The natural world as evidence


#1

Inspired by this thread : “the evil which the Catholic Church has thus effected is incalculable” forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=1166754#post1166754

If faced with evidence that contradicts, or seem to contradict, certain passages in the Bible wich has more weight? The natural world, or the bible?

Example: The theory of evolution, or for that matter, the obvious non-flattnes of the world.

Wouldn’t catholicism and other christian religions simply be “forced” to accept what the natural world tell us is? Seeing that god created the world the way it is. (rather than the way some people would WANT it to be).

Disclaimer: Seeing the responce to the other post (link): I understand that we are all individuals, and that most christians are not fundamentalists. There :smiley:

Any thoughts?

And please no ridiculing this time.

Atrond


#2

The Holy Scripture was not written as a science paper.

Catholics read the Scripture in a contextual, historical sense and not as literalists.

We believe, and it is so expressed in our Catechism, that God is the Author of ALL TRUTH…both scientific and theological. Therefore, if there ever appears to be a contradiction between what is written in Holy Scripture and what has been proven - beyond a shadow of a doubt - by scientific process then the contradiction is due to either poor interpretation on the part of man or a poor translation.


#3

Often times these conflicts are not real. For instance, the Church is constanly denigrated for its “mistake” regarding geocentrism. The truth IS that science has yet to even demonstrate that the earth moves (in a way distinguishable from counter movement of the unierse). See my series, Geocentrism 101:

Geocentricity 101: A beginner’s Course

[list]
*]Geocentricity 101, Part I: Basic Principles
*]Geocentricity 101, Part II: Basic Physics
*]Geocentricity 101, Part III: Scriptural and Church Position
*]Geocentricity 101, Supplement: Discussion of Scripture and Church Position
[/list]Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#4

[quote=Athrond]Inspired by this thread : “the evil which the Catholic Church has thus effected is incalculable” forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=1166754#post1166754

If faced with evidence that contradicts, or seem to contradict, certain passages in the Bible wich has more weight? The natural world, or the bible?
[/quote]

The writings of the Bible were written by men inspired by God to tell men about His relationship to us and the universe. No passage is meant to convey purely scientific information, since that was not the intent of the authors. What is obviously true is that the world exists in all its complexity. What is also true is that we still don’t know how all this came into being in any absolute way. All that faith tells us is that God created the natural world, as well as the supernatural world. In any matter of science that is proven true (a big concept in science where mostly what is taught and believed is theory), there can be no doubt God’s hand was in it in ways we may only know when He reveals the whole story of the universe to us in eternity.

Example: The theory of evolution, or for that matter, the obvious non-flattnes of the world.

Wouldn’t catholicism and other christian religions simply be “forced” to accept what the natural world tell us is? Seeing that god created the world the way it is. (rather than the way some people would WANT it to be).

The Church never taught definitely that the earth is flat or that elements of evolution aren’t true or that the earth is the center of the universe. During the time of Galileo scientists, with Church support and encouragement, were debating such questions (not the flatness of the earth which had long been settled). Galileo was not brought before the Inquisition for teaching solar centrism but for declaring the Bible wrong (as if he understood it, which he didn’t). He got into hot water with everyone, scientists and Church officials alike for saying he was right with no definitive proof. Even now days scientists do not declare themselves absolutely right without independent confirmation. It was his arrogance that got him into trouble with all involved and his heresy (not his theory of solar centrism) that got him into trouble with the Church.

Disclaimer: Seeing the responce to the other post (link): I understand that we are all individuals, and that most christians are not fundamentalists. There :smiley:

Any thoughts?

And please no ridiculing this time.

Atrond

Well, I’ve shared my thoughts and want to add that we are all entitled to our opinions in matters not definitely settled in science or in matters of faith and morals, thank God.

I do hope no words of mine offended you. I didn’t intend that they should. If I did offend you I deeply apologize.

