Saturday, February 21, 2015

The status of "science": Geocentrism, Evolution, Global Warming, Creationism, etc.

I have made the point that "hot button" issues related to "science" interest me precisely because of the controversy they engender among equally intelligent individuals who unaccountably disagree -- sometimes vociferously -- with one another, each just as sure as the other than he is right. This is interesting both psychologically and epistemologically, in terms of the "paradigms" that each view point assumes.

So when I got another carrier pigeon message from our friend, Guy Noir - Private Eye, precisely about this issue, I was thrilled ... only to have my hopes of giving this topic a thorough treatment dashed by an email I just received from the University of Notre Dame Press telling me they're interested in publishing my manuscript; and they want to know how soon I can get them the entire manuscript with completed edits. Ugh! What can you do? Sometimes I wish I could bi-locate like St. Padre Pio and be working on one thing at one desk and another thing at another right beside it.

So, in brief, here's the lowdown from Noir:
Over at Catholic World Report there is a feature on Karl Keating's takedown of the Geocentrists. [Carl E. Olson, "Circling the New Geocentrists: An Interview with Karl Keating" (CWR, February 13, 2015): "A new book by the founder of Catholic Answers addresses the scientific mistakes, theological errors, and conspiracy-minded promoters of geocentrism."] I too find the Geocentrists more than a bit ... discomfiting ... But, I think there is more than a small axe being ground here.

Are Geocentrists a priority of Catholic apologetics, at such a time as this?!

Rome bats its eyes at liberation theologians and maps out ways to welcome gay pairings, and we worry about the SSPX? Catholic biblical scholarship jumps its rails and exalts Kasper as exegete celbré, the Vatican gets more insistent about evolution than about classic doctrine, and we worry about a guy who writes a faithful Catholic commentary and promotes inerrancy? (Is this in sync with the Pontifical Biblical Commission saving its most worrisome rhetoric for 'fundamentalists,' or Fr. Feeney getting excommunicated while Fr. de Chardin gets exonerated by Fr. De Lubac?).

Geocentrists to me seem backwoods in their claims, but I think they seem pretty advanced in that most people can't follow either side of the arguments. But I am not sure they matter much regardless, given everyone blinks on certain questions of 'established science.' I get [understand] dismissing them, but not clubbing them. Here is [Jonah] Goldberg:
"All Hail Science!" (NRO, February 14, 2015):
So my column from yesterday was about the quizzing of Scott Walker and other Republicans about evolution. This is an incessant question every four years. And while it deserves to be cessant, it will never will be. (Okay, I’m done now.)

As many have noted, liberals in and out of the media are very selective in their celebration of science. Guy Benson reminded me of this nicely splenetic post I wrote three years ago in the Corner:
Why does the Left get to pick which issues are the benchmarks for “science”? Why can’t the measure of being pro-science be the question of heritability of intelligence? Or the existence of fetal pain? Or the distribution of cognitive abilities among the sexes at the extreme right tail of the bell curve? Or if that’s too upsetting, how about dividing the line between those who are pro- and anti-science along the lines of support for geoengineering? Or — coming soon — the role cosmic rays play in cloud formation? Why not make it about support for nuclear power? Or Yucca Mountain? Why not deride the idiots who oppose genetically modified crops, even when they might prevent blindness in children?

Some of these examples are controversial, others tendentious, but all are just as fair as the way the Left framed embryonic stem-cell research and all are more relevant than questions about evolution. (Quick: If Obama changed his mind about evolution tomorrow and became a creationist, what policies would change? I’ll wait.)

The point is that the Left considers itself the undisputed champion of “science,” but there are scads of issues where they take un-scientific points of view.

Sure they can cite dissident scientists — just as conservatives can — on this or that issue. But everyone knows that when the science directly threatens the Left’s pieties, it’s the science that must bend — or break. During the Larry Summers fiasco at Harvard, comments delivered in the classic spirit of open inquiry and debate cost Summers his job. Actual scientists got the vapors because he violated the principles not of science but of liberalism. During the Gulf oil spill, the Obama administration dishonestly claimed that its independent experts supported a drilling moratorium. They emphatically did not. The president who campaigned on basing his policies on “sound science” ignored his own hand-picked experts. According to the GAO, he did something very similar when he shut down Yucca Mountain. His support for wind and solar energy, as you suggest, isn’t based on science but on faith. And that faith has failed him dramatically.

