Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blessed Galileo Galilei, Pray for us!

It is too bad that the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has not canonized a scientist as saint. It reflects the observation that the Roman Church has not the stomach to do so. But that may be for the best. It is true that Neils Stensen, the father of geological sciences has been beatified, but Pope JP II did so because Stensen was a convert from Lutheranism and became a bishop. Stensen or Nicolas Steno as known in his Latinized name, LEFT SCIENCE to be a major influence on the counter-Reformation. Steno cannot be a saint for Catholic scientists.

However I believe that if we should have an obedient and theologically straight Catholic scientist as saint, then that would be no body else but Galileo Galilei. Galileo is the better theologian and that is because he was an astute scientist. Galileo obeyed the Church but not the Jesuits and Saint Cardinal Robert Bellarmine.

Galileo's famous quote

"All truths are easy to understand once discovered, the point is to discover them"


"Nature is relentess and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not"

are interesting in terms of DJB's observation about the Oratio Imperata and how it never fails statistically. Well that is the purpose of religion of which Galileo well understood. It is easier to understand nature's reasons through religion, which is the easiest to understand. But Galileo also says that

"I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations."

Religion does not provide the explanation how nature works. But those whose houses were sunk in Provident Village are asking "Why us?". Science can provide answers to the "Why?" but cannot answer the "Why us?" The explanation of science cannot provide the consolation that disaster stricken people need.

The scientist is tasked to discover the truth on how nature works. This can provide rational explanations and science has been successful in doing so. However Saint Galileo Galilei never discounted the need for "elevating our minds to the Divine". But this can only be achieved by using reason and Science.

Professor Richard Dawkins' atheistic scientism deserves no respect since it is in itself logically flawed and his latest cop out to what Herr Professor Joseph Ratzinger has been teaching for decades is evidence enough. He belatedly recognizes that the philosophical basis of Roman Catholicism and Darwinism is the same which requires the existence of an objective truth. This hardly surprises. Dawkins' Darwinism is under threat not from Roman Catholicism (which is the most Darwin friendly religion around) but from people abandoning reason for one reason or another. Dawkins should just pursue research that shows that belief in God has evolutionary benefits. Proving that atheism confers evolutionary fitness is bound to fail. There is some truth to the frontline saying "There are no atheists in the foxholes".

So in our battle for non-scientific and unreasonable thinking, we should ask the intercession of Saint Galileo and read Darwin, Einstein and Ratzinger.

And we should just consider the Pinoy Archbishops penchant for Oratio Imperatas a prank! But it is a relatively harmless prank compared to what ministers of a new religion are preaching about. These ministers of religion will definitely get heaps of converts before Christmas!

Besides we have other faith systems to train our scientific guns on to. We call this FAITH BASED ENVIRONMENTALISM! Global Warming after TS Ondoy unfortunately has become the new manifestation of the Devil. I am not doubting the scientific fact of human induced climate change (as some blog commentators have accused me of doing so). I am appalled by some folks making climate change as an evil. This won't do us good. Galileo has warned us about it.

Indeed Science IS necessary to survival and Faith IS necessary to salvation.

In fact I don't see any contradiction between the two as long as the use of reason is involved.

SOURCE: Philippine Commentary


Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

The basic position you are presenting is a variant of the "Separate Magisteria" idea. But when you say Science can answer the "Why" but not the "Why us?" question, I am puzzled. It is actually easy for Science to explain to the residents of Provident Village WHY THEM in terms of the points raised by the good Mr. Palafox whose research into Frost's urban planning of Manila contains much of the answer to why them.

As to the suggestion that GG be made a saint as a first gesture that the RCC "has the stomach for it" I think that is a brilliant suggestion, but I must remind you that I myself have already observed that there IS a patron saint in the CAtholic pantheon worthy of interceding for scientists (my own personal favorite): ST. THOMAS THE DOUBTER (whose apocryphal gospels ought to be made canonical and you would have your wished for "saint" and "scientist" --though of course Thomas' historicity becomes suddenly a scientific question.

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

Theists can find absolutely no consolation in Einstein, at least those familiar with his original writings on "God". However, mathematicians agree with the "theology" of Einstein, and so do I, but I can assure you that Einstein was a compleat, if quite diplomatic atheist.

Now of course the RCC is "the most Darwin-friendly" religion around--but that is only because they are not fools who would question Medicine or Physics or Aerodynamic Engineering in favor of miraculous cures, suspended laws of nature or the flight of angels.

But the obverse is not necessary: Science does not have to respect "Religion" for there is a multiplicity of religion, all with separate and indeed exclusive magisteria (or so they claim). Science--while divers, contentious, and literally always ultimately wrong--is self-correcting, self-checking, not at all defensive about "not knowing" the answers and the explanations. This is very different than Religion. Any religion. In that, Science has an integrity that Religion does not have.

elmot said...

Poor G, he was indeed a very pious man but the Church still believed that time that the earth is flat...

These two science and religion could live together, but religion only opposes and combats science when it already run against its teachings whatever religion it may be. For the catholic church however, there are three sources of its beliefs: scriptures, tradition and the magisterium. And when science goes against these three, then there will be more Galileo failing from the line of sainthood.

blackshama said...

Science cannot go against Scripture but it goes against the erroneous interpretation of Scripture.

Jesusa Bernardo said...

I am not doubting the scientific fact of human induced climate change (as some blog commentators have accused me of doing so). I am appalled by some folks making climate change as an evil.

Climate change has visited this planet many times over millions of years. It is not "evil" but there's simply something evil in human-induced global warming.

Nature and the earth biota is simply larger than humans and for us to significantly contribute, to the destruction of several species is rather immoral. Esp. when we persist in our ways despite awareness of the issue.

In the not-so-distant future we could be able to come up with a technological solution to human-induced global warming. In the meantime, however, we are losing plant and animal species. How less beautiful is Earth without Polar bears, Arctic foxes, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Proving that atheism confers evolutionary fitness is bound to fail.

will an "atheist meme" even survive, based on the social darwinistic concept of how memes evolve conceptualised by dawkins? if not, it must be a poor, weak meme, to begin with.

inodoro ni emilie