Thursday, February 18, 2010

All Science is Cosmology, All Cosmology is Theology

For the benefit of those benighted trolls who imagine that the B'ob is somehow anti-science, let me remind them that, as always, they need to stop projecting and get a life.

The fact is, any of the 31 flavors of philosophical materialism is not just an attack on religion, but on real science as well. And it is anti-science because it simply isn't true. If science is more than just an impersonal method for putting nature on the rack and getting her to talk, then this sort of naive reductionism must be abandoned.

As Jaki expresses it, "the understanding of science is in a sense the grasp of man's ability to reach beyond his own materiality, nay beyond matter" (emphasis mine). I mean, if we can't agree on this, then there is nothing we can agree on. For what kind of insane philosophy transcends matter in order to affirm that transcendence is impossible?

Lets talk about the cosmos, which no scientist will ever see, but is founded on his tacit faith in the unity of all being: "Man transcends all matter when he forms for himself a notion of the universe, or the totality of consistently interacting things, and he is assured by what is best in twentieth-century science that when he does so he is not the victim of a transcendental illusion."

Jaki's point is both subtle and yet obvious. No animal but man forms the idea of a cosmos -- which is not just everything, but a harmonious and internally related whole which is consistently lawful across all space and time. If that weren't the case, then we couldn't, for example, trace the background radiation back 13 billion years to the horizontal origin of the cosmos. Thus, "for the first time in history science has become a cosmology, a consistent discourse about the universe.... What makes scientific cosmology possible is the coherent singularity of the cosmos..." (Jaki).

In short, today, all science is cosmology, with cosmic implications. Please note how different this is from a merely logical construction of a cosmos, which is a kind of external model that is really more about man than the cosmos.

The whole point about a quantum/relativistic cosmos is that it is deeply entangled with itself in a way that defies scientistic fantasies of linearity and logical atomism. It is shot through with wholeness at every level -- which is why, by the way, there can be "whole" organisms for natural selection to operate upon, or why the billions of neuronal interactions in your head resolve into the simple whole of a stable identity. The wholeness is antecedent; it could never be a result of evolution, for evolution presupposes it.

And please bear in mind that "Since all science is cosmology, failure to make progress in cosmology meant failure to make vital advances in science" (Jaki). Again, this is why science was stillborn in every other culture: they did not posit a cosmology that could support science -- a science that then goes on to confirm its own assumptions about a transcendentally lawful and singular cosmos. (In other words, astrophysicists where quite shocked to discover that the universe really did come into being in a moment of time.)

For example, cosmology stalled in the 19th century due to its overly mechanistic and materialistic assumptions. It posited an infinite and eternal universe which it endeavored to map with a grid of Newtonian physics. The revolution in physics initiated by Einstein in 1903 was also a breakthrough in cosmology, in that it soon led to the conclusion that the cosmos was not infinite but created in time (indeed, that time came into existence with it), and not fundamentally divisible but whole -- again, a true cosmos.

The cosmos forms a whole in both space and time, vertically and horizontally. But this wholeness can only be known by a being who intrinsically mirrors this wholeness, or who carries it within:

"Just as no man can live by bread alone, no cosmologist (a term which includes all genuine scientists) can live without a [transcendental] realist notion of the universe as the totality of interacting things." And equally important, "this very same science cannot be understood without recognizing the existence of a mind able to hold within its reach the wholeness of nature and be thereby superior to it..." (Jaki).

Do you see the critical point? Schuon put it well when he said that "All knowledge is by definition knowledge of absolute Reality; which is to say that Reality is the necessary, unique and essential object of all possible knowledge. While it is true that there are kinds of knowledge which seem to have other objects, this is not insofar as they are Knowledge but insofar as they are modalities or limitations of it; and if these objects seem not to be Reality, this is so not insofar as they are objects of Knowledge, but insofar as they are modalities or limitations of the One Object, which is God seen by God."

Which is why there is no intrinsic limit to what a man may know. Please note that when science attempts to place shackles on man's intellect, it transgresses its own proper bounds, and makes an absolute statement of how absolute truth is denied man. Yes, science has limits; but that doesn't mean that the human subject does. Ironically, one of the great dangers of a "limitless science" is the limits it arbitrarily sets on what a man may know. In so doing, it does violence to man, to the cosmos, and to God. It becomes "omnisciently ignorant," as it were.

The singularity of the universe is a gigantic springboard which can propel upward anyone ready to exploit its metaphysical resilience and catch thereby a glimpse of the Ultimate and Absolute... . --Stanley Jaki

32 Comments:

Blogger Northern Bandit said...

