Monday, January 18, 2016

"The two pillars of Darwin’s theory"

"You, however, ordered all things by measure, number and weight" (Wisdom 11.20 [21]).

“IT would be self-defeating for a believer to seek solace against the juggernaut of evolutionary materialism which has nothing to do with evolution as a science, were he to welcome any whiff of evolutionary theory which included purpose, and especially when it includes the purpose called Christ, be it under the name of Omega Point. When they do this, believers engage in a dangerous bargain, because it blinds them to the real challenge of Darwin’s theory as different from Darwinism posed to believers. In fact it blinded them to the fact that what underlay the two pillars of Darwin’s theory had a real support only within a theistic perspective about matter, which alone is the business of science. But if this was so, no one could be more challenged by quantities and numbers than the believer.”

~Stanley L. Jaki: in Evolution for Believers.

“The first step in thinking that miracles are possible”

ALREADY today one can be amused by seeing the ruins of bridges which certain Darwinists, more ideologues than scientists, had busily drawn as arching across vast gaps in the world of the living. They had claimed for well over a century that they had seen the transitional forms (the segments of those bridges) whose non-existence is now ruefully recognized. Some of them even admit that they had been lying all along. (For instance, Niles Eldridge, curator of the Natural History Museum of the City of New York.) They are still to face up to the fact that those bridges collapsed because they were purported to be strictly scientific. Actually what alone could have given them reality was the metaphysical cement of generalization and extrapolation. But of metaphysics they want no part ever since Darwin had banished it twenty full years before the publication of The Origin of Species. He did so (and his disciples do so) in full awareness of the fact that if metaphysics is allowed, man’s origin and the origin of all will immediately demand much more than science to make sense of it all. What will appear to be needed is a philosophy and theology steeped in the doctrine of creation out of nothing as the basis of all.

To recognize the creation of all out of nothing is the first step in thinking that miracles are possible. Creation out of nothing is indeed the basis of all miracles. Not that creation out of nothing in the beginning had been a miracle. That creation made nature whereas miracles merely changes nature, though at times in such a way that creation out of nothing is at work. Of course, to create out of nothing remains the exclusive privilege of God. In fact, this is so much God’s privilege that even He, for all his omnipotence, cannot delegate it to a mere creature, however eminent. Thomas Aquinas made that point with his customarily succinct lucidity. It should indeed be elementary to perceive that only the One who is Existence itself can give existence to any and all. This is why the notion of God and of Creator are so intimately connected.

Wise words from a physicist

This connection is vividly on hand in what may be the finest concise statement which a prominent man of science has ever made about miracles. The scientist in question was Sir George Gabriel Stokes, who held for over fifty years (1849-1903) the prestigious Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, which in our times entered public consciousness through the name of its present holder, Stephen Hawking. Unlike Hawking, Stokes had a serious interest in theological and philosophical questions relating to science, as shown by the two series of Gifford Lectures he gave between 1891 and 1893 at the University of Edinburgh. In the very first of those lectures (a total of twenty) Stokes stated: “Admit the existence of a God, of a personal God, and the possibility of miracle follows at once.” In justification of this, Stokes added that “if the laws of nature are carried on in accordance with His [God’s] will, He who willed them may will their suspension.”

~Stanley L. Jaki: Bible and Science, Chap. 8. (Christendom Press)

Calvin was "carried away by his biblicism into scientific absurdities"

“CALVIN, though with a more rational frame of mind than Luther, was also carried away by his biblicism into scientific absurdities as he commented on Genesis 1. Certainly absurd was his claim that clouds did not fall on us and crush us only because God kept them aloft. This exercise in physics, very disreputable even around 1560, came two decades after Copernicus refused to agonize over why much heavier bodies than clouds did not crash into the earth. Calvin tried to be original in insisting that Moses had written for the uneducated, an observation that by then had been commonplace for more than a thousand years. At any rate, Calvin failed to implement that principle consistently. A case in point was his explanation of the relation of the sun and the light. Latter-day creationism owes much to the biblical literalism advocated by Calvin with sweeping diction and apparent rationality. Apparent indeed, because Calvin also stated that the laws of physics did not begin to operate until after the sixth day."

~Stanley L. Jaki: Bible and Science, Chap. 6—The Light of True Science.