Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Science? Merely a branch of Theology!

Today, as the Church of England commemorates the life and work of William of Ockham, Priest and Philosopher, it behoves me to (once again) point out that despite the erroneous posturing of many with their thinking over:

Evolution (Darwin)

Heliocentric theories (Copernicus and Galileo - neither of whom were persecuted for their theories by the way)

And many other myths (wait for it):

Science, Philosophy, rational and logical thought are merely little more than (comfortable) bedfellows with theology and people of faith (well some of them anyway!).

I have often regarded 'Ockham's Razor' as one of the handiest and sadly least used means of resolving difference and establishing fact.

In it we have the essence of empiricism and the practice of assuming that simpler explanations are, all other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones is the basis upon which much good, and long-lasting, science is done.

Yippee for William of Ockham - yet another brick in the wall of reality that shows scientific, rational thinking lives comfortably with theology (and people of faith) within the physical world.

Now if only some of those around us who have to invent complex explanations for the very things that are defined simply (but perhaps they might need them to remove their blinkers - theist and atheist).

Happy Wednesday


Anonymous said...

Galileo was put under house arrest and his book was banned. That sounds like persecution.

Allie P said...

I have never had any problem being both Christian and scientist.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Galileo did indeed due under house arrest, living in relative luxury and in receipt of pensions and other money from the Catholic Church; but this had nothing to do with the heliocentric issue as something controversial or heretical!

Before his arrest the only real opposition to the heliocentric debate came from those who supported the Aristotelean idea if the heavens. Mind you, it was Nicholas Copernicus who had the real ideas, it just suits some to portray Galileo ac the poor unfortunate target of hate from the church! Copernicus, by the way, retired and received a church pension for his life's service if work to church and science ;-)

Back to Galileo: the silly did write a book which mentioned a character whose name translates as 'Simpleton' and he was a Straw Man, created to be knocked down. This Simpleton uttered direct quotes from Pope Urban III, a man who had been friend, patron and supporter u til that time. Urban took offence and the inquisitors called Galileo in - result, house arrest, naughty boy status (it was more 'Private Eye' than spite - but you can't upset a Pope in that way and in those days and expect to win!) and whilst he entertained and cogitated, Galileo probably did some of his best work and produced his best science too.

Reticence and fear of publishing had very little to do with church versus science throughout Galileo's life - it was fear of scientific peers and the conflict between their systems and theories that challenged him most!

If you want a real 'church' opposition, best look at Calvin's 'central earth' assessment as found in his commentary to Genesis - the Bible never claims it - philosophers and those working with analogies might, but that and flat earth and eviction and the like have never been central.

You'll be claiming Darwin was an atheist and killed God with eviction next :-)

Thanks for link and comments (both of you)