The Garden of God: A Theological Cosmology (Theology and the Sciences) (Theology & the Sciences)
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Exceptions are also noted [ by whom? White — The observation that evolutionary critics had a relaxed interpretation of Genesis is supported by specifically enumerating: Louis Agassiz — ; Arnold Henry Guyot — ; John William Dawson — ; Enoch Fitch Burr — ; George D. Morris — ; H. Hastings ? Townsend — ; Alexander Patterson , Presbyterian evangelist. The Independent. Retrieved 10 July American Anthropologist. After the Scopes trial of July legislators abandoned efforts to enact "Butler Acts" in other jurisdictions.
See : Pierce, J. Kingston August American History. Describes the Florida and Oklahoma acts. Scientific American. January 17, Thus, Scopes' constitutional defense on establishment grounds rested solely on the state constitution. See : Court Opinion of Scopes' Trial See generally Incorporation doctrine and Everson v. Board of Education seminal U. Supreme Court opinion finally applying the Establishment Clause against states in Kerr, Orin July 26, The Volokh Conspiracy Book review.
The constitutional case was largely based on state constitutional law; this was before most of the Bill of Rights had been incorporated and applied to the states. Review of Edward J. Cantwell v. Cookson , p. Constitutional Rights Foundation. The Court stated in its opinion that "England and Scotland maintained State churches as did some of the Colonies, and it was intended by this clause of the Constitution [the Religious Preference Clause] to prevent any such undertaking in Tennessee.
Center for Inquiry. TalkOrigins Archive Post of the Month. Palmetto, FL: Wesley R. Arkansas , U. November 12, The American Biology Teacher. National Center for Science Education. August 28, Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. July 7, Associated Press. August 2, International Herald Tribune.
February 13, People for the American Way. Curriculum, Conclusion, p. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. Disclaimer, p. The American Prospect. Meyer directs the center; former Reagan adviser Bruce Chapman heads the larger institute, with input from the Christian supply-sider and former American Spectator owner George Gilder also a Discovery senior fellow.
From this perch, the ID crowd has pushed a 'teach the controversy' approach to evolution that closely influenced the Ohio State Board of Education's recently proposed science standards, which would require students to learn how scientists 'continue to investigate and critically analyze' aspects of Darwin's theory. February 27, A Response to Eugenie Scott". New York: Metanexus Institute. The clarion call of the intelligent design movement is to 'teach the controversy. Bibcode : Sci Answers in Genesis.
Los Angeles Times. Biological Society of Washington. October 4, Evolution vs. Creationism: an Introduction. Retrieved 3 June Creationism is about maintaining particular, narrow forms of religious belief — beliefs that seem to their adherents to be threatened by the very idea of evolution.
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Aguillard: U. Supreme Court Decision". TalkOrigins Archive. The Quarterly Review of Biology. Stump, eds. Peters and Hewlett argue that the atheism of many evolutionary supporters must be removed from the debate. September The New York Times Magazine : 1—4. The Humanist. Moran, Laurence Selman v. Cobb County School District , F. Dawkins, Richard December 3, Now with Bill Moyers Interview. Interviewed by Bill Moyers. In Zalta, Edward N ed. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Winter ed. Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
Popper described the demarcation problem as the 'key to most of the fundamental problems in the philosophy of science. Instead he proposed as a criterion that the theory be falsifiable, or more precisely that 'statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable observations'. Popper presented this proposal as a way to draw the line between statements belonging to the empirical sciences and 'all other statements — whether they are of a religious or of a metaphysical character, or simply pseudoscientific'.
It was both an alternative to the logical positivists' verification criteria and a criterion for distinguishing between science and pseudoscience. May 22, Science Letter. Creation Research Society Quarterly Abstract. Retrieved , as quoted by Numbers , p. November 2, Massimo Pigliucci September—October Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved , p.
Richard Dawkins quoting J. Arkansas Board of Education". TalkOrigins Archive Transcription. February Impact : i—iv. July—August Crisis Magazine. February 15, Bibcode : NW Ex Nihilo.
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Why is it necessary to have such organizations? One thing we have come to realize in Creation Science is that the Lord has not just called us to knock down evolution, but to help in restoring the foundation of the Gospel in our society. We believe that if the churches took up the tool of Creation Evangelism in society, not only would we see a stemming of the tide of humanistic philosophy, but we would also see the seeds of revival sown in a culture which is becoming increasingly more pagan each day.
The Fallacy Files. Greencastle, IN: Gary Curtis. Johnson cites three pages spent in Isaac Asimov 's New Guide to Science that take creationists to task, while only spending one half page on evidence of evolution. Ars Technica. Hebron, KY: Answers in Genesis. May Back to Genesis : a—c. All Things Considered. July 10, October 15, Bibcode : PNAS December Genome Research.
