).

‘Religion first became possible for a reasonable man of science in the year 1927’

[10] C. Singer and E. A. Underwood, ‘A Short History of Medicine’, 1962.

‘Among the physicians of classical antiquity we find no consistent view of transmission of infection by contact. Indeed the whole idea of infection was effectively absent from them, so that preventive measures based upon them could not be developed. It was reserved for the Middle Ages to conceive serious official measures against spread of epidemics. These measures were constantly derived from the leper ritual of the Bible with its fundamental concept of isolation.’

[11] Kim Taylor, ‘Toxic Mold Assessment: Mitigation, and Prevention’, Federal Facilities Environmental Journal (Summer 2004), p. 60.

‘The first documented residential mold assessment and remediation was reported in the Old Testament (Leviticus 14) in which identification, evaluation, and cleanup methods were described. The cleanup methods described in Leviticus have not significantly changed in the present day.’

[12] Peter M Baldwin, ‘Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930′ (1999), p. 5.

‘The ancient Jews had been the first to develop not only the rules of contagionist prophylaxis detailed in Leviticus, but had also formulated other pertinent aspects of public hygiene: a weekly day of rest, protection of the food and water supply, concern with abnormal discharges of the genitals and more general bodily cleanliness, including perhaps (if one is willing to attribute also functional motives to religious rituals) circumcision.’

[13] T Thulchinsky & E Varavikova, ‘The New Public Health: An Introduction for the 21st Century’ (2000).

‘The Hebrew Mosaic Law of the five Books of Moses stressed prevention of disease through regulation of personal and community hygiene, reproductive and maternal health, isolation of lepers and other “unclean conditions”, and family and personal sexual conduct as part of religious practice.’

‘It also laid a basis for medical and public health jurisprudence. Personal and community responsibility for health included a mandatory day of rest, limits on slavery and guarantees of the rights of slaves and workers, protection of water supplies, sanitation of communities and camps, waste disposal, and food protection, all codified in detailed religious obligations.’

‘Food regulation prevented use of diseased or unclean animals, and prescribed methods of slaughter improved the possibility of preservation of the meat.’

‘The Mosaic Law, which forms the basis for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, codified health laws for the individual and for society, all of which have continued into the modern era as basic concepts in environmental and social hygiene.’

[14] Colonel Robert Anderson, Office of the Surgeon General Department of the Army of Washington, ‘The Evolution Of Preventive Medicine In The United States Army, 1607-1939′ (1968).

‘Like Pringle, Brocklesby, Tilton, and others, Washington invoked the Mosaic sanitary code, as stated in the Fourth and Fifth Books of Moses in the King James Version of the Old Testament, Numbers 5: 1-4 and Deuteronomy 23: 12-14. This is shown in the facsimile reproduction (fig. 7) of the broadside of his general orders for the Army under the command of Brigadier General McDougall, issued at Head Quarters, Peeks-Kill [in October? 1777]. A copy of this broadside (43) is reprinted as appendix A, p. 189. In this broadside, Washington refers to Moses as “the wisest General that ever lived, for he was inspired.” He might also, with good reason, have referred to him as “the Founder of Preventive Medicine,” as proclaimed by Wood and others (44).’

[15] The Eber Papyrus (a collection of Egyptian medical texts).

‘When thou meetest a large tumour of the God Xensu  in any part of the limb of a person, it is loathsome and suffers many pustules to come forth; something arises therein as though wind were in it, causing irritation. The tumour calls with a loud voice to thee: it is a tumour of the God Xensu. Do nothing there against.’

[16] Ashland Theological Journal, (29:170), review ‘Powers of Evil: A Biblical Study of Satan & Demons’ (1997).

‘In contrast to contemporary Ancient Near-Eastern texts, the OT makes no reference to demon possession or exorcism, nor do the people exhibit undue fear or fascination with these spirits.’

[17] Richard Hess, ‘Review: A Reassessment of the Priestly Cultic and Legal Texts’, Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 17, #1/2 (2002), p. 378.

‘Milgrom argues that there is a basic distinction between the religious understanding of spiritual forces in the ancient Near East and in Israel. In the former, priests used rituals and incantations to thwart the evil powers and intentions of demons. P eliminated the world view that held demons responsible for the evil in the world. In its place, people were to be held responsible for the wickedness. In this sense, people replaced demons.’

****

Picture of Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and A...