The idea that conservatives are anti-science is self-evident and self-pleasing liberal hogwash. I see no reason why conservatives should even argue the issue on their terms when it’s so clearly offered in bad faith in the first place.
Recently, others have made this point better than I have, but as the Marines say of their rifles, this “news”letter is mine.

Anyway, what I find really intriguing is the way people talk about “science” as if it is so much more — and occasionally less — than it is. Critics on Twitter and in my e-mail box say we need to know if Scott Walker “believes in science,” as if his answer on evolution will tell us if he’s a witch burner or not.

Well, I regularly get e-mail from creationists. E-mail. In other words, thanks to scientists, the words of creationists are transported through the sky into my phone or computer. And, while I haven’t checked, I’m pretty sure they don’t believe that their e-mail was carried to me on the backs of pixies. I’m also pretty sure that the vast majority of creationists drive cars, take antibiotics, watch TV, and eat foods with preservatives in them. For liberals, perhaps this is proof of some kind of hypocrisy or cognitive dissonance. And maybe it is, though I don’t see it. But it’s also a demonstration that having your faith — or your superstitions — bump into one of the farther borders of scientific knowledge doesn’t require one to reject all of science. It’s not a binary thing. Belief in something unconfirmed or even disproved by science is not a rejection of all science. Just as a refusal to believe unicorns are real doesn’t mean I have to reject the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Kate Upton, or other allegedly mythical creatures.

That’s part of the irony. The way the science-lovers talk about science, you’d think science was a kind of magic that requires total faith and conviction. If you don’t believe with all of your heart in “science,” it will stop working. It’s like the scientific enterprise is akin to Santa’s sleigh in the movie Elf (a great film, and not just because it inspired my daughter to answer the phone “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”).

In Elf, Santa’s sleigh no longer relies on flying reindeer. Instead it converts “Christmas cheer” into jet power. That’s how some of these people talk about believing in science. If we don’t project our positive emotions towards it, it won’t take off. I am typing this on a plane from Detroit, Michigan — on Friday the 13th, no less. What happens if I suddenly stop saying in a hopeful whisper “I believe in you, science!” or if I take a deist bent and hold out the possibility that there’s something more than the material world out there? Will my plane suddenly plummet? Will gremlins slowly emerge from behind the seat in front of me, like Miley Cyrus climbing over a toilet-stall door?

Look, science, unlike God, really doesn’t care if you believe in it. And casting doubt on one part of it doesn’t break the spell. That’s the whole point of science; it’s not magic.

Democrats are more likely to believe in paranormal activity. They’re also more likely to believe in reincarnation and astrology. I have personally known liberals who think crystals have healing powers who nonetheless believe that the internal combustion engine doesn’t actually rely on magical horse power.
Indeed. Science itself isn't magic. It's simply knowledge (scientia, in Latin); or, more to-the-point, it's the claim of some individuals to know something that others don't. Those of us who to graduate school know that we learned more and more about less and less, until we learned almost everything about nothing. Which leads to my little secret about the scientist who tells you about what happened billions and billions of years ago: he's generally someone who knows so much about so little that he's probably blowing hot air. But it will be interesting. Probably as interesting as the Teutonic myths you may have studied in elementary school.


20 comments:








BenYachov

said...

I have no sympathy for "Traditionalists" or any other so called orthodox Catholic who defend & make excuses for this neo-geo nonsense.

We are not talking about a dispute between punctuated equilibrium and gradual equilibrium or Intelligent Design(which has Atheist defenders) vs Natural Evolution(not naturalistic).

This is quack science done by obvious quacks & weird conspiracy theorists who believe the Jews sunk the Titanic as a pre-cursor to 911 & promote holocaust denial and other wicked & flakey endeavors and if you want Traditionalism to be taken serious then rather then make excuses for it you should be the first to denounce it.