New Scientist. Wildman, Derek E. June 10, Bibcode : PNAS.. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. Summer Creation Evolution Journal. Retrieved 31 March Gould quotes from Hayward Ewan; Barnes, Lawrence G. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
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Porto April Astronomy and Astrophysics. Russell October June 20, February 6, Gondwana Research. Gainesville, Florida: Joseph Meert. American Scientific Affiliation. Ipswich, MA. October 31, No Answers in Genesis! May 25, The New England Journal of Medicine. That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned.
AAAS More than 70, Australian scientists " January November 25, January—February Journal of Heredity. Ayala stated that "Dobzhansky was a religious man. February 22, February 11, [Originally published November 28, ]. NBC News. The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on December 10, Retrieved August 27, The Tampa Tribune. BBC News. London: BBC. September 9, The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. New Scientist Feedback.
November 10, March 4, Herald Sun. Melbourne: The Herald and Weekly Times. One Man's Crusade". The Economist. London: The Economist Newspaper Limited. April 19, This article gives a worldwide overview of recent developments on the subject of the controversy. Barbour, Ian G. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. Burns, Edward M. New York: W. Dawkins, Richard Illustrations by Liz Pyle 1st American ed. Illustrations by Lalla Ward. New York: Basic Books. Dembski, William A. Desmond, Adrian; Moore, James Dewey, John In Gardner, Martin ed. Great Essays in Science. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.
Dixon, Thomas New York: Oxford University Press. Gray, Asa Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism. New York: D. Ham, Ken Hayward, Alan Creation and Evolution: The Facts and the Fallacies. London: Triangle. Hoagland, Mahlon B. Hodge, Charles What is Darwinism?
New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Company. Huls, Jessica; Baker, Catherine Miller, James B. Feedback by Stephen Kolderup. Huxley, Thomas Henry [Originally published ]. Science and Christian Tradition: Essays. Isaak, Mark The Counter-Creationism Handbook Rev.
Johnson, Phillip E. Darwin on Trial 2nd ed. Larson, Edward J. New York: Modern Library. Morris, Henry M.
Scientific Creationism. Prepared by the technical staff and consultants of the Institute for Creation Research. Prepared by the technical staff and consultants of the Institute for Creation Research 2nd ed. National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Sciences; Institute of Medicine Science, Evolution, and Creationism. Lincoln, NE: toExcel Press. Numbers, Ronald L. New York: Alfred A. Darwinism Comes to America. Phillips, Kevin New York: Viking. Pigliucci, Massimo Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
Plimer, Ian Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism. London: Fontana. Relethford, John H. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Ruse, Michael Salhany, Roger E. The Origin of Rights. Toronto: Carswell. Sarkar, Sahotra; Pfeifer, Jessica, eds. The Philosophy of Science. New York: Psychology Press. Evolution Vs. Creationism: An Introduction.
Foreword by Niles Eldredge 1st pbk. Shermer, Michael Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould Rev. New York: A. Moreover, an analysis of the interplay between faith and reason also provides resources for philosophical arguments in other areas such as metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. While the issues the interplay between faith and reason addresses are endemic to almost any religious faith, this article will focus primarily on the faith claims found in the three great monotheistic world religions: Judaism, Islam, and particularly Christianity.
This rest of the article will trace out the history of the development of thinking about the relationship between faith and reason in Western philosophy from the classical period of the Greeks through the end of the twentieth century. Greek religions, in contrast to Judaism, speculated primarily not on the human world but on the cosmos as a whole. They were often formulated as literary myths.
Nonetheless these forms of religious speculation were generally practical in nature: they aimed to increase personal and social virtue in those who engaged in them. Most of these religions involved civic cultic practices. Philosophers from the earliest times in Greece tried to distill metaphysical issues out of these mythological claims. Once these principles were located and excised, these philosophers purified them from the esoteric speculation and superstition of their religious origins.
They also decried the proclivities to gnosticism and elitism found in the religious culture whence the religious myths developed. None of these philosophers, however, was particularly interested in the issue of willed assent to or faith in these religious beliefs as such. Both Plato and Aristotle found a principle of intellectual organization in religious thinking that could function metaphysically as a halt to the regress of explanation. In Plato, this is found in the Forms, particularly the Form of the Good.
The Form of Good is that by which all things gain their intelligibility. Aristotle rejected the Form of the Good as unable to account for the variety of good things, appealing instead to the unmoved mover as an unchangeable cosmic entity.
