Science, Religion, and Predicting the Future

In the recent hubbub about science being rational and religion being irrational, the case is often presented that religious people are susceptible to mental crutches and being ignorant.

I tend to believe that religious people and scientific people are both morons. Every single person on the planet is susceptible to mental crutches and ignorant opinions, including me, the author of these oh so right words.

Science has done a fine job of lambasting the idiocy of religion, in fact, religion has done a pretty good job of making that point. But let’s not forget the idiocies of science.

Yesterday I talked about Copernicus and his scientific discovery of a heliocentric universe, which was against the science and religion of the time.

Along with Copernicus’ interest in the “revolutions of the heavenly spheres” came much interest in astrology. Astronomy studies the heavens; astrology thinks you can predict the future by the stars.

Although Copernicus himself appears to have kept himself out of astrological quackery, many of the readers of his book did not (Kepler was in it big time, Galileo was a little bit). Astrology became a big deal. So much so, that many of the words we use today are from this astrological interest.

The days of our week are named for astrological ideas.

Consider the following words:

Consider–from the Latin cum sidera meaning “with the stars”
Disaster–from the Latin dis sidera meaning “against the stars” or “ill-starred.”
Jovial–related to the god Jove or Jupiter, the planet supposed to exert a happy influence.
Martial–being warlike, related to Mars, the god of war
Mercurial–animated, lively, relating to the god Mercury.
Ascendancy–having to do with climbing up, based on the astrological idea of “the point of the ecliptic or the sign and degree of the zodiac rising above the eastern horizon at the time of a birth or event.”

Astrology, using the position of stars and planets to predict the future, used to be considered a kind of science and was taken quite seriously.

Today astrology is in its rightful spot next to the self-help section. No serious scientist considers astrology to be scientific.

Although we may not be using the revolutions of the heavenly spheres to predict the future, scientists do tend to use the state of the planet we’re on to make predictions, most of which are equally faulty.

You can go here or here (not all of these in this list are based on science but many are) for a list of “scientific” predictions that did not come true. So, yeah, bash on the religious types that fail in their predictions too, no problem, let’s just be fair!

Predicting the future is hard. Science people and religious people fail here all the time. No one can predict flawlessly with merely human devices.

My point is this: Science people and religious people are in the end all the same: dumb. We live and learn. We prove all things and hold to that which is good. But be careful of those people, both scientific and religious, who claim to know everything and pretend that their side is never wrong.

There’s just way too much human history for us to be arrogant, know-it-all, jerks anymore. I want Niel Degrasse Tyson and Franklin Graham to both be humble. I think both overstep the bounds of human confidence. And so do you. And so do I.

Which brings me back to one of my favorite verses:

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

The Flat Earth, Heliocentric Universes, Science and Christianity

Modern Science/Atheism is intent on proving that Christianity, and religion in general, is anti-science. Although I cannot speak for everyone, this is just plain silly.

But, in an attempt to ridicule the other side (a common tactic of insecurity, by the way), the Church is accused of having believed in the Flat Earth and rejecting Heliocentric astronomy, etc.

However, if a person gets past the rhetoric and examines the accusations, you will realize that many of these attacks are fabrications.

The whole Flat Earth thing appears to be entirely invented by later generations to bash the medieval Catholic church. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to bash the Catholic Church, there is no need to invent more.

Many have said that Columbus’ voyage was ridiculed because he’d fall off the end of the earth. This appears nowhere in historical evidence. Rather than fearing Columbus would fall off the end of the earth, they were concerned the globe was too large for him to make it around before running out of supplies.

The Columbus falling over the edge myth seems to have been invented by Washington Irving in 1828. In fact, Professor Jeffrey Russell in his book Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians, says “No one before the 1830s believed that medieval people thought that the Earth was flat.”

So, what about Copernicus and his Revolution that the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth? Yes, the Catholic Church had a problem with him. The Council of Trent, which had a problem with everyone not Catholic, laid down rules to handle heretics. Copernicus was lumped in there with Luther and the rest of the “heretics” of the day.

Having the sun be the center of the universe did shake things up. It would be similar to suggesting today that Darwinian Evolution was wrong. Everyone knew the earth was the center, as sure as we know your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma was a monkey.

The Catholic higher-ups, who were quickly losing power and influence, freaked. There is an account in Joshua where it says “the sun stood still.” Clearly it is the sun that moves, not the earth. Some also pointed to Psalm 93:1, which says in part, “the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.” A simple understanding of how figures of speech work can explain these phrases.

There is even a supposed commentary by John Calvin that says of this verse, “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?” Problem is, no one has ever found anywhere where Calvin ever said this.

Andrew Dickson White is the originator of this “quote.” In his book, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, written in 1896, is where White makes this accusation. He also, incidentally, invents other myths about Christian hostility and supposed scientific facts. No one takes his work seriously.

However, these lies get told and retold, and after a while they become cited reality. Now, it is true that the Catholic Church tried to censor Copernicus. I will not defend the Catholic Church because the vast majority of their history is entirely insane.

But to assume that the Catholic Church represents all Christians is like assuming Joseph Stalin and company represent all atheists.

The Catholic Church actually never banned Copernicus’ book. They gave out edits that were to be made in copies. The problem is that Copernicus did the church a massive favor. Since he understood orbits and so forth, he more accurately predicted the timing of Easter than even the Catholic system! Their deal was not to ban the book, but to edit it, to tone it down.

For instance, The title of Chapter 11 in Book One of his On The Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres was “The Explication of the Three-Fold Motion of the Earth” was to be changed to “The Hypothesis of the Three-Fold Motion of the Earth.”

