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“The future of civilization depends upon the way the two most powerful forces in history—science and religion—settle into relationship with each other.”

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Presentation on theme: "“The future of civilization depends upon the way the two most powerful forces in history—science and religion—settle into relationship with each other.”"— Presentation transcript:

1 “The future of civilization depends upon the way the two most powerful forces in history—science and religion—settle into relationship with each other.” -Alfred North Whitehead

2 2 “In the news” Assign article, brief paper, or podcast on a contemporary issue in science that is relevant to Christianity and/or religion more generally Ideally, it is relevant to recent or current topics in the class Provide a link for students and Prof Z … and give instructions, when needed Ideally, it’s not TOO lengthy Example: Polkinghorne paper Give SHORT list of questions for students to consider in relationship to the paper or podcast

3 3 “In the news” Grading: Chose an issue that did touch on science and faith (25 points) List of questions for class was succinct and thought- provoking (25 points) Group was prepared to lead discussion and all members were familiar with the issues raised in the podcast/article (25 points) The class discussion was lively and interesting (25 points)

4 4 Group Presentation/Project See examples in syllabus Organized by module But, with Prof approval, you can explore a different topic altogether – doesn’t HAVE to be from the list in the syllabus I will work with you to schedule a date for your presentation in class

5 GALILEO, SCIENCE & THE CHURCH Conflict Between Science and Christianity?

6 In their Introductory chapters, Falk and Nichols both allude to the Galileo affair – what did they write or imply about it?

7 The Main Characters Galileo Review

8 8 NICHOLAUS COPERNICUS , Rom Catholic Commissioned to “fix” the calendar Employed mathematics to solve the problem “The Copernican Revolution” … (scripture verses)

9 9 COPERNICAN COSMOLOGY

10 10 NICHOLAUS COPERNICUS Aesthetically superior system Mercury Retrograde motion of planets But his system was not widely seen by scientists as providing convincing evidence for a heliocentric universe (vs. geocentric)

11 11 Retrograde motion – “anomaly” Thomas Kuhn: paradigms Provide framework for science to move forward … only rejected when very significant evidence provided to disprove Aphorism: people can rationalize significant evidence against their belief systems, as long as it’s not overwhelming, or as long as they don’t know how overwhelming it is

12 12 NICHOLAUS COPERNICUS At the end of a key chapter in his major publication Copernicus said : (#5) “So vast...” This passage was later censored by the Inquisition! (#6) …. (#7)

13 13 THE TYCHONIC SYSTEM Tycho Brahe ( ) Kepler’s teacher Earth still the center Other planets orbit the sun, which orbits the earth Retains circular orbits (#8)

14 14 THE TYCHONIC SYSTEM

15 15 Johannes Kepler Galileo’s Protestant counterpart Heliocentric universe reflects the Holy Trinity Major work: Astronomia nova Comments on Psalm 104 (next slide) ?

16 16 Johannes Kepler on Psalm 104 I implore my reader not to forget the divine goodness conferred on mankind, and which the Psalmist urges him especially to consider … Let him not only extol the bounty of God in the preservation of living creatures of all kinds by the strength and stability of the earth, but let him acknowledge the wisdom of the Creator in its motion, so abstruse, so admirable. Whoever is so weak that he cannot believe Copernicus without offending his piety, and who damns whatever philosophical opinions he pleases, I advise him to mind his own business and to stay at home and fertilize his own garden, and when he turns his eyes toward the visible heavens (the only way he sees them), let him pour forth praise and gratitude to God the Creator. Let him assure himself that he is serving God no less than the astronomer to whom God has granted the privilege of seeing more clearly with the eyes of the mind. (Quoted from Gingerich, 2002, p. 101)

17 17 Johannes Kepler on Authority In Theology: Scripture In Science [called “natural philosophy” at the time]: Reason

18 18 GALILEO GALILEI Promoted new Cosmology Scientific method Key Works: Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615) Dialogues on 2 World Systems (1632)