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This primary substance also has intelligence as nous : it is "thought thinking itself. Both thinkers also developed versions of natural theology by showing how religious beliefs emerge from rational reflections on concrete reality as such. An early form of religious apologetics - demonstrating the existence of the gods -- can be found in Plato's Laws. Aristotle's Physics gave arguments demonstrating the existence of an unmoved mover as a timeless self-thinker from the evidence of motion in the world.
Both of these schools of thought derived certain theological kinds of thinking from physics and cosmology. The Stoics generally held a cosmological view of an eternal cycle of identical world-revolutions and world-destructions by a universal conflagration. Absolute necessity governs the cyclic process and is identified with divine reason logos and providence. This provident and benevolent God is immanent in the physical world. God orders the universe, though without an explicit purpose. Humans are microcosms; their souls are emanations of the fiery soul of the universe. The Epicureans, on the other hand, were skeptical, materialistic, and anti-dogmatic.
It is not clear they were theists at all, though at some points they seem to be. They did speak of the gods as living in a blissful state in intermundial regions, without any interest in the affairs of humans. There is no relation between the evils of human life and a divine guidance of the universe. At death all human perception ceases.
Plotinus , in the Enneads , held that all modes of being and value originate in an overflow of procession from a single ineffable power that he identified with the radical simplicity of the One of Parmenides or the Good of Plato's Republic. Nous , the second hypostasis after the One, resembles Aristotle's unmoved mover. The orders of the world soul and nature follow after Nous in a linear procession. Humans contain the potentialities of these creative principles, and can choose to make their lives an ascent towards and then a union with the intuitive intelligence.
The One is not a being, but infinite being. It is the cause of beings. Thus Christian and Jewish philosophers who held to a creator God could affirm such a conception. Plotinus might have been the first negative theologian, arguing that God, as simple, is know more from what he is not, than from what he is. Christianity, emerging from Judaism, imposed a set of revealed truths and practices on its adherents. Many of these beliefs and practices differed significantly from what the Greek religions and Judaism had held. For example, Christians held that God created the world ex nihilo , that God is three persons, and that Jesus Christ was the ultimate revelation of God.
Nonetheless, from the earliest of times, Christians held to a significant degree of compatibility between faith and reason. The writings attributed to St. Paul in the Christian Scriptures provide diverse interpretations of the relation between faith and reason. First, in the Acts of the Apostles , Paul himself engages in discussion with "certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers" at the Aeropagus in Athens Acts Here he champions the unity of the Christian God as the creator of all. God is "not far from any one of us.
It reflects a sympathy with pagan customs, handles the subject of idol worship gently, and appeals for a new examination of divinity not from the standpoint of creation, but from practical engagement with the world. However, he claims that this same God will one day come to judge all mankind. But in his famous passage from Romans , Paul is less obliging to non-Christians. Here he champions a natural theology against those pagans who would claim that, even on Christian grounds, their previous lack of access to the Christian God would absolve them from guilt for their nonbelief.
Paul argues that in fact anyone can attain to the truth of God's existence merely from using his or her reason to reflect on the natural world. Thus this strong compatibilist interpretation entailed a reduced tolerance for atheists and agnostics. Yet in 1 Corinthians , Paul suggests a kind of incompatibilism, claiming that Christian revelation is folly the Gentiles meaning Greeks.
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He points out that the world did not come to know God through wisdom; God chose to reveal Himself fully to those of simple faith. These diverse Pauline interpretations of the relation between faith and reason were to continue to manifest themselves in various ways through the centuries that followed. The early apologists were both compatibilists and incompatibilists. Tertullian took up the ideas of Paul in 1 Corinthians, proclaiming that Christianity is not merely incompatible with but offensive to natural reason.
Jerusalem has nothing to do with Athens. He boldly claimed credo quia absurdum est "I believe because it is absurd". He claims that religious faith is both against and above reason. In his De Praescriptione Haereticorum , he proclaims, "when we believe, we desire to believe nothing further. On the other hand, Justin Martyr converted to Christianity, but continued to hold Greek philosophy in high esteem. In his Dialogue with Trypho he finds Christianity "the only sure and profitable philosophy. In a similar vein, Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata called the Gospel "the true philosophy.
But he maintained that Greek philosophy is unnecessary for a defense of the faith, though it helps to disarm sophistry. He also worked to demonstrate in a rational way what is found in faith. He claimed that "I believe in order that I may know" credo ut intelligam. This set Christianity on firmer intellectual foundations. Clement also worked to clarify the early creeds of Christianity, using philosophical notions of substance, being, and person, in order to combat heresies. Augustine emerged in the late fourth century as a rigorous defender of the Christian faith.