Picture of Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Replies:

  • Russell Hamner

    your looking for the wrong kind of science, it is indeed political science and social science that has been hidden from you. do some research and reasoning. moses came down the mountain with two tablets, leviticus for the oganization of religion for social science, and deuteronomy for the oganization of political science, seperated by numbers which tells you to count all who are able to go to war i.e. government, and not to count the levites i.e. religion. in effect separation of church and state, so.. the covenant of god demonstrates the seperatio of church and state, the constitutionalist formed the united states, and the constitution on the seperation of church and state or in other words they formed them on the covenant of god.

    look out into your world and watch… it is coming to and end as you know it, soon the kingdom will come upon you as a thief in the night, for god has revealed his purpose, the wheel she is big and she turns very slowly but yet it comes, and yet it is upon you. repent for the kingdom of god is upon you lest the wheel crush you under its heel.

  • Brandy Williams

    Oh my did you all do your home work, however, I have a slightly different outlook. I think that the Bible is full of many different types of sciences; social, medical, governmental, and personal. Even archeologicly. While being the written word of God the practical uses for everyday life was amazing and the governmental applications the best ever displayed. If we all followed them now maybe we wouldnt be in these messes. Socially all the knowledge you need is to love thy neighbor as thy self and it is a magor undertaking to do so at times. I call that art a science! Personally why would you follow Gods order for all the different types of tithing its built to make you prosper and geez at the amount of training it takes to do that! Another science to me. We dig stuff up out of the dirt all the time that proves that the people of biblical times had to be smart ie the babylonian light bulb! I think we tend to over think things instend of practality, we need to focus on what is at hand. Why should any of us care how we make it to the other side as long as Jesus is our center. All we should do is focus on making the time we are given a type of heaven on earth and seek His kingdom first, treat others as we would be treated and watch a move of God spring from the works of our faith and hope. You know those things unseen. What good is it to be a believer is waiting to die some horrible death? Even though I may give myself up to be burned my life now is so much more important than how I leave this life and enter the next. Focus boys focus! Who is our focus?! Nothing but Jesus!

  • Michael

    Russell, I’m not sure where you came up with this perspective but I see several errors you might want to resolve. God was to be the King of the Jews, the same God that inhabited the Temple, the same God that will rule with “a rod of iron.” The Jews did not obey the “separation of church and state” proscribed in the tablets, they rejected God in doing so. (1 Sam. 8:7) God appointed the kings, all the way to the Messiah through the same line. The two tablets don’t separate “church and state,” we don’t even know how many words were on each. The logical split, however, first reveals our relationship with God (commandments 1-4) and then reveals our relationship with each other (commandments 5-10). Leviticus vs. Deuteronomy? Deuteronomy, literally, means “second law,” but practically it is the second “telling.” Those that were present at the time of the first reading had perished, judged for doubting God and His character. Those who had grown up or been born during those forty years then received the same law. “it is indeed political science and social science that has been hidden from you. do some research and reasoning”??? Considering what you wrote, I would encourage you to do the same. “the wheel she is big and she turns very slowly…lest the wheel crush you under its heel”??? Mixed metaphors doesn’t come close, there is no heel on a wheel, oh my! Read Genesis over again, and once you understand who the “seed of the woman” is and the references to bruising, move on, but slowly.

    ***

    Galileo Galilei. Portrait by Ottavio Leoni. De...

    Galileo Galilei. Portrait by Ottavio Leoni. Detail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Additional reading:

  1. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  2. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  3. Observance of a day to Remember
  4. Were allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  5. Relapse plan

