IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Pope John Paul II , stephen hawking

Reply
Old 16th June 2006, 09:17 AM   #1
blutoski
Penultimate Amazing
 
blutoski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,416
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking says pope told him not to study beginning of universe

Excerpt:
Quote:
Famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said Thursday that the late Pope John Paul II once told scientists they should not study the beginning of the universe because it was the work of God.
Link: Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking says pope told him not to study beginning of universe

blutoskitorial:
I'm suspicious that this news report really reports a true quote from Hawking.
blutoski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 09:20 AM   #2
Pauliesonne
Bi Gi
 
Pauliesonne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,687
Something tells me Hawking didn't listen and something about that makes me very, very happy.
__________________
Back again... for a period of time.
Pauliesonne is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 09:48 AM   #3
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Hawking is an official science advisor to the Vatican, so he certainly would have been in a position to discuss such things with the pope. However, it doesn't make much sense; not only was the previous pope a big science booster, but presumably the middle and the end of the physical universe - not just the beginning - are also God's work from a Christian perspective.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:06 AM   #4
drkitten
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,629
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
However, it doesn't make much sense; not only was the previous pope a big science booster, but presumably the middle and the end of the physical universe - not just the beginning - are also God's work from a Christian perspective.
Also God's work, but in a less theologically contentious way.
drkitten is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:12 AM   #5
Kiwiwriter
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,108
Smile The Pope and the Scientist....

....walk into a bar, and the Pope tells the Scientist, "Don't study the creation of the universe."

"Why not?" asks the Scientist.

"Because you'll find out the Devil made Him do it!" says the Pope!

Actually, I can see the Pope's point: without mystery, there is no faith. Without faith, there is no church.

But I agree with Hawking. I want mysteries solved.
Kiwiwriter is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:14 AM   #6
Arkan_Wolfshade
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,154
Chapter 8, paragraph 2 of A Brief History of Time I believe.

Quote:
Throughout the 1970s I had been mainly studying black holes, but in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tried to lay down the law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the Pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the moment of Creation and therefore the work of God. I was glad then that he did not know the subject of the talk I had just given at the conference – the possibility that space-time was finite but had no boundary, which means that it had no beginning, no moment of Creation. I had no desire to share the fate of Galileo, with whom I feel a strong sense of identity, partly because of the coincidence of having been born exactly 300 years after his death!
http://www.physics.metu.edu.tr/~fizi...hawking/g.html
Arkan_Wolfshade is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:48 AM   #7
hgc
Penultimate Amazing
 
hgc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 15,892
Galileo was born in 1564, and Hawking in 1942. I'm a little perplexed by what he means by "exactly."

ETA: Reading comprehension not my strong suit. 300 years after his death.

Last edited by hgc; 16th June 2006 at 10:51 AM.
hgc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
Jimbo07
Illuminator
 
Jimbo07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,789
Originally Posted by hgc View Post
Galileo was born in 1564, and Hawking in 1942. I'm a little perplexed by what he means by "exactly."
And when was Galileo's death?
__________________
This post approved by your local jPac (Jimbo07 Political Action Committee), also registered with Jimbo07 as the Jimbo07 Equality Rights Knowledge Betterment Action Group.

Atoms in supernova explosion get huge business -- Pixie of key
Jimbo07 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 10:57 AM   #9
rocketdodger
Philosopher
 
rocketdodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6,946
Originally Posted by Kiwiwriter View Post

Actually, I can see the Pope's point: without mystery, there is no faith. Without faith, there is no church.
Actually that is not entirely correct. The pope's point would be: without most of humanity remaining in complete ignorance of our scripture being utter BS, there would be no faith in ridiculous dogmatic doctrine. Without faith in ridiculous dogmatic doctrine, there is no oppressive church funneling power up the hierarchy.
rocketdodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 11:00 AM   #10
I less than three logic
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,463
Originally Posted by Jimbo07 View Post
And when was Galileo's death?
GalileoWP died on January 8th, 1642, and Stephen HawkingWP was born on January 8th, 1942. Exactly 300 years, to the day at least.
__________________
“There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.” - Carl Sagan
“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball ninety million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.” – Douglas Adams
I less than three logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 11:39 AM   #11
Jimbo07
Illuminator
 
Jimbo07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,789
Originally Posted by I less than three logic View Post
GalileoWP died on January 8th, 1642, and Stephen HawkingWP was born on January 8th, 1942. Exactly 300 years, to the day at least.
Informative post, I<3, but I was just pointing it out to hgc, who has now edited the post, so my point is really pointless...
__________________
This post approved by your local jPac (Jimbo07 Political Action Committee), also registered with Jimbo07 as the Jimbo07 Equality Rights Knowledge Betterment Action Group.