I suggest you read the comments thread of the CWR thread on this issue.

Mercifully when i read the comments over at CWR I note there are many Traditionalist minded individuals who are not sympathetic to whitewashing the Neo0geos.

>Are Geocentrists a priority of Catholic apologetics, at such a time as this?!

Yes or should the faith be held to ridicule because Catholics tolerate bigots and conspiracy butters?

Better yet should love of the Old Mass and or a fidelity to tradition & other legitimate critiques of the Post Vatican II Church be held to ridicule because some people wish to tie it too conspiracy nutjobs and quacks.

That later bit is what anyone here should be asking themselves.





BenYachov

said...



According to Pete Vere the late Michael Davies' description of geocentrists was something to the effect of "nutters who embarrass traditionalists by their foolishness."

Good call!





Sheldon

said...

Ben Yachov,

Well, according to Ralph Roister-Doister and Dymphna, you're in good company, because the Pope also paints himself as occupying the moderate "middle ground," and everyone else as fanatics, hurling insults at opponents and questioning their sanity rather than engaging their arguments. Congratulations.





Ralph Roister-Doister

said...

Why would anyone believe that the sun orbits the earth? That's like asking why a traditionalist would give a hindquarter's gaseous expulsion for the advice of a Grub Street twit like Ben Yackov on what to believe and why.

He's only here to piss you off. That is his only reason for showing up. He is an odd species of internet stalker.

Jus' sayin', yo.





BenYachov

said...

@Sheldon

Since when is Michael Davies a "Moderate"?





Pertinacious Papist

said...

To anyone who gives a fig, my interest in geocentrism isn't for the sake of geocentrism, but the ire it provokes among those who claim to "know" (= possess "scientia"), when their so-called "knowledge" is based on appeals to authority (of relatively recent "scientific" conventions). That's why I place this issue in the same grab bag together with global warming (climate "science"), evolution vs. creationism or intelligent design theory, and the like.

Not because I denigrate "science," but because I reject the methodological and presuppositional constraints under which those who appeal to modern "science" labor. It all comes from the "Positivism" of Auguste Comte, who, on the backs of the nominalist theories of Bacon, Hobbest, et al., restricted "science" to disciplines that are strictly (1) empirical, (2) employ mechanical-causal deterministic methods, and (3) employ quantifiable (mathematical) empiriometric approaches.

What's the problem with that? It jettison's both formal and final causality, and it requires one to labor under the illusion that "evidence" is simply "evident" without any appreciation of the presupposition-laden heuristic dimension of personal interpretation, which is never in a cultural vacuum.

Hence, when the likes of Richard Dawkins is "debating" Creation Scientists, he acts as though the disagreement is over "facts," when it has only tangentially to do with facts at all. The problem is that they end up talking past each other because they never succeed in engaging one another's interpretive framework of assumptions. The Dawkins-types assume they've got a corner on "the facts," when, in fact, their own textbook history of interpreting those "facts" is laden with its own cultural baggage of indemonstrable assumptions stemming from the Enlightenment (usually, if indirectly).

Karl Keating has recently been interviewed by Carl Olson on Catholic World Report about his new book attacking Geocentrism. Here again one sees the problem. Like Mark Shea, who last year seemed for a time to make a cottage industry of preventing Catholic media from giving the Geocentrists a hearing, because they are all simply (as B.Y. says here) "nut jobs," etc., such critics tend to simply assume the prevailing cosmological paradigm without engaging any of their arguments. Why? I suppose it's easier to call them names. Keating even goes so far as to concede that his new book is directed at criticizing the dubious credentials and discrediting the spokesmen advancing Geocentrism rather than engating the arguments of Geocentrism itself. Again, the question I would ask is "Why?" It's easy to dismiss any arguments that reference technical details as the work of charlatans. It's much harder to refute them.

Recently I've had my alarm clock set to NPR, which wakes me up every morning. More often than not it's a near occasion of sin. Why? Because in no time I find myself cursing the quacking ducks who are so full of themselves, so blooming arrogant!