+++

  • Evidence from science, philosophy and history against Mormonism, the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    “In contrast to the self-sufficient and solitary absolute who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Mormon God did not bring into being the ultimate constituents of the cosmos — neither its fundamental matter nor the space/time matrix which defines it. Hence, unlike the Necessary Being of classical theology who alone could not not exist and on which all else is contingent for existence, the personal God of Mormonism confronts uncreated realities which exist of metaphysical necessity.
    +
    Mormons believe in an eternally existing universe, such that matter was never created out of nothing, and will never be destroyed. But this is at odds with modern cosmology.The Big Bang cosmology is the most widely accepted cosmology of the day. It is based on several lines of evidence, and is broadly compatible with Genesis. It denies the past eternality of the universe. This peer-reviewed paper in an astrophysics journal explains. (full text here)
  • Mathematical Cosmology – Math, Physics, Cosmos (mountainviewranchstore.com)
    Mathematical cosmology seeks to explain the often complicated theories of our universe.
  • Jerry Coyne’s Twisted History of Science and Religion (forbes.com)
    In his latest post on the topic, he promotes the false belief that there is a fundamental conflict between science and religion, and he even makes the wild (and admittedly unproven) claim “that had there been no Christianity, if after the fall of Rome atheism had pervaded the Western world, science would have developed earlier and be far more advanced than it is now.” (For some thoughts on that theory, see this post.)Historians have long realized that the great conflict between science and religion is a myth. But it continues to be an article of faith among the New Atheists. In contrast to his views on evolution, Dr. Coyne thinks that he can ignore the evidence from history and disregard the settled view of experts in the field. But, being a scholar and a rational man, we’re sure that he will change his mind if shown to be wrong.
    +
    Steven Weinberg said it best, ‘science is a corrosive to religion .. and it’s a good thing too’. The church fought hard and long to keep the earth as the centre of the universe, to keep mankind as a result of ‘special creation’, to keep disease and natural disaster as a product of god’s wrath due to the evil of mankind. Anything that might damage the ‘faith and morals’ of the common folk was forbidden regardless of it’s truth .. not exactly a pro-science view. (Edward MacGuire)
    +
    Enter Copernicus. His book caused a massive change in the way people thought about the universe. If you think this was a problem for the church: It was even more of a problem for the universities. Copernicus actually delayed the publication of his book, not because he was worried about the church, but because he worried about the academics! If I recall the history correctly, this was more than just a new model: It was “experimental” mathematics. (Izak Burger)
  • ‘Less Than 1 in 479 Million’: Mathematician Calculates Impossibility of Contriving Creation Account (christiannews.net)
    A mathematician with a historical timeline organization has calculated that there is less than a 1 in 479 million chance that Moses, the author of Genesis, made up the Biblical creation account.Margaret Hunter is owner of Bible Charts and Maps: an organization that produces the Amazing Bible Timeline. The timeline is a circular chart that portrays Biblical events—based on the scholarship of Bishop James Ussher—alongside other significant historical happenings. According to Bible Charts and Maps’ website, over 50,000 people have purchased the Amazing Bible Timeline.
    +Hunter quoted a letter from the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology, which says “the Bible, in particular the historical books of the Old Testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories.”

    Ultimately, says Hunter, “The Bible is not a book of mythical stories of made up people fighting made up enemies, but a factual history confirmed by archaeological evidence at least as far back as archaeology has been able to take it.”

  • How to falsify a religion using scientific or historical evidence (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    I notice that a lot of new atheists seem to think that “I don’t like it” can refute a religion. What I often see among atheists is this tendency to set up expectations of how God would have acted and then complain that he doesn’t met those expectations. I don’t think that this is a good way to argue against a religion, because it’s subjective. God isn’t obligated to comport with atheist expectations.So in this post, I wanted to show how a reasonable person can evaluate and reject different worldviews using evidence.
  • With Lines and Angles – Euclid – Changed the World – One Person (onepersonchangedtheworld.wordpress.com)
    In the Elements, Euclid deduced the principles of what is now called Euclidean geometry from a small set of axioms. Euclid also wrote works on perspective, conic sections, spherical geometry, number theory and rigor.
  • What Caused the Big Bang? A Master Mason and Knight Templar Offers a Unique New Approach to Multiverse Cosmology (prweb.com)
    “In the pages of “What Caused the Big Bang?, I introduce a striking new cosmology that transcends the models of Divine Creation and a spontaneous Big Bang that had no cause.””My book is written for people who are spiritual but not religious, who respect science but are not atheists,” Augustine noted. “If you have no use for the creation story in the Bible and likewise find the claim that the Big Bang just ‘spontaneously happened’ to be unconvincing, then you may indeed like what my book has to offer.”
  • Rare edition of the Bible on display in the Quad Cities (radioiowa.com)
    A very rare edition of the Bible is now on display in the Quad Cities. It’s a copy of the first hand-written and hand-illustrated Bible in more than 500 years, that was commissioned by Saint John’s University in Minnesota, and took 15 years to complete.

Blackness, nothingness, something, void

Void and darkness

Darkness. Nothingness.