Atoms in supernova explosion get huge business -- Pixie of key
Jimbo07 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 12:02 PM   #12
Hawk one
Emperor of the Internet
 
Hawk one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Right below The Hat.
Posts: 13,685
I personally like best the second last sentence in this report.
__________________
Boynott everything!

If only health care was like video games. Then the ones who could pay for it would get it, and the ones who couldn't would die, like nature intended for people without money. A perfect system, right? RIGHT?
Hawk one is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 12:31 PM   #13
KingMerv00
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 14,458
Originally Posted by Hawk one View Post
I personally like best the second last sentence in this report.
Ha! He's not smart enough.
KingMerv00 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 12:32 PM   #14
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Assuming that the anecdote predates Hawking's appointment as a papal advisor, you'd think by now he'd have had ample time to reconsider what the pope was really saying. His interpretation of the incident in A Brief History of Time doesn't - to my mind - seem consonant with what we know of JPII's attitudes.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 12:57 PM   #15
ImaginalDisc
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,219
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
Assuming that the anecdote predates Hawking's appointment as a papal advisor, you'd think by now he'd have had ample time to reconsider what the pope was really saying. His interpretation of the incident in A Brief History of Time doesn't - to my mind - seem consonant with what we know of JPII's attitudes.
Oh? What was the Pope saying?
ImaginalDisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 02:03 PM   #16
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by ImaginalDisc View Post
Oh? What was the Pope saying?
It's not clear, since all we're going by is Hawking's account, but in light of what we know about JP2 it seems more than a bit unlikely that he would intend something in the vein in which Hawking apparently interpreted it (when he infers a negative attitude on the pope's part toward legitimate scientific research). But according to the OP, Hawking - who may not have known JP2's mind on such things in 1981 but presumably would be more familiar now - is still recycling the same anecdote with the same interpretation.

Whether the pope actually expressed something arguably hostile to science, or that Hawking is still under the mistaken impression that he did - either way, there's something mildly surprising in all this.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 02:17 PM   #17
Jimbo07
Illuminator
 
Jimbo07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,789
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
is still recycling the same anecdote with the same interpretation.
Many people do this, but what shocked me, as I became aware of it, is that even capable scientists do it as they get older!
__________________
This post approved by your local jPac (Jimbo07 Political Action Committee), also registered with Jimbo07 as the Jimbo07 Equality Rights Knowledge Betterment Action Group.

Atoms in supernova explosion get huge business -- Pixie of key
Jimbo07 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th June 2006, 04:13 PM   #18
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by ImaginalDisc View Post
Oh? What was the Pope saying?
After some further Googling, here is what Pope John Paul II apparently said on the occasion in question:

Quote:
"Every scientific hypothesis about the origin of the world, such as the one that says that there is a basic atom from which the whole of the physical universe is derived, leaves unanswered the problem concerning the beginning of the universe. By itself science cannot resolve such a question…." [The pope then quoted Pope Pius XII as saying,] "We would wait in vain for an answer from the natural sciences which declare, on the contrary, that they honestly find themselves faced with an insoluble enigma."
(source)
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 05:24 AM   #19
ImaginalDisc
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,219
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
After some further Googling, here is what Pope John Paul II apparently said on the occasion in question:



(source)
So the Pope, without any evidence whatsoever, is telling the greatest astrophsyicist in the world not to study the origins of the universe, because the Pope, a supremely ignorant man on the subject of astrophsyics, claims there's no answer to be found?