He responded forcefully to pagans' allegations that Christian beliefs were not only superstitious but also barbaric. But he was, for the most part, a strong compatibilist. He felt that intellectual inquiry into the faith was to be understood as faith seeking understanding fides quaerens intellectum. To believe is "to think with assent" credere est assensione cogitare. It is an act of the intellect determined not by the reason, but by the will.
Faith involves a commitment "to believe in a God," "to believe God," and "to believe in God. In On Christian Doctrine Augustine makes it clear that Christian teachers not only may, but ought, to use pagan thinking when interpreting Scripture. He points out that if a pagan science studies what is eternal and unchanging, it can be used to clarify and illuminate the Christian faith. Thus logic, history, and the natural sciences are extremely helpful in matters of interpreting ambiguous or unknown symbols in the Scriptures.
However, Augustine is equally interested to avoid any pagan learning, such as that of crafts and superstition that is not targeted at unchangeable knowledge. Augustine believed that Platonists were the best of philosophers, since they concentrated not merely on the causes of things and the method of acquiring knowledge, but also on the cause of the organized universe as such.
One does not, then, have to be a Christian to have a conception of God. Yet, only a Christian can attain to this kind of knowledge without having to have recourse to philosophy. Augustine argued further that the final authority for the determination of the use of reason in faith lies not with the individual, but with the Church itself. His battle with the Manichean heresy prompted him to realize that the Church is indeed the final arbiter of what cannot be demonstrated--or can be demonstrated but cannot be understood by all believers.
Yet despite this appeal to ecclesiastical authority, he believe that one cannot genuinely understand God until one loves Him. Pseudo Dionysius was heavily influenced by neo-Platonism. In letter IX of his Corpus Dionysiacum , he claimed that our language about God provides no information about God but only a way of protecting God's otherness. His analysis gave rise to the unique form negative theology.
It entailed a severe restriction in our access to and understanding of the nature of God. In his "Mystical Theology" Pseudo-Dionysius describes how the soul's destiny is to be fully united with the ineffable and absolutely transcendent God. Much of the importance of this period stems from its retrieval of Greek thinking, particularly that of Aristotle. At the beginning of the period Arab translators set to work translating and distributing many works of Greek philosophy, making them available to Jewish, Islamic, and Christian philosophers and theologians alike.
For the most part, medieval theologians adopted an epistemological distinction the Greeks had developed: between scienta episteme , propositions established on the basis of principles, and opinio , propositions established on the basis of appeals to authority. An established claim in theology, confirmed by either scienta or opinio , demanded the believer's assent.
Yet despite this possibility of scientia in matters of faith, medieval philosophers and theologians believed that it could be realized only in a limited sense. They were all too aware of St. Paul's caveat that faith is a matter of "seeing in a mirror dimly" 1 Cor Like Augustine, Anselm held that one must love God in order to have knowledge of Him. In the Proslogion , he argues that "the smoke of our wrongdoing" will prohibit us from this knowledge.
Anselm is most noted, however, for his ontological argument, presented in his Proslogion. He claimed that it is possible for reason to affirm that God exists from inferences made from what the understanding can conceive within its own confines. As such he was a gifted natural theologian. Like Augustine, Anselm held that the natural theologian seeks not to understand in order to believe, but to believe in order to understand. This is the basis for his principle intellectus fidei. Under this conception, reason is not asked to pass judgment on the content of faith, but to find its meaning and to discover explanations that enable others to understand its content.
But when reason confronts what is incomprehensible, it remains unshaken since it is guided by faith's affirmation of the truth of its own incomprehensible claims. Lombard was an important precursor to Aquinas. Following Augustine, he argued that pagans can know about much about truths of the one God simply by their possession of reason e. But in addition, pagans can affirm basic truths about the Trinity from these same affirmations, inasmuch as all things mirror three attributes associated with the Trinity: unity the Father , form or beauty the Son , and a position or order the Holy Spirit.
Islamic philosophers in the tenth and eleventh centuries were also heavily influenced by the reintroduction of Aristotle into their intellectual culture. Avicenna Ibn Sina held that as long as religion is properly construed it comprises an area of truth no different than that of philosophy. He built this theory of strong compatibilism on the basis of his philosophical study of Aristotle and Plotinus and his theological study of his native Islam. He held that philosophy reveals that Islam is the highest form of life. He defended the Islamic belief in the immortality of individual souls on the grounds that, although as Aristotle taught the agent intellect was one in all persons, the unique potential intellect of each person, illuminated by the agent intellect, survives death.
