Sunday, June 21, 2015

CMI did a Video on Creationist Scientists

Video link:

Famous creation scientists – From Newton to Sarfati (Creation Magazine LIVE! 4-15)

On Kepler vs predecessors:

2:44 (with previous)

Your narrative about John Kepler (Johann Kepler, Johannes Kepler - same name, same person, just different langs) is unsatisfactory.

There was a Geocentric who really thought that stellar and daily movements were the results of random chance meetings of particles.

His name was Epicurus (Επικουρος in Greek) and as you may know he was mainly interested in atheism and "enlightened hedonism" and not an ace in astronomy at all. Also, he was not a recent predecessor of Kepler in any sense, but lived some time between Socrates and Christ.

The astronomers preceding John Kepler were, as he was himself, Christians.

To someone like St Thomas Aquinas (who was also not an astronomer), or Tycho Brahe, or Riccioli, the universe was ordered by God. For at least the first and the last of the three, the "seven planets" (sun, moon and five visible planets) made their complex and intricate (somewhat less so for sun and moon) movements around Earth because God had ordered the particular angels who carried these bodies to do these movements. In other words, the perfect celestial clockwork was a dance of angels. Or is, if they were right.

Kepler wanted a purely mechanical cause for celestial movements. He had not heard of Newton's gravitation, but instead spoke of magnetism. This was rejected by Riccioli, who considered that due to the noble and heavenly position of celestial bodies, their movements (if not their own intrinsic rocky or firey nature) would have gotten from God a correspondingly noble cause, to wit angelic movers - which also concords with St Thomas Aquinas, as mentioned and quite a few theologians, and also with certain passages of the Bible. St Thomas noted Job 38:

"Quod autem dicuntur astra matutina Deum laudare potest uno modo intelligi materialiter, inquantum scilicet propter sui claritatem et nobilitatem erant materia divinae laudis, etsi non hominibus qui adhuc non erant, saltem Angelis qui iam erant; alio modo secundum illos qui dicunt corpora caelestia animata, astra in suae institutionis initio Deum laudabant non laude vocali sed mentali; quod etiam potest referri ad Angelos quorum ministerio caelestia corpora moventur" ...

But that morning stars are said to praise God can in one way be understood materially, insofar namely as for their clarity and nobility they are a matter for the praise of God, even if not yet for man who were not yet there, at least for angels who were already; in another way according to them who say the celestial bodies are alive, [that] stars in the beginning of their creation praised God not by vocal but by mental praise; which can also be referred to angels by whose ministry the celestial bodies are moved...

He vacillates between two theories : either stars are alive OR angels are moving them.

Myself I had found another Bible passage with a suggestion of either of these : "and the stars fought from their orbits" in the battle against Sisera's troops. It either sounds as if stars were alive, or as if angels were using them as "battle star galactica" - unless you drag in astrological influences, which some commenters have also suggested : moon turning someone mad, sun turning someone hot, saturn turning someone despairing, venus distracting someone by lecherous thoughts ... barring that, we would either have stars being alive or angels fighting from the stars and their orbits.

Now, what Tycho and Riccioli had in common was the theory that those of the seven planets which had retrogrades (i e the five except sun and moon) were circling around the sun in its both annual and daily movements (daily westward with fixed stars around earth, but lagging behind, annually completing a circle around stars by this lagging behind).

In other words, the Geocentric astronomy quite as much as Kepler presumed a cosmos which God had created in perfect order. Kepler should NOT be credited for "getting astronomy out of unpredictable chaos". He didn't.

And therefore he was not either creditable with making a discovery due to the Word of God. Whatever he had from the Bible, his Geocentric opponents had too.

[bringing in Newton on this, and paraphrasing, since the comment is hidden and seems to be unable to show, even to me:]

9:47 Newton concluded from one creator of both heaven and earth that same laws apply on both places.

To some this is conclusive for his take on heavenly mechanics, against angelic movers, but really, it isn't.

It is not against natural laws for either God or angels to move things.

In the minute working of nature, often angels would be the immediate deciders, like if a windwhirl (of winds far lesser than whrilwinds) goes here or there (when both directions are possible) etc.

Also, demons, when God permits, but without getting extra conatural abilities from Him (He is not withholding the nature He gave them, but usually stopping and forbidding them from using it to too much damage) can move visible objects without physical movers, and you call it poltergeists.

This doesn't mean angels that move stars are poltergeists. This might mean demons that do poltergeist stuff were once before they fell moving celestial objects and long back to that power.

And it must be Hell for them to only use it on pots and pans, even if it frightens people.

Bacon of Verulam:

6:37 Francis Bacon ennobled Viscount of St Alban stressed experimentation and induction rather than philosophical deduction in the tradition of Aristotle.

But experiments prove nothing unless one can make deductions from them! They disprove nothing unless one can make negative deductions from them!

And experimentation was very much in vogue among Middle Ages Platonic-Aristotelic (non-Baconian) Scholastic scietists.

If anything, Renaissance Platonism had, except for magic experiments, laid that field fallow for a while. Or Reformation had eliminated such Scholastics as were monks.

6:56 "There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power"

How is this any different from Stephen J. Gould's proposal on "non-overlapping magisteria"?

As far as I am concerned, the Scriptures do also contain lots of factual information on the power of God. On what He can do. Some of which is not directly available today in the "volume of the Creatures".

Newton on atheism:

9:30 that it never had many professors ...

Up to his time, we speak of Democritus and Epicure and Lucretius plus quite a few of their anonymous followers, possibly Horace the poet - who was at least in practise more of an idolater than an atheist.

He was probably unaware of the atheist tenets of Theravada Buddhism - which is anyway minoritarian compared to Mahayana Buddhism.

Atheism in his time was so odious to Englishmen that it had become their byword for anyone they disliked. Was Shaftesbury really an atheist? Or was he opposed to one particular theory of Christian morality (basing morality on will of God without referring His will to the Holiness of His nature - he was unaware I presume of Catholic schools which do refer the Will to the Holiness of the nature in Our Lord)? Yet, for that he was counted as an atheist - and it seems that plus Hellfire clubs from possibly two different foci, contributed to making atheism popular.

Later parts of video generally very good, Pasteur, Carver, Daladian, Sarfati. One comment, since Carver made me think of Knotts Berry Farm:

As we talk about Carver, what about Walter Marvin Knott and Charles Rudolph Boysen (their work would indicate that blackberries and raspberries are one kind, not two, and loganberries too, one kind, not three)?

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