HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
Deductive—Logic, Mathematical Propositions
Faith / Revelation
“Lest ye have faith, ye will not understand.”
Warned against taking Scripture literally (see handouts)
Roger of Ockham—“Ockham’s Razor”: simplest explanation that fits the facts is the best.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Some things can be known/determined by both Reason and Faith
Some things can be known only by Faith / Revelation
That which is known by both Faith & Reason confirms that which is known only by Faith.
Types of causes: necessary and contingent, primary and secondary—God is a primary cause; works in nature by secondary causes;
“Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of ship.” Octo libros Physicorum Aristotelis Expositio. Book 2, Chap.8, lectio 14, no.268.
The focus on rational inquiry by Aquinas and the other medieval scholastics was a foundation and impetus for science. The assumption that the Universe is fundamentally rational, proceeds according to laws, is not arbitrary or capricious, is required for science to be meaningful.
3. Science Is ....????
formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis by experiment;
finding a unusual experimental result, formulating a theory to explain the result;
finding a theory that will explain a body of experimental knowledge;
finding theories that could be proved false by suitable experiments;
finding which theories are the most elegant and are also consistent with experimental results;
establishing a research program consisting of a network of hypotheses and experimental data: primary core theory linked to secondary theories and results (Lakatos);
finding theories to explain everything;
depends on a scientist’s presuppositions and assumptions;
Is “reductionist”, i.e. attempts to reduce phenomena and the objects comprising these phenomena to the smallest components and the scientific laws governing the action of these components: for example, intelligence can be reduced to biochemical and electrical events on the molecular level.
all of the above.
Why should science explain? Why should the laws of nature “be written by God in the hand of mathematics” (Galileo)? “The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” (Eugene Wigner)
4. The Galileo Affair
A Review of "Science and The Church,
Restudy initiated by John Paul II
Copernican hypothesis—“Saving the Appearances”
Galileo and the Telescope—proof of the Copernican, heliocentric theory.
Phases of Venus
Moons of Jupiter
Galileo & Incorrect Science (at that time)
Explanation of the tides
Circular planetary orbits (“perfect”); Kepler: elliptical orbits
No parallelax (apparent shift in position of the stars as the earth orbits)
Conflict and potential resolution with Church authorities;
Bellarmine—willingness to modify Scripture interpretation;
Pope Urban VI
Renaissance Catholic Fundamentalists
House arrest not onerous (threat of torture—pro forma)
5. Pope John Paul II Reaches out to Scientists
Addresses to Scientific Congresses, Sponsorship of Science/Religion Conferences, Restudy of Galileo Affair.
Philosophers against Materialism/Physicalism.