"Reductive Science is the Most Destructive Heresy of our Times": The "End of Science" is truly here if the Catholic Metaphysics of "Aristotle... Modified by Aquinas" is not the Model for Science
"It has become tediously fashionable, in the dispiriting context of the Covid-19 crisis, to point out that there is no such thing as 'the Science.'" - Sean Walsh
science is the most destructive heresy of our times. But it is more
than a heresy. It is, as I have already pointed out, an ambience, a
poisoned atmosphere, which modern man takes in with virtually every
breath. This poison convinces modern man not only that material
realities are reducible to accidental and quantifiable being, but it
also creates that intellectual ambience which convinces him that he
himself is reducible to accidental properties – that his love is
reducible to hormonal reactions; his aspirations for truth reducible to
conditioned responses; his belief in God a neurological reaction to fear
... It is not that analytical science is intrinsically evil, but
rather that it is intrinsically superficial simply because quantitative
analysis can never touch or understand the nature of any substance
created by God out of nothing." - James Larson
The independent scholar James Larson before his death explained to me in an email exchange the apparent problem with reductuctive science's denial of substantial reality:
Have you read Richard Weaver's Ideas have Consequences? He traces all the problems that we have to the Franciscan Ockham's Nominalism. Other scholars show Luther appeared to be a Nominalist. Please keep connecting dots because it appears as if Ockham's and Luther's Nominalism may be what lead to many evils including Modernism.
But there is another, and much more important, way of looking at all this. Most likely, if I would place a banana before any 13 year old. and ask him what really made it to be a banana, he would reply that its particular particular molecules, atoms, etc. made it to be a banana. We may presume he has not studied Ockham, but he is yet totally immersed in what makes for Modernism. In other words, the wholesale denial of substantial reality now existing under the sway of "Modernism", and its almost universal victory over human consciousness.
Larson pointed to the fact that fake science "is the the most destructive heresy of our times":
The Greek perversion has as its root cause one fundamental metaphysical error: belief that the nature of substance is quantifiable by the human mind. It was the genius of Aristotle and St. Thomas to see that this is not the case. But such a conclusion should not have taken genius. It is really a matter of common sense. The notion, for instance, that the marvelous substance which we call water could in any way be equated with, or reduced to, a particular atomic structure is absolutely absurd. There is simply no reasonable way that the human mind can equate electrons, spinning at comparatively immense distances around protons and neutrons, with what it knows as the substance water.
But there remains one more level to be explored in our attempt to understand the metaphysical constitution of created, material substances. The proper distinction between substantial and accidental being, while freeing us from the absurdity of trying to equate substance with any sort of quantification or measurement, does not yet reveal to us what substance is in itself. It does not reach to the depths of the reality constituted by physical things. It therefore remains for us to look more deeply into the reality of substance itself...
... Reductive science is the most destructive heresy of our times. But it is more than a heresy. It is, as I have already pointed out, an ambience, a poisoned atmosphere, which modern man takes in with virtually every breath. This poison convinces modern man not only that material realities are reducible to accidental and quantifiable being, but it also creates that intellectual ambience which convinces him that he himself is reducible to accidental properties – that his love is reducible to hormonal reactions; his aspirations for truth reducible to conditioned responses; his belief in God a neurological reaction to fear and uncertainty.
That modern, reductive analytical science has generated superficiality, confusion, and despair is not my conclusion alone. Anyone interested in this subject would do well to read John Horgan’s best-selling book The End of Science (Broadway Books, 1996). Mr. Horgan, former senior writer at Scientific American, interviewed several dozen of the most famous and prize-winning scientists in the world as to their views regarding the “meaning of science”, the “end of science”, etc. He discovered and chronicles what he calls a world of “ironic” science: a world in which virtually no one is sure of any reality, or that there even is such a thing; there is total confusion in regard to the science of epistemology – whether there is or can be any true correspondence between the human mind and objective reality. [http://coalitionforthomism.blogspot.com/2010/09/restoration-of-supernatural.html?m=1]
The scholarly British website The Critic explains that the "end of science" is truly here if the Catholic metaphysics of "Aristotle... modified by Aquinas" is not the model for science:
“I think Aristotle should be considered for a posthumous Nobel Prize for his discovery of the principle implied in DNA” – Max Delbrück, biophysicist and Nobel Laureate.
It has become tediously fashionable, in the dispiriting context of the Covid-19 crisis, to point out that there is no such thing as “the Science”. This should not count as a revelation, although it is frequently presented as one...
... But there is a deeper point: you cannot do physics without (even if unconsciously) doing metaphysics. To claim that there is no such thing as “the Science” is to allude to something more interesting than transient disputes between epidemiologists. The deeper controversies concern what science is; what are the metaphysical assumptions that are in play when scientists do whatever it is they do? What is the nature of the reality it claims to describe?..
... Flew’s reply to Dummett discloses a conception of causation which was bequeathed to us by Galileo, Newton, and the other High Priests of modern science, and which was given a philosophical ratification by the great (yet frequently misguided) Enlightenment philosopher David Hume. Hume argued that there is no design in nature and that to say that A causes B is to say little more than when you get A, then B will follow. Causation does not involve “necessary connection” but “contiguity and succession”.
There is, on this modern orthodoxy, no more to causation than mechanism. Causal laws describe regularities in nature, and this is where explanation comes to an end. The natural world contains no intrinsic purpose, meaning or value. To use a current cliché: it is what it is. Any appearance of value is a chimera, a sort of projection by our minds onto the world, rather than an objective feature of it. And those same minds are ultimately in themselves no more than brains, susceptible to the very same mechanistic “explanations”...
... This is a depressingly reductive worldview. It is also a comparatively recent one. Like the teenager who assumes he knows better than his parents, post-Enlightenment science takes it as given that what’s new must be better than what came before it, a principle which is neither scientifically testable nor self-evidently true. There is an alternative view of causation, one which is metaphysically richer than the Humean analysis, and which validates our intuition that there is more to the natural order than mere mechanism. This alternative can be traced back to Aristotle, was modified by Aquinas, and is in no way vitiated by its antiquity.
For Aristotle, the mechanistic (or as he put it the “efficient”) causation described by Hume presupposes and is dependent on what he calls “final” causality. You strike a match, and it sets light. The efficient cause of the lit match is that it was struck, but there is more to it than that. The match itself has an essential property of being disposed to catch fire when lit. It is this intrinsic potentiality, its “final”, directed causality, that makes the efficient causation possible in the first place....
... The mechanistic worldview of Hume is in stark contrast to the Aristotelian vision of a world rinsed in purpose and value.
And it is the Aristotelian metaphysics which has been gaining in plausibility as science develops, particularly (and pertinently, given the current crisis) in the areas of molecular biology and in our understanding of the galactic complexity of the living cell. It is exceedingly difficult to describe the intricacies of DNA replication without using the language of purpose, a linguistic resource which is not available to defenders of the mechanistic worldview.
Developments in the harder sciences: mathematical physics, cosmology and molecular biology seem to inculcate a reconnection with an Aristotelian conception of causation. Science may progress in utilitarian terms – we can do more with it now than 100 years ago – but it does not follow that its underlying assumptions evolve in the same way. The most prominent philosopher of science at work today, the atheist Thomas Nagel, argued in his book Mind and Cosmos, that it is pretty hard to develop some science-based, plausible worldview which has been voided of teleological explanation. For Nagel, this teleology is a mysterious brute fact, as he is temperamentally and intellectually resistant to draw the obvious theistic conclusions.
As science “progresses”, the antiquated assumptions of 2,500 years ago become increasingly vindicated. We shouldn’t be surprised. Truth is truth and, sub specie aeternitatis, we are talking about the mere blink of an eye. And this is significant because, if the Aristotelian vision is correct, then science is an examination of threads of purpose which have been placed from elsewhere [God]. [https://thecritic.co.uk/why-aristotle-was-right-about-causation/]
Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He want you to do next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.
of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt
the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church
in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial
weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
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- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html