19 19 GALILEO: Life : Early years in Padua & Florence (law of pendulum & falling bodies) : Padua/Venice years (a Copernican by 1597); use of telescope : 1 st Trial 1616: Condemnation of Copernicanism : Controversy with Grassi : Wrote Dialogue 1633: 2 nd Trial : Last years under house arrest

20 20 Cardinal Bellarmine 1. Pope’s “Hit Man” 2. Some reasonable Objections to Galileo, even if not “progressive” in his understanding – concerned about authority of scripture

21 21 Pope Urban VIII 1. “Friend” of Galileo 2. Represented by “Simplicio” in Galileo’s fictional Dialogue on 2 World Systems concerning the new Copernican cosmology (oops!)

22 Historical Background 1. The Reformation (1517) and the Counter-Reformation and Council of Trent (1540s) 2. Modern science just starting to come into its own

23 Act I: Galileo’s Early Discoveries (and the mixed reactions)

24 24 Galileo’s Observations of Jupiter

25 25 Rejection of Ptolemaic Cosmology Method of Falsification: 1.If P then Q 2.Not Q Thus, Not P 1.If Ptolemy were right, then there would be no Jovian satellites. (e.t. revolves around earth) 2.But there are Jovian satellites Thus, Ptolemy was wrong.

26 26 Galileo’s Observations of Venus

27 27 Galileo’s Method of Verification Fallacy known as “affirming the consequent” 1.If P then Q 2.But Q Thus, P 1.If heliocentrism is true, then we should see phases of Venus 2.But we do see phases of Venus Thus, heliocentrism is true (#9)

28 28 Conflict With the Church Foscarini’s Defense of Galileo Cardinal Bellarmine’s Letter to Foscarini (really a cautionary letter to Galileo) Copernicanism is permitted “hypothetically” (that is, it can be used as a helpful device for calculating the calendar) but rejected as an actual account of how the universe really is for three reasons:

29 Act II: The Religious AND Scientific Orthodoxy of Galileo’s Discoveries and Views are Questioned

30 30 Scene I: Conflict Within Science Geocentrism was difficult to question – doesn’t it seem obvious that the sun moves in the sky? The Ptolemaic system had been in place for ~1400 years. It’s predictions weren’t perfect, but they were familiar and had some accuracy. Galileo could not PROVE that Copernicus’ heliocentric system was true – there were some ways in which it was superior, but its predictions were not overwhelmingly superior (#10)

31 31 Scene II: Conflict Among Believers Bellarmine’s Objections 1. Defies common sense and angers the philosophers and theologians 2. Violates the authority of the Fathers 3. Violates the authority of the Scriptures

32 32 Conflict Among Believers Acutely aware of the Scripture- and church- authority based objections already described, Galileo wrote a couple of key letters defending his position Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 1615 (he presented his hermeneutical principles, including the Principle of Demonstration, etc.)

33 33 Galileo’s Hermeneutic Principles He studied the work of St. Augustine (4 th – 5 th century) very carefully St. Augustine spent a lot of time responding to a group called the Manichaeans, who raised various the Genesis account of creation (how could there have been “days” before the sun itself was formed?, for example) A contemporary Christian scholar, Ernan McMullin, has described the 6 principles used by Augustine and borrowed by Galileo in his affair with the church authorities

34 34 Principle of the Unity of Truth “Since an all-truthful God is the author of both the book of nature and the book of revelation; then it is not possible in principle for there to be a contradiction between a religious truth and a scientific truth when each is properly understood.” -Ernan McMullin

35 35 Principle of Prudence “When trying to discern the meaning of a difficult Scripture passage, one should keep in mind that different interpretations of the text may be possible, and that, in con- sequence one should not rush into pre- mature commitment to one of these, especially since further progress in the search for truth may later undermine this interpretation.” McMullin

36 36 Principle of Priority of Demonstration “When there is a conflict between a proven truth about nature and a particular reading of Scripture, an alternative reading of Scripture must be sought.” McMullin