I am currently reading a book by a professor who traveled all over the world looking at copies of Copernicus’ Revolutions. He notes that hardly any contain these corrections. Pretty much the only people that took the corrections seriously were a few people in Italy. No one else seemed to bother. In fact, Copernicus’ book made it to China because of Jesuit missionaries (Jesuits are Catholics, incidentally.)

Summing it all up, although the Church is routinely bashed for denying science, the reality is that many who bash the church deny history. They invent ideas and then repeat them so it looks like their statements are adequately cited. But when you trace the sources back, you realize many of the charges are inventions.

Again, the Catholic Church did have a messy history with science. But keep in mind, they also have a messy history with Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, Protestants, Baptists, governments, people who want to read the Bible, and many other supposed enemies. I do not defend them. They have not done us any favors.

But next time you hear an accusation against the church, just like I encourage you to do when someone throws a Scripture reference at you: LOOK IT UP! You might be surprised what you find.

Memorizing Facts is Not the Same as Thinking

The modern atheist/science movement is hostile to religion. That being the case, they don’t bother to learn lessons from the history of religion. Now their atheist/science movement is becoming religious and falling into the same traps.

Increasingly we are hearing about scientists who want to silence people on the “other side” of their opinions. Bill Nye, among others, think climate change deniers should be imprisoned.

As I pointed out yesterday, Neil Degrasse Tyson celebrates the scientific method, which is a process of testing. Science is based on testing, which is based on questions and thinking. As soon as you desire to silence the questioning side, you have fallen from science.

Walter Bradly, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, testified recently about proposed changes made to science curriculum that in his mind eliminated critical thinking skills. Here is part of his testimony:

When I was in tenth grade I took biology. Biology in those days was taught as sort of a, memorize a zillion details. I memorized all the details and I made a 99 percentile on my biology achievement test and I got invited to go to three different colleges for a summer program.

And I thought, all I could imagine was just memorizing stuff all summer. I ended up not going, I just took a construction job and worked.

The point I’m trying to make here is when you teach science without providing, I think, opportunity for people to see the magic of the scientific method, the discovery opportunities, the conundrums that we have, and to see this is something that we have that’s a very active…it’s not a set of facts to be memorized. It really is a process to be understood.

Science is becoming more about memorizing the proper lines and less about thinking, testing, and analyzing.

Church History is filled with groups who insisted they had the truth. Just memorize our lines. Just repeat what we say. Don’t think. Don’t test. Don’t question. Don’t assume for a second you can figure this out on your own.

Bad things happen in those groups.

Questions are messy. Testing is annoying. It might be possible that if people thought for themselves they will disagree with you. Your power structure might collapse if too many people start thinking!

Not thinking makes everyone’s job easier. You don’t have to ask or answer hard questions. You can zone out as long as you spout the right answer at the right time. Teachers don’t have to do any work and students don’t have to do anything either. Everyone can take it easy and pat each other on the back all day.

Science, now that it’s becoming religion, will increasingly fall into these traps. For all their hatred of close-minded, brainwashed, religious types, science seems to be doing a good job of creating their own.

Don’t be afraid to think. Ever. About anything!

When Wisdom Gets You in Trouble

A couple weeks ago there was a “March for Science.” In the lead-up to this event, Niel Degrasse Tyson made a video about the wonderfulness of science. He explained the Scientific Method–the testing of hypothesis to get repeated results–as the best thing man has ever invented to discover truth.

I have no problems with any of that part. There are problems with his implications though.

Tyson thinks that the Scientific Method is the test for truth, but he also knows he can’t say it that forcefully because Science keeps changing. Old results are replaced with new results due to better equipment and advancements. Therefore, Tyson doesn’t talk about truth; instead he speaks of “emerging truth.” Tyson knows enough to know that for Science, truth is emerging.

Tyson, however, moves quickly past this shifting notion of emerging truth, and says we should let scientists run everything. They are the ones who know the “truth” so we should shut up, hand the keys over to them, and let them drive. Tyson’s main motivation becomes political power. We should let scientists dictate our political decisions.

Except he just got done saying that truth is emerging, so how can we trust his conclusions enough to take action on them if new truth might emerge?

The irony of modern atheistic science is that it is becoming a religion. Since these atheist scientists have such a hatred for religion, they are ignorant concerning religious history.

Continue reading “When Wisdom Gets You in Trouble”

Miracles and Science

The Big Bang and Evolution try to explain how we got here by a random process of mutation. There is no design and there is no purpose. Just nature randomly mutating.

If our world got here by random chance mutation, one would expect randomness to occur all the time. If randomness is the norm, how do scientific laws fit in?

According to the scientific method, a scientific law is reproducible and can be tested and verified in the lab. Whenever A is added to B you get C. Every time. No matter what. Which is not random.

Science tells us to only trust fixed behavior, like evolution, which is entirely random.

One of the main criticisms evolutionary atheists have about the Bible are the miracles. You can’t turn water into wine. You can’t walk on water. Dead guys don’t come alive. Miracles are too random, not normative, thus are not possible. Only a moron would think random acts such as miracles could occur.

Here’s the thing though: dead guys don’t come alive again, water does not turn into wine. and walking on water is not normal, that’s what makes it a miracle.

But the evolutionist believes our living bodies and water got here by completely random, out of the ordinary acts.

I remain baffled and confused by the logic at work. What is more of a miracle: that a guy walked on water, or that a guy and water got here by random mutation?

Evolutionists have more of a belief in miracles than even the Bible calls for!