Averroes Ibn Rushd , though also a scholar of Aristotle's works, was less sympathetic to compatibilism than his predecessor Avicenna. But in his Incoherence of Incoherence , he attacked Algazel's criticisms of rationalism in theology. For example, he developed a form of natural theology in which the task of proving the existence of God is possible. He held, however, that it could be proven only from the physical fact of motion. Nonetheless Averroes did not think that philosophy could prove all Islamic beliefs, such as that of individual immortality.
Following Aristotle in De Anima , Averroes argued for a separation between the active and passive intellects, even though they enter into a temporary connection with individual humans. This position entails the conclusion that no individuated intellect survives death. Yet Averroes held firmly to the contrary opinion by faith alone. Moses Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, allowed for a significant role of reason in critically interpreting the Scriptures.
But he is probably best known for his development of negative theology. Following Avicenna's affirmation of a real distinction between essence and existence, Maimonides concluded that no positive essential attributes may be predicated of God. God does not possess anything superadded to his essence, and his essence includes all his perfections. The attributes we do have are derived from the Pentateuch and the Prophets.
Yet even these positive attributes, such as wisdom and power, would imply defects in God if applied to Him in the same sense they are applied to us. Since God is simple, it is impossible that we should know one part, or predication, of Him and not another. He argues that when one proves the negation of a thing believed to exist in God, one becomes more perfect and closer to knowledge of God.
He quotes Psalm 's approval of an attitude of silence towards God. Those who do otherwise commit profanity and blasphemy. It is not certain, however, whether Maimonides rejected the possibility of positive knowledge of the accidental attributes of God's action. Unlike Augustine, who made little distinction between explaining the meaning of a theological proposition and giving an argument for it, Aquinas worked out a highly articulated theory of theological reasoning.
Bonaventure, an immediate precursor to Aquinas, had argued that no one could attain to truth unless he philosophizes in the light of faith. Thomas held that our faith in eternal salvation shows that we have theological truths that exceed human reason. But he also claimed that one could attain truths about religious claims without faith, though such truths are incomplete. In the Summa Contra Gentiles he called this a "a two fold truth" about religious claims, "one to which the inquiry of reason can reach, the other which surpasses the whole ability of the human reason.
However, something can be true for faith and false or inconclusive in philosophy, though not the other way around. This entails that a non-believer can attain to truth, though not to the higher truths of faith. A puzzling question naturally arises: why are two truths needed?
Isn't one truth enough? Moreover, if God were indeed the object of rational inquiry in this supernatural way, why would faith be required at all? In De Veritate 14,9 Thomas responds to this question by claiming that one cannot believe by faith and know by rational demonstration the very same truth since this would make one or the other kind of knowledge superfluous. On the basis of this two-fold theory of truth, Aquinas thus distinguished between revealed dogmatic theology and rational philosophical theology.
The former is a genuine science, even though it is not based on natural experience and reason. Revealed theology is a single speculative science concerned with knowledge of God. Because of its greater certitude and higher dignity of subject matter, it is nobler than any other science. Philosophical theology, though, can make demonstrations using the articles of faith as its principles. Moreover, it can apologetically refute objections raised against the faith even if no articles of faith are presupposed. But unlike revealed theology, it can err. Aquinas claimed that the act of faith consists essentially in knowledge.
Faith is an intellectual act whose object is truth. Thus it has both a subjective and objective aspect. From the side of the subject, it is the mind's assent to what is not seen: "Faith is the evidence of things that appear not" Hebrews Moreover, this assent, as an act of will, can be meritorious for the believer, even though it also always involves the assistance of God's grace. Moreover, faith can be a virtue, since it is a good habit, productive of good works.
However, when we assent to truth in faith, we do so on the accepted testimony of another. From the side of what is believed, the objective aspect, Aquinas clearly distinguished between "preambles of faith," which can be established by philosophical principles, and "articles of faith" that rest on divine testimony alone. A proof of God's existence is an example of a preamble of faith. Faith alone can grasp, on the other hand, the article of faith that the world was created in time Summa Theologiae I, q.
Aquinas argued that the world considered in itself offers no grounds for demonstrating that it was once all new. Demonstration is always about definitions, and definitions, as universal, abstract from "the here and now. Of course this would extend to any argument about origination of the first of any species in a chain of efficient causes. Here Thomas sounds a lot like Kant will in his antinomies. Yet by faith we believe the world had a beginning. However, one rational consideration that suggests, though not definitively, a beginning to the world is that the passage from one term to another includes only a limited number of intermediate points between them.
