Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Ideology of Scientism (part 1)

  photo European-lab-Close-to-finding-God-particle-NAN19NH-x-large.jpg

            Colin Blakemore (Neuroscience, Oxford) writes an article entitled, "Science is Just One Gene Away from Defeating Religion." He sees religion and science as opponents in a chess match. One wonders, is it only a chess match and not a war that engage science and religion? Thus advances in science are automatically viewed as detraction from religion. He intimates this when he says that the discoveries of Watson and Crick were a defeat for religion because previously life was a mystery that implied spiritual magic.[1]  He wants to see religion as some long ago thing that science is beating. He says, “Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was certainly a vital move in that chess game - if not checkmate. In an interview for God and the Scientists, to be broadcast tonight in Channel 4's series on Christianity, Richard Dawkins declares: ‘Darwin removed the main argument for God's existence.’"[2] Why should any success of science be an automatic defeat for religion? Religion is not about understanding how the physical world works, yet he tells us:
Science has rampaged over the landscape of divine explanation, provoking denial or surrender from the church. Christian leaders, even the Catholic church, have reluctantly accommodated the discoveries of scientists, with the odd burning at the stake and excommunication along the way… The process of Christian accommodation is a bit like the fate of fieldmice confronted by a combine harvester, continuously retreating into the shrinking patch of uncut wheat.Ten days ago, on Darwin's birthday, Richard Dawkins, Archbishop of Atheism, and Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford, conducted a public conversation in the Oxford University Museum, where Bishop Sam Wilberforce and Darwin's champion, Thomas Henry Huxley, had debated Darwin's ideas in 1860. The two Richards were more civilised. But inevitably, Richard H claimed for religion a territory that science can never invade, a totally safe sanctuary for Christian fieldmice. Science is brilliant at questions that start "how", but religion is the only approach to questions that start "why". Throughout history, human beings have asked those difficult "why" questions.[3]
Isn’t this really a matter of how we look at it? Since ministers supported Darwin and argued that his new scientific discovery was actually a help to the Gospel,[4] it can hardly be called a defeat. It can’t be science’s job to bully religion so what is really going on here?
            In any discussion about God in the modern world theology automatically runs into conflict with science. Both God and science are vying for the same slot as umpire of reality. God was formerly understood as the authority, the power, the basis of all, God was the one who spoke “the word from on high.” Now there’s another umpire. Science seeks to produce a limit on God. Science tells us the way the world works thus science sets the rules for truth in modernity, perhaps even to the point of ruling out God? We are told by many voices that God is merely an ideology. Feuerbach said God was the mask of Money.[5] God is the involuntary projection of human attributes.[6] Marx wasted no time in backing it up by codifying it into doctrine. I’m going to bracket discussion of God for now since we all know the criticism that God is just an ideology. What about science, the challenger for the job of umpire? Modern thought tells us science is pure objective observation of facts and direct proof of all that is reality. Doesn’t the implication of masking ideology come with that territory? When we examine the nature of modern science, especially in so far as it is used in opposition to belief in God, we find that there is no pure objective science, unsullied by the ideological impulse to impose a truth regime upon reality, rather than to merely umpire.
            But first this raises the question, if science is not this pure unsullied ideal of fact finding, what is science? Science as it is taught to the beginning student in her freshman year may not be the same as science defined by the top ranks of professional scientists in their dealings with each other. One example of the way science is introduced, Christopher G. Morris, Dictionary of Science and Technology: Science is systematic observations about the workings of the natural world:
1. the systematic observation of the natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts. 2. the organized body of knowledge that is derived from such observations and that can be verified or tested by further investigation. 3. any specific branch of this general body of knowledge, such as biology, physics, geology, or astronomy.[7]
As for a general or popular definition, Webster defines science:
: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study science of theology> b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge science>
a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
: a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws science and an art>
capitalized : christian science
See science defined for English-language learners »
Number one would include theology. The circularity of number 4 should be apparent. Number 2 does include theology, and also can include anything that has been rigorously systematized. We know this by the tag phrase “have it down to a science.” In other words when you tell someone “you have that down to a science” you can say that about anything from cooking to martial arts. Number three is one that deals with our usual understanding of science, what we mean by “science” when we argue with atheists about science. That is not the only form of knowledge, or “there’s no scientific evidence for God.”
a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
We all know what we mean by science. We all know that science is a pure and true endeavor that is derived from observations of fact so it can’t be misguided. Yet once we ask “what is the nature of science?” and begin to really study it we find it’s not all that clear. In fact there seems to be an epistemological crisis brewing that threatens to pull out all the nails in everything that modernity has so carefully nailed down. For example how do we know which version of “science’ the fist two definitions above are discussing?
            It might be good to consult other sources of definition. There is no official Science Bible to turn to and get the very most authoritative ruling on the matter. We can consult other text books. University of Georgia Geology Department puts out an online page for students that include many definitions. It moves from most standard to “revealing.” Dr. Sheldon Gottlieb in his lecture series, “Religion and Science, Best of Enemies, Worst of Friends,”
Science is an intellectual activity carried on by humans that is designed to discover information about the natural world in which humans live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized into meaningful patterns. A primary aim of science is to collect facts (data). An ultimate purpose of science is to discern the order that exists between and amongst the various facts. [8]
The statement “discern the order that exists between and among the various facts,” allows for social science such as sociology, psychology, history, economics, and yet it also opens the door to metaphysics. The statement itself limits science to the natural world, thus hinting at a domain of science. Yet the it also leaves unanswered just what that domain is. For social scientists the limits will be much looser than for physical sciences. Another statement about the nature of science pins it down to the natural world: “Science involves more than the gaining of knowledge. It is the systematic and organized inquiry into the natural world and its phenomena. Science is about gaining a deeper and often useful understanding of the world.”[9] Of course science is about a deeper understanding “of the world.” What does that mean? Is it about understanding the world of metaphysics? Or is it about understanding the world of politics, or the world of meta ethics? What kind of understanding? Is that quotation limited to the “natural” world? Does it mean all “worlds” of our conceptualizing? The more varied the definition the looser they become. We see the definitions drifting away form the concept of systematic understandings of the workings of the physical world and nothing more. It’s in those “stretches” of definition that are probably designed to allow flexible field of study that we see creeping in various agendas such as the ruination of religion. This is strictly speaking not a goal of science, not even part of science’s business. These kinds of hobby horses are inherently part of science as long as it is not kept to a rigid dogmatic limitation. I am not arguing for such a rigid dogmatic limitation in the understanding of science. I am arguing for clearly identifying the distinction between science and it’s “others.” Being aware we should be leery of assuming that science is the only form of knowledge.