Della


#5

I would say he got in trouble for saying the earth was not the center of the universe, and the Bible was used for evidence. Here are the words of the condemnation of Urban VIII (From Geocentricity 101, Part III):

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the centre of the world and immovable and that the Earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples… …and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this divers propositions are set forth, following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scriptures:

The Sacred Tribunal being therefore of intention to proceed against the disorder and mischief thence resulting, which went on increasing to the prejudice of the Sacred Faith, by command of His Highness and of the Most Eminent Lords Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the Sun and the motion of the Earth were by the theological Qualifiers qualified as follows:

The proposition that the Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture.

The proposition that the Earth is not the centre of the world and immovable but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd and false philosophically and theologically considered at least erroneous in faith.

…We say, pronounce, sentence and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgement of the Holy Office vehemently suspect of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine – which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures – that the Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the world;…

Notice also, it is a matter of faith.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#6

[quote=Della]The writings of the Bible were written by men inspired by God to tell men about His relationship to us and the universe. No passage is meant to convey purely scientific information, since that was not the intent of the authors. What is obviously true is that the world exists in all its complexity. What is also true is that we still don’t know how all this came into being in any absolute way. All that faith tells us is that God created the natural world, as well as the supernatural world. In any matter of science that is proven true (a big concept in science where mostly what is taught and believed is theory), there can be no doubt God’s hand was in it in ways we may only know when He reveals the whole story of the universe to us in eternity.


[/quote]

And where is it defined what the “intent” of the authors was? Was it Moses “intent” to describe the creation of Earth, the placing of sun and moon, the creation of animals, vegetation and eventually man? Without need for further commentary, I think the text in Genesis is clear that that was Moses intent. Many physical things are related to that which God wants to communicate to us. This is clear from Pius XII (from Geocentricity 101, Part III):

"…Later on, this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine, which claims for these books in their entirety and with all parts a divine authority such as must enjoy immunity from any error whatsoever, was contradicted by certain Catholic writers who dared to restrict the truth of Sacred Scripture to matters of faith and morals alone, and to consider the remainder, touching matters of the physical or historical order as obiter dicta and having (according to them) no connection whatsoever with faith. Those errors found their condemnation in the encyclical Providentissimus Deus…"

(Pope Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu)

It is clear from the condemnation of Galileo by Urban VIII, that there is a clear relation between some physical issues and faith.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#7

I would say he got in trouble for saying the earth was not the center of the universe, and the Bible was used for evidence. Here are the words of the condemnation of Urban VIII (From Geocentricity 101, Part III):

Yes, for declaring that he was right and the Bible was wrong, which is exactly what I wrote. I don’t see where I was wrong, but maybe I’m just obtuse?

And where is it defined what the “intent” of the authors was? Was it Moses “intent” to describe the creation of Earth, the placing of sun and moon, the creation of animals, vegetation and eventually man? Without need for further commentary, I think the text in Genesis is clear that that was Moses intent. Many physical things are related to that which God wants to communicate to us. This is clear from Pius XII (from Geocentricity 101, Part III):

Once again, I said basically the same thing you are saying here–at least I thought I did. Doesn’t all that tell us about God, his relationship to man and to the universe? Isn’t that what I wrote? I thought I did. :confused:


#8

Thank you for your thoughts Della. And you have been never offended me, you’ve been very polite!

Athrond


#9

[quote=Della]Yes, for declaring that he was right and the Bible was wrong, which is exactly what I wrote. I don’t see where I was wrong, but maybe I’m just obtuse?
[/quote]

But also for denying that the earth is physically the center of the universe. You seem to be dismissing that the Chuch has declared the earth as the center, and imply that Galileo only got in trouble for claiming the Bible was wrong (without regards for the principle layed out in the Bible- i.e., that the earth is the center).

I feel you are emphasizing the conflict over the Bible but minimzing what the Church interpreted the Bible to say (i.e., the earth is the center). I say this because you also state:

which it did.