Void, so there was and there is ….. complexity. Empty spaces make up void, but than there is something to make the spaces in between. Then there is density, length, with, depth, hight … space. When there are periodic fluctuations in the density of the visible baryonic matter of the universe, this means there is a stand still, a movement, but caused by what? If caused by acoustic waves then there would be sound and movement in space. If it would come to an explosion, call it Big Bang, than still it had to exist in the early universe.

Cosmology

First baryon octet

First baryon octet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) may provide a “standard ruler” for length scale in cosmology. does it help us to understand more about the nature of dark energy (which causes the apparent slight acceleration of the expansion of the universe) by constraining cosmological parameters? When there was a hot, dense plasma of electrons and baryons (protons and neutrons) then those also had to come into being.when there would have come overdensity gravitationally attracting matter towards it, the heat of photon-matter interactions creating a large amount of outward pressure, then there should have been something like emptiness and matter, something to cause limitness or presser on something else.. Then counteracting forces of gravity and pressure could create oscillations, analogous to sound waves created in air by pressure differences.

Collapses of masses, Big Bang and billion of years

Voids are believed to have been formed by baryon acoustic oscillations in the Big Bang—collapses of mass followed by implosions of the compressed baryonic matter. Starting from initially small anisotropies due to quantum fluctuations in the early Universe, the anisotropies grew larger in scale over time. Regions of higher density collapsed more rapidly under gravity, eventually resulting in the large-scale, foam-like structure or “cosmic web” of voids and galaxy filaments seen today.

When, according to scientists, approximately 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years ago the Universe was in an extremely hot and dense state and began expanding rapidly to cool down sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons, there should have been all these elements. Subatomic particles, present in the nucleus of each atom having a mutual electromagnetic repulsion stronger than the attraction of the nuclear force, should still then have something to bring in force.

Books of man against books of Supreme Being

The Big Book made up of 66 books, brought together by men, beings of flesh and blood, got ideas in it which came from somewhere and bothered their brains. It let them think and handle, wondering about their being or not being, life and death. Being nothing, would it be being part of that void?

So that “Void” was considered part of the beginning.

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2 AV)

Spirit, Space and Earth

Mass map of Abell 1689.

Mass map of Abell 1689. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Space and Earth being without form, part of the so called nothingness, which was something not seen, because darkness did not reveal it,  bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss, so there was water to hover over.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3 AV)

Then there was a God, a Being, a Spirit, not man not woman, not flesh, not blood. darkness was elevated so there was light.

Fluids and Being

When there was water, there was space or volume, the volume of void-space (such as fluids). Having darkness and light makes radiation and reflection. To have reflection there has to be material and volume of solids. Volume change tendency control. If void ratio is high (loose soils) voids in a soil skeleton tend to minimize under loading – adjacent particles contract. The opposite situation, i.e. when void ratio is relatively small (dense soils), indicates that the volume of the soil is vulnerable to increase under loading – particles dilate.

The Void also can denote excretion, the process by which waste products of metabolism and other non-useful materials are eliminated from an organism. In vertebrates this is primarily carried out by the lungs, kidneys and skin. The void as such could be the part of the being, the breathing or passage of air, the composure of the things, be it man or animal or plant.

Dependant Independence

Elementary particles need not be statistically independent and everything could move around without the other but would interfere with the other. Einstein observed that the exchange of radiation between bodies should involve an exchange of mass; light quanta have mass exactly as do ordinary molecules. In his derivation of this result, Einstein speaks about a “light complex,” an entirely classical concept, rather than about a light quantum. When, after Bose’s work, he did attribute corpuscular properties to light quanta, he distinguished clearly between photons (a word he did not use), zero rest mass bosons (another word introduced later) whose number need not be conserved; and massive bosons, whose number must be conserved. His prediction of a condensed state for massive bosons (see Einstein, 1925), now called a Bose-Einstein condensate, offered the first theoretical explanation of a transition between two phases of a system. The prediction was spectacularly confirmed some seventy years later, winning its discoverers the 2001 Nobel prize in physics.

A light ray divides itself, but a light quantum cannot divide without a change of frequency” (Einstein to H. A. Lorentz, 23 May 1909, Collected Papers, vol. 5, p. 193).

Originator of Big Bang

The Big Bang era of the universe, presented as...

The Big Bang era ofthe universe, presented as a manifold in two dimensions (1-space and

time); the shape is right (approximately), but it’s not to scale. (Photo

credit: Wikipedia)

For those saying because there was a Big Bang, so there could not be a Creator is like having the empty peace of paper, getting sings or drawings on its own, without someone using a pen, his hand or his brains to bring something on the paper.