37 37 Principle of Priority of Scripture “When there is an apparent conflict between a Scripture passage and an assertion about the natural world grounded on sense or reason, the literal reading of Scripture should prevail as long as the latter assertion lacks demonstration.” McMullin

38 38 Principle of Accommodation “The choice of language in the Scripture is accommodated to the capacities of the intended audience.” McMullin. That is, the language of scripture fits the cultural and religious attitudes of the biblical peoples at that time. E.g., Joshua 10:11-13 and other passages

39 39 Principle of Limitation “Since the primary concern of Scripture is with human salvation, texts of Scripture should not be taken to have a bearing on technical issues of natural science.” McMullin “The Scriptures teach us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go.” Cardinal Baronius

40 40 Which are the Most Valid Principles? Principle of Unity of Truth Principle of Prudence Principle of Demonstration Principle of Priority of Scripture Principle of Accommodation Princple of Limitation

41 41 Valid Principles (from C. Boyd) Principle of Unity of Truth: otherwise we risk making the patently absurd judgment that, “This may be true in theology but not in astronomy.” Principle of Accommodation: seems corroborated by the way language actually works. “The sun rises and sets.”

42 42 Valid Principles continued Principle of Prudence: indicates that our arguments are not about what the scripture “says” but about our “interpretations” of what is there.

43 43 Questionable Principles (Boyd) Principle of Limitation: is there really such a nice, clear distinction regarding what comes under the heading of theology and what is science? Consider the Resurrection: Science indicates that it is impossible, but theology judges that it took place. Is this a matter of “How the heavens go” or “How one goes to heaven”?

44 44 Questionable Principles continued Principle of Demonstration: can we really ever prove that something is certain in the sciences, given Galileo’s extraordinarily high expectation of them? No. Science does not completely verify a theory but it can, to a degree, falsify theories. (But sometimes we can be reasonably sure of the relative validity of a theory without resorting to “absolute certainty.”)

45 45 Questionable Principles continued Principle of the Priority of Scripture: is scripture always to be read literally unless it comes into conflict with a scientific theory that conflicts with it? No. (Bellarmine was wrong on this…) Song of Songs … religious allegory – God’s love for Israel (Hebrews), God’s love for the Church (Christians) … & wedding song (layers of meaning) Jeremiah 1 ex: “the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth” (v. 9) Etc.

46 46 Back to the Galileo Affair – Act II, Scene 2

47 47 Bellarmine: what it comes down to Granted, if could prove heliocentrism true, Scripture would be reinterpreted But heliocentrism not completely proven, so prudent thing to do is to retain traditional view of earth at center of universe Copernican system can be considered hypothetically only

48 48 In 1616 Pope Paul V … After receiving counsel from several theologians on the orthodoxy of heliocentrism, officially condemned Copernicanism as “false and as completely contradictory to Divine Scriptures.” An injunction was (supposedly) issued, telling Galileo not to publicly promote Copernicanism as an alternative cosmology

49 Act III: Galileo’s Trial

50 50 Scene I: Galileo steers clear of Copernicanism for 7 years

51 51 Scene II: Galileo’s Friend Becomes Pope Series of 6 conversations between Galileo and Pope Urban VIII Pope concluded, as had Bellarmine (under the previous Pope), that it was permissible to consider Copernicanism hypothetically, for the purposes of making calculations, etc. Galileo took this to mean he could write a fictional dialogue about Copernicanism in which the Pope was made to look like an idiot!

52 52 Scene II: Galileo’s Friend Becomes Pope Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) Salviati (Galileo) Simplicio (Pope) Sagredo (3 rd party observer and judge, of sorts) Pope not pleased! … Special Commission

53 53 Scene III: Galileo is convicted of disobeying Rome In the trial there were two primary legal questions: Did Galileo act improperly in the years before the “Dialogue…” appeared? Did Galileo violate the injunction supposedly delivered to him by Bellarmine in 1616? Most dramatic moment in the trial! (#11) But Galileo was convicted on both counts

