mercredi 30 janvier 2013

Continued from Last vs. CMI on Galileo Case

Answering Lita Cosner of Creation dot com on Galileo
Continued from Last vs. CMI on Galileo Case
Wings of God?

I got some feedback on the article on Creation vs Evolution, and here are replies about certain articles:

Adam and Christ must be equally historical - quite correct. And this has been confirmed as Catholic dogma by Popes St Pius X and again Pius XII. Adam's sin must also precede death, this has been noted by Serafim Rose (whom some Orthodox like the ROCOR consider a saint). It was not contradicted by the decisions of Popes St Pius X or Pius XII.

Dr Schirrmacher's TJ article about the Galileo controversy1 was a much needed corrective to the misotheistic propaganda floating around, much of which is parroted by compromising churchians who also miss the real point.2 His conclusion, much supported by the evidence he documented, was that Galileo's first opponents were the scientific establishment of his day, who persuaded the Church that an attack on their favoured Ptolemaic cosmology was an attack on Scripture.

Sheer idiocy. And Schirrmacher is both a compromising churchian and part of our present day's scientific establishment which is not only anti-Ptolemaic (and Ptolemy was at least partly inaccurate) but anti-Geocentric, which is another thing.

One of us (AK) thought that the original decree seemed to disagree, because it said:

'… having held a doctrine that is false and contrary to the divine and Holy Scripture … .'

So he submitted a letter a year ago saying that he was 'perplexed' by the following statement in Schirrmacher's paper:

'The court of Inquisition did not accuse Galileo of teaching against the Bible, but of disobeying a papal decree.'

The Papal decree of 1616 was precisely due to Galileo teaching in fact against the Bible. More especially, for teaching against the consensus of the fathers about the plain text of the Bible, notably about Joshua's long day.

In that first trial, whose verdict Galileo disobeyed, St Robert Bellarmine - I have this from Robert Sungenis - argued that if Galileo's explanation was correct, i e that the earth stopped moving around its axis, the moon would still have continued, and so the Bible would wrongly have stated that the moon stopped as well as the sun.

One good source is The Sun in the Church by the science historian, John Heilbron. In this book, favourably reviewed by the secular science journals New Scientist and Science, he points out:

'Galileo's heresy, according to the standard distinction used by the Holy Office, was "inquisitorial" rather than "theological". This distinction allowed it to proceed against people for disobeying orders or creating scandals, although neither article violated an article defined and promulgated by a pope or general council. …

Since, however, the church had never declared that the Biblical passages implying a moving sun had to be interpreted in favour of a Ptolemaic universe as an article of faith, optimistic commentators … could understand "formally heretical" to mean "provisionally not accepted".'

The distinction did and does exist. The words "formally heretical" imply that Galileo's offense finally was Theological rather than Inquisitorial. In 1633 there was no doubt Galileo was guilty of Inquisitorial Offense. But the verdict states that finally it was Theological offense too. Let us add a consideration about "although neither article violated an article defined and promulgated by a pope or general council" - it had been defined by Trent (the Council that principally condemned Protestantism) that the Holy Writ was to be taken in the sense as exposed by unanimity of the Fathers. Precisely as a Fundamentalist says beforehadn that any Bible passage that is clear is thereby dogma, a Catholic faithful to Trent (as St Robert Bellarmine and Pope Urban VIII were) says that any passage which is clearly interpreted in one precise way by the Church Fathers must continue to be understood that way. Galileo stated in one of the trials (1616 or 1633) that he did not think it applied to scientific matters. His judges clearly disagreed. Also, Pope Urban VIII promulgated the Galileo sentence of 1633 to all Universities.

Pulling in "Ptolemaic" into the question is a mere strawman. Ptolemy was challenged, not just by Heliocentrics but also by the Geocentric Tycho Brahe. Who was so far from being condemned by the Catholic Church that St Robert Bellarmine actually used his arguments about parallax, notably.

Heilbron supports this simply by documenting the general reactions by Galileo's contemporaries and later astronomers, who:

'appreciated that the reference to heresy in connection with Galileo or Copernicus had no general or theological significance.'

This is shown by the fact that, far from opposing astronomical research, the Church supported astronomers and even allowed the cathedrals themselves to be used as solar observatories-hence the subtitle of Heilbron's book. These meridiane were 'reverse sundials', really gigantic pinhole cameras where the sun's image was projected from a hole in a window in the cathedral's lantern onto a meridian line. Analyzing the sun's motion further weakened the Ptolemaic model, yet this research was well supported.

Heilbron presupposes that Geocentrism absolutely equals Ptolemaic model, totally ignoring (either in the Latin sense of not knowing a thing or more probably the English sense of "let's ignore it") that Tycho Brahe was known by St Robert Bellarmine and used to purpose by him in the first process. The two doctrinal condemnations of 1633 steer quite clear of minor points where Ptolemy may well have been and probably was wrong - such as all heavenly bodies revolving in perfect circles or such as no bodies revolving around bodies that in their turn revolve. They are not concerned with whether Galileo was Ptolemaic or not, but whether he was Geocentric or not.

And whether Heilbron's own text does or does not state what contemporaries, what astronomers, how much their optimism can have been disaffaction from the Church and so on and so forth, the quote from him in the article does not.

I do know that Galileo visited in Inquisition's prison (i e house arrest) inspired lots of Protestants (including Newton, but also Royal Court of Denmark, like Rømer) to take up the Heliocentric cause, just to prove Rome wrong, especially were the Inquisition was involved.

And one of Schirrmacher's major sources, Arthur Koestler, showed that only 50 years after Galileo, astronomers of the Jesuit Order, 'the intellectual spearhead of the Catholic Church', taught this theory in China.8

Taught or discussed? A big difference indeed. But if taught was the case, they were quite as much "intellectual spearheadsd of the Church" as Jesuit Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, of unhappy memory, as the intellectual spearhead for Theistic Evolution (with a certain twist about Christ as Point Omega of Evolution!) within the Catholic Church. Or as Georges Lemaître, who brazenly confessed on not finding Genesis literally true. Jesuits were also censured for what they had done in China (mostly for Chinese rites, which denied equality of men and accepted some sense of ancestor worship).