The cosmos forms a whole in both space and time, vertically and horizontally. But this wholeness can only be known by a being who intrinsically mirrors this wholeness, or who carries it within

Hence the literally infinite gap between man and animal, for no animal carries within this ability to know wholeness...

2/18/2010 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

You wrote:

Please note that when science attempts to place shackles on man's intellect, it transgresses its own proper bounds, and makes an absolute statement of how absolute truth is denied man. Yes, science has limits; but that doesn't mean that the human subject does. Ironically, one of the great dangers of a "limitless science" is the limits it arbitrarily sets on what a man may know. ...

This deep insight seems to elude so many of the Dawkins types, otherwise intelligent beings who somehow miss the limitations of their "decisive" "refutations" of religious thinking.

Jamie Irons

2/18/2010 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

In Austin today, America's first full-blown leftist terrorist. Why did he try to murder a building full of innocent people?

- IRS
- capitalism
- Bush
- the vulgar, corrupt Catholic church

His "manifesto" could have come from practically any regular at the Democratic Underground or Daily Kos.

2/18/2010 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"In short, today, all science is cosmology, with cosmic implications. Please note how different this is from a merely logical construction of a cosmos, which is a kind of external model that is really more about man than the cosmos. "

I was having a similar conversation yesterday about pragmatism... wasn't it useful since it got around preconceived notions that may or may not have been correct, and enabled someone to ask any and all useful questions, test the results, and conclude whether it was correct or not?

And sorta... yes, as a method for questioning, that was fine, the problem comes in where it is taken not just as a problem solving method, but as a metaphysical basis for thinking, and ignores the fact that it does in fact make metaphysical assumptions 'a question is askable', 'an answer is testable', 'a result is repeatable', while completely denying the fact that the universe is dependably knowable, accessible to us, and that despite it's marketing advertisements of relativism, it thoroughly assumes and depends upon the existence of existence, the validity of sense perception and of their being encompassed by Truth - while denying each in its stated pronouncements.

There really is nothing that you can say or do, which doesn't assume and depend upon One full cosmos and its full implications within One cosmology... even in the act of questioning and denying such a things existence!

Arghhh.

And whenever some tenured profanessor stands there and scrunches up his brow into his best profound seeming manner, says "We should not be so provincial as to assume that the laws of physics which apply here, in our little backwater of the universe, should be expected to apply as well in any one of the billions and billions of other galaxies on the other side of the universe...", I just want to slap him silly and draw his attention to something like this,

"If that weren't the case, then we couldn't, for example, trace the background radiation back 13 billion years to the horizontal origin of the cosmos. "

Doh!

2/18/2010 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The unity of it all is very much in keeping with a quote I read earlier today from Oswald Chambers, The foundation of Christianity is that the basis of human life is redemptive, and on that basis God performs His miracles.

The tie-in is that if a person believes that, all of the cosmos begins to make sense -- or at least it comes to be seen as understandable.

To understand, you have to have a place to stand under.

2/18/2010 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Yes, science has limits; but that doesn't mean that the human subject does. Ironically, one of the great dangers of a "limitless science" is the limits it arbitrarily sets on what a man may know. In so doing, it does violence to man, to the cosmos, and to God. It becomes "omnisciently ignorant," as it were.


Or, all-unknowing. For, without a point a priori, what's the point? For there is none. And this amount to anarchy or perfect chaos where man can't thrive nore indeed, survive.
Ergo, omniscient cluelesside, a virtual damndemic, if you will.

2/18/2010 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Acceptance of/belief in God is no greater an obstacle than acceptance of/belief in the Laws of Physics.

But what shall we make of a universe with simultaneous displays of overwhelming beauty and unimaginable violence? A universe that makes no distinction between energy and matter except as a place in time?

Awareness joins us to the cosmos, whether we want to be or not, but membership did not come with an immediately recognizable spiffy set of assembly instructions and an operating manual. What next?

2/19/2010 04:23:00 AM  
Blogger The J.R. said...

"Which is why there is no intrinsic limit to what a man may know. Please note that when science attempts to place shackles on man's intellect, it transgresses its own proper bounds, and makes an absolute statement of how absolute truth is denied man. Yes, science has limits; but that doesn't mean that the human subject does."

Profound thoughts, Bob. I agree, what we are capable of knowing is limitless. But, how or, by which process? One tower, built in the horizontal by and for the pride of human will, the other by . . . ?