[quote=Della]Once again, I said basically the same thing you are saying here–at least I thought I did. Doesn’t all that tell us about God, his relationship to man and to the universe? Isn’t that what I wrote? I thought I did. :confused:
[/quote]

Maybe I over reacted on that one, because you did say:

[quote=Della]No passage is meant to convey purely scientific information.
[/quote]

Which I do agree with. There are no formulas, molecular diagrams, etc. Still what is conveyed of a physical nature should be taken as true unless we know for sure otherwise (which in the case of geocentrism, we do not). You do adress this here:

But by implication, you say that geoentrism HAS been proven false, which is a false statement.

I think much of what you are saying we agree on in principle (Scriptures are not a science book specifically), but in the teaching of geocentrism I am disagreeing. What is stated about geocentrism is pretty high level, no formulas, no Einsteinian tensors, etc. Just the basic fact that the earth is the center. I am also cautioning using the geocentrism issue as a springboard to claim the Scriptures or Church are in error (which I am not accusing you of), or that science has proven the Church or Scriptures in error.

What I am saying is a false principle is:

  1. Science has proven geocentrism false (they have not).
  2. By implication the Church erred in condemning Galileo, the writings of Copernicus, etc.
  3. By implication the Fathers were incorrect in interpreting the Bible geocentrically (and the Church erred in following this).

Therefor, science needs to be given its own sphere of truth, which the Church has no say in.

I will repeat your words, now:

[quote=Della seconded by Mark]I do hope no words of mine offended you. I didn’t intend that they should. If I did offend you I deeply apologize.

[/quote]

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#10

Thank you all for your information on the views of catholisism I appreciate it.

Now if I could just get a few YECs to think like this, id be happy… :wink:

Athrond


#11

[quote=trth_skr] I would say he got in trouble for saying the earth was not the center of the universe, and the Bible was used for evidence. Here are the words of the condemnation of Urban VIII (From Geocentricity 101, Part III):
Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the centre of the world and immovable Sounds like Galileo was wrong doesn’t it? the sun is NOT “immovable” is it?
[/quote]


#12

Hmmm I’ll check this out.

Athrond


#13

[quote=Tom]Sounds like Galileo was wrong doesn’t it? the sun is NOT “immovable” is it?
[/quote]

True he is wrong on that one point in either case (geocentrism or today’s acentrism). But Urban the VIII went on to say:

Clearly, also, when talking about the sun “mov[ing] from its place”, it is meant circling the earth.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#14

On geocentrism:

“not proven false” is hardly “proven right” though?

I must confess that I haven’t the understanding of physics to tackle your arguments. It does strike me as “improbable” though ;).

Could you give me a goecentrism “for dummies” version of that?

or I’ll try to get some insight on the matter through my “betters” at this subject iidb.orgs science forum.

Athrond


#15

[quote=Athrond]On geocentrism:

“not proven false” is hardly “proven right” though?

I must confess that I haven’t the understanding of physics to tackle your arguments. It does strike me as “improbable” though ;).
[/quote]

Improbable. Unless a God had chosen to make it so. :wink:

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#16

[quote=trth_skr]Improbable. Unless a God had chosen to make it so. :wink:

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com
[/quote]

ok that’s another topic but:

Well if your argument rests on that, then you’d have to prove Gods existence FIRST.

edit: link to my newly started topic at iidb… : Linky


#17

[quote=trth_skr]I would say he got in trouble for saying the earth was not the center of the universe, and the Bible was used for evidence. Here are the words of the condemnation of Urban VIII (From Geocentricity 101, Part III):

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the centre of the world and immovable and that the Earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples… …and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this divers propositions are set forth, following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scriptures:

The Sacred Tribunal being therefore of intention to proceed against the disorder and mischief thence resulting, which went on increasing to the prejudice of the Sacred Faith, by command of His Highness and of the Most Eminent Lords Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the Sun and the motion of the Earth were by the theological Qualifiers qualified as follows:

The proposition that the Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture.