Recently they had on a woman who was telling her audience why nobody in their right mind should even consider the arguments of Fundamentalists against evolution "scientific," or even the arguments of intelligent design theorists. I could go into detail, but I'm afraid it would drive me (and you all) to distraction.





BenYachov

said...

With all due respect I strongly disagree…...

Doc their arguments are in fact nonsense & the geo-centrists themselves are shady questionable individuals as Keating documents & argues in painful detail. (I have been reading his book).

Granted one must engage arguments and one can't just attack persons or personalities but sometimes it is justified to do both even if there is more of an emphasis on the later then the former but the former is sufficient.

What about the anti-Catholic fundamentalist Alberto Rivera? Or the notorious Maria Monk?
Or the so called former Priest Charles Chiniquy? These individuals where not just wrong on doctrine & spread counter Catholic error they where also proven frauds. They promoted conspiracy theories & made personal claims about their own competence and authority on our Holy Faith that did not bear an objective analysis of the facts. The same can be said for the geo-centrists and their scientific incompetence and shameless acts of plagiarism.


> Keating even goes so far as to concede that his new book is directed at criticizing the dubious credentials and discrediting the spokesmen advancing Geocentrism rather than engating the arguments of Geocentrism itself.

Doc I have the book and that is a mischaracterization of it which I assume is unintentional since you seem not to have read it. Pointing out the dubious credentials and discrediting the spokesmen advancing Geocentrism is the main thrust of the book but Keating does venture strong criticisms & rebuttals of the main arguments of geocentricism. Like his books on Protestant Fundamentalism it isn’t necessary for Keating to oh let us say rebut every longwinded argument in Loraine Boettner's Roman Catholicism but hitting the high points like Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, problems of private interpretation and historical evidence for Catholicism more than suffice. Plus Keating is not shy about pointing out how Alberto Rivera has a string of children he fathered out of wedlock and was being investigated for check fraud to boot.

In a like manner in his book on Geocentricism he gives 13 pages on the problem Geostationary satellites (p 259-272) where as Sungenis in his 2200 page tome only devotes at best one page on the subject along with his Protestant counterpart Gerardus Bouw & does not deal with the problems. He points to how the New Geocentrists misuse General Relativity to try to justify their claims and the contradictions involved. I am sorry but this book is more than a “Sungenis denies the Holocaust & the moon landing” therefore Geocentracism is false screed.

You should read it.

>Again, the question I would ask is "Why?" It's easy to dismiss any arguments that reference technical details as the work of charlatans. It's much harder to refute them.

David Palm engineer and Traditionalist Catholic showed on more than one occasion Sungenis can’t even do elementary high school math when defending geocentricism.

It is only hard for the unlearned to refute the neogeos.
Speaking personally I know why the YEC argument “2nd Law of thermal dynamics refutes evolution” is bogus. I also know why Richard Dawkins criticism of Aquinas’s First Way is equally bogus. In the former one is taking a law of physics and treating it like a metaphysical principle about being. In the later one is taking a metaphysical argument on motus/change and treating it like an argument from Newtonian Physics. A Pox on both their houses & their category mistakes.


>I reject the methodological and presuppositional constraints under which those who appeal to modern "science" labor. It all comes from the "Positivism" of Auguste Comte,

Keating cites critics who reject Positivism & explain why they found the case for Geo-centracism wrong. Including a Young Earth Creationist critic.

I recommend one Read the book.

Cheers doc.





Raider Fan

said...

The problem with the neo-geos is their claim that what they favor is Catholic Doctrine/Dogma.

And, far from them being nutters, amongst the neo-geos is Ryan Grant

http://athanasiuscm.org/2015/02/03/interview-007-rick-delano-on-the-principle-and-geo-centrism/





BenYachov

said...

Traditionalists who expose the Neogeo nonsense.


