vendredi 6 décembre 2013

Philip Pattemore has written a book called "Am I my keeper's brother?" with a monkey on the front above the title. Shaun Doyle has reviewed it with the necessary corrections, mostly. He does not forget to remark the Bulverism in Pattemore's work, which is a good thing, nor to remark the total lack of exact citation or reference to any work by any Creationist, even when it could have helped explain his point, for instance when Philip speaks about baraminology - on which I trust Shaun Doyle. I have myself had occasion to look at a book* about Creationism in USA written by a French "Catholic" priest and "Dominican" friar, whom I think St Robert Bellarmine and St Pius V and St Thomas Aquinas might very well disown - and it misrepresents creationists as much in the pages I read that as to make me believe Philip Pattemore does the same thing.

However, here is the essay, the link to it:

No keeper’s brother
Am I My Keeper’s Brother?—Human Origins From A Christian And Scientific Perspective, Philip Pattemore New Zealand, 2011
Reviewed by Shaun Doyle

And here is a quote - from the review answering the book, not from the book itself, which I am not quite satisfied with.

He claims the church has a rather vexed history with science over the antipodes, geocentrism, and racism. The first is completely false—the ‘received opinion’ came not from the Bible but from Augustine, whose theology on the point was good, but his geography was bad. This was falsified by Christians before Columbus first set sail (Bartholomew Diaz rounded the southern tip of Africa in 1488—four years before Columbus sailed west to try and reach India) and didn’t impact the Christian hegemony of Europe. The second was the result of reading Ptolemaic cosmology into the Bible, and the third was also reading modern notions of race into the Bible—actually racism was aided by anti-biblical notions, including ‘pre-Adamites’ and evolution itself (figure 2). In all three cases the problem was not the Bible but the ideas men brought to the Bible. However, deep time and evolution directly contradict the Scriptures.

And another quote, from a picture text (picture featuring oceanic divides west and south of Oecumene):

Figure 2. The ‘antipodean heresy’ is the idea that humans lived on the opposite side of the globe who were not sons of Adam. It has oft been claimed that this notion caused the church to oppose Columbus’ proposed voyage west to reach India, though it is without historical basis.

Now, what St Augustine had said was NOT that « humans lived on the opposite side of the globe who were not sons of Adam », but that there lived no humans on the opposite side of the globe, because:

  • a) Adam and Noah lived on this side of it (as do we)


  • b) it seems to be impossible to get over to the other side of it by sailing.

What this saint but landlubber (hey I am a landlubber too, most of us are, but I have a ship’s captain in my family !) thought was that if anyone had sailed over the Ocean West of the Pillars of Hercules, he would also have sailed back and told us about it.

He did not know certain streams make sailing West much easier than sailing East. And he most certainly had nothing to do with Antipodean heresy about non-Adamites. Except by rejecting it beforehand.

Some Spaniards possibly did have something to do with it. They were, if so, laymen. The Catholic Church condemned the theory very promptly.

If the theory was proposed, it could not have been exactly repeating St Augustine’s argument – the Spaniards had after all sailed across the Atlantic (as the Ocean between America and Europe is called since it was discovered as not continuous with Pacific), and they had then sailed back. If the sailing question came into it, it was rather that they saw no technical possibility to sail across the Ocean with technology available to Amerindians even of the more technologically advanced in 1492 - 1520 and following years(we thank Thor Heyerdahl for the voyages known after vehicles as Kon Tiki and Ra that made us see they were wrong), and they were not thinking in terms of technology loss. The Church which was sure they were real descendants from Adam and from Noah was thinking in terms of technology loss, proof, the Jesuit Missions gave the Guaranís Agricultural technology and were called « reductiones » because they were « drawing back » the Indians to a human know-how they had left, as well as giving them back to the true God whom they had presumably left under Nimrod's apostasy.

But the main reason for the theory Indians were pre-Adamites, as formulated by often military laymen, was the observation of human sacrifice and the prejudice that such a thing could not be committed by any being really human.

Geocentrism is not « reading Ptolemy into the Bible » even as much as Christian Heliocentrism is reading Galileo – Kepler – Newton into it.

Ptolemy was certainly Geocentric, he was certainly supporting Geocentrism with some arguments that Galileo refuted, but Geocentrism does very much not depend on Ptolemy or on his failed arguments. And it is there in Bible as read by any Church Father up to the Galileo affair reading and commenting Joshua X or Psalm XCII.

Actually, if Pattermore is by denying Young Earth, descent from Adam, special creation of the same, original sin, personal sin, possibility of personal salvation from both sins, setting up a scheme where Catholic eschatology of the immediately after death is compromised (basically joining hands with Jews and Russellians), the deniers of Earth’s being still and down, and of Heaven’s motion going to cease and of Heaven having a limit to what is visible from us, beyond which are located the bodies of Jesus and of Mary as well as the Seraphim and the souls of the just not yet resurrected (Henoch and Eliah would be bodily present on a lower sphere before their return, martyrdom and final resurrection Apocalypse 11), are in their turn setting up a difficulty about Catholic Ultimate Eschatology, about where bodies of the Resurrected just will be located.

The Catholic Church, as it did not support pre-Adamite theory, as it even condemned it, and as it had not yet been confronted with Darwin, was not racialist. Some Catholic laymen ignoring Church teaching were.

There are of course other things to say on other paragraphs of this major refutation of a major error. Let it suffice for this essay that has had staff on occasion being patronising to a Geocentric critic and that the mantra on Church « reading Ptolemy into the Bible » (which St Robert Bellarmine and Pope Urban VIII were very much not) is a bit Bulverising. Precisely as Pattermore is to the Creationists.

Not to mention that Distant Star problem which just vanishes into hot air if confronted with a serious defense of Geocentrism. Which I consider possible and have tried my hands at.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Nicolas of Myra
in Lycia in Asia Minor

*I did not review all of the book, but the part where Jacques Arnould O.P. finds it amazing that a Creationist he met could affirm that God created Paris. He thinks men did. I reviewed that in an essay trying to disentangle the respective roles of God and of men:

deretour : Qui créa Paris, Dieu ou l'homme?

But I did neither read nor review the rest of the book.

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