The Big Bang does not contradict anything which is written in the Book of Books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures, which is inspired and infallible the Word of that Maker, the Being behind it all.

The void got formed.

Philosophers

A pagan Greek philosopher, Proclus, called the Successor, had written a massive polemical commentary explicitly criticizing the Biblical description of the universe and its origin, on the grounds that it was scientifically unsupportable. Philoponus, also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a Christian and Aristotelian commentator and the author of a considerable number of philosophical treatises and theological works, destroyed Proclus’ arguments in his reply, demonstrating the many flaws in Proclus’ work. {Wilderberg, ‘John Philoponus’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.}
He also wrote numerous commentaries on Aristotle’s works which identified their errors, using the Biblical cosmology as his tool. {John McKenna, article ‘John Philoponus, Sixth Century Alexandrian Grammarian, Christian Theologian and Scientific Philosopher’, Quodlibet Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, January, 2003.}

Cosmology, Philosophy and Science

This breakthrough was instrumental in the formation of Western science as we know it. Philoponus’ work was used by later scientific investigators such as such as Bonaventure, Gersonides, Buridan, Oresme, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton, all of whom made significant scientific progress as a result.

Philoponus had defended the Christian cosmology, deriving powerful arguments from observations of the universe that it must have had a beginning, and that it was finite in duration. He single-handedly debunked the greatest pagan philosopher and cosmologist in recorded history (Aristotle), as well as burying Proclus’ criticism of the Christian cosmology.

Around 550 Philoponus wrote a theological work On the Creation of the World as a commentary on the Bible’s story of creation using the insights of Greek philosophers and Basil the Great. In this work he transfers his theory of impetus to the motion of the planets, whereas Aristotle had proposed different explanations for the motion of heavenly bodies and for earthly projectiles. Thus Philoponus’ theological work is recognized in the history of science as the first attempt at a unified theory of dynamics. Another of his major theological concerns was to argue that all material objects were brought into being by God (Arbiter, 52A-B).

Later Jewish and Christian cosmologists throughout the medieval era made similar arguments, based on the same observations. Christian scientists from Francis Bacon to Isaac Newton all understood this, for centuries.

To be or not to be true

Incredibly, some of the greatest 20th century scientists such as the son of a Somerset Quaker, Arthur Henry Eddington and Einstein claimed it could not be true (apparently Einstein later said it was possibly the greatest error in his career). Eddington even admitted he didn’t want it to be true, for philosophical reasons. [9] It was only recently that scientific evidence for the ‘Big Bang’ proved that the universe did indeed have a beginning and would have an end, contrary to what many scientists had believed.

The Bible did not want to give an exact picture of who everything came into being but does contain information which has historically been of considerable scientific value.

Biblical concept of the universe

WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropie...

WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike every other Ancient Near East cosmology, the Bible describes the universe in naturalistic terms. The sun, moon, and stars are inanimate objects rather than gods, the universe was not created from the recycled body parts of divine beings, and the universe operates according to fixed laws. Early Jewish and Christian commentators understood that nature is regular and orderly, since everything in nature takes place according to fixed laws which God has instituted, which never change.

Sirach chapter 16, verses 26-28, 180-175 BCE.

‘When the Lord created his works from the beginning, and, in making them determined their boundaries, he arranged his works in an eternal order, and their dominion for all generations. They neither hunger not grow weary, and they do not abandon their tasks. They do not crowd one another, and they never disobey his word.’

Basil of Caesarea, ‘Hexamaron’, chapter 5, sections 10, 370 CE.

‘It is this command which, still at this day, is imposed on the earth and, in the course of each year, displays all the strength of its power to produce herbs, seeds, and trees. Like tops, which after the first impulse continue their evolutions, turning upon themselves, when once fixed in their center; thus nature, receiving the impulse of this first command, follows without interruption the course of ages until the consummation of all things.’

This concept of the universe, which we take for granted, was revolutionary in the Ancient Near East and was not even approached by the Greeks until around the 4th century BCE. In fact the inadequacy of Greek science led to a complete dead end.

Concept of Origin and Originator

John McKenna, article ‘John Philoponus, Sixth Century Alexandrian Grammarian, Christian Theologian and Scientific Philosopher’, Quodlibet Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, January 2003.