The proposition that the Earth is not the centre of the world and immovable but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd and false philosophically and theologically considered at least erroneous in faith.

…We say, pronounce, sentence and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgement of the Holy Office vehemently suspect of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine – which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures – that the Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the world;…
[/quote]

It seems to me the Church has a few outs in this statement. The language was fairly imprecise:

  1. If Galileo said the sun doesn’t move, he was wrong on that point, and the Church turned out to be correct (maybe unwittingly, but still correct).
  2. Did Galileo really say the sun is the center of the world (world meaning earth)? That is absurd. The sun is the central body (heliocentric) of earth’s revolution. But it is not the center of the world.
  3. The word “center” isn’t necessarily constrained to its physical sense. And if a physical sense is being referred to, which one? the world (meaning earth), the universe?
  4. Is “vehemently suspect” the same as “guilty”? I don’t think so.

#18

[quote=miguel]It seems to me the Church has a few outs in this statement. The language was fairly imprecise:

  1. If Galileo said the sun doesn’t move, he was wrong on that point, and the Church turned out to be correct (maybe unwittingly, but still correct).
  2. Did Galileo really say the sun is the center of the world (world meaning earth)? That is absurd. The sun is the central body (heliocentric) of earth’s revolution. But it is not the center of the world.
  3. The word “center” isn’t necessarily constrained to its physical sense. And if a physical sense is being referred to, which one? the world (meaning earth), the universe?
  4. Is “vehemently suspect” the same as “guilty”? I don’t think so.
    [/quote]

If only the bible was read with such attention to detail, and focus on intent.


#19

[quote=llanitedave] In part 2, he correctly states that you can’t “differentiate between geocentrism and any other proposed center (i.e, heliocentrism, acentrism) based on observations.” However, our model isn’t just based on observations – it’s based on theory, and the tests of that theory. Wyatt doesn’t present a testable theory. In fact, his attempts at alternative explanations essentially ignore individual gravitating bodies completely, and seem to posit that some cosmic “framework” locks a rigid universe in position around the earth, and keeps everything from collapsing. It allows other bodies to orbit each other, I suppose, because the framework is only rigid on cosmic scales.

This looks to me like the ancient religious practice of “preserving appearances” by proposing ad hoc mechanisms. Yet these are totally unecessary mechanisms. The mathmatics of gravity are such that there is no need for earth to be in any particular place in the universe, and in fact there is no need to posit the existance of a universe with an edge or center. His argument adds arbitrary quantities without adding any specific functionality.

It boils down to “I want the earth to be at the center of the universe, I will envision a scenario that would put it there while preserving present appearances, and I will then teach it as fact.”
[/quote]

full quote at: llanitedaves post
Pardon me for quoting at you trth_skr!

Seems to me that your argument only serves to confuse? To keep things “un-decided”. And furthermore that it could be used to promote “anywhereism” as likely as geocentrism, depending on where the observer is. What’s the point really?

Sincerely

Athrond


#20

[quote=miguel]It seems to me the Church has a few outs in this statement. The language was fairly imprecise:

  1. If Galileo said the sun doesn’t move, he was wrong on that point, and the Church turned out to be correct (maybe unwittingly, but still correct).
  2. Did Galileo really say the sun is the center of the world (world meaning earth)? That is absurd. The sun is the central body (heliocentric) of earth’s revolution. But it is not the center of the world.
  3. The word “center” isn’t necessarily constrained to its physical sense. And if a physical sense is being referred to, which one? the world (meaning earth), the universe?
  4. Is “vehemently suspect” the same as “guilty”? I don’t think so.
    [/quote]

Imprecise may not be the correct term. Different tha today’s terminology fits the pattern.

  1. A possibibility (unwitting).
  2. , 3. World = universe.
  3. No it is not the same. Had the Church known fully the state of Galileo’s mind, then it may have been "guilty.

There is more to the story than Galileo. Read the 4 parts of Geocentrism 101.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


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