Search This Blog

Friday, August 15, 2008

Undoing paganism

In my post on science in Genesis, I linked to Eric Snow's article on www.rae.org: “Christianity a Cause of Modern Science?: The Duhem-Jaki and Merton Theses Explained”. In this is a fascinating quote from a 14th century scholar, John Buridan.

The remarkable thing here is that, as I read it, Buridan [Perhaps the most influential Parisian philosopher of the fourteenth century, according to the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy] starts his reflections on the created world with God’s revelation: he therefore uses Genesis 1 directly as a ‘scientific’ textbook. By this Buridan made the great break away from paganism and opened the path to the development of modern ‘natural’ sciences. Note, the Bible is directly used to illuminate this break and make the created world intellectually available for rational examination!

““The first key steps in totally discarding Aristotle's physics were done by…the medieval Christian Catholic [Jean/John] Buridan, [who] in a crucial passage, anticipated the idea of inertia...through his discussion of impetus. Notice the reference to God not directly making the laws of nature operate:

Also, since the Bible does not state that appropriate intelligences move the celestial bodies, it could be said that it does not appear necessary to posit intelligences of this kind, because it would be answered that God, when He created the world, moved each of the celestial orbs as He pleased, and in moving them He impressed in them impetuses which moved them without His having to move them any more except by the method of general influence whereby He concurs as a co-agent in all things which take place; 'for thus on the seventh day He rested for all work . . .' [Gen. 2:2] And these impetuses which He impressed in the celestial bodies were not decreased nor corrupted afterwards, because there was not inclination of the celestial bodies for movements.

Also note this additional statement as a nascent form of the idea of inertia:

But because of the resistance which results from the weight of the [waterwheel of the] mill, the impetus would continually diminish until the mill ceased to turn. And perhaps, if the mill should last forever without any diminution or change, and there were no other resistance to corrupt the impetus, the mill would move forever because of its perpetual impetus.

While these passages are only halting steps on a long road to repealing Aristotle's physics, they do show a move to break out of his conceptions of how moving bodies move. These men show that the Church never uncritically accepted the Greek classics as many in the Islamic world had done earlier. True, it tied itself and lent its authority to the Greek classics excessively, which set the stage for its eventual disaster resulting from it using force that made Galileo recant his belief that the earth moved. With the later discoveries of Galileo, Hooke, Kepler, Torricelli, Boyle, Newton, and others, Europe's science took a vast qualitative leap, but we should not overlook its origins and these men's predecessors in the Middle Ages.””

4 comments:

Warwick said...

I am off to France for 2 months on Thursday and want to thank all you topic bloggers before I depart. I truly appreciate all your efforts.

As I leave I notice that neither anon. or Healy have attempted to answer my questions. This is quite to be expected. On the US site a guy named Atheist has been attacking Christians with great vigour, making baseless accusations of imorality against the church and Christians. I have asked him to explain upon what foundation his morality is based other than his opinion. I have pointed out that in God's Word we have the highest morality over which we have no control. It did not come from us, isn't our opinion and would exist even if we had not been born, and will exist after our demise. I also asked him the specific question: Abortion; it is moral yes or no, and why? But surprise surprise he refuses to answer, while continuing his attacks.

So why do I expect an answer from Healy? I don't really. When he felt cornered he left.

What about anon? He came he attacked and left.

When I return in late October someone may let me know if they came back.

God bless you all, and may He uphold you in your defence of truth against liberalism and heresy.

neil moore said...

Enjoy your break Warwick (or is it Brett of radio 2GB fame?).

We shall 'maintain the rage'.

Best Wishes,
Neil Moore

Warwick said...

Thanks Neil, I shall indeed enjoy our trip.

BTW it was Fred!

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,