‘The Greek concept of God caused a deep confusion between cosmology and theology and was a dead-end to science, as we know it in our time.’

Unable to free itself completely from mythology, Greek science finally stagnated and failed to advance any further.

Wilderberg, ‘John Philoponus’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

‘Reading Philoponus as well as the writings of his great adversary Simplicius, one gets the sense that in the 6th century CE, traditional pagan Greek learning had become desperately insular.’

Inheritance

Western science was not revived until the 6th century CE Christian philosopher John Philoponus challenged the pagan cosmology inherited from the Greeks.

Dan Graves, ‘Aristotle’s Earliest Creationist Critic’, 1998.

‘A widespread religion of Philoponus’s time was pantheism, a belief system that sees God as equivalent to nature. In his rejection of this, Philoponus argued that the Creator transcends nature rather than being within it. Having been created, nature exists without constant intervention by God. This radical conception shocked the pagans who believed the gods were imbedded within the material universe.’

Religious experience versus scientific experience

Eddington argued from a novel interpretation of positivism that religious experience and scientific experience were equally valid parts of human life, but that neither could prove any particular sectarian dogma. This ecumenical, reassuring position was quite popular in the interwar period with the last surge of liberal theology, but became less relevant with the death of that movement around World War II.

Einstein loved to discuss scientific problems with friends, but he was, fundamentally a “horse for single harness.” His belief in strict causality was closely related to his profound belief in the harmony of nature, which did not have to exclude a Supernatural Hand behind it all.

Most of the people do want to look at the universe rationally, in mathematical terms, and by doing so they often become blind for the mystical elemenents we as human beings can not understand. It is not because we can not cope with the matter that we do have to cease to evoke a deep — one might say, religious — feeling of admiration in the Power behind all science.

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world,” Einstein once wrote, “is that it is comprehensible.”

Free inventive capacity of human mind

To discover the basic laws and concepts of nature we can either try to find knowledge by scientist, whose findings after some years may become outdated and not so right as people thought after, first arguing a lot.

Einstein argued that while we learn certain features of the world from experience, the free inventive capacity of the human mind is required to formulate physical theories. There is no logical link between the world of experience and the world of theory. Once a theory has been formulated, however, it must be “simple” (or, perhaps, “esthetically pleasing”) and agree with experiment. One such esthetically pleasing and fully confirmed theory is the special theory of relativity. There was the Galilean invariance or Galilean relativity that states that the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames. Galileo Galilei first described this principle in 1632 in his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems using the example of a ship travelling at constant velocity, without rocking, on a smooth sea; any observer doing experiments below the deck would not be able to tell whether the ship was moving or stationary. The fact that the Earth orbits around the sun at approximately 30 km/s offers a somewhat more dramatic example, though it is technically not an inertial reference frame.

We might also adhere that there exists an absolute space, in which Newton’s laws are true, an inertial frame as a reference frame in relative uniform motion to absolute space where all inertial frames share a universal time. {Newtonian relativity}

If it be a relativity generalising special relativity and Newton’s law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time, or spacetime we in a moment of time can appear or dispensary, be or not be.  In the curvature of space-time we shall not be able to avoid the energy and momentum of whatever matter and radiation are present.

Subtle but not malicious

When Einstein was informed of D.C. Miller’s experiments, which seemed to contradict the special theory by demanding the reinstatement of the ether, he expressed his belief in the spuriousness of Miller’s results—and therefore in the harmoniousness of nature—with another of his famous aphorisms, “God is subtle, but he is not malicious.”

This frequent use of God’s name in Einstein’s speeches and writings provides us with a feeling for his religious convictions. He once stated explicitly,

“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of all being, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of men.”

It is not difficult to see that this credo is consistent with his statement that the

“less knowledge a scholar possesses, the farther he feels from God. But the greater his knowledge, the nearer is his approach to God.”

This should let us made to think about our position to the Divine Creator who provide human beings with brains so that they can think and have wisdom. Since Einstein’s God manifested Himself in the harmony of the universe, there could be no conflict between religion and science for Einstein. As Christians we should believe the Word of God and notice that many things written in it were first taught otherwise by man. Lots of people twisted words and told people they were in the Scriptures, but that ordinary people could not understand them. Many points of believe were created, people had to accept them, or they would be tortured and even be killed for other beliefs. The major points in this are that the world would be there in one go like we see it today, that the earth would be a flat surface, that God would be three in one (the Holy Trinity), that Jesus was God and that Jesus existed already at the time of the creation.

