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What’s at Stake for Teaching in the Religion and Science Encounter? Overcoming simplistic ideas in both spheres - naïve religion and naïve science.

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Presentation on theme: "What’s at Stake for Teaching in the Religion and Science Encounter? Overcoming simplistic ideas in both spheres - naïve religion and naïve science."— Presentation transcript:

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2 What’s at Stake for Teaching in the Religion and Science Encounter? Overcoming simplistic ideas in both spheres - naïve religion and naïve science

3 Yale Paleontologist John Ostrom discussing evolution with a fundamentalist audience: Isn’t it wonderful that God can create in a way that we can understand!

4 How do you know? John McBride (age 3)

5 How do you know? John McBride (age 34)

6 Finger Writes

7 Shows Joshua

8 Asks question of Class

9 Class

10 Do not suppose that I was a very deep thinker, or was marked as a precocious person. I was a very lively imaginative person, and could believe in the "Arabian Nights" as easily as in the "Encyclopaedia." But facts were important to me, and saved me. I could trust a fact, and always cross-examined an assertion. Michael Faraday, 1858

11 If they say to you science has shown such and such, you might ask, "How does science show it - how did the scientists find out - how, what, where?" Not science has shown, but this experiment, this effect has shown. When someone says science teaches such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn't teach it; experience teaches it. Learn from science that you must doubt the experts…Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman (to National Science Teachers Assn 1966) Why cite Feynman? No. Because he deserves credit for saying something that is true and saying it very well. Because he is an expert?

12 OCCULT CHEMISTRY A SERIES OF Clairvoyant Observations on the Chemical Elements BY ANNIE BESANT, P.T.S. AND CHARLES W. LEADBEATER Reprinted from the Theosophist. T HEOSOPHIST O FFICE, A DYAR, M ADRAS, S. T HEOSOPHICAL P UBLISHING S OCIETY, L ONDON AND B ENARES C ITY (105 pp.) 1919 (123 pp.) 1951 (400 pp.)

13 Mrs. Annie BESANT P.T.S. ( ) Curuppumullage JINARAJADASA P.T.S. (~ ) "Bishop" Charles Webster LEADBEATER ( ) The Occult Chemists ( )

14 H O N (1895)

15 Anu. 25.Anavah skandhashcha "anu and skandha" These 42 Aphorisms have inspired more than 100 Commentaries "(Matter has 2 chief forms:) atom and molecule." G. R. Jain (1942) Tattvartha Sutra, Umaswami ( A.D.) Chapter V "Matter exists in the form of indivisible elementary particles and their combinations" J. L. Jaini (1920)

16 G. R. Jain's 1942 Commentary Forces Chemistry into the Procrustean Bed of Tattvartha Sutra Chapter V "We quote the following from an article ' The Structure of Molecules' by A.J. Mee, M.A., B.Sc., 'Science Progress' (London), April 1935:- '… there are three methods of linking atoms. The linkage may be electrovalent, co-valent or co-ordinate … Molecules with an electrovalent linkage are ionised even in the solid state' Bheda sanghátebhya utpadyante. 26. "They are formed by division, association, both" Why does Jain cite Mee and his degrees? (b) to provide a reference to the source of this idea? (c) to invoke authority (a) to give appropriate credit for this idea?

17 G. R. Jain's 1942 Commentary Forces Chemistry into the Procrustean Bed of Tattvartha Sutra Chapter V "in organic compounds [the] atoms attain stability by a process of sharing electrons. "the co-ordinate linkage involves the sharing of two electrons but both are supplied by the same atom. The process.. resembles both transference and sharing. "We quote the following from an article ' The Structure of Molecules' by A.J. Mee, M.A., B.Sc., 'Science Progress' (London), April 1935:- '… there are three methods of linking atoms. The linkage may be electrovalent, co-valent or co-ordinate … Molecules with an electrovalent linkage are ionised even in the solid state' "Therefore the three modern processes are transference, sharing and combined transference and sharing. The comparison is striking indeed!" Bheda sanghátebhya utpadyante. 26. "They are formed by division, association, both"