David Palm
http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org

Geocentrism as Bad Theology
http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/geocentrism-and-the-catholic-church/

Anthony T
http://sweetheartsseekingsanctity.blogspot.com/2014/05/geocentrism-dangerous-pseudoscience.html

The moral dishonesty of Neogeos

http://sweetheartsseekingsanctity.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-geocentrist-struggles-with-scripture.html

It's plain nuts. If you tie this stuff to either Catholicism or Traditionalism you are condemning yourself to the lunatic fringe.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Reply to Ben Yachov and Raider Fan,

I know Karl Keating and consider him a friend. I know Robert Sungenis and consider him a friend (in fact some of my seminary colleagues and I have chapters in one of his anthologies). [I also have a passing acquaintance with David Palm, whose work I respect in apologetics, like that of Dave Armstrong, though whose passion about debunking Geocentrism I question a bit.]

They both do good work (and I've read them, if not Keating's latest) and I respect them, even if I may disagree with specific points here and there. I am one who likes to give my friends the benefit of a doubt; and I am not one to write off someone just because I disagree with some points he makes (I call Michael Voris as an example).

All this, however, is beside the point. My point is about the kids of propositions that a person is within his basic epistimic rights to assert; and I'm saying that whatever we may think of them, those who question prevailing views of cosmology aren't necessarily looney, any more than Fundamentalists or Intelligent Design scholars who question prevailing theories of Evolution, or others who question prevailing "findings" of Climate "Science."

I'm not denying the existence of "nutters." Some may exist among the defenders of Geocentrism (I don't know who Ryan Grant is, Raider Fan), but then some may also exist among prestigious dons of internationally renowned universities like Oxford: I think Richard Dawkins is a "nutter." He may know a thing or two about his trade, but he also spends an aweful lot of time pontificating above his pay grade, to borrow the POTUS' phrase.

When a person states unequivocally "their arguments are in fact nonsense," this sounds to me like a person presuming a vantage point transcending all interpretive frameworks who sees things from the point of view of nowhere or of God, which strikes me as very unlikely.

It's nice to posture as occupying the high middle ground between two equal and opposite lunatics, but I doubt very much that either Dawkins or Young Earth Creationists can be dismissed as easily as "a pox on both your houses."

The problem is lack of epistemological self-awareness on the part of each and perhaps oneself in making such a remark. With the law of entropy, for ex., it depends entirely what the YEC is trying to do with the argument. He may indeed be making a misapplication, but not necessarily; since metaphysical principles are often attested by principles of physics.

The fundamental issue is what sorts of beliefs one may entertain and remain within one's basic epistemic rights. An evidentialist who is a foundationalist will insist that every belief must be demonstrable by showing how it can be traced back to an evidentual foundation. But most of our beliefs are not of that kind. On what basis, for example, do we trust our memories? Or our experience as delivering reliable data about the "external" world? Or our belief that the world is more than 5 minutes old and didn't pop into existence moments ago with all the appearance it then had of antiquity?

Alvin Plantinga wrote a compelling essay some decades ago on the subject of religious epistemology and its relationship to Evolutionist claims. In it, he argued that although he himself believes that the probability weighs heavily in favor of the earth's antiquity, the Young Earth Creationists may, depending on how he arrives at and maintains his beliefs, be fully within his epistemic rights in believing in a young earth.

I would extend the same generous and sympathetic consideration to most of those who, like myself, have trouble with climate science, and to those others who think they may have some good scientific reasons for questioning the current cosmological paradigm.





BenYachov

said...

>The fundamental issue is what sorts of beliefs one may entertain and remain within one's basic epistemic rights.

Well doc is there or is there not such a thing as objective scientific, philosophical and or religious truth? Can we not know those truths within the framework of their fields of knowledge?

Or is all knowledge merely subjective in which case it doesn't matter what Sungenis says or for that matter Richard Dawkins?

I reject ID on philosophical grounds. I think Edward Feser has shown evolution is compatible with Thomism and slightly helped by it.

On the other side ID has credible Atheistic defenders. Bradley Morton and Thomas Negal have given it props. It's chief proponents are PhDs in biology.

But there are no physicists or professional people who even entertain the idea the Earth is motionless in the center of an Aether filled sphere.