Looking into matters, taking time to study and for investigation

We should look into all matters, investigate them and make the right choices. The Creator provided the universe, placed human beings, plants and animals in it and gave guidance in His Word, to help them find their way. each of us has to use their brains to search, look for and to experiment. Each of us has also either to hear to the world or to see the Magnificent Hand of God and the Beautiful Works of God, which work faith.

Illustration of the expansion of the Universe ...

Illustration of the expansion of the Universe after the Big bang. In Bulgarian. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Einstein’s theory implies the existence of black holes — regions of space in which space and time are distorted in such a way that nothing, not even light, can escape — as an end-state for massive stars. There is ample evidence that the intense radiation emitted by certain kinds of astronomical objects is due to black holes; for example, microquasars and active galactic nuclei result from the presence of stellar black holes and black holes of a much more massive type, respectively. In time people will find out more about it. Many previous scientific findings may be considered mistaken. those faulty teachings where once taken as the truth and preferred above the Truth of God. We should know better and look for truth in the Bible, the Word of God. Studying that word we should come to conclusions and take the right choices doing the job god wants us to do.

No void anymore

We can have no void, having no members or examples. Today the void is gone. We live in the world not inhabited any more and is not deserted. Being part of those living elements of the universe, we can breath and move and fulfil duties.

When Einstein lay dying he could truly utter, as he did,

“Here on earth I have done my job.”

Shall we be able to say at the end of our life the same thing?

It would be difficult to find a more suitable epitaph than the words Einstein himself used in characterizing his life:

“God is inexorable in the way He has allotted His gifts. He gave me the stubbornness of a mule and nothing else; really, He also gave me a keen scent.”

+

Additional notes:

  1. Proclus Lycaeus was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major Classical philosophers who set forth one of the most elaborate and fully developed systems of Neoplatonism. He stands near the end of the classical development of philosophy, and was very influential on Western medieval philosophy (Greek and Latin) as well as Islamic thought.
  2. The biblical findings and theological ideas of John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria broke from the Aristotelian-Neoplatonic tradition, questioning methodology and eventually leading to empiricism in the natural sciences. His doctrine on Christ’s duality, according to which in Christ remain two united substances, united but divided, is analogous to the union of the soul and body in human beings and coincides with the miaphysite school of thought.
    He was posthumously condemned as a heretic by the Orthodox Church in 680-81 because of what was perceived of as a tritheistic interpretation of the Trinity.
  3. Arthur Henry Eddington was the first interpreter of Einstein’s relativity theory in English, and made his own contributions to its development; and he formulated relationships between all the principal constants of nature, attempting a vast synthesis in his provocative but uncompleted Fundamental Theory.

Please do find:

  1. The professor, God, Faith and the student
  2. The Origin of Life on Earth: Creation or Evolution?
  3. God of gods
  4. The Divine name of the Creator
  5. Two states of existence before God
  6. A viewpoint on creation
  7. The World framed by the Word of God
  8. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  9. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  10. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Creation of the earth out of something
  13. Creation gift of God
  14. Creation and the Bible
  15. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  16. A viewpoint on creation
  17. Man made life
  18. The manager and Word of God
  19. Newton did not believe in a Trinity
  20. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  21. God works faith
  22. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  23. Finish each day and be done with it