Yeah, I would have been offended too.
ImaginalDisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 08:45 AM   #20
c4ts
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,420
What does the Vatican need science advisors for? Shouldn't God fill them in on this?
c4ts is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 10:01 AM   #21
Bob Klase
Master Poster
 
Bob Klase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
"Every scientific hypothesis about the origin of the world, such as the one that says that there is a basic atom from which the whole of the physical universe is derived, leaves unanswered the problem concerning the beginning of the universe. By itself science cannot resolve such a question…." [The pope then quoted Pope Pius XII as saying,] "We would wait in vain for an answer from the natural sciences which declare, on the contrary, that they honestly find themselves faced with an insoluble enigma."
The pope did not continue by saying "Religion on the other hand will never have an insoluble enigma- we will make up an explanation for anything".
Bob Klase is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 11:17 AM   #22
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,135
Originally Posted by Kiwiwriter View Post
Actually, I can see the Pope's point: without mystery, there is no faith. Without faith, there is no church.
Yeah, I see the fear on the part of religious leaders but is it really grounded in reality? It was believed midway in the last century that advances in science would bring about the decline of religion. Yet here we are, we've synthesized carbon molecules (the providence of god), cloned sheep (ditto), mapped the human genome, sent space ships to the far reaches of our galaxy (we climbed MT Olympus and found no gods there) and split the atom and yet there has been a shift toward religiosity and not away from it.
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 12:28 PM   #23
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by ImaginalDisc View Post
So the Pope, without any evidence whatsoever, is telling the greatest astrophsyicist in the world not to study the origins of the universe, because the Pope, a supremely ignorant man on the subject of astrophsyics, claims there's no answer to be found?
I'm afraid that the source I cited was right on this point: "There is a monumental difference between saying that there are certain questions that science cannot answer - which is what the pope said - and authoritarian pronouncements warning scientists to back off."

The pope appears to have been pointing out that scientific theories regarding the origins and early history of the universe do not address certain metaphysical questions regarding its beginnings (such as, one presumes, the existence of metaphysical efficient, formal and final causes, among other things). That's actually a fairly banal observation and is a natural corollary to the definition of physics and the nature of the scientific method. It's not an empirical claim, so it makes no sense to reproach the pope for saying it "without any evidence".

Since the pope was not making an astrophysical claim per se, his personal familiarity with astrophysics is not especially relevant. Still, one wonders why you would characterize the prior pope - a philomath who had a reputation as one of the best-informed persons in the world - as "a supremely ignorant man on the subject of astrophysics". John Paul II reputedly took an eager layman's interest in the natural sciences, and for more than 25 years he had the personal benefit of the world's most distinguished scientific consultative body (including Hawking). It seems implausible that he would be more ignorant about astrophysics than the average person (much less "supremely ignorant"), and certainly one cannot legitimately infer such a thing from the statement in question.

One is tempted to conclude that both the ad-hom and the bad-faith mischaracterization of the prior pope's words are symptomatic of an unseemly bias on your part.


Originally Posted by c4ts
What does the Vatican need science advisors for? Shouldn't God fill them in on this?
Has the Catholic Church ever asserted that matters independently discoverable by science were included within the divine revelation they believe God imparted to the Church? If they truly thought that, why would the foundations of modern science (to use Edward Grant's phrase) have been laid within the context of the Church in the first place?

Last edited by ceo_esq; 17th June 2006 at 01:53 PM.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 12:31 PM   #24
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Yeah, I see the fear on the part of religious leaders but is it really grounded in reality?
I'm not sure this was a fear of religious leaders so much as a hope of some secularists, but as you point out it didn't come true in any event.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 12:53 PM   #25
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,135
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
I'm not sure this was a fear of religious leaders so much as a hope of some secularists, but as you point out it didn't come true in any event.
Considering the trial of Galileo and the resistance to many scientific inquiry I think it safe to conclude that religious leaders very much feared scientific discovery. I think it possible that one could construct an argument that religious leaders were more concerned with the ethics of scientific endeavor or simply where concerned with blasphemy, and perhaps, to a degree, that is valid but that doesn't explain the extreme measures taken. I would have to say that many leaders felt threatened.
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 01:55 PM   #26
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Considering the trial of Galileo and the resistance to many scientific inquiry I think it safe to conclude that religious leaders very much feared scientific discovery.
Which "resistance to many scientific inquiry"?


Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
I think it possible that one could construct an argument that religious leaders were more concerned with the ethics of scientific endeavor or simply where concerned with blasphemy, and perhaps, to a degree, that is valid but that doesn't explain the extreme measures taken.
Which "extreme measures taken"?
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 02:06 PM   #27
This Guy
Master Poster
 
This Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,140
Of course the church wasn't afraid of science! It was just trying to protect the sheep from false teachings!

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06342b.htm

"That their opposition was grounded, as is constantly assumed, upon a fear lest men should be enlightened by the diffusion of scientific truth, it is obviously absurd to maintain. On the contrary, they were firmly convinced, with Bacon and others, that the new teaching was radically false and unscientific, while it is now truly admitted that Galileo himself had no sufficient proof of what he so vehemently advocated, and Professor Huxley after examining the case avowed his opinion that the opponents of Galileo "had rather the best of it"."

To quote another poster in these forums -

It's True! (oops did I use the wrong smiley?)
__________________
I'm lost. I've gone to find me. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait!
This Guy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 03:51 PM   #28
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by This Guy View Post
Of course the church wasn't afraid of science! It was just trying to protect the sheep from false teachings!

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06342b.htm

"That their opposition was grounded, as is constantly assumed, upon a fear lest men should be enlightened by the diffusion of scientific truth, it is obviously absurd to maintain. On the contrary, they were firmly convinced, with Bacon and others, that the new teaching was radically false and unscientific, while it is now truly admitted that Galileo himself had no sufficient proof of what he so vehemently advocated, and Professor Huxley after examining the case avowed his opinion that the opponents of Galileo "had rather the best of it"."

To quote another poster in these forums -

It's True! (oops did I use the wrong smiley?)

Are you suggesting that the quoted passage is materially inaccurate? If so, in precisely which respects?
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 04:13 PM   #29
lifegazer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,047
The pope needs to have a word with me, or read my thread. Hawking's views about the origins of the universe relate to a fantasy object... namely: a 'real universe'.
Hawkins should start theorising about the origin of what can be observed... namely: the origin of the sensations which yield the impression of a universe.

Give the pope my number or tell him to stop worrying about fiction writers for the reasons I detail. Hawkings knows Jack about 'reality'.
lifegazer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 04:26 PM   #30
Jeff Wagg
Illuminator
 
Jeff Wagg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,099
Originally Posted by lifegazer View Post
The pope needs to have a word with me, or read my thread. Hawking's views about the origins of the universe relate to a fantasy object... namely: a 'real universe'.
Hawkins should start theorising about the origin of what can be observed... namely: the origin of the sensations which yield the impression of a universe.

Give the pope my number or tell him to stop worrying about fiction writers for the reasons I detail. Hawkings knows Jack about 'reality'.
By that logic, every writer is a fiction writer. Why are you talking to yourself anyway?
Jeff Wagg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 04:52 PM   #31
lifegazer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,047
Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
By that logic, every writer is a fiction writer.
There are fiction writers... and there are scientists who claim to know facts about 'reality' - such as Hawking.
Hawking knows nothing of a 'real world', since he cannot observe such a world. He observes the sensation of a world, which is an experience of a world. Therefore, his theories pertaining to how such a [real] world came into existence by itself are about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. He needs to start thinking about how experience came into existence and deal with what is factual (i.e. experience), rather than smugly discuss realities that nobody can observe.

THE POPE IS SAFE. Unfortunately, he's as ignorant to this as is Hawking. As is everyone else, evidently.
Does anyone here know the pope's number?

Last edited by lifegazer; 17th June 2006 at 04:56 PM.
lifegazer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 06:48 PM   #32
This Guy
Master Poster
 
This Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,140
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
Are you suggesting that the quoted passage is materially inaccurate? If so, in precisely which respects?
I'm suggesting the quoted passage is one of the best examples of -

hypocrisy

The false expression of beliefs, feelings, or virtues which one does not actually possess.

and is IMHO -

ridiculous

Deserving of ridicule; foolish.
Absurd.


Hypocrisy in that while they offer no proof to back up their myths, they felt they could stop others from expressing their beliefs when the church felt there was no proof to back those beliefs up.

Ridiculous that the people allowed the church to have enough power to enforce such hypocrisy, and that a group supposedly representing the teachings of Christ would assume such power.