The neogeos are across the board quacks. I don't see Michael j. Behe peddling a phony degree from a diploma mill. I don't see him threatening to sue people who disagree with him for pointing out he holds fringe lunatic ideas on the moon landing and the holocaust.
I don't see him making elementary mistakes in biology. I can see Richard Dawkins is incompetent in the area of Philosophy even Atheistic Philosophy which is why I can laugh loudly and cruelly at his pathetic attempts to debunk the 5 ways of Aquinas.
But I can laugh at Sungenis for the same reason.
His case top to bottom is completely unreasonable.





BenYachov

said...

Additional:

Doc do I have an epistemological right to claim African slavery and the slave trade never happened and it was all an elaborate hoax by the NAACP?

If not why not?

Cheers Doc.

PS in case there is some misunderstanding I get you are NOT defending Sungenis per say but posing some interesting philosophical questions.

double cheers.





George

said...

Christopher A. Ferrara has a three-page spread on Karl Keating's new book entitled "A New Stage in the Neo-Catholic Witch Hunt" in the latest issue of The Remnant.

Here are two quotes:

"There is something supremely ironic and not a little sad about Karl Keating’s writing career: that his most significant work, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, published back in 1988, is a vigorous apologetical approach to the errors of “Bible-based” Christianity that would now be viewed as completely unnecessary, if not an outright embarrassment, by the “ecumenical” Churchmen of the post-Vatican II era."

Then this:

"In the midst of an unparalleled crisis of faith and discipline that has rendered his best work irrelevant, however, Keating has devoted much of his remaining literary output to unprovoked personal attacks on traditionalist writers and commentators who have documented the crisis he resolutely ignores and have called for an integral restoration of doctrinal and liturgical Tradition...

"Keating has just stepped down as President of Catholic Answers, citing a desire “to devote more time to writing and speaking.” If his latest book is any indication, it appears that Keating will devote the rest of his writing career to perfecting the art of character assassination. When he wrote last year that Michael Matt’s late father would disown the Remnant were he alive today, I thought Keating’s anti-traditionalist polemic could not sink any lower. I was mistaken. The New Geocentrists, which Keating has published under his own trade name (Rasselas House), purports to be a critique of the geocentric theory (that the earth is the center of the physical universe). But the book is merely a vehicle for Keating’s descent even deeper into the ad hominem sewer that has become his literary habitat."

This, and much more. FYI.





BenYachov

said...

Christopher A. Ferrara started reviewing the book before even reading it so he has no credibility.

I recommend reading the argument on the CWR thread he has been called out on that a few times.

@George

On the tread Ferrara complained Keating was making ad hominid attacks on Sungenis rather then engaging his arguments.

Which makes your quotes from his "review" all the more Ironic....

Pete Vere points out this is not a "Neo-Catholic/Conservative vs Trad" thing by listing many Traditionalist individuals who oppose the Neo-geo enterprise.

Like I said David Palm is not a Neo-Catholic by a long shot.

He is a Trad.

So enough of this "Neo-Catholic vs Radtrad" meme.

I submit that is not the issue by a long shot.





Raider Fan

said...

Dear Doc. One of the saddest aspects of the entire captious controversy is that much of the evidence that could prove whether or not the neo-geos are right was lost when the Gov't disbanded the Old Negro Space Program.

As an Irish-Injun, Raider Fan specialises in lost causes so the only objection R.F. has with the neo-geos is their claim that geo-cent is Catholic doctrine; it ain't.

O, and R. F. used to be a subscriber to The Remnant a long time ago and he remembers many columns by Solange Hertz and Miss Paula Haigh declaiming that Catholic Doctrine teaches geo-centrism etc and yet there is no memory of Mr. Ferrara objecting and there were far more consequential events happening at that time.

Mr. Keating sure set Mr. Ferrar's teeth on edge and yet R.F. admires the writing of both - although, truth be told, R.F. rather admires the rhetorical fireworks of Mr. Ferrara.

The man can bring it :)





Pertinacious Papist

said...

R.F.