            As important as deciding what science is and what it’s not, is an understanding of it’s domain. Of course domain will be related to the nature of science and thus definition of what science is will set an understanding of its domain. For example, if science is limited to the systemic observation of the workings of the physical world then it’s domain is the physical world. That means statements issued in the name of science about the lack of realms beyond the physical and their alleged non existence are departures form the scientific mission and bleed into realms of philosophy and metaphysics. If the purveyors of science as the only form of knowledge want to try and include philosophy in science as a section of scientific observation, then they must also accept philosophy as a whole as a valid endeavor and a potentially valid form of knowledge. Stephen J. Gould, a major voice in science of the late twentieth century, proposed a concept of division between science and religion called Non-overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA. The idea is that science and religion are about different aspects of reality. Their teaching authority (magisteria) is not competing so they don’t overlap
Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings, and values—subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolved.[10]
Yet Gould’s idea has not gone unchallenged. Richard Dawkins challenged the notion on the grounds that the areas of interest do overlap. Yet he didn’t just say ok let’s look at the Genesis creation story, the obvious point of overlap. No he claimed for science all territory including moral ground. It’s not just an overlap but there’s no ground left to assign to religion. He speaks as though science gets to control all of reality, including ethical theory. See the chapter on ethics for an understanding of the problem here.
More generally it is completely unrealistic to claim, as Gould and many others do, that religion keeps itself away from science's turf, restricting itself to morals and values. A universe with a supernatural presence would be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one without. The difference is, inescapably, a scientific difference. Religions make existence claims, and this means scientific claims.
The same is true of many of the major doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. The Virgin Birth, the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Resurrection of Jesus, the survival of our own souls after death: these are all claims of a clearly scientific nature. Either Jesus had a corporeal father or he didn't. This is not a question of "values" or "morals"; it is a question of sober fact. We may not have the evidence to answer it, but it is a scientific question, nevertheless. You may be sure that, if any evidence supporting the claim were discovered, the Vatican would not be reticent in promoting it. [11]
He argues that because we don’t have a clear idea of when the soul emerged our pre-human ancestors then of course the idea is absurd and we can’t assert that there is a soul. He says: “Well, what are these two distinctly different domains, these "Nonoverlapping Magisteria" that should snuggle up together in a respectful and loving concordat? Gould again: "The net of science covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value." While Dawkins seems to take the tact that there’s nothing beyond the material so therefore if Science gets the material realm then it has everything. Of course it doesn’t dawn upon him that there might be other ways of looking at the same aspects of life. In so making this “in your face” attack upon all religion Dawkins reveals clearly an ideological sense of “all or nothing.” Gould was not as aggressive as Dawkins, but then he wasn’t as ideological either. Yet he did make provision for the one obvious point of overlap in the conflict about Genesis fomented by creationism. He dealt with it by turning to the Catholic Church which regards evolution as not a problem and which does not insist upon the literal nature of six day creation. Science has the authority thorough its power as systematic debunker of bad ideas to demonstrate the falsehood of such literalism.[12] Gould used the Catholic Church to resolve the problem. The Catholics had never had the problems with evolution that Protestants had. They had made statements to this effect historically. On  Oct 22, 1996 Pope John Paul II reinforced this as Gould points out. He points to the document “truth cannot contradict truth,” the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He then deals with creationism by writing it off as fanatical and unscientific. [13] Dawkins is not content. He wants to remove religion form reality. Thus he asserts that since physical reality is all there is, and science is about physical reality, there’s nothing left for religion to be about. While it is true that the scientific domain is limited to the mechanical workings of the physical world that does not, however, mean that it can move on from that position and assume that all the other view points are under its domain.
            Science is limited to the physical domain and it is also limited to a naturalistic framework. It’s not an automatic qualification to denounce unseen realms. Areas of concept that defy our direct empirical observation are beyond our understanding that is not proof in itself that they don’t exist. To then assert that they must not because knowledge of them is not rendered through science is a philosophical statement and not a scientific one. Neil deGrasse Tyson in his article “The Perimeter of Ignorance” demarcates the domain of science by observing that where scientists run out of factual material they evoke God. Where factual knowledge ends science’s domain ends, but science can keep extending the domain by continuing to seek knowledge.[14] That staves off belief because God is evoked where knowledge runs out. That is a wrong concept because it imposes the wrong view of religion, that religion is failed primitive science. Tyson’s concept of the perimeter of ignorance helps us understand the nature of science and its proper boundary in relation to other topics. The problem with it is that it seems to imply that religion only takes over where we have no facts, thus implying that religion is also about understanding the workings of the world but it just doesn’t proceed by collecting facts. That may not be Tyson’s true concept. Tyson’s argument turns out to be a prefect example of the thesis; it’s really a tirade against intelligent design. So he’s willing to move beyond what we can know about the workings of the physical world to explain what the working of the physical world is not predicated upon. Not that I am defending intelligent design. I am neither an intelligent design advocate nor am I a creationist. What I do seek is to separate the conflict between science and religion in such a way as to understand what is really conflicted. Often times what people take to be science is really one of it’s “others,” the ideologies that ride on the coat tails of science.
What many take to be a conflict between religion and science is really something else. It is a conflict between religion and materialism. Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific materialism,” even by its opponents, but it has no legitimate claim to be part of science. It is, rather, a school of philosophy, one defined by the belief that nothing exists except matter, or, as Democritus put it, “atoms and the void.”