2/19/2010 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I've always quibbled with the idea that somehow the "hard sciences" have escaped the fate of the "humanities". A 2005 study indicates that physicists who are self-described liberals outnumber conservatives by 10 to 1!

Biologists, computer scientists, chemists, mathematicians -- each group is left-leaning by at least a 2/3 margin.

Predictably this will cause science to stall or even collapse. Certainly the leftist "global warming" fraud has done vastly more harm to the world than any measly terrorist could hope to inflict.

2/19/2010 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "Certainly the leftist "global warming" fraud has done vastly more harm to the world than any measly terrorist could hope to inflict."

Speaking of which:
"Obama Administration Forming A New Federal Agency to Monitor ‘Climate Change’"... "It will be "one-stop shopping into a world of climate information," she said"

And as far as inflicting damage to the west, bin loondin is a pitiful piker in comparison to someone like rachel carson. She successfully turned the world against western science, and themselves, and she didn't need nine islambie hijackers willing to kill themselves... just a a typewriter, a publisher negligent enough to publish 'silent spring; and a media and govt officials stupid enough to go along with the murder of millions of people world wide,

"...But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost 60 years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began--with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT--yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature "has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome." Indeed, in one study human volunteers ate DDT every day for over two years with no ill effects.

Abundant scientific evidence supporting the safety and importance of DDT was presented during seven months of testimony before the newly formed EPA in 1971. The presiding judge ruled unequivocally against a ban. But the public furor against DDT--fueled by "Silent Spring" and the growing environmental movement--was so great that a ban was imposed anyway. The EPA administrator, who hadn't even bothered to attend the hearings, overruled his own judge and imposed the ban in defiance of the facts and evidence. And the 1972 ban in the United States led to an effective worldwide ban, as countries dependent on U.S.-funded aid agencies curtailed their DDT use to comply with those agencies' demands.

So if scientific facts are not what has driven the furor against DDT, what has? Estimates put today's malaria incidence worldwide at around 300 million cases, with a million deaths every year. If this enormous toll of human suffering and death is preventable, why do environmentalists--who profess to be the defenders of life--continue to press for a global DDT ban? ..
."

al queda, shmal queda... with friends like these, bin loondin is nearly irrelevant.

wv: hates
Yes... they hates us

2/19/2010 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Some good news coming out of Austin.

Texas sues the Feds!

In Texas' suit, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said the IPCC and CRU shenanigans made any policy decisions based on that work flawed and unjustified. Abbott cited several examples in which he said climate scientists engaged in an "ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research and manipulate temperature data."

"With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization (the IPCC) that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," Abbott argued.
__________
BTW, wv sez "bless" Truth seekers. Really.

2/19/2010 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No post today. Too chaotic around here.

2/19/2010 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Hello Van:

I like to sprinkle a gram of DDT on my cereal each morning. How much to you put on top of yours?

Limiting DDT was about preserving eggshell integrity on birds of prey. Of course it doesn't hurt people. In fact its darn tasty.

2/19/2010 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Holey moley if this is true:

"School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home"

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/02/17/school-used-student.html

2/19/2010 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "No post today. Too chaotic around here."

Ah phooey.

Well... those wandering about postless are welcome to come on over and bang their heads against this one, "What Would the Founders Do? Common Sense says WHO CARES!"

2/19/2010 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

blech howl said "Limiting DDT was about preserving eggshell integrity on birds of prey. Of course it doesn't hurt people. In fact its darn tasty."

Yeah... and choosing the eggshell integrity of birds of prey over the lives of millions of human beings, each year, is as disgusting an indictment of the leftist mindset as I can imagined.

Doubtless however, you can imagine worse by imagining more 'good' things to do. Vulture.

2/19/2010 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

I'm a tenured Professor of Sociology at at a prestigious west coast University. My salary is very nice, and I live well.

I belong to Womyn on Wheels, a Lesbian mountain-biking group, along with my life-partner Melinda.

Someday Melinda and I would like to be married.

I vote Democrat, support Obama, embrace diversity, oppose big oil and coal, and donate generously to the Rainbow Coalition, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace.

My life is pretty good. So, what can you offer here that I need?

2/19/2010 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

And I'm a woman of color. So be careful what you say about me.

2/19/2010 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

blech howl said "I'm a tenured Professor of Sociology at at a prestigious west coast University."

Gasp... shock... surprise....