Aquinas thus characterizes the articles of faith as first truths that stand in a "mean between science and opinion. Though he agrees with Augustine that no created intellect can comprehend God as an object, the intellect can grasp his existence indirectly. The more a cause is grasped, the more of its effects can be seen in it; and since God is the ultimate cause of all other reality, the more perfectly an intellect understands God, the greater will be its knowledge of the things God does or can do.
So although we cannot know the divine essence as an object, we can know whether He exists and on the basis of analogical knowledge what must necessarily belong to Him. Aquinas maintains, however, that some objects of faith, such as the Trinity or the Incarnation, lie entirely beyond our capacity to understand them in this life. Aquinas also elucidates the relationship between faith and reason on the basis of a distinction between higher and lower orders of creation. Aquinas criticizes the form of naturalism that holds that the goodness of any reality "is whatever belongs to it in keeping with its own nature" without need for faith II-IIae, q.
Yet, from reason itself we know that every ordered pattern of nature has two factors that concur in its full development: one on the basis of its own operation; the other, on the basis of the operation of a higher nature. The example is water: in a lower pattern, it naturally flows toward the centre, but in virtue of a higher pattern, such as the pull of the moon, it flows around the center. In the realm of our concrete knowledge of things, a lower pattern grasps only particulars, while a higher pattern grasps universals.
Given this distinction of orders, Thomas shows how the lower can indeed point to the higher. His arguments for God's existence indicate this possibility. From this conviction he develops a highly nuanced natural theology regarding the proofs of God's existence. The first of his famous five ways is the argument from motion. Borrowing from Aristotle, Aquinas holds to the claim that, since every physical mover is a moved mover, the experience of any physical motion indicates a first unmoved mover. Otherwise one would have to affirm an infinite chain of movers, which he shows is not rationally possible.
Aquinas then proceeds to arguments from the lower orders of efficient causation, contingency, imperfection, and teleology to affirm the existence of a unitary all-powerful being. He concludes that these conclusions compel belief in the Judeo-Christian God. Conversely, it is also possible to move from the higher to the lower orders.
Rational beings can know "the meaning of the good as such" since goodness has an immediate order to the higher pattern of the universal source of being II-IIae q. The final good considered by the theologian differs from that considered by the philosopher: the former is the bonum ultimum grasped only with the assistance of revelation; the latter is the beatific vision graspable in its possibility by reason.
Both forms of the ultimate good have important ramifications, since they ground not only the moral distinction between natural and supernatural virtues, but also the political distinction between ecclesial and secular power. Aquinas concludes that we come to know completely the truths of faith only through the virtue of wisdom sapientia. Moreover, faith and charity are prerequisites for the achievement of this wisdom. Thomas's two-fold theory of truth develops a strong compatibilism between faith and reason.
But it can be argued that after his time what was intended as a mutual autonomy soon became an expanding separation. Duns Scotus, like his successor William of Ockham, reacted in a characteristic Franciscan way to Thomas's Dominican views. While the Dominicans tended to affirm the possibility of rational demonstrability of certain preambles of faith, the Franciscans tended more toward a more restricted theological science, based solely on empirical and logical analysis of beliefs. Scotus first restricts the scope of Aquinas's rational theology by refuting its ability to provide arguments that stop infinite regresses.
In fact he is wary of the attempts of natural theology to prove anything about higher orders from lower orders. On this basis, he rejects the argument from motion to prove God's existence. He admits that lower beings move and as such they require a first mover; but he maintains that one cannot prove something definitive about higher beings from even the most noble of lower beings. Instead, Scotus thinks that reason can be employed only to elucidate a concept. In the realm of theology, the key concept to elucidate is that of infinite being. So in his discussion of God's existence, he takes a metaphysical view of efficiency, arguing that there must be not a first mover, but an actually self-existent being which makes all possibles possible.
In moving towards this restricted form of conceptualist analysis, he thus gives renewed emphasis to negative theology. Ockham then radicalized Scotus's restrictions of our knowledge of God. He claimed that the Greek metaphysics of the 13 th century, holding to the necessity of causal connections, contaminated the purity of the Christian faith. He argued instead that we cannot know God as a deduction from necessary principles. In fact, he rejected the possibility that any science can verify any necessity, since nothing in the world is necessary: if A and B are distinct, God could cause one to exist without the other.
So science can demonstrate only the implications of terms, premises, and definitions. It keeps within the purely conceptual sphere. Like Scotus he argued held that any necessity in an empirical proposition comes from the divine order. He concluded that we know the existence of God, his attributes, the immortality of the soul, and freedom only by faith. His desire to preserve divine freedom and omnipotence thus led in the direction of a voluntaristic form of fideism. Ockham's denial of the necessity in the scope of scientific findings perhaps surprisingly heralded the beginnings of a significant movement towards the autonomy of empirical science.