As for the accuracy, I can't speak on that. Not having been around or involved in the actual thought processes involved in the decision making. However, considering the source, I must say I have doubts on the accuracy of the statement.

I will say, in light of the reported statement of John Paul II in the OP, I think it's easier to assume the motives were more to safeguard religion than to protect the truth. But that's just an opinion.
__________________
I'm lost. I've gone to find me. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait!
This Guy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 10:24 PM   #33
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,135
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
Which "resistance to many scientific inquiry"?

Which "extreme measures taken"?
Are you serious? You don't think the trial and imprisonment of Galileo wasn't a resistance to scientific inquiry? You don't think that imprisonement for stating the truth isn't extreme? Don't you think that the action of the church had a chilling effect on scientific inquiry?

Your position seems naive at best.

Quote:
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-sciencechristianity.htm

Myth: There is no war between science and Christianity.

Fact:
The Church has persecuted or opposed almost every great scientist of the last 500 years.

Summary

The Church has never been on the cutting edge of science -- on the contrary, it has been the one persecuting scientists. The list of those who earned the wrath of the Church reads like a Who's Who of Science: Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Halley, Darwin, Hubble, even Bertrand Russell. The Church has also been on the wrong side of the social sciences for over 1,500 years, actively promoting slavery, anti-Semitism, the torture and murder of women as witches, sexual repression, censorship and the Inquisition, Crusades and other aggressive wars, and capital punishment for misdemeanors. This has given rise to a Christian field called apologetics, which attempts to defend the Church's errors, even claiming that science and Christianity are compatible friends, not enemies. But the atrocities and scientific errors were too profound, and stretched on for too many millennia, to be defended in any reasonable manner.

...
Argument, examples and endnotes follow.
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2006, 10:35 PM   #34
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,135
Originally Posted by lifegazer View Post
Hawking knows nothing of a 'real world', since he cannot observe such a world. He observes the sensation of a world, which is an experience of a world.
One more time. Whether there is or is not a "real world" is of no relevance. Assuming that there is no "real world" changes nothing. We must still eat. We still must find shelter from the elements. We must still use a computer or something similar to it to post to a forum on the Internet. None of the technology that you use in everyday life would be any different if we were to assume that there is no "real world". You will still get sick. You will still need to do all of the mundane things that this non-real world imposes on you.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, is still there."
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 02:02 PM   #35
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Are you serious? You don't think the trial and imprisonment of Galileo wasn't a resistance to scientific inquiry?
Since you referred to "the trial of Galileo and the resistance to many scientific inquiry" (boldface mine), when I asked for examples of the latter I assumed it was clear that I meant besides Galileo.

As for whether it's really fair or accurate to characterize the Galileo affair as a deliberate "resistance to scientific inquiry", that's a matter of debate. To whatever extent the Galileo affair was "resistance to scientific inquiry", it constitutes something of a historical aberration as far as the Church was concerned. I addressed this question here.


Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
You don't think that imprisonement for stating the truth isn't extreme?
For the sake of accuracy, Galileo was not imprisoned. He spent 6 months' house arrest as a guest at the Tuscan ambassador's residence and was then allowed to retire to a villa near Florence. An undeserved fate, but as punisments go it was more Martha Stewart than Nelson Mandela.


Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Don't you think that the action of the church had a chilling effect on scientific inquiry?
I think it did, inadvertently, yet thankfully not to a great degree nor for very long. Some reasons why are discussed here.


Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Your position seems naive at best.

....

Argument, examples and endnotes follow.

The webpage you linked gets so many things wrong - most of which, as far as science is concerned, have already been debunked in the same thread I've been linking above - that it's hard to do anything else but shake one's head. The major inspiration for the "facts" presented there is Andrew White's A History of the Warfare Of Science With Theology in Christendom, an ahistorical screed against Catholicism that is disdained by serious historians of science nowadays (as discussed here, here, and here, among other places).
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 02:07 PM   #36
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by This Guy View Post
I'm suggesting the quoted passage is one of the best examples of -

hypocrisy

The false expression of beliefs, feelings, or virtues which one does not actually possess.

...