However, there is more to materialism than this cold ontological negation. For many, scientific materialism is not a bloodless philosophy but a passionately held ideology. Indeed, it is the ideology of a great part of the scientific world. Its adherents see science as having a mission that goes beyond the mere investigation of nature or the discovery of physical laws. That mission is to free mankind from superstition in all its forms, and especially in the form of religious belief.[15]
One of the major “others” of science is materialism. Materialism is an ideology that tends to be preferred by many scientific types, and thus is often confused with science, or accompanies it in the world views of those who do science or a living. It often forms the basic assumption made in the sciences about domain and about the nature of things. At this point it would be good to ask about the nature of ideology.
What is ideology?
            Webster defines ideology as “visionary theorizing.” Secondly, it defines ideology as a “systematic body of concept especially about human life or culture.” Here it makes three subdivisions: “a :  a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture b :  a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture c :  the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.” [16] So we see it’s theorizing, it’s not the great fortress of facts that some wish the mystique of science to imply. An ideology is a social movement or a political movement. Another dictionary brings this out more clearly:
the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.
such a body of doctrine, myth, etc., with reference to some political and social plan, as that of fascism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.
Philosophy .
the study of the nature and origin of ideas.
a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensation.
theorizing of a visionary or impractical nature. [17]

According to John Adams Napoleon popularized the word “ideology,” which was used by the French philosophes. They used it in a positive light to highlight their own ideas, and in a negative sense to characterize folly of others. Adams said that ideology was an attempt to explain reality because it was too complex.[`18] According to Terry Eagleton there is no one single meaning of the term, yet he seems to have clear enough idea what he means by it. It’s very common to find Marxists and other kinds of social and political revolutionaries using it as though it means the legitimating story telling that the dominate structure uses to justify its power. So ideology is what the other guys say to make themselves seem right. As Eagleton points out, does that mean the rebelling faction doesn’t have their own ideology? They never exaggerate or justify but always tell the truth? He says, “If, for example, ideology means any set of beliefs motivated by social interests, then it can’t simply signify the dominate forms of thought in a society.”[19] Ideology is what the other guy has, he claims. No one owns up to being ideological. Then in his review of Dawkins’s book The God Delusion it’s pretty clear where Eagleton thinks Dawkins can be placed in relation to ideology:

Card Carrying Rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist that we have had since Bertrand Russell are in one sense the least well equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first year theology student wince.[20]

 For practical purpose I defined ideology thusly: One idea that defines the world and determines how one sees everything filtering all perceptions through the lens of its truth regime.