54 54 Scene III: Galileo is convicted… No matters of substance concerning Galileo’s science/cosmology, nor matters pertaining to scripture interpretation arose in the trial Galileo consigned to “house arrest” for the rest of his life…

55 Galileo Paper Assignment – due Sept 22 Recommended sources ( library front desk) : *Ernan McMullin, “Galileo on Science and Scripture” *Richard Blackwell, “Galileo Galilei”

56 56 Fri 9/12 … and next week 9/12 - Quiz over Galileo Multiple Choice and maybe some T/F 9/12 - Barbour’s 4 models of relating science and religion – Conflict, Independence, Dialogue and Integration 9/15 (Mon.) – discussion of ch 2 in Falk & chs 2&3 Nichols (assigned during this module) 9/17 (Wed.) is the All College Hike (Woo hoo!) 9/19 (Fri) Quiz, and we will get into the Creation and Evolution module – Start reading Falk, Chs. 3-6 next week

57 57 Group Assignments See Excel spreadsheet posted in Course Documents folder on Blackboard Please notify me if you are not yet in a group Your group can sign up for an In the News date or a Group Project/Presentation date anytime…I will then modify and re-post the Excel spreadsheet

58 Studying the Galileo Affair – worth it? Do you see in the Galileo Affair any dynamics that are relevant today? Is there anything different about the contemporary context in which science-faith issues are discussed?

59 Scripture Does it use poetry? When do we tend to use poetry? Are methods other than straightforward historical, factual accounts necessarily less significant?

60 60 Conflict in Science and Religion Ian Barbour identifies 4 general models in examining the relationship between religion and science: Dialogue Integration Conflict Independence

61 61 Conflict Model Religious persons and scientists are “at war” with each other and criticize each other’s views and intentions. The assumption is that the views espoused by each side are competing with each other to provide the most meaningful explanations of nature and of truth. Galileo’s hermeneutic principles aim to reduce unnecessary conflict. I think his principles assume two things: There is no inherent conflict between science and Scripture But people will be in conflict – and, there is a need for guidance in how to negotiate apparent conflict or avoid unnecessary conflict

62 62 Falk cites Wesley and Calvin: John Calvin: Scripture provides us with spectacles through which we may view the world as God’s creation and expression; it does not, and was never intended, to provide us with an infallible repository of astronomical and medical information.” (see Falk, p. 35) John Wesley: “The inspired penman in this history [Genesis] … [wrote] for the Jews first and, calculating his narratives for the infant state of the church, describes things by their outward appearances, and leaves us, by further discoveries of the divine light, to be led into the understanding of the mysteries couched under them.”

63 63 God’s “Two Books” Given the nature of both Scripture and Science, many, including Falk, believe that we need to study God’s “two books” *The Bible (biblical exegesis, theology) *Nature (science) If we get too bent out of shape trying to show how the Bible is literally or scientifically true, in every instance, we may MISS THE DEEPER TRUTHS of Scripture. Question for you to answer in reading Falk, ch 2, etc.: What are some examples of this?

64 64 Conflict Model *Why do people often assume the conflict model? Makes for good media coverage! Don’t understand the different questions addressed by science and by religion –

65 65 Conflict Model There is an important distinction between 1) describing what happens when people discuss issues related to science and faith 2) A belief that science and faith are inherently incompatible Your professor acknowledges #1 above, but rejects #2

66 66 Creationist website Taken on July 6, 2004 from: Evolution is bad for children: “ The high priests of evolutionism who are teachers, school board members, members of the media, etc. will one day have to face the Creator they mocked and ridiculed. When they finally meet Him on judgment day and have to give an account to Him for why they forced the lies of evolution on children, it is unfortunate that only then will realize that the creationists who tried to show them the truth were possibly the best friends they ever had.”media

67 67 Creationist web site Taken on July 6, 2004 from: Evolution is foretold and decried in the bible: “ God gave us several clear warnings in the Bible that in the last days, evolutionism would be a worldwide problem. The words evolution, evolutionism and uniformitarianism don't appear in the Bible because they didn't exist at the time the Bible was written. Instead, God describes these concepts in the Bible using terminology that a) those who lived during the time the Bible was written would understand and b) we would understand today.”last days

68 68 But some atheistic scientists are even more combative: Richard Dawkins: “Is Science a Religion?” (in the Humanist, Jan/Feb, 1997) Religion is bad for children: “Religion is the one field in our culture about which it is absolutely accepted, without question — without even noticing how bizarre it is — that parents have a total and absolute say in what their children are going to be, how their children are going to be raised, what opinions their children are going to have about the cosmos, about life, about existence. Do you see what I mean about mental child abuse?”