So the fact that the official charge mentioned Scripture should not hide the fact that the Church's real beef with Galileo was disobedience to their authority rather than theological error, despite the official charge.

Protestant calumny of Catholic procedure. The accusation charge was disobedience, and that officially, but behind it was also the suspicion of heresy. What that means in the case, I will get back to.

In summary, Galileo was prosecuted not on religious grounds, but for disobeying papal orders, as well as for other personal and political reasons. Urban was the one who initiated the trial, while the Inquisitors were apparently indifferent. The final decision lacked three signatures and two of those who signed did so under protest. Only one cardinal, the pope's brother, zealously pushed the trial ahead.10 In any case, Galileo was not actually pronounced a heretic-the verdict was 'suspicion of heresy'.

The verdict was that he had to clear himself of such suspicion by abjuring two propositions, one of which is formally heretical, one of which is at least erroneous. The fact that he was not condemned as a heretic is due to his abjuration of those two propositions. What applies is distinctions between sin and sinner and those being very relevant when sinner is willing to amend his ways.

An analogy might help: both of us have pointed out that progressive creationists such as Hugh Ross get their errant views from 'science' (or rather, naturalistic interpretations of data masquerading as science).12,13 But so many of their aggrieved supporters swear black and blue that they derive their deviant views from Scripture, and can cite Ross et al. to 'prove' this. But as we have both shown, all their exegesis is really a rationalization to twist Scripture to fit 'science'.

Hugh Ross - on your saying, Sarfati!, I don't know that man, but supposing that you are not lying about him - is precisely a progressive, who does not accept the Traditional Exegesis of certain verses, that is he does not accept Young Earth Creationism. Which is pretty much what Galileo was accused of in not accepting, not indeed Ptolemaic astronomy, that is a strawman, but the proposition that it is earth that stands still and the sun that moves East to West each day and back and forth North and South each year.

Similarly, none of the verses adduced by the church of the day to support geocentrism actually do so. Rather, they are either equivocal, or from the poetic books without any intention to teach cosmology.

And Sarfati does not directly support that, but refers to one Faulkner.

Well, I do not agree that Pope Urban VIII or St Robert Bellarmine were like Sarfati presents Hugh Ross. For the simple reason that they defended the Traditional reading of the verses. It was Galileo who was condemned for doing what Sarfati accuses Hugh Ross of.

As to Joshua's day being equivocal, Sarfati does not support that here, to say the least. As to Poetical Books having no intention to teach cosmology, it reminds me of people saying Genesis having no intention to teach paleontology. Confer the words of Noel Weeks:

Is there any explicit teaching within the Bible itself that suggests its details are not to be pressed in matters of the physical creation? I know of no such teaching.

Nor is there any explicit such teaching with the Church Fathers. Rather St Augustine says that discrepancy between Bible and Science can only arise from a sloppy reading of the Bible - or from false Science.

[...] Nevertheless it may be argued that the very fact that Genesis 1 exhibits such a structure proves that it is not to be taken literally. Surely, to state this argument is to refute it. [...] Even though there is no logical reason why the presence of a structure should prove that a passage is not to be taken literally, this idea seams to have great emotive appeal. The whole question of structured history needs to be examined more closely. [...] If one looks carefully at these structured histories, one sees that the structure is theological.

And, though there is no need to take presence of theological structure of story as precluding literal truth, it has been taken as one by liberal theologians, including those that infest present day Catholicism. Similarily, there is no need to take poetic structure of Psalms as any kind of warrant of non-factuality.

However, I will - perhaps - look up in order to refute bad scholarship on one question dealt with in Heilbron, J.L., The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999. Same goes for Schirrmacher's article, and that on its central thesis. Schirrmacher, T., The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography, 14(1): 91-100 CEN Tech. J. 2000.

Contrast the attitude of Dr Russell Humphrey's two replies. (again)

I want to encourage him and other creationists to vigorously pursue research into pioneering areas like this. AND That's a tougher job than it appears at fi rst sight, because the 'quantized' redshift papers have not presented the data in that form, but rather as 'power spectra'. That is, they are Fourier analyses of the redshift spacings, not the redshifts themselves.

Well, Heliocentrism uses not the "parallxes" and so on themselves as much as a Heliocentric analysis of them. To see whether Geocentrism can work in any way, on any presupposition, would be an enterprise worthy for creationists, and is, right now, a pioneering area. I am no trained scientist, only a Philologer and Philosopher as well as a Christian. I have given plenty of hints, one of which is that if angels are moving the fixed stars (as Ptolemy would have called them) the parallaxes and so forth would be their own movements, and hence no parallactic view of our movement and hence no indication that we are moving. I have been very thorough about refuting diverse Heliocentric claimed proofs. The best ones are correlation between polar flattening and diverse weights of same mass at poles and at equator. But these do not indicate the poles are flatter because of the earth turning. They could be flatter by divine fiat so as to facilitate ether (yes, if you view Morley-Michelson Geocentrically it does not disprove ether) to move around earth without budging it into rotation.

I find even more hope for Noel Weeks:

Secondly, what is so wrong about a 'naive cosmology'? It is probably as close to the ultimate truth as modern cosmology. If we had not deified modern science we would not be embarrassed by those points in which Biblical thinking diverges from prevailing modern ideas. Certainly Biblical cosmology fits into a different structure of thought from modern cosmology, but it is the validity of that very structure of thought that is at issue. We tend to assume that the assumptions underlying modern physics are unquestionable. If we assume the validity of the structure of physics from any period with its philosophical presuppositions and concomitants we run the risk of accepting a structure which, because of its ultimate origin in a total humanistic philosophy, must clash with a Biblical worldview. What has generally happened is that the structure and method of modern science has been accepted as truth. When the conflict between this and a Biblical view has been appreciated, an attempt has been made to give the Biblical view a validity in some sort of restricted religious sphere. The basic question is whether our interpretation of the Bible is to be determined by the Bible itself or by some other authority. Once science has been set up as an autonomous authority it inevitably tends to determine the way in which we interpret the Bible. From the point of view of this discussion the outside authority may be Newton or Hoyle just as well as Darwin or Kant. The issue involved is still the same.

I underline:

Certainly Biblical cosmology fits into a different structure of thought from modern cosmology, but it is the validity of that very structure of thought that is at issue.

