‘It’s not science’ – Dr. Don Batten, Australia – Ph.D. in Plant Science

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

‘It’s not science’

by

Dr. Don Batten, Australia, Ph.D. in Plant Science

University of Sydney, Australia

Anti-creationists, such as atheists by definition, commonly object that creation is religion and evolution is science. To defend this claim they will cite a list of criteria that define a ‘good scientific theory’. A common criterion is that the bulk of modern day practising scientists must accept it as valid science. Another criterion defining science is the ability of a theory to make predictions that can be tested. Evolutionists commonly claim that evolution makes many predictions that have been found to be correct. They will cite something like antibiotic resistance in bacteria as some sort of ‘prediction’ of evolution, whereas they question the value of the creationist model in making predictions. Since, they say, creation fails their definition of ‘science’, it is therefore ‘religion’, and (by implication) it can simply be ignored.

What is science?

Many attempts to define ‘science’ are circular. The point that a theory must be acceptable to contemporary scientists to be acceptable, basically defines science as ‘what scientists do’! In fact, under this definition, economic theories would be acceptable scientific theories, if ‘contemporary scientists’ accepted them as such.

In many cases, these so-called definitions of science are blatantly self-serving and contradictory. A number of evolutionary propagandists have claimed that creation is not scientific because it is supposedly untestable. But in the same paragraph they will claim, ‘scientists have carefully examined the claims of creation science, and found that ideas such as the young Earth and global Flood are incompatible with the evidence.’ But obviously creation cannot have been examined (tested) and found to be false if it’s ‘untestable’!

The definition of ‘science’ has haunted philosophers of science in the 20th century. The approach of Bacon, who is considered the founder of the scientific method, was pretty straightforward:

observation → induction → hypothesis → test hypothesis by experiment → proof/disproof → knowledge.

Of course this, and the whole approach to modern science, depends on two major assumptions: causality1 and induction2. The philosopher Hume made it clear that these are believed by ‘blind faith’ (Bertrand Russell’s words). Kant and Whitehead claimed to have solved the problem, but Russell recognized that Hume was right. Actually, these assumptions arose from faith in the Continue reading “‘It’s not science’ – Dr. Don Batten, Australia – Ph.D. in Plant Science”

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‘Flat Earth’ Theory: A Secular Myth Fabricated to Defame Christianity

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COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

‘Flat Earth’ Theory:

A Secular Myth Fabricated to Defame Christianity

Where did the idea of “Flat Earthers” come from? The idea has been traced back to “a slanderous fabrication invented by opponents of Christianity in the 19th century and has been thoroughly debunked by contemporary historians of science.” …

It’s taught in school textbooks, it’s a favorite citation of New Atheism, and it’s been referenced by no less than the President himself — Medieval Europe believed the Earth was Flat. And so it’s fact! – Except that they believed no such thing.

The popular view taught in schools is that scientists came along and rescued us all from the Medieval Church’s anti-scientific views that the World was Flat.

The only flaw in that story is that nobody ACTUALLY believed it was flat, and hadn’t believed it was flat in a very, very long time — as far back as Greek Antiquity. Even Pythagoras, Aristotle and Euclid called it spherical.

Textbooks from the middle ages described the world as round. So did Dante. And no less than the Catholic Church’s leading Medieval thinker, Thomas Aquinas wrote the following in his greatest work, Summa Theologica“:

“The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth.”

Where did the idea of “Flat Earthers” come from? The idea has been traced back to “a slanderous fabrication invented by opponents of Christianity in the 19th century and has been thoroughly debunked by contemporary historians of science.”

As it happens, Washington Irving wrote a fictional novel about Columbus, which was reported as history by John William Draper (History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science) and Andrew Dixon White’s similar tome. The “Conflict Thesis“ (idea of Religion and Science being incompatible) is attributed to Draper’s work.

“Contra Mundum: The Flat-Earth-Myth” is the article much of my piece has been summarizing. It goes into greater depth, and gives references. I highly recommend it.

This leaves us with two closing thoughts.

(1) If the authors and “historians” who gave rise to the Flat Earth Theory have been dismissed by serious historians as propagandists of their day, which are really behaving like “Flat Earthers” … people of faith, or those who blindly parrot debunked historians? (The latter includes, ironically, Richard Dawkins.)

(2) If the so-called historian to whom the “conflict thesis” has been attributed was caught in a lie, how much weight should we put on his characterization of the tension between faith and science? Is it not possible that a public duped by an untrue Flat Earth myth might also have fallen for his Conflict Theory? Maybe instead of “taking scientists word for it” we could decide for ourselves whether the two are in conflict.

Sources:

https://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2013/09/flat-earth-theory-a-secular-myth-fabricated-to-defame-christianity/

https://www.oodegr.com/english/epistimi/flat_earth_theory.htm

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994): The false evolution, the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old and the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

http://saintpaisios.wordpress.com

SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS

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Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994): The false evolution, the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old and the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”

Source:

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac