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Faith & Science: Yokefellows or Antagonists?

Arachne

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An excellent read, but long and involved, so give yourselves time to go through it.

 

Bizzlebin

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An excellent read, but long and involved, so give yourselves time to go through it.

Just finished: I thought it was generally a very good article at the beginning, bringing together science and religion and showing how interconnected they are. It was a bit meandering, but the individual ideas seemed fairly well thought out. I don't know about the spouse vs neighbor analogy bit, but nothing struck me as really "off".

As it moved into the topic of relativity, I liked how he worked popular philosophical terms into their Christian context. He was not consistent in his usage, but started to "take back" the words relative, subjective, etc as the real Christian adjectives, whereas "objectivity" is actually problematic for Orthodox Christians—it stems from pagan Greek thought, was rediscovered around the "Renaissance", and underpins everything from Protestantism to modernity; yuck!

I was concerned when he got onto freedom: I hate to see freedom and indeterminacy linked, because that crops up in so many fallen and/or heretical systems (gnomic will, open theism, etc). In other words, uncertainty does *not* underpin freedom. It is so very irksome how "quantum" seems to get used as a placeholder for "woo" kind of thinking, even in supposedly academic contexts.

In the heavier physics parts, there were some factually-challenged statements, particularly about QM. For example, electrons actually can crash into nuclei in electron capture, and the reverse happens in beta-minus decay. The double slit experiment does not "collapse" (misuse of the word, too) when it is observed—or even when it is run one photon at a time! (I think that points to a *very* non-wave model of photons—and one where photons are composite, rotating particles, as per the slinky-like shape of their fields and they move through spacetime—but that is beyond the scope of the article.) And in the case of the Heisenberg principle leading to a black hole, this seems to mistake the confinement of a particle leading to increased energy, whereas the principle (AFAIK) only requires the particle's energy (more properly, momentum) to be more chaotic—which is just what we would expect, for example, if a ball bouncing in a large room (long, straight tracks) were bounced in a tiny box (jittery, chaotic motion). Granted, I left the Feynman and the QM world behind academically and switched to theology and other subjects in high school, so I don't have a degree in physics either, but these just jumped out at me.

And then at the end, what in the world was going on with "the universe a mysterious otherness, beyond comprehension by its very nature"? This is ontologically...problematic, to say the least, for it seems to imply a created nature of a special and privileged form (a la Arianism), a nature which is contradicting itself, or one of other myriad iffy possibilities. Otherwise, the concluding paragraphs fit well with the intro—no problem with the stuff at the ends, only the large part in the middle where the physics seemed to go off the rails and QM was presented as some amorphous "mystical thing" that allows the non-falsifiable postulation of any other bizarre "mystical thing" that a person can imagine.
 
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You had no problem with this?

it seems from the Genesis account (1:29-30) that both humankind and animals were vegetarians before the fall. Only after the fall do we, and some animals, begin to eat meat.
I think he lost me here, and I’m only continuing based on your review. There’s absolutely no scientific basis for this.
 

Bizzlebin

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You had no problem with this?

I think he lost me here, and I’m only continuing based on your review. There’s absolutely no scientific basis for this.
There are a few Fathers that meander towards that direction, so I didn't want to get too far off on that one. But I tend to think that interpretation is not workable, even apart from scientific argument, for it links physical and spiritual death too closely, wants to link death and change (but change is a property of created nature!), and tends towards a [Neo-]Platonic idealism. Plus, Jesus Christ ate a fish after His Resurrection: that little fish by itself stops a whole bunch of false teachings, shows that we can eat (and kill!) post-Resurrection, and much else.
 

Katechon

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Modern day scientism (which is not identical to the scientific method) is an ideological current that arose out of deficient metaphysics, namely nominalism. That explains it's essentially anti-metaphysical and atheist direction, which isn't scientific, but ideological and today even religious.
 

Ainnir

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I describe science as the process of discovering what God created. I don't understand the need of certain Christians to demonize it. It seems a reaction to the ideology Katechon describes, as if atheism will be defeated if we smash science into dust. 🤷‍♀️
 

Katechon

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I describe science as the process of discovering what God created. I don't understand the need of certain Christians to demonize it. It seems a reaction to the ideology Katechon describes, as if atheism will be defeated if we smash science into dust. 🤷‍♀️
The funny part is that much of the ideological content of scientism has been disproved now by science. Materialistic determinism for example, or evolution. The thread on quantum mechanics also gives examples.
 
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