First of all, Biblical Cosmology is clearly Geostatic and so opposed to Heliocentrism. But it is not clearly flat earth, which is a pretty rough ride to have avoided for merely human authors of those times and areas.

There is nothing particularly Christian about Aristotelian cosmology. In fact there are points at which it cannot be reconciled with the Bible. How did the church find itself in the position of defending Aristotelian cosmology against the new Copernican cosmology? It found itself in that position because it accepted the argument of Aquinas that the Biblical texts which contradicted Aristotle should not be pressed as the Bible was not written in technical philosophical language. Moses spoke the language of his day. This is not to say that the church should have accepted readily the new astronomy. In its neo-Pythagorean mysticism it was no more Biblical than Aristotle was.

But since then I suppose another Heliocentrism than Galileo's, demoted to only relative, has become without conflict with the Christian Revelation?

Now, St Thomas quoted one Church Father about explanation of why the crystalline spheres taken for granted by Aristotle are not mentioned in the Bible. The explanation was not that the Bible authors like Moses spoke the language of their days. The explanation should be set in context with its problem:

Ia P, Q 70 The work of adornment, as regards the fourth day
Article 1. Whether the lights ought to have been produced on the fourth day?

Objection 3. Further, the lights are fixed in the firmament, as plants are fixed in the earth. For, the Scripture says: "He set them in the firmament." But plants are described as produced when the earth, to which they are attached, received its form. The lights, therefore, should have been produced at the same time as the firmament, that is to say, on the second day. [...] Objection 5. Further, as astronomers say, there are many stars larger than the moon. Therefore the sun and the moon alone are not correctly described as the "two great lights." [...] Reply to Objection 3. According to Ptolemy the heavenly luminaries are not fixed in the spheres, but have their own movement distinct from the movement of the spheres. Wherefore Chrysostom says (Hom. vi in Gen.) that He is said to have set them in the firmament, not because He fixed them there immovably, but because He bade them to be there, even as He placed man in Paradise, to be there. In the opinion of Aristotle, however, the stars are fixed in their orbits, and in reality have no other movement but that of the spheres; and yet our senses perceive the movement of the luminaries and not that of the spheres (De Coel. ii, text. 43). But Moses describes what is obvious to sense, out of condescension to popular ignorance, as we have already said (67, 4; 68, 3). The objection, however, falls to the ground if we regard the firmament made on the second day as having a natural distinction from that in which the stars are placed, even though the distinction is not apparent to the senses, the testimony of which Moses follows, as stated above (De Coel. ii, text. 43). For although to the senses there appears but one firmament; if we admit a higher and a lower firmament, the lower will be that which was made on the second day, and on the fourth the stars were fixed in the higher firmament. [...] Reply to Objection 5. As Chrysostom says, the two lights are called great, not so much with regard to their dimensions as to their influence and power. For though the stars be of greater bulk than the moon, yet the influence of the moon is more perceptible to the senses in this lower world. Moreover, as far as the senses are concerned, its apparent size is greater.

So, the Bible text follows what appears to the senses when it tells things.

Can that be said about the words of a miracle maker when he orders things? I mean, to take quite another example, bad spirits are not apparent to the senses. What appeared at Gadara was Jesus talking to a man whose voice (or from whom an extraordinary voice?) said "I am called legion, because we are many" and so forth. The demons driven out did not appear to the senses. The swine troop that went off to drown itself did. Evil spirits were not sense lacunae in our knowledge of the world, but very clearly something either known or supposed to be known ddespite not appearing to the senses. Now, back to the parallel which does concern astronomy:

Can we assume that Joshua when ordering sun and moon to stand still was thinking of how bystanders would take his words? Or can we safely assume God left him in ignorance of the exact astronomical implication of what he had ordered?

That is what St Robert Bellarmine objected to about Galileo on the long day of Joshua. That is the kind of reason why Galileo's take was seen as incompatible precisely with Holy Writ.

Noel Weeks mentioned the three storey cosmology of the Ancient Middle east. It seems to imply a flat earth, among other things. So I recently checked the Astronomical Book of the Book of Henoch, because once years ago in a conversation I was told that Henoch was resolutely flat earth. It was not.

If the year had become longer by c. 1,25 days after the Flood, the one real problem with Henoch is off. Probably St Augustine's speculation about Henoch being old enough (pre-Mosaic) to have been corrupted and therefore not being canon-worthy have something to do with a clear understanding of Julian Calendar (which took 365,25 days to be the exact lenth of the year, b t w). Now, if the gates are not directly said to be attached to earth (though a Geocentric might suppose so), they may have been set up for the angel or angels of the sun to give them a sense of the right direction and taken away afterwards. This does not in any way mean the sun is not much bigger than the earth. There are angelic beings who are strong enough to shake the earth, if God had allowed it, and who are strong enough to guide the planets, including the hottest one.

That follows pretty clearly from Baruch chapter 3. And if you Protestants do not believe it to be Canon, we Catholics do. We read it at Holy Saturday, because its last verse speaks of Incarnation - which is pretty sure to be the reason why the Jews rejected it as spurious at their council of Jamnia. But a few verses earlier God calls the stars by name and they answer. Which mere dead balls of burning gas cannot.

Remains then the three storey cosmology. That there is Netherworld below Earth or its surface and Heaven of the Blessed above it (with stars and sun and moon in between) is pretty much conclusive to a Christian of any age. Whether the universe is box formed, Hell and Heaven having roughly same size and Earth disc in between, or whether the Universe is round, Hell within Earth and Heaven outside it on all sides, and Heaven thus much larger than Hell, that does not affect the three storey part. And the second alternative cannot be disproven from observation, unless Geocentrism is first disproven. Unless stars are supposed to be more or less evenly spread in all directions rather than having if not one sphere to be attached to (parallax and proper movement seem to rule out pretty firmly a firm attachment to one place only) at least a kind of sphere within which they move even as it moves daily around earth, unless you make that cosmological leap into the doctrine of 1930 and onward, the basic three storey structure of reality is not really challenged. Even on the physical plane.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Port Royal Library
St Martina's day

lundi 21 janvier 2013

Answering Lita Cosner of Creation dot com on Galileo

Answering Lita Cosner of Creation dot com on Galileo
Continued from Last vs. CMI on Galileo Case
Wings of God?