I don't know that Ferrara any more a committed geocentrist than I am. I'm not, but I defend the epistemic rights of all sorts of views that buck the mainstream.

B.Y.,

This doesn't mean that I'm a relativist, however; so no, it doesn't mean you're free to embrace any number of conspiracy theories, although you might be within your epistemic rights to do so under certain conditions. For example, the Warren Commission's verdict on the Kennedy assassination is anything but conclusive, and even if it did have a preponderance of what is generally accepted as "evidence" on its side (which it doesn't), one would still be able to credibly critique it, especially if he had what he believed was good evidence to the contrary.

BTW, Alvin Plantinga defends against the relativists conclusion in his discussion of epistemic proper basicality in the case of belief in God by means of a foil he calls, from Charlie Brown, the "Great Pumpkin" argument, sort of like the monk Gaunilo's counter to St. Anselm's ontological argument by the foil that this could lead one to credibly believe in an "island greater than which none can be conceived." Plantinga's right. The fact that someone may, in some cases, be well within his epistemic rights for believing in something (God, memory, sense perception, self-perception ...) as a properly basic belief without having a further evidential foundation for those beliefs doesn't lead to the relativist conclusion.

There is such a thing as evidence. There are arguments. There is natural law. There is, in the case of Catholics, clear magisterial teaching (well, sometimes depending on venue) to provide a paradigmatic heuristic framework of "tradition" (which would make some beliefs, like the belief that Mohammad is God's prophet, off limits).

What the partisans of "objective scientific facts" need to shed it the positivist framework in which they often simply assume that the "prevailing scientific consensus" has a corner on the truth. It doesn't. Certainly not always anyway. As Mortimer J. Adler points out repeatedly in his books where he touches on epistemology, almost NOTHING within the yield of modern science rises to the level of Aristotelian "knowledge," which requires a foundation of apodictic self-evident certitude. The certitudes of "science," by contrast, are TEMPORARY. What it should say is: "at the present time, this is assumed to be the most probably hypothesis, given the current framework and its first principles, which we have no way of demonstrating by scientific methods.

AND nobody should shoot down a hypothesis floated in good faith as idiocy simply because it originates with a "traditionalist," a "neo-Catholic," or an "AmChurch liberal," unless it is expressly rejected by the Church.

So welcome to the mosh pit, boys.





Anonymous

said...

For all of the sputtering here, let me ask the 'scientific' among us:

1. What is more of a threat to faith, geocentrism or higher criticism. If you even have to pause in answering this, you have lost all credibility in my book. Sorry, en, but seriously. I could really care less what planet revolves around what sun, but the veracity of Scripture seems rather essential to day today faith.And in response to "Who cares what wrote what, the Church affirms it...," just take a look at Europe. The landscape speaks for itself.

2. Given SUngenis and Keating are former colleagues, and Cathoic Answers can also claim as former employees Patrick MArdid and Gerry Matitics, who says Keating's judgement is sterling. Please.

3. After having read Ferarra's :The Great Facade," I challenge anyone to find dollars in its logic. Devastating. Defenses of the Vatican II Church in light of it seem as laughable as any flat earth theories, so suggestions of religious blindness cut both ways. The claims to intellectualism by those who push the New Rome floor me. They are as in denial as any Bob Joneser from yesteryear. Just saying....





Charles

said...

Anonymous,

I don't understand your point #2.

"Please" what?





Hans Georg Lundahl

said...

BenYachov said “This is quack science done by obvious quacks & weird conspiracy theorists who believe the Jews sunk the Titanic as a pre-cursor to 911 & promote holocaust denial and other wicked & flakey endeavors and if you want Traditionalism to be taken serious then rather then make excuses for it you should be the first to denounce it.”

Let me see, I have a few Jewish connections, actually a bit too many not to notice that some Jewish minded people do not quite like my ways or thoughts.
You are basically asking people with similar experiences to mine to, if getting anywhere near Geocentric, at LEAST buy that Jews are behind certain trends of PC and what passes for such in Science too …

And he continued, quoting a question he answered: “’Are Geocentrists a priority of Catholic apologetics, at such a time as this?!’