69 69 Richard Dawkins: “Is Science a Religion?” Science is “superior:” “One reason I receive the comment about science being a religion is because I believe in the fact of evolution. I even believe in it with passionate conviction. To some, this may superficially look like faith. But the evidence that makes me believe in evolution is not only overwhelmingly strong; it is freely available to anyone who takes the trouble to read up on it... But if you have a belief that is based solely on faith, I can't examine your reasons. You can retreat behind the private wall of faith where I can't reach you.” Is that a fair charge? -- that we “retreat behind the private wall of faith”

70 70 Richard Dawkins: “Is Science a Religion?” Religion and Science Attempt to Answer the Same Questions: “Don't fall for the argument that religion and science operate on separate dimensions and are concerned with quite separate sorts of questions. Religions have historically always attempted to answer the questions that properly belong to science. Thus religions should not be allowed now to retreat away from the ground upon which they have traditionally attempted to fight. They do offer both a cosmology and a biology; however, in both cases it is false.” The natural, material world is all that is real: “The fact that the supernatural has no place in our explanations, in our understanding of so much about the universe and life, doesn't diminish the awe. Quite the contrary.”

71 71 Barbour suggests that science attempts to answer questions of ___ and religion addresses questions of ___. 1)Some atheists start out within the confines of science but leave them to make broad philosophical claims (“practicing philosophy or theology without a license”), whereas 2) some religious people move from theological/biblical positions to making claims about what science should and can only find What is going on here?

72 72 Barbour suggest that “conflict model” people are often… Scientific Materialists, on the one hand, OR Biblical Literalists, on the other hand Again, both start out doing legitimate work in their respective areas, but then drift into territory of which they often know little or have a shaky basis for making broad claims The irony is that both seek a certain foundation for their beliefs – the scientific method, on the one hand, or infallibility of a literal interpretation of scripture, on the other hand

73 73 Scientific Materialists (from Barbour) Their Epistemology – the scientific method is the only reliable path to knowledge (known as scientism) Their Metaphysics – matter is the only fundamental reality in the universe (it’s the only thing that matters ) Reductionism- laws of science eventually based on the properties of the most elemental components of matter …. Both powerful … and problematic Logical Positivism – scientific discourse provides the norm for all meaningful language

74 74 How would a Christian critique the scientific materialist’s view? Can’t answer “why” questions, which are important and which are addressed in the context of faith It doesn’t necessarily take a biblical literalist… African theologian (in Pinnock) Barbour: “Scripture is the human witness to the primary revelation, which occurred in the lives of the prophets and in the life and person of Jesus Christ.”

75 75 Biblical Literalists Often, start out doing legitimate biblical analysis, but then drift (inappropriately) into the scientific realm “’Creation science’ is a threat to both scientific and religious freedom” *Intolerance *Imposing of views

76 76 Bibliography Blackwell, Richard (1990). Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press. Blackwell, Richard (1997). Science, Religion and Authority: Lessons from the Galileo Affair. Mil- waukee: Marquette Univ. Drake, Stillman (2001). Galileo: A Very Short Introduction. NY: Oxford Univ. Press.

77 77 Bibliography Fantoli, Annibale (1996). Galileo: For Coper- nicanism and the Church. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press. McMullin, Ernan (1998). “Galileo on Science and Scripture” in The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. NY: Cambridge Univ. Press. Shea, William R. (1986). “Galileo and the Church” in God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.


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