She says - I presume Lita is a female first name - in her review of Lennox' book Seven Days that Divide the World that the major Biblical texts of the Galileo case were poetic:

First, the major texts that were used to defend a geocentric solar system were poetic; poetry conveys truth using vivid imagery more often than by using straightforward language.

Now, that depends on what you mean by straightforward. The psalms are very low on allegory and rich on realistic imagery.

For instance, when David prays “hide me in the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 17:8) he does not mean to imply that God has feathers.

Do angels have wings, often enough? Had God shown Himself as an angel on any occasion?

Bodily parts are attributed to God as allegories for His spiritual qualities, like hand for almighty power or eye for omniscient knowledge. But they are also used to imtimate that God was going to incarnate.

God has feathers, not indeed as a being has feathers on its body, but as the creator of birds has birds and as the creator of angels has angels and therefore every wing and every feather of every wing of every bird and every angel.

Dinah's daughter (Jacobs granddaughter, Joseph's niece and wife) was taken away from where she was born out of wedlock and conceived in rape to Egypt somehow - and one story says the angel Michael came along and took her up and flew away with her in the shape of an eagle.

Yes, I know Tolkien readers will say "that's just like Gwaihir and Thorondor", but it is likelier that JRRT got the story from this story than that an early writer got it from a very recent one, who died after I was born, right?

Dinah's daughter was hidden under the shadow of the wings of - a messenger of God. Even though the account we can read now may not have been written back in King David's time, he may have known the story it is based on.

In the same way, saying “Yes, the world is established, it shall never be moved” (Psalm 93:1) in the context isn’t saying that the world literally doesn’t move—we can tell from the next line: “Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting” (93:2) that the Psalmist is telling us about God’s reign.

This psalm has a comment in the Gospels. Swear not by Heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth for it is his footstool. A funny thing for a footstool to do, to swirl around itself and to circle around one jewel in the throne. In Older Christian cosmology, at least part of Heaven was unmoving enough to qualify as God's throne. But of course, earth is God's footstool because Jesus walked on it. Because a cross with a footstool was raised in it.

Furthermore, we can tell from Psalm 16:8, “I shall not be moved”, using the same Hebrew verb (מוֹט môt)—it’s not teaching that the Psalmist is in a strait-jacket.

Words can be used metaphorically in one text and literally in another. The Cross of Christ is not an allegory, but the words "He that will follow me, let him take up his cross" uses the word cross in a way that for most Christians (not all die as martyrs and some martyrs were not crucified) is allegorical.

But the young-earth timescale of creation comes primarily from historical narrative passages, which normally communicate via plain, factual language. And there is no reason to believe that Moses is speaking in metaphors when he talks about the six days of creation and God’s rest on the seventh day, either within the passage itself, or in the interpretation of that passage in the rest of Scripture (e.g. Exodus 20:8–11).

Funny you should say that, when the main proof text for St Robert Bellarmine against Galileo was a historical text. Joshua bade sun and moon stand still - and they stood still.

Galileo: it was the earth that stopped rotating.

St Robert Bellarmine: well, in that case the moon would have continued to rotate relative to the earth, wouldn't it? And the text says the moon stood still as well.

That part of their debate - I brushed it up to direct speech - I owe to Robert Sungenis, a noted defender of Geocentrism.

So, the major proof text although not most of the proof texts for Geocentrism is not poetical but simply historical.

Lennox admits that literature is usually interpreted literally, unless there is a specific reason for interpreting it metaphorically. Lita agrees with his principle, and so of course do I. Look here how she defends the seven days just after that:

This is not a helpful example, however, because nothing in Genesis 1 itself (nor in the broader context of Scripture) requires the days to be metaphorical, or even indicates that they might be. That the creation days are so often interpreted literally by Hebrew specialists (both believers and unbelievers) is perhaps an indication that any metaphorical sense of the days is more obscure than Lennox’s example would suggest.

Well, there is nothing in the text of Joshua to indicate that "sun standing still" was figure of speech for "earth ceasing to rotate below the sun".

Of course, Lita would be able to argue that we use "the sun rises" as figure of speech for "the earth is rotating so that exactly we here (among others, but excluding many more) go from the place where sun is hidden by earth's volume between into the place where it is visible and earth's volume is on other side of us".

But then geocentrics would not use it quite as figuratively.

"The sun revolves around us so that now it is for us here rising from behind the earth, from beyond below us (centre of earth being lowest of all), to where we can see it".

And who indicates that either Joshua or his men were heliocentrics?

Lennox seems to treat Scripture and science equally, and it is unclear how he decides to go with Scripture regarding the (scientifically ‘impossible’) Resurrection but with ‘science’ on the timescale of the universe. He seems to make the common error of believing that science in and of itself can ‘tell’ us anything. It does not, at least not in propositional statements that can be said to be true or false. To get from data to propositional statement, one must interpret the evidence within pre-existing frameworks, which may be flawed to any extent. But Scripture does communicate in propositional statements, which by nature means that the extent to which any part of it may be ‘reinterpreted’ without simply declaring that it is wrong is very limited.

Thank you very much. As you say, science cannot propositionally in and of itself and from only scientific data tell us earth is billions of years old, except within a specific framework of interpretation of data. But same is true about the heliocentric propositions, those two that Pope Urban VIII condemned in 1633:

The proposition that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place* is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture. - The proposition that the Earth is not the center of the world and immovable but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd and false philosophically and theologically considered at least erroneous in faith.

Here is more of her characteristic of Lennox:

But he also argues that “the Bible was not written in advanced contemporary scientific language” (p. 29). This brings out a bit of a straw man—no-one argues that the Bible primarily intends to communicate science; rather, it’s a historical document. He argues that the way God inspired Scripture made it accessible to everyone (p. 30).

Well, the bit about Bible not being written in advanced contemporary scientific terminology has been a bit of a standard argument since one abandoned Pope Urban VIII, when it comes to Joshua's day. You just did something similar yourself, Lita, when arguing that "the earth shall not be moved" is poetical rather than factual language.

Look here on Lennox' solution and Lita's treatment of it:

[that the author of Genesis] “ … did not intend us to think of the first six days as a single earth week, but rather as a sequence of six creation days; that is, days of normal length (with evenings and mornings as the text says) in which God acted to create something new, but days that might well have been separated from one another by unspecified periods of time” (p. 54).

At this point, there is a certain sort of impasse, because in a more technical work, one would expect Lennox to go on to prove exegetically that his interpretation was plausible based on the structure of the Hebrew text and the verb forms used, and so on. But this is not a technical work, and it may be unfair to expect this sort of sophistication in a little book which makes no pretensions of being a scholarly volume. So it must suffice to say that Lennox gives no evidence for this interpretation, let alone argument that it is superior to a literal understanding of the Creation Week, and therefore it may be dismissed with as little argumentation as he gives evidence. Suffice it to say, if it were right, then logically the days of our working week could also have long periods between them, since Exodus 20:8–11 makes an explicit connection between the working week and day of rest with Creation Week.

Well, yes ... Lita, where is your exegetical proof Joshua's day was meant as earth standing still and then resuming rotation? There is a logical difficulty with that one too. How come there was no jerk when earth stopped and no jerk when it started rotating again? Did God do a second miracle, unidentified in text, to hide the normal effect of a miracle identified in text with a backwards (though now usual among heliocentrics) way of describing what happened?

Or was God giving Joshua what he wanted without helping him to see what it was, doing a series of miracles other than the exact words of Joshua, but which gave an appearance of these coming true?

Some modernists have suggested that Jesus also accomodated sudden healings of mental illness to the "bad spirit" understanding of the time he worked in.

Here is a key understanding of what sin is, and why Young Earth Creationism is useful:

A plain interpretation of Scripture puts all predation and the existence of thorns after the Fall, requiring us to place the formation of the rock record after the Fall, as mostly the result of the global Flood in Noah’s day.

Lennox argues that Scripture says that Adam’s sin resulted in human death and was not necessarily the cause of animal death...

For a Jew, that would make sense, since he is not dealing with Romans 5. Genesis about the fall does not mention any either immortality or non-death of animals, only death for man if eating the fruit. To St Paul - disciple of Christ - it was into the world that death came by the sin of one man.

Of course, one can argue that "world" often seems to mean mankind. John 3:16. Or "in the world but not of the world". Or even "I pray for you, but for the world I pray not". There it means the sinful society. But in traditional exegesis death entered the world, as in the cosmos, the biosphere, by the sin of Adam.

Now, Heliocentrism raises a similar problem about the Resurrection and the battle of Harmageddon coming before it. Where in the galaxies is "heavenly Jerusalem" on the modern view? How long does it take for Christ and his cavalry to ride from "heaven" to Harmageddon? Where are they now? At Harmageddon they seem to have bodies, if only because they are riding horses.

But even before that there was a Church motive to oppose a much more modest and less problematic Heliocentrism of Galileo: a cardinal who later became Pope Urban VIII and who debated with Galileo in the meantime had told him that God was able to create the world any way He liked (Geo- or Heliocentrically) and also to make it appear any way He liked (Geo- or Heliocentrically).

God was able to make the Universe appear to the naked eye basically as it is, or in a very other way to be reached only by very roundabout means. This argument finally convinced Galileo one year before he died.

Now, people saying the opposition to Galileo came from Aristotle have support in exactly one document or group of such: Galileo's own polemical writings. He is painting his adversaries as Aristotelics, just as he had done in a dialogue on why movement of an object does not cease as soon as the mover ceases to be moving it. What is moving the stone between its leaving the hand of thrower and its falling to the ground? There Galileo argued against a genuinely Aristotelic position, but one which was no longer really fashionable. His own position on that one was so close to what had already been said by some scholastics that that is where Galileo got his initial fame and support from the Church from. But then he used "Aristotle" or "Aristotelian" as a convenient label for his other opponents as well, including each Geocentric. Problem is, to modern readers who are scientific and heliocentric, Galileo's work is paramount and the other guys - except Tycho - can be neglected. They are threfore shown as they appear in disguise as fictional characters in Saggiatore and Dialogo, not as they appear from their own writings.

Aristotle was in fact less fashionable than Plato during the Renaissance. Aristotle was contradicted by both Tycho Brahe (whom St Robert knew better than Galileo apparently) and even Galileo himself in manners which were not at all condemned by the Catholic Church.Tycho Brahe saw a "new star", a "nova". Unaristotelic, but not condemned. Galileo saw spots on the sun and moons around JUpiter. Unaristotelic, but not condemned. Reason? Scripture was not contradicted by these real discoveries.

Also, Luther and Calvin would have been far less likely than Catholics to be Aristotelic, yet Luther condemned Copernicus while the Catholic Church was yet silent, Calvin condemned Copernicus or Kepler or both also before the Catholic Church said anything about Heliocentrism being true or false.

So, no, Lita Cosner, you are simply wrong to state:

Enough has been written in creationist literature about this that it is not necessary to cover it here.1 It will suffice to say that the major opposition to Galileo came from the Aristotelian scientific establishment, and not from the church—but to be fair, Lennox does mention the academic resistance as well.

Besides, I thought Creation Science was about Tasman Walker and some other guys doing actual science, academically, to show how science can be done without contradicting Genesis. The real scientist who is really a Christian is not quite separate from the Church, although he is certainly usable across confessional borders in a way strict theologians are not.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Agnes' Day

*Sungenis quotes this passage " that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place as observed is absurd etc." but I get my quote from a site that is quoting a book (Source: Giorgio de Santillana, The Crime of Galileo (University of Chicago Press 1955), pp. 306-310.), he may be quoting from another book or from a copy of the process itself. If Sungenis will link to an online work or page containing the longer quote with source, I would of course appreciate.

jeudi 17 janvier 2013

32 language families for 72 nations ...

Series straddling three blogs: 
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ...on linguistic evolution
...on Tower of Babel or language evolution
Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Milk and Gollum, and Nostratic M-L-Q
Is Boromir a mimsy borogove?
"If God spoke a language" - to correct Grimm
On the "Reformed Egyptian" of the "Nephites"
side issue on previous, Theology: A Gerald Smith on the theme of "Great Apostasy" and "Restored Gospel" - answered
Is Romanides accurate?
Was Romanides accurate? Bis! Not very much at all!
Linguistics for Romanides: Greek, Latin, Patois
Coniectura linguistica, pro casu unitatis vetustissimae indo-europaeae linguae.
Creation vs. Evolution : 32 language families for 72 nations ...
To this essay: 

Merritt Ruhlen enumerates 32 language families and isolates - from Khoisan (also known as hottentot and bushman) to Amerindian (which he admits is not yet considered a single family by all authorities) and including giants like Na-Dene and Indo-European - before enumerating 27 roots he considers Proto-World and which he finds in at least six families on the list.

After Babel, there were 72 nations. Some have coalesced since, some have branched off since. And ideally they all started off each with its own language, given by God as punishment for overdoing Human Unity into braving God. Each its own language, but a really new one. Not one slowly developed before as dialects or a dialect within a common language before a slow branching off made them separate, no, new ones.

So, why are there only 32 language families? Well, if all the world speaks 32 language families and still started out as 72 "unrelated" languages, there are only two options:

God gave each a language but not necessarily unrelated to other ones. If Abraham spoke Aramaic as native tongue - later reused by Hebrews like Ezra or the first Christians - some languages to branch out after Babel were related. So as to facilitate language learning later on. The languages of Mizraim - Hieratic, Demotic and Coptic Egyptian - and of Chanaan - including both Phoenician and the Biblical Hebrew that Abraham learned in Chanaan - were to start with related to Aramaic. Not genetically like Romance languages by all developing from Latin, but by the language construction that God did for that day. That could be true for other areas too: Iavan and Togarma (or their close successors) could have been given languages related from the start.

The other option is a relatedness coming from approach. Sprachbund is a term used about Balkanic languages and about what unites Karthvelian to certain other Caucasian ones and even to some degree Finnish and Swedish (both having ending after ending, like genitive after plural or passive after past, though in Finnish it is more pronounced, both having rounded front vowels y and ö (with y=ü) as well as mutual loan words). That does not imply Finnish and Swedish or Bulgarian and Roumanian are related closely. But that speech habits of bilinguals make for language cross overs.

Indo-European can have started out as independent branches approaching each other by some kind of lost Esperanto - especially as even Esperanto allows different pronunciations today, and as Latin allowed even more different pronunciations during the Middle Ages.

That basic grammatic forms would belong to that Esperanto and then been introduced as loan words into each of families is not a real problem to this theory. "Basic grammatic forms are very seldom borrowed" is one a priori which leads to the Proto-Langues-and-Branching-out Theory. But it is not proven.

Pidgins use grammatic morphemes from different bases, Greenlandic borrows all numerals above twelve from Danish, Japanese has "Personal Pronouns" that are nouns and is as much in a position to borrow Personal Pronouns - if it had as little cultural independence and pride, which is not the case - as Australian Aboriginl languages to borrow numerals. Indo-European verb system seems like a cross-over from Semitic Ablauts (simplified into e~o~zero) and Fenno-Ugrian personal endings. English has borrowed the word "very" from French, and Germanic probably the ending "-ari" (English/German "-er", Swedish "-are" etc.) from Latin "-arius".

And of course a grammatic feature from one language can be applied to a word from another. In Malta the English word Inch is pronounced "Insh", but its Arabic plural is "Unush." Often as in this case the grammatic feature is native and the word borrowed, but one can imagine the opposite process. Macaronic Poetry means applying by-now-foreign (though not originally so) Classical Latin endings to native Italian words.

Indo-European roots are not quite as stringently proven as Proto-World. For Indo-Europeanists two branches of Indo-European suffice (with presumably Italo-Celtic, Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian pairs counting as each one branch), and Merritt Ruhlen takes six branches as a minimum. But one problem with accepting Proto-World as one once spoken language is the scarcity of roots. Would Indo-European be better off if Indo-Europeanists also required six branches in order to accept one root? Maybe not.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou, Paris
St Rosaline

dimanche 13 janvier 2013

A Letter Arrived from AronRa

            The Series:A Man not at all prejudiced against God is criticising Creationism (not me, we'll get back to who it is)
Further to the Geoscience Major at Texas University
Lost In Translation
AronRa linked to someone actually trying to prove evolution.
AronRa, did I mention you are worthless on history?
My Motivation for Arguing Against FFoCr Series
Verifiable Does Not Equal Material and Natural
I Like "Miacis Cognita."
A Letter Arrived from AronRa
Here beginneth our essay:

Here is the full quote, first:

Whoever wrote that apparently hasn't seen much of my videos, because I have often argued that men can't claim 100% absolute positive certainty about very much at all.

I can't be 100% positive that there is no God, (for example) but I can say with absolute certainty that the Bible is not his word.

It is also true that creationism is a rejection of scientific methodology, and I give examples to prove the point. There are creationists who are scientists, but when they do science, they're unable to support creationism, and when serve creationism, they reject scientific principles and practice, from uniformitarianism and methodological naturalism to the peer review process, and requirement that all hypotheses be testable and potentially falsifiable.

For example, science requires that all postulations must be based on indicative evidence, not hearsay, not subjective speculation, not any untestable anecdotal experience, nor any assertions of authority. It is dishonest to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, yet that is the foundation behind all religious beliefs.

Now, to answer point by point:

Whoever wrote that apparently hasn't seen much of my videos - I have in fact preferred reading the scripts, only claim to have read or partially read what I answer in the AronRa series.

I can't be 100% positive that there is no God, (for example) but I can say with absolute certainty that the Bible is not his word. - You mean you could if you knew with absolute certainty that Evolution and Heliocentrism and "no-God-would-favour-one-creed" and such were the absolute truth.

It is also true that creationism is a rejection of scientific methodology, and I give examples to prove the point. - They give examples that Evolutionists by-pass scientific methodology or more properly elementary methods proper to any research for the truth.

There are creationists who are scientists, but when they do science, they're unable to support creationism - Ah, its only when an amateur like me uses chromosome number genetics to refute evolution of mammals from one common ancestor that we can use science to support creationism? Sorry, but Tasman Walker is doing Geology as a means of supporting Flood Geology.

and when serve creationism, they reject scientific principles and practice - scientific or atheist, now? Let's see:

from uniformitarianism and methodological naturalism - which are the atheist principles I am arguing against and which they are arguing against ...

to the peer review process - which is a practise that outside Creationist peer reviews (that refuse to peer review an amateur who is also Geocentric, like me) refuse to peer review Creationists ...

and requirement that all hypotheses be testable and potentially falsifiable. - And Evolutionism is always potentially falsifiable, but only never falsified? You could have fooled me about that ... how do you falsify the claim that Neanderthals breathed an atmosphere containing roughly same account of C14 as ours, if you deny methodologically the use of any document claiming Earth is young enough for that to be feasible?