Hypocrisy in that while they offer no proof to back up their myths, they felt they could stop others from expressing their beliefs when the church felt there was no proof to back those beliefs up.
Referring back to the definition you gave, what are the "beliefs, feelings, or virtues" being expressed by the Church in that passage but which the Church does not actually believe, feel, or possess?


Originally Posted by This Guy View Post
I will say, in light of the reported statement of John Paul II in the OP, I think it's easier to assume the motives were more to safeguard religion than to protect the truth.
You do realize, don't you, that the statement reported in the OP was never made by the pope, and that the statement he actually made says something substantially different?

Last edited by ceo_esq; 18th June 2006 at 02:11 PM.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 02:15 PM   #37
ImaginalDisc
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,219
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
I'm afraid that the source I cited was right on this point: "There is a monumental difference between saying that there are certain questions that science cannot answer - which is what the pope said - and authoritarian pronouncements warning scientists to back off."
That is theistic claptrap.

Strictly speaking, one cannot say are questions science cannot answer. It is more correct to say, "There are questions cience has not yet answered, and may not be able to answer." How would we know unless we tried? Only a great fool would assume something cannot be done before it is tried.
ImaginalDisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 02:18 PM   #38
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,135
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
Since you referred to "the trial of Galileo and the resistance to many scientific inquiry" (boldface mine), when I asked for examples of the latter I assumed it was clear that I meant besides Galileo.
No, it wasn't.

Quote:
As for whether it's really fair or accurate to characterize the Galileo affair as a deliberate "resistance to scientific inquiry", that's a matter of debate. To whatever extent the Galileo affair was "resistance to scientific inquiry", it constitutes something of a historical aberration as far as the Church was concerned. I addressed this question here.
Your link doesn't work. I don't think it is an abertion and have posted evidence that it was not.

Quote:
For the sake of accuracy, Galileo was not imprisoned. He spent 6 months' house arrest as a guest at the Tuscan ambassador's residence and was then allowed to retire to a villa near Florence. An undeserved fate, but as punisments go it was more Martha Stewart than Nelson Mandela.
{shrug}

Quote:
The webpage you linked gets so many things wrong - most of which, as far as science is concerned, have already been debunked in the same thread I've been linking above - that it's hard to do anything else but shake one's head. The major inspiration for the "facts" presented there is Andrew White's A History of the Warfare Of Science With Theology in Christendom, an ahistorical screed against Catholicism that is disdained by serious historians of science nowadays (as discussed here, here, and here, among other places).
None of your links work. In any event, I never cared for arguing by link. Could you please make an argument here. If you want copy and paste what you think is relevant. And BTW, I don't think that the webpage "gets so many things wrong".
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 02:38 PM   #39
AWPrime
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,926
Originally Posted by ceo_esq View Post
I
The pope appears to have been pointing out that scientific theories regarding the origins and early history of the universe do not address certain metaphysical questions regarding its beginnings (such as, one presumes, the existence of metaphysical efficient, formal and final causes, among other things).
Yes, proper Science has a hard time producing BS.
__________________
Sir Arthur C. Clarke - "Any sufficiently advanced technology, to the uninformed observer, is indistinguishable from magic."
c4ts - "Jesus loves the little children, Nice and fat and honey roasted..."
Lancastic = Demonstrative of outstanding personal effort in the exposing of frauds.
Rob Lister - "The enemy of my enemy probably tastes yummy. "
AWPrime is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2006, 03:02 PM   #40
ceo_esq
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Your link doesn't work. I don't think it is an abertion and have posted evidence that it was not.
Strange, the link works for me.

Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
None of your links work. In any event, I never cared for arguing by link. Could you please make an argument here. If you want copy and paste what you think is relevant.
Again, the links work for me, so I don't know where the technical problem lies. I'm not linking offsite, either; I'm citing to directly relevant posts of mine, all in the same thread:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ead.php?t=7763

I don't want to reinvent the wheel here, since there's already a long thread devoted primarily to aspects of the historical relationship between Christianity and science, and which represents a couple hundred hours' old-fashioned library research just for me over several years. When I've already presented arguments at great length, with extensive citations to scholarly authority, in one thread, it just doesn't seem worthwhile to reproduce it all here. That's what the linking function is for, and I'm at a loss to explain why it's not working for you in this case.
ceo_esq is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:50 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.