Ideology and Science

            It seems that from the upper echelons of the world of books to the mid level management of opinion leaders in movements such as new atheism, to the popular level of the internet and message boards, a myth has spread far and wide that science is the only form of knowledge. James Felton Keith quotes the architect of physicalism Otto Neurath as saying: “according to phsyicalism the language of physics is the universal language of science and any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on physical objects.”[21] In 1964 George Richmond Walker wrote: “the thesis that art is important because, like science it gives us knowledge of reality has not faired well in modern philosophy [among logical positivists and the analytic school] “…all cognitive experience belongs to science and they hold that the business of the philosopher is to analyze the methods, terms, and laws of science in order to clarify their logical structure and empirical content.” Even though this was written in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists way backing 1964,[22] it apparently has filtered down the masses. We find the whole movement of new atheism thriving on this idea and the mid level management of that movement and the popular level are abuzz with it. As Mark Thomas of the popular level internet group “godless geeks” tells us:
Our understanding of the world around us, and our abilities to predict what will happen are based on naturalism — the basis of science.  Naturalism is also the basis for how all people live their lives most of the time.
To be explicit, modern science relies on methodological naturalism.  This means that science doesn’t incorporate any supernatural or religious assumptions and doesn’t seek any religious or supernatural explanations.  Science is the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.  Science also depends on mathematics, which likewise has no religious or supernatural component.[23]
On the strictly popular level, Answers.com tells us “Science is the only form of knowledge. There is no way to know something without it being scientific in some way.”[24] Stephen Barr comments:
            From the positivists this is to be expected. That’s what their movement was about, philosophy embraced that it’s not science and seeking to gain its shore of control through the priesthood of knowledge. That Walker analyzes the fortunes of art as an epistemic resource is merely the valid job of a top level thinker in the world of letters, it’s what they do. When popular sources start saying things like “naturalism is the basis of science” then we have cause for concern. Naturalism is not the basis for how we know things nor is it the basis of science. Naturalism is a philosophy and an ideology and science is the basis of it.[225]
I can understand why one would say that science is naturalistic, because science must assume naturalistic means of knowing. There’s a big difference in saying that science must make naturalistic assumptions and that “naturalism” is the basis of science! The poppy chock that “there is no way to know anything unless it’s scientific” is just popular twaddle. I know what I had for breakfast without using science. They are making a leap form “scientific Knowing” to “naturalism” as though they are the same thing. Naturalism is an ideological understanding of the world. If science is ordinary and so all encompassing those ordinary observations that have no systematic nature are part of science then religious belief is part of science too. These are philosophical statements they are not scientific statements. They represent a philosophical doppelganger of science that rides on its coattails. Science is not a sweeping proclamation on the nature of all reality.
            The problem is no one actually sticks to this. People who do science for a living, people who just love science and read about it in their spare time, as well as people who know almost nothing about it other than that society reveres it as the umpire of reality, all confuse the ends of science with their own agendas. They all baptize their own projects, beliefs, ideologies and prejudices in the light of science and confuse the goals and ends of the latter with the former. Richard Dawkins confuses the goals of science with his own distaste for religion. Others try to expand science into he realm of ethics, while still others regard it as the only form of knowledge and use it as a replacement for metaphysics and epistemology (all the while denouncing metaphysics and epistemology as “stupid philosophy that makes stuff up’). It’s hard to find pure scientific motives and at the same time stay within the domain of science which is firmly planted in the department of “workings of the physical world.” Those who love and do science are humans and they are prejudiced and biased and they mix their own motives, agendas and ideologies with the doing of science. For this reason science is a relative human construct. It is not the only form of knowledge and it is not the arbiter of all reality. These ideologies that attach themselves to science are the “others” of science.