But with this increased autonomy came also a growing incompatibility between the claims of science and those of religious authorities. Thus the tension between faith and reason now became set squarely for the first time in the conflict between science and religion. This influx of scientific thinking undermined the hitherto reign of Scholasticism. By the seventeenth century, what had begun as a criticism of the authority of the Church evolved into a full-blown skepticism regarding the possibility of any rational defense of fundamental Christian beliefs.
The Protestant Reformers shifted their emphasis from the medieval conception of faith as a fides belief that to fiducia faith in. Thus attitude and commitment of the believer took on more importance. The Reformation brought in its wake a remarkable new focus on the importance of the study of Scripture as a warrant for one's personal beliefs. The Renaissance also witnessed the development of a renewed emphasis on Greek humanism.
In the early part of this period, Nicholas of Cusa and others took a renewed interest in Platonism. In the seventeenth century, Galileo understood "reason" as scientific inference based and experiment and demonstration. Moreover, experimentation was not a matter simply of observation, it also involved measurement, quantification, and formulization of the properties of the objects observed. Though he was not the first to do attempt this systematization -- Archimedes had done the same centuries before - Galileo developed it to such an extent that he overthrew the foundations of Aristotelian physics.
He rejected, for example, Aristotle's claim that every moving had a mover whose force had to be continually applied. In fact it was possible to have more than one force operating on the same body at the same time. Without the principle of a singular moved mover, it was also conceivable that God could have "started" the world, then left it to move on its own. The finding of his that sparked the great controversy with the Catholic Church was, however, Galileo's defense of Copernicus's rejection of the Ptolemaic geocentric universe.
Galileo used a telescope he had designed to confirm the hypothesis of the heliocentric system. He also hypothesized that the universe might be indefinitely large. Realizing that such conclusions were at variance with Church teaching, he followed Augustine's rule than an interpretation of Scripture should be revised when it confronts properly scientific knowledge.
The officials of the Catholic Church - with some exceptions -- strongly resisted these conclusions and continued to champion a pre-Copernican conception of the cosmos. The Church formally condemned Galileo's findings for on several grounds. First, the Church tended to hold to a rather literal interpretation of Scripture, particularly of the account of creation in the book of Genesis.
Such interpretations did not square with the new scientific views of the cosmos such as the claim that the universe is infinitely large. Second, the Church was wary of those aspects of the "new science" Galileo represented that still mixed with magic and astrology. Third, these scientific findings upset much of the hitherto view of the cosmos that had undergirded the socio-political order the Church endorsed.
Moreover, the new scientific views supported Calvinist views of determinism against the Catholic notion of free will. It took centuries before the Church officially rescinded its condemnation of Galileo. Inspired by Greek humanism, Desiderius Erasmus placed a strong emphasis on the autonomy of human reason and the importance of moral precepts.
As a Christian, he distinguished among three forms of law: laws of nature, thoroughly engraved in the minds of all men as St. Paul had argued, laws of works, and laws of faith. He was convinced that philosophers, who study laws of nature, could also produce moral precepts akin to those in Christianity. But Christian justification still comes ultimately only from the grace that can reveal and give a person the ability to follow the law of faith. As such, "faith cures reason, which has been wounded by sin.
Martin Luther restricted the power of reason to illuminate faith. Like many reformers, he considered the human being alone unable to free itself from sin. In The Bondage of the Will , he makes a strict separation between what man has dominion over his dealings with the lower creatures and what God has dominion over the affairs of His kingdom and thus of salvation.
Reason is often very foolish: it immediately jumps to conclusions when it sees a thing happen once or twice. But by its reflections on the nature of words and our use of language, it can help us to grasp our own spiritual impotence. Luther thus rejected the doctrine of analogy, developed by Aquinas and others, as an example of the false power of reason. In his Heidelberg Disputation Luther claims that a theologian must look only "on the visible rearward parts of God as seen in suffering and the cross.
Thus faith is primarily an act of trust in God's grace. Luther thus stresses the gratuitousness of salvation. In a traditional sense, Roman Catholics generally held that faith is meritorious, and thus that salvation involves good works. Protestant reformers like Luther, on the other hand, held that indeed faith is pure gift. He thus tended to make the hitherto Catholic emphasis on works look voluntaristic.