For example, science requires that all postulations must be based on ... - Do you even know what a postulation is? Postulation: construct a triangle with one right angle. You mean assertions, no doubt.

indicative evidence - How can any assertions be based on indicative evidence unless you have assertions about what evidence is, that are prior to any item of it? For instance?

not hearsay - Fine enough for science, which is about the repeatable, the here and now and everywhere else and always from Creation Sunday to Judgement Day. Less so for history, which is about individual events.

not subjective speculation - How again do you determine what is indicative evidence if you are allowed no subjective speculation? "A does not prove B because it could also be due to C" is obviously speculative, possibly subjective (and certain to be called subjective by some guys) and yet a logical prerequisite for accurately determining what is evidence.

not any untestable anecdotal experience - What do you mean by untestable? If you mean that miracles are "untestable" they are to us, but not to God. That is, we cannot produce them to test them, but God can produce them so some of us can test them.

More people have seen miracles than have walked on the Moon (if there are any of the latter, but supposing there are).

nor any assertions of authority. - Now you rule out peer review, which is a collective assertion of authority about scientific knowledge. In History, as opposed to general science, authority is paramount.

One Richard Carrier says that for Caesar crossing Rubicon, he does not rely on authority but only on physical evidence: but his physical evidence presuppose as a fact from precisely authority that Caesar got from Gaul to Rome with weapons.

It is dishonest to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, yet that is the foundation behind all religious beliefs.

Except Christianity and the OT part of Judaism and some parts of Paganism - like memories of the Flood (although garbled) or of historic facts like Hercules and Romulus and Caesar.

But including Evolutionism.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Octave of Epiphany

Now, for the posts I refer to. The series of AronRa replies will be added as links in top. Here is what I sent AronRa, to which above cited letter is a reply:

"How Science is Done" - "The Test for Credibility"

Here is the reference to Tasman Walker:

Feedback to Tas Walker on Geological Columns

Which links back to his page:

Tas Walker's Biblical Geology

Next question: Do Evolutionists Ever Make Unfalsifiable Claims?

And about my amateurism on chromosome numbers:

Letter to Nature on Karyotype Evolution in Mammals

And finally, first message - on other blog - of a duo about and mainly against Richard Carrier's Skepticon 5 speech (second being on this blog, internal linking as this message will internally link to others of AronRa series):

somewhere else : History vs Hume

jeudi 10 janvier 2013

Who was First to Unite a Literalist Reading of the Curse with Anti-Black Racialism?

duo:, trio:, quartet:, quintet:  
1) Wilberforce, Wilberforce and Wilberforce
2) Atlantic English based Creoles - born in Cormantin
3) Who was First to Unite a Literalist Reading of the Curse with Antiblack Racialism?
4) Yes, Bible is less racist, no, Catholic countries are not less Biblical than US
5) Angola, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania - a further answer to Dr Carl Wieland

Church Fathers? No.

St Thomas Aquinas? No.

Was it because they had a purely allegorical reading of Genesis? No. They agreed that it was at once literally true and an allegory for higher things, like the Friday of Creation Week was an allegory for Good Friday - without ceasing to be literal truth - or Noah's Arc being an allegory for the Church "outside which there is no salvation" - also without ceasing to be literal truth.

The French Wikipedia on the curse of Ham - malédiction de Cham - cites one Johann Ludwig Hannemann and his thesis about it: Curiosum scrutinium nigredinis posterorum Cham i. e. Æthiopum.

Now, the year for the work is 1677, the place is Kiel (Kiloni) in Northern Germany, so we are dealing with a Lutheran area. But the author deserves further scrutiny:

Johann Ludwig Hannemann (1640–1724) was a professor of medicine who famously opposed the idea of the circulation of the blood. He studied the chemistry of phosphorus, gold, and hematite; wrote articles on metallurgy, botany, theology, and various medical topics. He was an adherent of the views of the ancients and pre-Renaissance alchemists. He trained his medical students according to the schools of Galen, Hippocrates, and Aristotle.

He first studied theology before studying medicine.

In 1675, he became a Full Professor at the University of Kiel.

And 1677 in Kiel is where the racialist work is from. However, this is not all. Hannemann was possibly not originally Lutheran: born 1640 in Amsterdam he was very probably a Calvinist.

And furthermore, on the title page of the work he cites the English Philosopher Hobbes. C.7 De Homine / [On Man] (which THomas Hobbes wrote in 1658).

Hobbes was a materialist - not a Classical Christian philosopher like Aquinas.

So, even before reading further on this poor professor in Kiel - Lutheran (he cites "noster Lutherus"), a fan of materialist Hobbes, opposed the theory of Circulation of Blood, AND wrote like a racialist - we can note that a Catholic inerrantist reading of Genesis, including the chapter where Noah curses, is not the origin of this kind of racism. Rather materialism, which returns in today's Darwinists, is one suspect.

And such racialism could be opposed and was opposed on strictly inerrantist grounds, like when the Judge Samuel Sewall of Boston wrote in June 1700 (according to French wikipedia article) that it was Chanaan whom Noah cursed, and it was not Chanaan but Kush who was the ancestor of negroes. So, it was not the negroes whom Noah cursed. When I look on the English article of Samuel Sewall (not the cogressman, but the other one) I find he criticised slavery in an essay entitled The Selling of Joseph - precisely from 1700.

He was as literalist as to have been involved in the Salem Witch Trials - and according to wikipedia he apologised for it.

Now, it would seem that some Doctors of Medicine, some Lutherans, some Materialists who have accused me by some kind of "guilt by association" to be racialist because I believe in the Literal Truth of Genesis (as much as Samuel Sewall did) owe this Catholic Literalist an Apology or two.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St William of Bourges

Two days later I find following stats, despite distributing url slips precisely in Paris, France:

Ex-Communist world "likes" me? Perhaps likes to dissuade from me as well?

vendredi 4 janvier 2013

More on the Hume Rehash by Richard Carrier

1) somewhere else : History vs Hume

2) Creation vs. Evolution : More on the Hume Rehash by Richard Carrier

3) somewhere else : Richard Carrier Claimed Critical Thinking was Rare Back Then ...

4) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Did St Irenaeus Know Who Saint John was and What he Wrote?

K: A cow gave birth to a lamb? Evolution - Creationism: 1-0

Now, I do not think a portent like a cow giving birth to a lamb (Temple of Jerusalem during Jewish War) or for that matter a woman giving birth to a snake (cited by Tacitus along the time when Nero may have had something to do with killing his own mother) are very relevant for evolution. They are very clearly violating ordinary laws of biology, and therefore rather disclaim any naturalness about evolution.

There is however one piece of the video itself that is relevant.

His definition of Consequent Probability: "How expected is the evidence we have? (if our claim is true and if our claim is false)"

Meaning: we must not only assess if what we see is what we would see if our claim is true, but also if what we see is what we would equally see if our claim is false.

Now, saying "all species we see now always were there from all eternity", saying "all species we see now developed from one-celled common ancestors, one or a few of them" and claiming "God created at least the main species very recently" are all claims about the past. Hence this rule applies.

Now, evolutionists are not quite ignorant on this, they do say things like "a creator of inifnite imagination would have been able to give each species a completely unique genome (with no similarities at all to any other species)" - but that gives us no likelihood that God would have used this possibility, especially since He gave certain main kinds of reproduction indentical for a very great lot of species.

They also say "if there had been a flood we would have seen lots of fossiles from it" and "if the world were so short as seven thousand years old we would have very much less fossiles, considering how they are lost during the millions of years" (no, they do not actually say this last thing, if they did they would risk waking up a bit).

But when creationists do use these challenges to show that the evidence we have is compatible with other claims than the Evolutionary ones (which dominate science) and therefore have other interpretations than the Evolutionary ones, specifically compatibility with Biblical stories of Creation and Flood, they are not quite properly appreciated for using a good historical method, they are booed down for using the Bible as scientific evidence instead of the evidence, even when that is not what they are doing.

That was one thing I wanted to clear about Creationism and therefore post on this Creationist blog.

But there is more to it than this, from the video now:

Partial Literacy: < 20% of Population
Full Literacy: < 10% of Population

Cost of One Blank Page: USD 30
Cost of whole Book: USD 10,000 - 100,000+

- William Harris, Ancient Literacy (1989), cf. p. 95

One would like to know where William Harris came up with that. First of all, is he comparing ancient prices of paper and of books to the price of bread wine and meat or to the wages of the least well paid or to the typical wage of people with occupations relevant to learning? Is he getting them from Diocletian's Decretum Maximum, which is a list of maximum prices, stelae were set up with it along Roman Empire, some survive in Greece? And does he translate "papyrus" as one sheet of paper, and is he sure it is the right translation?

As to portion of population literate, he is very obviously including country side farming slaves in statistics. If a miracle happened in a city, very obviously close to 100% would be partially literate in the sense of being able to read and write on a lowly level and clsoe to 50% would be fully literate. Since the 100% in the town were the 20% of the population. So, if a miracle happened in a town it would be at least as witnessed by literate peoples then as more recently. One can argue that compulsory schooling in modern states has lowered the level of "full literacy" in order to guarantee a simulacrum to a higher percentage.

And if country side population saw La Gratusse (already seen in town in Perigueux, remember) biting off heads and behaving generally like a T Rex and then saw Bishop Front come after it, pray and order it back to Hell, and saw the monster dive into the Dordogne and a stone form where it had been, they did not need to be fully literate to know that that was for real. Some things are not easy to fake.

Here is a list of what was rare or non-extant back then:

Critical ThoughtTelephones
Scientific MethodsPhotographs
Access to DocumentsJournalists
Sceptical InvestigatorsDetectives

One may agree on internet, phones, photographs as well as TV and radio being non-extant back then. Newspapers is a bit like a question of definitions - do you count things hung up on walls of public square? Would a thing like a victory column (like Marcus Aurelius') or a stele of Augustus' exploits enumerated count as a permanent article? Similarily would Pausanias count as a journalist? I think he would. A flashy National Geographic journalist, well into things like the Hindoo dances at Bali but very shy of real religious news like Mgr Lefèbvre or recent reconciliation in sight between Rome and Écône.

On education, critical thought, scientific methods, I do not agree they were really rare - among those in towns. Logic was, if possible, better taught then than now.

Access to Documents is perhaps not the most important thing when you see a miracle. It may even be unnecessary for remembering it. And this of course ignores the Church's own habit of continually documenting miracles. And any official had access to the archives of his predecessors unless some of them had demolished earlier archives to please an Emperor or to dissuade from Christianity.

But even if I had granted every item on these two lists, I would not have concluded that this caused both people to be more gullible about miracles and to fake what they saw others being gullible about any more than now. You have crowds that are gullible about astrologers and spiritualist mediums, and you had it back then, and they are not the Christian Church now (excepting the recent belief in psychology and psychiatry, of course) and they were not the Christian Church back then.

And back to quotes from comments:

L: Man, never realized western (especially "christian") historiography is so messed up with miracles...

Too bad they didn't have an strict agnostic like Confucius, who galvanized China's historiographic tradition and led to the longest continuous body of historical records in human civilization (especially comprehensive on astronomical phenomena).

Simple ideas like "record WITHOUT comment/speculation" and "seperate commentary/speculation from records" puts history books apart from story books.

Not quite. Chronicles and Kings in the Bible are precisely record without comment, nearly, and at least separating comment very clearly from record. They contain miracles.

I see this commenter believes Chinese history is completely without miracles. I do know too little about it to either prove or disprove such a claim if he would make it. I find it very doubtful.

I do however use this as corroboration for the fact that Hume's argument, basically:

"We have no evidence for miracles having happened, so we have in total an evidence against miracles happening, so if we see a miracle claimed we must regard the claim's truth as the least likely explanation"

... is a very flawed argument, since we have so many allegations of miracles in unsifted history - that is in the sources - that we never get to any reasonable claim of universally experienced absense of miracles.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BU Nanterre
Day after St Genevieve