+++

  • Could ‘Higgsogenesis’ explain dark matter? (phys.org)
    The recently discovered Higgs boson is best known for its important role in explaining particle mass. But now some physicists are wondering if the Higgs could have played an equally significant role in generating dark matter and baryonic matter in the early Universe, as well as causing the hypothetical dark matter asymmetry and the observed baryon asymmetry between matter and antimatter particles.
  • Nothingness (coggj22.wordpress.com)
    When you ask people about how life started, or even how the entire universe came into fruition, their answer would basically boil down into two categories – an answer which is derived from scientific explanations and another which involves an application of faith, a response born of their religion. In the scientific field, we see theories which seek to explain the origin of the universe such as the big bang theory, as well as ideas which aim to resolve the issue of how humans were formed such as Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species.
  • Why Does The World Exist? (rationaloptimist.wordpress.com)
    In writing previously about Lawrence Krauss’s book, A Universe From Nothing: Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? I called this the greatest question. Comes now Jim Holt’s book, Why Does the World Exist? Whereas Krauss’s was basically a physics book, Holt’s is mainly philosophical. At the heart of the problem is what nothingness means (as the alternative to the Universe we’ve got, full of stuff). Holt spends much time on this, discussing the plausibility of nothingness via a process of subtraction from our cosmos of somethingness. Meantime Krauss described nothingness in such a way that applying physics to it could get you a Big Bang; he talks a lot about field theory and suchlike. imagesBut the trouble is that religious apologists can always say their nothingness (not even fields) is deeper than yours and requires a god to get something going.
  • Creation Myth Flash Fiction (thewriterandpoet.wordpress.com)
    According to the Standard Model of particle physics, the universe should be empty. Matter and antimatter, which are identical except for their opposite electric charges, seem to be produced in equal parts during particle interactions and decays. However, matter and antimatter instantly annihilate each other upon contact, and so equal amounts of each would have meant a wholesale annihilation of both shortly after the Big Bang. The existence of galaxies, planets and people illustrates that somehow, a small surplus of matter survived this canceling process. If that hadn’t happened, “the universe would be void,” Schönert said. “It would be very, very boring for us, who would not exist.”
  • Accommodation of the Void (themanaoblog.wordpress.com)
    Even thinking about it in terms that can be thought as even being semi-friendly makes a lot of our brains itch. We loathe a void. A void means that we are empty of something and that the void demands to be filled. What we are not realizing is that there is a reason for the void and once it is that we understand the reason, there will be no more void. Too many of us are not accepting this. Too many people believe that a void is a bad thing when in reality it is only a neutral thing and doesn’t carry any negative energy until we choose to believe that it is something other than what it truly is, which is merely and only a void.Nothing in existence did not first come from a void. A void is really only an empty space that is waiting for the right and matching energy to come through to it and fill it. The reason that there is a void created is because that which was there to begin with no longer fits and neither does the energy that used to be there.
  • Stephen Hawking’s Big Ideas Made Simple (ritholtz.com)
    No time to read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time? In just two and a half minutes, Alok Jha explains why black holes are doomed to shrink into nothingness then explode with the energy of a million nuclear bombs, and rewinds to the big bang and the origin of the universe?
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    Nice story, but many astrophysicists do not accept this theory of universal birth.
  • [CEA] Constraints on Large-Scale Dark Acoustic Oscillations from Cosmology (arxiver.wordpress.com)
    If all or a fraction of the dark matter (DM) were coupled to a bath of dark radiation (DR) in the early Universe we expect the combined DM-DR system to give rise to acoustic oscillations of the dark matter until it decouples from the DR. Much like the standard baryon acoustic oscillations, these dark acoustic oscillations (DAO) imprint a characteristic scale, the sound horizon of dark matter, on the matter power spectrum.
  • Higgs boson may have played a role in dark matter creation (vr-zone.com)
    The most famous subatomic particle in recent years is no doubt the Higgs boson, which is responsible for defining the mass of particles. Now scientists believe it may also have an important role in the creation of dark and baryonic matter in the early universe. It may also have something to do with the asymmetry between antimatter and matter particles.The concept of asymmetry involves the idea that while the big bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and anti-matter, it didn’t. If matter and anti-matter had been created in equal amounts, they should then have eliminated each other, leaving… nothing. Of course, that’s not what happened; there was a slight excess of matter, meaning some was left over after all the anti-matter had been eliminated. That matter is what makes up our universe.
  • The impact of baryonic processes on the two-point correlation functions of galaxies, subhaloes and matter [CEA] (arxiver.wordpress.com)
    The observed clustering of galaxies and the cross-correlation of galaxies and mass (a measure of galaxy-galaxy lensing) provide important constraints on both cosmology and models of galaxy formation. Even though the dissipation, and more importantly the feedback processes associated with galaxy formation are thought to affect the distribution of matter, essentially all models used to predict clustering data are based on dark matter only simulations.
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    We conclude that predictions for galaxy-galaxy and galaxy-mass clustering from models based on dark matter only simulations will have errors greater than 10% on sub-Mpc scales, unless the simulation results are modified to correctly account for the effects of baryons on the distributions of mass and satellites.
  • Using the topology of large-scale structure in the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey as a cosmological standard ruler [CEA] (arxiver.wordpress.com)
    The Minkowski functionals are a set of statistics which completely describe the topological nature of each isodensity surface within the field, as a function of the density value.