            E.O. Wilson’s Consilience: The unity of Knowledge, is a prefect example of what I’m talking about in terms of mistaking one’s ideological goals for science. Of course Wilson is one of the major thinkers in science in this century and at the end of the last century. Consilience is perhaps his Magnum Opus.  In this work Wilson shows us his path and his ambitions that mark out exactly the syndrome I’m talking about. Even the subtitle is a frank admission that he’s reducing all forms of knowledge to one. He points out that in his childhood he loved the classification system of ants. He was very attracted to the study of ants. He read about the classification system of Carolus Linnacus, as a boy and was greatly impressed. Then a bit latter he discovered evolution. He writes about that auspicious moment: “Then I discovered evolution. Suddenly--that is not too strong a word—I saw the world in a whole new way…” an insight that he describes as an “epiphany.”[26] He gives us a key to understanding his fascination. He says that the brilliance of Ernst Mayr’s 1942 Systematics and the Origin of the Species, “by giving a theoretical structure to natural history, it vastly expanded the Linnaean enterprise. A tumbler fell somewhere in my mind and a door opened to a new world.”[27] That is a wonderful description of that process whereby new vistas dawn in the mind and one suddenly realizes “a whole new world lies before me with this…” such was my own feeling when I first discovered Bruce Wiltshire’s book Metaphsyics,[28] or when I read William Faulkner for the first time (Light in August). Both were in my sophomore year of high school. Nor is there anything wrong with evolution or Darwin and gaining a larger perspective on science and the world through reading Darwin. Yet it does seem as though he just doesn’t want to stop classifying all of reality until he’s classified everything his way. This is so because he argues for putting everyone under one label, science is the only form of knowledge.
            He says:
The enhancement, growing steadily more sophisticated, has dominated scientific thought ever since. In modern physics its focus has been the unification of all the forces of nature—electro weak, strong and gravitation—the hoped for consolidation of theory so tight as to turn the science into a “perfect” system of thought which by the sheer weight of  evidence and logic is made resistant to revision. But the spell of enchantment extends to other fields as well, and in the minds of a few it reaches beyond into the social sciences, and still further as I will explain latter, to touch the humanities.[29]
He’s taking the notion of science organizing our understanding of reality to the point of redefining our knowledge and subsuming the understanding of other fields. The term consilience is defined by Webster’s as “the linking together of principles from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory.” There’s not necessarily anything wrong with a comprehensive theory. Yet is does seem subsuming of other fields and thus probably doesn’t consider other view points very well. Wilson is not an atheist. He speaks of his view of all embracing scientific view freeing him from the confines of Christian fundamentalism, but having been passionately religious in his youth, he turns to the metaphor or symbol of Ionian thought in science as the new way for those seeking redemption from purposelessness. He also speaks of the wonderful feeling of the taste of unification in metaphysics; clearly exceeding the domain of science as studying the workings of the natural world. He doesn’t see himself as anti-religious but as offering a way for those who see more than religious traditions allow.[30]  Perhaps that is a valid aim for science. On the other hand the temptation to play God and control all other forms of knowledge is clearly a strong one for some and it’s made its mark in the new atheist movement. Why should we have a unified knowledge that subsumes other fields? That’s at best “totalizing” and at worst fascistic. As Arthur Warmoth observes, “the idea of the unity of knowledge seems to be a will-of-the-wisp that has periodically led western philosophy into the dangerous night bogs of hubris.”[31] He understands Wilson to seek the reduction of all meaning to one definition controlled by one discipline, the sciences. The problem there is that there distinction between making meaning coherent and making it “unified.”
It is certainly true that induction, deduction, abstraction, and the exploration of causal relationships have permitted natural science in the Greco-Christian West to conquer territories beyond the reach of the scientific efforts of any other culture. The natural sciences have been uniquely successful in understanding nature. However, there are other meanings of "meaning" that have proven important in human intellectual life across many cultures. It is useful, and it fits into the paradigm of contemporary cognitive science, to see these different types of meaning as different types of patterns of abstraction that can be used to order sensory data.[32]
Wilson is just one thinker, but he is not alone in his attack on forms of knowledge other than science. He did, however spawn a whole sub-discipline that seems more ideological than scientific: Wilson started sociobiology and then it transmogrified into evolutionary psychology.