Yes or should the faith be held to ridicule because Catholics tolerate bigots and conspiracy butters?”


I think Pharisees and Kaiaphas might have had similar thoughts about Jesus.

They started out wanting merely to “destroy him” (socially I presume) and finished deciding to kill God. Note, He promised us we would not be quite free from such, just because we are inferior to Him.

What about the anti-Catholic fundamentalist Alberto Rivera? Or the notorious Maria Monk?
Or the so called former Priest Charles Chiniquy? These individuals where not just wrong on doctrine & spread counter Catholic error they where also proven frauds. They promoted conspiracy theories & made personal claims about their own competence and authority on our Holy Faith that did not bear an objective analysis of the facts. The same can be said for the geo-centrists and their scientific incompetence and shameless acts of plagiarism.


Being compared to Alberto Rivera hurts. It even stinks.

Kent Hovind who very probably or almost certainly believed Alberto Rivera’s story in good faith, said AR had had a confidential briefing from Cardinal Bea (who, as we Catholics know, is a Modernist) who told him Vatican founded Islam.

Someone certainly was lying about matters of fact. I don’t think it was Kent Hovind, he was rather repeating a lie in good faith. It may have been Alberto Rivera, but I could also imagine Bea. The great problem is that – if so – Alberto Rivera trusted a “confidential briefing”. One shouldn’t. I might trust one by my mother, but hardly from a stranger. But my mother would not be very likely when it comes to that large matters to use that method. Now, Agostina Bea was obviously not mother or father to Alberto Rivera. So, instead of telling Fundies – including Kent Hovind – how stupid they were to believe a fraud like Rivera (which may be the case, but just crying out “proven fraud” doesn’t make it so) how about telling them how stupid Rivera was, in case he was no fraud, to believe a confidential briefing?

Now, why exactly should I feel like one Rivera, just because I agree with Kent Hovind on Dinos?
Most of the time, I do consult other creationist sources too (his bid for Leviathan as T Rex is not alone in the field, but it might be an idea).





HGL again

said...

Continued:

Pointing out the dubious credentials and discrediting the spokesmen advancing Geocentrism is the main thrust of the book but Keating does venture strong criticisms & rebuttals of the main arguments of geocentricism.

Well, why is he not out there trying to discredit me?
What exactly were his main rebuttals?

I also know why Richard Dawkins criticism of Aquinas’s First Way is equally bogus. In the former one is taking a law of physics and treating it like a metaphysical principle about being. In the later one is taking a metaphysical argument on motus/change and treating it like an argument from Newtonian Physics. A Pox on both their houses & their category mistakes.

Now, Aquinas does mention local motion. It reappears for Unity of God, Q 11 A 3.

Keating cites critics who reject Positivism & explain why they found the case for Geo-centracism wrong. Including a Young Earth Creationist critic.

I have had a few debates with YECs myself, they even seem a bit hysteric.

Traditionalists who expose the Neogeo nonsense. … Anthony T …

Sweethearts Seeking Sanctity : Geocentrism: A Dangerous Pseudoscience
http://sweetheartsseekingsanctity.blogspot.com/2014/05/geocentrism-dangerous-pseudoscience.html


Sweethearts Seeking Sanctity : A Geocentrist Struggles with Scripture, Aquinas, and the Popes
http://sweetheartsseekingsanctity.blogspot.fr/2014/11/a-geocentrist-struggles-with-scripture.html


The latter earned a rebuttal from me:

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : What did Saint Thomas Really Say About Biblical Inerrancy?
http://filolohika.blogspot.fr/2014/11/what-did-saint-thomas-really-say-about.html


It seems, either Anthony T was intellectually dishonest, or he was so busy honeymooning that he was trusting someone who was. More on that in my above link.

But enough of the quibbling on details of that comment BenYachov, I happen to have debated the question with infidels myself:

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Geo/Helio, Franco, Sor Eusebia and St Joseph of Cupertino - with Ebony Manta
http://assortedretorts.blogspot.fr/2015/05/geohelio-franco-sor-eusebia-and-st.html