“So long as we combine ceaseless and often reckless scientific speculation with rapid and often random social reform, the result must inevitably be not anarchy but ever-increasing tyranny.” G.K. Chesterton (New Witness, May 12, 1922)
One of the great falsehoods infecting our schools and society today, revolves around the idea that science and religion are opposite forces, with the latter being a relic from medieval “Dark Ages“, and the former being a luminous jewel of modern “Enlightenment”. This lie is commonly professed as “follow the science”, “according to a recent study”, “experts agree”, and so on, versus “Church dogma”, “today’s inquisitors”, and everyone’s favourite, “remember Galileo”. This false dichotomy allows politicians to position the exclusion of religion, Christianity in particular, from the political arena as maintaining the separation of Church and state. What they (academics, politicians) are really trying to say is “shut up”, the same thing the Sanhedrin and Roman authorities tried to do 2000 years ago, except in their case, it even meant shutting up the tomb of a dead Man.
Definitions matter and science used to be understood as a form for the search of truth. It was open to all empirical data and carried the premise, perhaps unknowingly, that the natural world could be known, because it appeared to have order. This in effect meant that the creature (man) realized creation (the world) required a creator, as order implies thought not chaos or random existence. Nature has laws and scientists delighted in discovering them! (Einstein’s Theory of relativity did not work until he began to consider a starting point for the earth rather than an infinite universe. Using George Lemaitre’s Big Bang Theory, Father George Lemaitre, he was able to account for an expanding universe. This in turn, let him to famously say, “the more I study science, the more I believe in God”.
Sir James Jeans, physicist and astronomer in early 20th century, added the following startling statement: “These concepts (bottled-up waves and unbottled waves) reduce the whole universe to a world of light, potential or existent, so that the whole story of its creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completeness in the six words: ‘God said, Let there be light’.” Simply amazing!
Scientism on the other hand, affirms that only empirical evidence constitutes knowledge. It excludes all other forms of knowledge (i.e. theological, philosophical) and thus can only account for a fraction of the human experience. Venerable Fulton Sheen in his must-read book Old Errors, New Labels, explains the difference this way: “a scientist is concerned with the tune that is being played; the philosopher is interested on the player.” Fr Dwight Longenecker, goes a step further, and in his book Beheading Hydra, writes that “looking for scientific evidence for the eternal realm is like taking apart an alarm clock to look for time”.
People that follow scientism will sometimes say that what we attribute to a creator, is simply what hasn’t been discovered, a sort of ‘god of the gaps”. Other times, they will with absolute certitude and no empirical evidence, affirm that there are no absolutes in morality and only empirical evidence matters. Alexis De Tocqueville saw this early in his visits to America. In his book, Democracy in America, De Tocqueville asked, “Why is it more difficult to abolish slavery and to efface all vestiges of it among the moderns than it was among the ancients?” Mattias Desmet, writer of “The Psychology of Totalitarianism”, went so far as stating, “Totalitarianism is not a historical coincidence. In the final analysis, it is the logical consequence of mechanistic thinking and the delusional belief in the omnipotence of human rationality. As such, totalitarianism is the defining feature of the Enlightenment tradition.” But where did this mechanistic thinking come from? The science of Aristotle was debunked by Galileo and then Newton. According to the latter, everything in the world acted according to pre-existing laws. This meant that everything was predetermined and therefore no freedom truly existed (i.e Born this way argument). The science however evolved, and Newton’s science was debunked by the advancement of quantum mechanics. This in turn, led people to see life as random and therefore without meaning (i.e. I self-identify as…). Following the science can get us into some dark spaces spiritually because by its very nature, it’s constantly changing. Br Guy Consolmagno, astronomer – MIT graduate, put it more bluntly: “Furthermore, any religion based on science would be subservient to science and prone to collapse when its underlying science is replaced by next year’s model….new discoveries inevitably revealing the absurdity of such science-based philosophies.” (God’s Mechanics).
Mattias Desmet said that what largely led him to do his own research into totalitarianism was the crisis in the scientific world, whereby “Sloppiness, errors, biased conclusions, and even outright fraud had become so prevalent in scientific research that a staggeringly high percentage of research papers – up to 85% in some fields – reached radically wrong conclusions.” The recent pandemic has given us ample proof of this.
Let’s compare some Dark Age non-sense with Modern Enlightenment:
- Magna Carta is sealed in 1215. Property rights, due process under the law, etc are enshrined into law. Fast forward, and today we have the Satanic Temple registered as a tax-exempt charity, protected under religious freedom act.
- Between 1151 to 1158, St Hildegard of Bingen, a woman, writes “The Subtleties of the Diverse Nature of Created Things”. She lists over 200 diseases with info on various cures, mostly through herbal remedies. Our experts today advise the unvaccinated to get the vaccine to protect themselves and stop the transmission of the virus, while telling the already twice injected, the need for more jabs because the vaccine does not stop infection or transmission.
- Father Christopher Clavius in 1500s uses math to give us what is still our current calendar, to measure fractions of angles, and even to write music! Academics today tell us 1 + 1 = racist.
- Unknown biologist in late 1400s….BC, raises newborn human with his hands, and upon observing a penis, yells out: “it’s a boy!!” The scientific and political community is currently in a struggle to determine that age-old question: What is a woman?
- St Thomas Aquinas gave us the Just Price theory (known today as long-run equilibrium). This theory states that a just price is sufficient to cover costs of production, including maintenance of worker and family. Raising prices to those in need is considered immoral. Today, sophisticated economists and finance ministers advise us to cancel Disney + to fight inflation, and that we’ll own nothing and be happy!
The one thing we have in common with ancient peoples is the Pantheon, an inclusive and diverse place of worship. The very word pantheon, means ” a temple dedicated to all the gods”. All the gods except… Jesus Christ! The Pantheon did change but is making a furious comeback, especially in Rome, under the title of fraternity and brotherhood. We could all be like gods… where was this said before? A beautiful garden comes to mind.
The root of the word religion is from the Latin re-ligare which means to reconnect. Religion is simply our way of reconnecting our current existence to the past so that we can understand our purpose in the future. Imagine reading the middle chapters of the Lord of the Rings without reading the first or the last ones? Or skipping the first couple minutes of Pink Floyd’s song Brick on the wall? Or watching Bautista’s bat-flipping, crowd-roaring home run but not knowing it was a playoff game… One might still get some pleasure from these moments, but it’s short-lived and infinitely less memorable, because we don’t know why those moments were special. For someone with amnesia, the present makes no sense and they often don’t know how to move forward. A son stares at a man, not knowing it’s his father.
The Church gives us the Sacraments precisely to help us in this journey, while the world offers cheap imitations:
- Baptism cleanses us of original sin and we become members of the Church. The state provides us with an original SIN number so we can become members of society.
- Through Confession, we have the possibility to repent and be forgiven. Through CRT, you were guilty, you are guilty, and you will always be guilty.
- First Communion: our encounter with Christ in the flesh. First Sex-ed class: our encounter with the devil about the flesh.
- Confirmation: Imago Dei – live for Christ! Graduation: image of D.E.I. (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) – leave Christ.
- Last Rites. Assisted Suicide (ensures the “last” part)
- Holy Matrimony. Civil marriage (cohabitation if you want to go paperless)
- Holy Orders: Bishops – Priests – Deacons. School Masters: University Professors – highschool teachers – elementary school babysitters
Brothers, science and religion are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth, to borrow from the language of St John Paul II. They are both complementary and to separate the two, would be like taking our soul from our body: we would be left with a corpse.
“For the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.” Is 55:9
St Joseph: Pray for us
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