[1] Colin Blackemore, "Science is Just One Gene Away from Defeating Religion." The Guardian.  Originally from the Observer. 21st of Febuary, 2009. On Line:
accessed 10/29/13.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] David C. Lindberg,  Ronald L.Numbers, ed.,  God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science. Berkeley, Los Angelis: University of California Press, 1986. 372-374.
[5] Van A. Harvey, Feuerbach and The Interpretation of Religion, Carmbridge: Press Syndicate for the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought, 1995/1997, 4.
Harvey is professor emeritus, taught religious studies at Stanford Univesity. His Ph.D. from Yale in 1957. His thesis supervisor was H.Richard Neibhur.
[6] Ibid., 25.
[7] Christopher G. Morris, Academic Press Dictionary of Science & Technology quoted on in “some definitions of science” addendum to Geol 1122 “what is and isn’t science” Universlity of Georgia Department of Geology, on line resource, URL: http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1122sciencedefns.html   visited 2/11/11.
[8] Sheldon Gottlieb, quoted on the University of Georgia  addendum Ibid. Originally from his lecture Harbinger Symposium, “Religion and Science the best of enemies the worst of Friends,” Mobile,. Alabama, April 3d 1997
[9] University of Georgia Addendum GEOL 1122  originally: from the Multicultural History of Science page at Vanderbilt University.
[10] Stephen Jay Gould, Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life, New York: Ballantine Books, 1999, 3.
[11] Richard Dawkins, “When Religion Steps on Science’s Turf: The Alledged Seperation Between the Two is not So Tidy.” Council for Secular Humanism, Free Inquiry Magazine  volume 18, no 2, no date given. Online publication URL: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_18_2.html  accessed 9/19/13.
The article is credited to volume 18, no 2 but when I look up the issue sperately the article is not there. Yet it is online at the page URL above.
[12] Stephen J. Gould, “Non Overlapping Magisteria,” Leonardo’s Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms,
New York: Harmony Books, 1998, 269-283.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Neil deGrasse Tyson, “The Perimeter of Ignorance,” Natural History, Nov. 2005, on line copy: URL:
[15] Stephen Barr, “Retelling the Story of Science,” First Things,  March (2003) on line version:
[16] Marion-Webster’s dictionary online, “Ideology,” URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology  accessed 9/19/13.
[17] Dictionary.com, American Heritage new Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 3d, edition,Houghton Mifflin Company 2005, online resource, URL: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ideology  accessed 9/19/13
[18] Jospeh J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, New York, New York: Vintage, 2005, 238.
Adams was explaining to Jefferson that he had been too idealistic in accepting all the French revolution has to offer and the meaning of the term “ideology” indicated a false infatuation with things only partially understood, that Jefferson was carried away with the romance and was too open to the entire program of the philsophes without understand it well enough.
[19] Terry Eagleton, Ideology, London, Brooklyn New York: Verso, 1991, 2.
Eagleton is professor of English at Lancaster University  (England) and is a major literary critic.
[20] Terry Eagleton, “Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching,” London Review of Books, vol 28, no 20 (19 October) 2006, 32-34.
[21] James Felton Keith, “Integrationalism: Essays on the Rationale of Abnundance.” Detroit, Michigan: Think ENXIT press, no date listed, online URL: http://books.google.com.br/books?id=dgOinwwR-FoC&pg=PA12&dq=%22According+to+physicalism,+the+language%22#v=onepage&q=%22According%20to%20physicalism%2C%20the%20language%22&f=false   visited 1/11/11.
[23] Mark Thomas, “Why Atheism?: History and Development of Science and Scientific Naturalism.” Web page URL: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/WhyAtheism.htm  visited 1/11/11.
Thomas apparently has some kind of job in computers and belongs to an organization called “godless geeks.” I quote him because his view illustrates the thinking at the popular internet level.
[24] Answers.com, Wiki Answers.”Is science the supreme form of Knowledge?”  on line resource: URL:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_science_the_supreme_form_of_knowledge  visited 1/11/11.
[25] Stephen M. Barr, “Re-Telling The Story of Science,” Op cit.
[26] E.O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. New York:Vintage  Books, division of Random House,First edition, 4.
Wilson is two time winner of Pulitzer prize, he was biologoy professor at Harvard. His specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants, he is the world’s leading expert. He is very well known and has won many awards for his popular level writing on science and humanism.
[27] Ibid. 4
[28] Bruce Wiltshire, Metaphysics: An Introduction to Philosophy. Indianapolis, Indiana: Bobbs-Merrill Co., First edition, 1969.
[29] Wilson, Consilience…Op Cit., 5
[30] Ibid., 6-7.
[31] Arthur Warmoth, “Reflections on Concilience,” Comments on revew of E.O. Wilson’s Concilience.
On line resource, http://www.sonoma.edu/users/w/warmotha/consilience.html  accessed 9/22/13.
Warmoth is professor of psychology at Sonoma State University.
[32] Ibid.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New Atheist vs Realk Historian part 2