Like Luther, John Calvin appealed to the radical necessity of grace for salvation. This was embodied in his doctrine of election. But unlike Luther, Calvin gave a more measured response to the power of human reason to illuminate faith. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion , he argued that the human mind possesses, by natural instinct, an "awareness of divinity. Even idolatry can contain as aspect of this. So religion is not merely arbitrary superstition. And yet, the law of creation makes necessary that we direct every thought and action to this goal of knowing God. Despite this fundamental divine orientation, Calvin denied that a believer could build up a firm faith in Scripture through argument and disputation.
He appealed instead to the testimony of Spirit embodied gained through a life of religious piety. Only through this testimony is certainty about one's beliefs obtained. We attain a conviction without reasons, but only through "nothing other than what each believer experiences within himself--though my words fall far beneath a just explanation of the matter.
Calvin is thus an incompatibilist of the transrational type: faith is not against, but is beyond human reason. But he expanded the power of reason to grasp firmly the preambles of faith. In his Meditations , he claimed to have provided what amounted to be the most certain proofs of God possible. By the same token, it is simply false that religion makes no factual claims about the world. The world religions make various and conflicting claims about the origin and nature of the universe and humanity, and they cannot all be true.
Science and religion are thus like two circles which intersect or partially overlap. It is in the area of intersection that the dialogue takes place. And during the last quarter century, a flourishing dialogue between science and theology has been going on in North America and Europe. In an address before a conference on the history and philosophy of thermodynamics, the prominent British physicist P.
Landsberg suddenly began to explore the theological implications of the scientific theory he was discussing. He observed,. To talk about the implications of science for theology at a scientific meeting seems to break a taboo. But those who think so are out of date. During the last 15 years, this taboo has been removed, and in talking about the interaction of science and theology, I am actually moving with a tide.
Especially significant have been the on-going conferences sponsored by the Berkeley Center and the Vatican Observatory, in which prominent scientists like Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies have explored the implications of science for theology with prominent theologians like John Polkinghorne and Wolfhart Pannenberg.
Not only are there professional journals devoted to the dialogue between science and religion, such as Zygon and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, but, more significantly, secular journals like Nature and the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science , also carry articles on the mutual implications of science and theology. The Templeton Foundation has awarded its million dollar Templeton Award in Science and Religion to outstanding integrative thinkers such as Paul Davies, John Polkinghorne, and George Ellis for their work in science and religion.
The dialogue between science and theology has become so significant in our day that both Cambridge University and Oxford University have established chairs in science and theology. I share all this to illustrate a point. Let me suggest six ways in which science and religion are relevant to each other, starting with the most general and then becoming more particular. Religion furnishes the conceptual framework in which science can flourish. Science is not something that is natural to mankind. Why is this so? It is due to the unique contribution of the Christian faith to Western culture.
Thus, the world is a rational place which is open to exploration and discovery. Furthermore, the whole scientific enterprise is based on certain assumptions which cannot be proved scientifically, but which are guaranteed by the Christian world view; for example: the laws of logic, the orderly nature of the external world, the reliability of our cognitive faculties in knowing the world, and the objectivity of the moral values used in science.
I want to emphasize that science could not even exist without these assumptions, and yet these assumptions cannot be proved scientifically. They are philosophical assumptions which, interestingly, are part and parcel of a Christian world view. Thus, religion is relevant to science in that it can furnish a conceptual framework in which science can exist. More than that, the Christian religion historically did furnish the conceptual framework in which modern science was born and nurtured. Science can both falsify and verify claims of religion. When religions make claims about the natural world, they intersect the domain of science and are, in effect, making predictions which scientific investigation can either verify or falsify.
Let me give some examples of each. First, examples of falsification. Some examples are obvious. The views of ancient Greek and Indian religions that the sky rested on the shoulders of Atlas or the world on the back of a great turtle were easily falsified. But more subtle examples are available, too. On the basis of their misinterpretation of certain Bible passages like Ps. Scientific evidence eventually falsified this hypothesis, and the Church belatedly finally came to admit its mistake. The discovery during this century of the expansion of the universe reveals that far from being eternal, all matter and energy, even physical space and time themselves, came into existence at a point in the finite past before which nothing existed.
On the other hand, science can also verify religious claims. For example, one of the principal doctrines of the Judaeo-Christian faith is that God created the universe out of nothing a finite time ago. The Bible thus teaches that the universe had a beginning. This teaching was repudiated by both ancient Greek philosophy and modern atheism, including dialectical materialism. Then in with the discovery of the expansion of the universe, this doctrine was dramatically verified. A second scientific verification of a religious belief is the claim of the great monotheistic faiths that the world is the product of intelligent design.
Scientists originally thought that whatever the initial conditions of the universe were, eventually the universe would evolve the complex life forms we see today.