1) Creation vs. Evolution : Does CMI Understand Theory of Knowledge? · 2) HGL's F.B. writings : Exchange with Robert Carter, Starting All Saints' Day
A quote from today's article.
Thus, we have suddenly been besieged by people who have huge questions about things that are easily shown to be true or not. “Did the United States land multiple astronauts on the moon?” “Are we at the absolute center of the universe?” Or “Is the earth actually global?”
These types of questions are different from “Did humans evolve from ape-like ancestors?” or “Is the earth billions of years old?” In fact, and as anyone who has spent time following us knows, we can divide most questions into two camps: operational vs. historical science.
No, all non-historic questions are not automatically operational science.
Also, if I did know you distinguish operational science from historic, I did not yet know, despite following you a long time, that you were denying or minimising the existence of other types of question.
Saint Thomas Aquinas was once answering on the limits of Science. He excluded : contingents that are far off, in the past or hidden.
First criterium, it is a contingent. Supposing there had been a date millions of years ago, or going back to the date for creation of Adam (presumably 5199 BC), two plus two was four back then, and we can know that today because it is necessary. We don't need to have been around in order to know it was so back then.
Second criterium, one of three alternative scenarios : in the past, hidden or far off.
Of these, it seems that CMI, as per the words of Robert Carter, acknowledges only "in the past" as contingents on which we cannot properly speaking have science, that is "cognitio necessaria per causas", a necessarily true knowledge or apprehension, by the four causes (the intrinsic dividing into formal vs material, and extrinsic into final vs efficient).
Now, of the three questions, one is indeed "operational science". Earth is a globe. But is it so for the reasons given?
For example, if the earth was flat and spinning about the North Pole, one can easily explain why the stars rotate counter-clockwise around the north star. But this is also explained with a spherical earth, so this is a “zone II” argument. However, and this is the kicker, flat-earth theory cannot explain why stars rotate clockwise about the southern pole for stargazers in the southern hemisphere. This is simply not possible unless the earth is indeed a rotating sphere.
For one thing, Robert Carter is mixing the question of Earth being a globe or flat with the other question what, of Earth or Heaven is implied in the diurnal rotation.
Whether Earth is indeed Flat or a Globe may well be decided by the Southern Cross, and stars rotating around it, but that does NOT indicate it is really Earth that is rotating and stars that are standing (relatively) still. As far as I know Flat Earth community, they seem to think Southern Cross is a Jesuit hoax, easy to perpetrate when Chile and Argentina are under the Spanish. I am not Anticatholic and do not share that kind of conspiracy thinking. 500 years since Magellan or so, rather soon, is a bit long for being able to perpetrate a hoax repeatedly.
What is rotating can come under two headings, rationally.
Either, what we see on Earth. In that case the case is clear, Earth is not rotating. Heaven is.
Or, what could be verified from very far off, if we were watching "our solar system" from the fixed edge of the Universe. And in that sense it falls under "contingents that are far off", to any man except those in Heavenly Jerusalem (Our Lord, Our Lady, possibly St John, probably not even Henoch and Elijah, since they are probably in a lower Heaven).
But this is masked by the fact that the question is not one of past fact, but of continually repeated fact. And by CMI touting a dichotomy into TWO categories, operational and historic, ONLY. And the question, as not past but continually repeated in the present, can be easily seen as not historic. It does not follow it is operational.
Is it a least a question where necessity by causes helps out? No. God was free to create the universe any way He wanted to and make it appear any way He wanted to. If anything, this does not suggest we can decide it by "necessities inherent in creation" or in created realities (like those trying to decide it on Newtonian laws of movement, as if they gave an exhaustive explanation on why things move), it suggests we can have a certain moral certitude, based on God making it look same way as it actually is, because He is truthful.
The third question, whether men ever walked on the moon the last few decades, is in fact historic.
It is contingent, since any trace of man walking on the moon could also have been fabricated. See how Star Trek, Star Wars and a few more were made. It is also historic, since, whatever might have been the case back then, the last thirty years man has as little been repeating putting men on the Moon as God is ever going to repeat the Flood. So, it falls Under the heading of past contingent fact and on these we cannot have (at least positively) a "certain knowledge, necessary, through the four causes", but only a historic knowledge, namely by testimony and by evaluation of how trustworthy it seems.
Can it be evaluated negatively? Well, man could have been propelled past the Van Allen radiation belt, but could he have done so without the radiation causing temporal or permanent discomfort or even damage to the bodies of the astronauts? In fact this is slightly beyond me, since I am up to now no expert on either how broad the belt is, or how fast the rocket went or how long man can be exposed to how much radiation without harm or how much the material in rocket and perhaps space suits would have shielded them. But as far as I can see, this could be a real counterargument, by necessary knowledge from causes. As long as we don't have news of any medical problems about the astronauts.
So, Robert Carter can be happy I am not his professor in Theory of Knowledge, since if I had been, he would not have had top grades.
Hans Georg Lundahl