18 Helium 72 Lithium 127 Iron 1008 Neon 360 Occult Atoms 5d orbital

19 Account of C. Jinarajadasa Occult Chemistry, 3 rd Ed, p. 3 C. W. Leadbeater and I went to Dresden and I showed him the minerals I had noted. He examined them quickly and obtained a picture of the complex configuration of the mineral... After returning to Weisser-Hirsch, he was able at leisure to evoke by clairvoyance the picture he had seen at Dresden. As each element was mapped and drawn the rough diagram of it was passed on to me, to draw carefully the essential parts of the element, to count the units in it, divide by 18, and to see how near our weights came...

20 Great Seal of the Theosophical Society

21 Theodore Besterman in Mrs. Annie Besant, a Modern Prophet (1934) " the various episodes in the picaresque romance of Theosophy are often so plainly ludicrous that long before one comes to the climax one finds it hardly possible to summon up any moral indignation at the spectacle of such wholesale folly and deception."

22 Are folly and deception easy to recognize?

23 discovered Thallium developed Cathode Ray Tube invented Crookes Radiometer President of the Royal Society President British Assn. for the Advancement of Science Sir William Crookes FRS, FTS ( ) Supplied Li, Cr, Se, Ti, V, B, Be to Leadbeater and Besant (1907) and The Society for Psychical Research "[Telepathic research] does not yet enlist the interest of the majority of my scientific brethren."

24 Sir Oliver Lodge ( ) Wireless Telegraph (1894) Medical X-ray (1896) Veterinary X-ray (1898) Principal: Birmingham University President: British Association for the Advancement of Science Society for Psychical Research

25 Sir Oliver Lodge ( ) Wireless Telegraph (1894) Medical X-ray (1896) Principal: Birmingham University President: British Association for the Advancement of Science Society for Psychical Research Raymond Lodge † France, Sept Communicated Dec through medium Gladys Osborne Leonard

26 P rinceton E ngineering A nomalies R esearch

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28 U, and it proved sterile. Unlike conventional science it was founded on deception and gullibility The strength and hallmark of science is its willingness to abandon observations that cannot be repeated and ad hoc theories that fail to give clear, verifiable predictions. The search for patterns and explanations is an irresistible, and admirable, trait of the human mind. Like the erroneous conventional atomic theories, occult chemistry failed these tests.

29 Students who are taught not by assertions of teachers or texts but by close analysis of facts and theories develop taste. Individuals with taste are open to new scientific developments, but unlikely to be taken in by nonsense like occult chemistry.

30 Distributive Justice

31 James Clerk Maxwell Memorial ( Corsock Church, Dumfries) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17

32 Distributive Justice

33 Albert Einstein’s Humility, Wonder, and Awe Raffiniert is der Herr God, aber hinterlistig ist Er nicht. The Lord is subtle, but not deceitful. Cf. Thomas Torrance “Einstein and God”

34 Stevenson Traffic Cop

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36 THE PRINCIPLES OF LIGHT AND COLOR: INCLUDING AMONG OTHER THINGS THE HARMONIC LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE, THE ETHERIO-ATOMIC PHILOSOPHY OF FORCE, CHROMO CHEMISTRY, CHROMO THERA- PEUTICS, AND THE GENERAL PHIL- OSOPHY OF THE FINE FORCES, TOGETHER WITH NUMER- OUS DISCOVERIES AND PRACTICAL APPLI- CATIONS B Y EDWIN D. BABBITT. NEW YORK: B A B B I T T & C O., SCIENCE HALL, 141 EIGHTH STREET Edwin D. Babbitt ( )

37 "if the stove pipe run through the centre of the single atom be removed, the picture may be taken as correct, and will give some idea of the complexity of this fundamental unit of the physical universe." Besant & Leadbeater (1895) Babbitt's Atom (1878)


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