Continued from last time. I answered for  James (an obvious answer) he starts from there.

    1. Thanks for that. Here's what I wrote about the Index a very long time ago:

      But I recall it was first promulgated in 1559 during the counter reformation. So I am not sure if it helps us on the Middle Ages which, I thought, was what we were talking about. Certainly, it is the subject of my book, the review of which you posted above.

      In any case, we seem to be stuck on the counter-reformation Catholic Church rather than Christianity in general. Besides, if we are to get the complete picture on Catholicism and science we also need to consider that the Church was providing plenty of support for science, probably more than any other institution in financial terms. For example, John Heilbron's book, The Sun in the Church, sets out the way the Church bankrolled highly detailed astronomical observations over a long period which benefitted all astronomers. Likewise, the Jesuits were the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers including about a third of everything published on electricity and magnetism in the 18th century.

      Best wishes

    2. James,

      But I recall it was first promulgated in 1559 during the counter reformation. So I am not sure if it helps us on the Middle Ages which, I thought, was what we were talking about
    - I don't know about you, but I was talking about the fallacies being pushed by religious apologists. The repression of science was one of the things I discussed in my OP. And regardless of how you spin it, the Index included scientists like Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo and others.


    Meta: yes the real historian from Cambridge is just spinning it the new atheist ideologue from the inertnet is telling it like it is. ;-z

    Dr. Hannam
    In any case, we seem to be stuck on the counter-reformation Catholic Church rather than Christianity in general.

    - For a long time, Christianity WAS the Catholic church. If they had their way, they'd still be the only game in town, and we'd still be in the dark ages.

    Dr. Hannam
    the Church bankrolled highly detailed astronomical observations over a long period which benefitted all astronomers.

    - This was the single biggest contribution to science that can be attributed to the church (as I have noted). It was motivated primarily by the desire to keep an accurate calendar of religious holidays
    Dr. Hannam
    Jesuits were the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers including about a third of everything published on electricity and magnetism in the 18th century.

    - As long as there was no challenge to church dogma. They weren't too happy about Franklin's lightening rod.

    Meta: going to have to prove that, I don't recall any religious criticism. no real persecution. howv cares about mere criticism?
    1. Joe(,Meta):

      The sources quoted by IMS and his friends are not very good. He is decades behind understanding where modern historians currently are in thinking ab out this rise of science and it's relationship with Christianity. Historians don't think in terms of periods as much, They don't think of the Renaissance as a period but as movement, They don['t guy into the atheist narrative of Renaissance as be awaking the evil dark age of religion.
    - If you only pay attention to Christian apologetic sources, your view of history will always be distorted. And you have the gall to call me biased.

     Meta: are you really that stupid? you do not have the slightest idea what is involved in a Ph,d do you I was in a secular program and w]so was Hannam. I'll put my learning up against yours any day,.Have you ever read anything that's not on a n  atheist web site,?

    Terullian was not a ruler. His reasons for opposing anatomical research was not to stop science. How many people doing it then understand why they were doing it?

    - His reason for banning anatomical study was purely religious. And it did impede science, whether or not that was his intention.

    Newton was major part of my dissertation I know well he was devout. Being Aryan doesn't change that. no reason why Aryans could not be devout. They still believed in God so they could be. Newton should be an embarrassment to atheists except atheists are just anti-Christian.

    - So he's on your team or he's not, depending on what point you are trying to argue. I've had several discussions with Christians who insist that you can't be a Christian without accepting the trinity dogma.

    Copernicus and Galileo were not at Charter which is in France not Italy, .James answered those two. your ignorance about Chartres (not Charter) is so telling. It was a cathedral; it was also a major center of scientific alarming.

    - Arguing with you is like trying to catch a greased pig. I didn't say Galileo or Copernicus were at Chartres (not Charter). You're the one who brought that up. I was just responding to your constant deviations from the topic of discussion. Your reading comprehension is atrocious.

    No they did not, that is extremely ignorant. They lost it. they fell; by the time they fell they were Christian. Remember Constantine?

    - Yes. Constantine was the murderer who took over power in the 4th century and forced Christianity on the people of Europe. And when did the decline of the Roman empire begin? If I recall my history, it was the 4th century.

    Meta: so? Stalin was the murdering atheist who murdered milliohms  used  it to put new zest into the empire. More importantly your tirade is irrelevant. that doesn't not answer the point that you can't use Pagasn Rome for all of Roman history,
    now because you make this crack check out two bibliographies from papers I wrote im graduate school. None of them are apologetics the one's that are Christin to any degrees I'll put asterisk by
    - If you only pay attention to Christian apologetic sources, your view of history will always be distorted. And you have the gall to call me biased.
    these are not even a small fraction of my Bib for the dissertation .I read these books and I researched this many books every couple of weeks in those years. Bib for my dos was 20-pages. both topics were religion and science so there have  to be some religious books.

     *Augustine. The City of God. translated Henry Bettenson. Penguin Books, 1972. This edition 1984.
    Bingen, Hildegard von. Hildegard of Bingen's Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs. ed.
    Matthew Fox. Sante Fe, New Mexico: Bear and Company inc. 1987.

     Brooke, John Hedley. Science And Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. The cambridge history of Sciences Series. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

     Charlton, D. G. New Images of The Natural: A Study In European Cultural History, 1750-1800. The Gifford Lectures, London: Cambridge University Press, 1884.

     Chenu, Marie-Dominique. Nature, Man, Society in The Twelfth Century. Wehic Press, 1979.
    D'Alembert, Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot. Trans. Richard Swab. The library of liberal arts series, Bobbs Merrill company, 1963.

     *Dante. The Divine Comedy. Trans. Lawrence Binyon, ed. Paolo Miano, New York: Viking Press, 1947.

     *Fairweather, Eugene R. "Christianity and The Supernatural," in New Theology Number One. Martin E. Marty and Dan G. Peerman, ed., New York: The Macmillian Company, 1964.

     Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier. On The Plurality Of Worlds. trans. H. A. Hargraves. Berkeley: University of California press, 1990.

     Grant, Edward. "Science and Theology in The Middle Ages," in God and Nature: Historical Essays ON The Encounter Between Christianity and Science. ed. David Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers., Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

     *Inge, William Ralph. Christian Mysticism. the famous Bampton Lectures, Oxford, 1899, New York: Meredian, Living Age Books, 1956, second printing, 1960.

     L Ladurie, LeRoy. "Introduction," Montaillou: Promised Land of Error. trans. Barbara Bray, New York: George Braziller, Inc. 1978 (American pub. date, originally 1975).

     Lindberg, David "Science and The Early Church," in Lindberg, Op. Cit. . Science In the Middle Ages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

     Lovejoy, Arthor O. The Great Chain of Being: The History of An Idea. The William James lecture 1833, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1934. This edition 13th printing 1976.

     Lloyd, Genevieve. The Man of Reason: "Male" and "Female" in Western Philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

     *Marcus, R. A. Christianity In The Roman World. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1974.
    Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of The Development of Doctrine. The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300). Vol. III. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

     Ruther, Rosemary Radord. Sexism in God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology. Boston: Beacon Press, 1983.

     *Scheeben, Mathias Joseph. Nature And Grace. trans. Cyril Vollert, ST. Louis:Herder Book Company, 1954 (originally 1856).

     Schiebenger, Londa. The Mind Has No Sex? Women in The Origins of Modern Science. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989.

     *Tanner, Kathryn. God and Creation In Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment. Basil Blackwell, 1988.

     *Tillich, Paul. A History of Christian Thought. ed. Carl Bratten. New York: Simmon and Schuster, 1968.

     Westfall, Richard. Science and Religion in Seventeenth Century England.

     Ann Arbor paperbacks: University of Michigan Press, 1973 (originally, 1958).

     Willey, Basil. The Seventeenth Century Background: STudies in The Thought of The Age In Relation to Poetry and Religion. London: Chatto and Windus, 1934, seventh impression, 1957.

     White, Lynn. "The Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," in Machina Ex Deo: Essays in The Dynamism of Western Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1968.

    this is for another paper there might be some over lap

    Fuchs, Stephan. The Professional Quest for Truth: A social Theory of Science and Knowledge. State University of New York Press, 1992.

    Gay, Peter.
    The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism. New York: W.W. Norton & co. 1966.

    Hacking, Ian.
    The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction, and Statistical Inference. London: Cambridge University Press, 1975.

    Jacob, Margaret C.
    The Newtonians and the English Revolution: 1689-1720. Ithica New York: Cornell University Press, 1976.

    James, William,
    The Varieties of Religious Experience.

    Lukes, Steven. "On the Social Determination of Truth,"
    Modes of Thought: Essays on Thinking in Western and Non-Western Societies. ed. Robin Horton and Ruth Finnegan. London: Faber & Faber, 1973.

    Kuhn, Thomas S.
    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Second edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970 (originally 1962).

    Popkin, Richard H.
    The History of Skepticism From Erasmus To Spinoza. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, revised edition, 1979 (original 1948).

    Editor. "Introduction,"
    The Philosophy of The 16th and 17th Centuries. gen. ed. Paul edwards and Richard Popkin. New York: The Free Press, Div. of Macmillon, 1966.

    Shapin, Steven.
    A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth Century England. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

    Shapin, Steven and Simon Schaffer.
    Leviathan And The Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Princeton University Press, 1985.

    Stout, Jeffrey.
    The Flight From Authority: Religion, Morality, and The Quest For Autonomy. Notre Dame, London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981.

    Redwood, John.
    Reason, Ridicule, And Religion: The Age of Enlightenment In England 1660-1750. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976

    *Willey, Basil.
    The Eighteenth Century Background: Studies On the Idea of Nature In the Thought of the Period. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.