"I vote Democrat, support Obama, embrace diversity, oppose big oil and coal, and donate generously to the Rainbow Coalition, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace...So, what can you offer here that I need?"

Aside from help in developing enough sense to see how stupid all of that is...probably zip.

Well... maybe zippers... but then again... nahhh.

2/19/2010 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

blech howl said "And I'm a woman of color. So be careful what you say about me."

That you consider that a defining attribute says all that needs to be said about you.

2/19/2010 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

Well Van:

Birds of prey are not replaceable. People, on the other hand, are very numerous.

Be shocked if you will. If we do anything and everything to increase the survival rate of people, with no concern for other species, we'll end as the only species here.

I guess you wouldn't care about that. But some people do.

2/19/2010 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

My own existence is not vital to the world either, I certainly realize that.

I will not seek life support in case of cardiac arrest. I don't want to linger around here enlarging our carbon footprint with medical interventions.

2/19/2010 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not true. Assuming capitalism continues to allow people in places like China and India to prosper, birth rates will naturally decrease everywhere by 2050 or so, as always happens with increased affluence. Which is why the left is so dangerous, because if their loony environmental policies are enacted, it will prevent prosperity in the third world, and we really will face a global population problem.

2/19/2010 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

"black hole" is a pure troll. I.e., not just someone who disagrees, but rather someone who posts made-up stuff specifically designed to spark conflict in a forum like this one.

If it were up to me I'd say: "don't feed the Troll!"

(Many of the past loons that showed up here were not actually trolls, just garden-variety progressives)

2/19/2010 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Echoing NB, and then some:

Surely those with eyes have noticed that pure Trolls are just "playing" the rest of the commenters, by pouring from the empty into the Void.

Hence, the sucking sound when they post.

2/19/2010 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I have no real problem with someone who comes in here and rants and calls us names because we're so hard on poor little President Obama (or whatever). At least they're being sincere, more or less. But actual trolls just get off on trolling for conflict.

Not worth the keystrokes to acknowledge them because they aren't interested in what we say one way or the other. They just want to stir shit up among "Repugs".

2/19/2010 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

Dear NB:

Well actually I'm here to learn about cosmology (I used the search word "Cosmos").

However as I read the posts and comments I realized the people here had a really strange take on things. It piqued my curiosity.

At the university I work for the cosmos can't be discussed; the prevailing view is that questions about cosmos are unknowable so we should just stick with the party line that the environment and diversity are what matters.

I'm just not fully comfortable with letting it go at that. However, I don't want to abandon my committment to diversity and to the environment, which I guess the folk here have done.

Now I'm an ogre or a troll or whatever. I'm not sure what to make of it all.

2/19/2010 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

The comment by Gagdad Bob is interesting in that he thinks global affluence is the best way to preserve the environment, and global affluence is paradoxically best achieved by abtaining from environmental legislation.

This deserves some further thought, which I will undertake.

2/19/2010 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said ""black hole" is a pure troll"

Hmmm... although I've obviously been wrong before... I really didn't get that. BH seemed amenable to argument on the glowbull warming issue last week, etc.

Obviously I bigtime disagree with BH's positions... but a troll of the mtcraven variety... I'm not seeing it.

ahem... but then of course my memory insists on reminding me that I didn't see it in mtcraven at first either.

gulp.

2/19/2010 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

black hole said "At the university I work for the cosmos can't be discussed; the prevailing view is that questions about cosmos are unknowable so we should just stick with the party line that the environment and diversity are what matters."

Ah. While I can certainly appreciate that someone would feel "...not fully comfortable with letting it go at that", I've got a little difficulty that someone would only feel uncomfortable with that. Downright perturbed would come rather quickly to my mind, followed soon after by some cool cutting anger.

Especially so, if where I worked was an institution allegedly devoted to the free pursuit of the Truth.

No plans to picket the admin bldg? Denounce the hampering authoritarian nature of the political/ecucational complex?

No?

Hmmm.

2/19/2010 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

wv seemed appropriate:

denvull (a black hole of the technical variety [dev/null]) :)

2/20/2010 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

black hole said "Birds of prey are not replaceable... If we do anything and everything to increase the survival rate of people, with no concern for other species, we'll end as the only species here. I guess you wouldn't care about that..."

Uh-huh... how very caring of you. And useful. Regarding the claim that however, take a gander at this,
"...As almost any school child today can parrot, Carson claimed DDT thinned the eggs of birds. Pointing to a 1956 study by Dr. James DeWitt published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Carson wrote: "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [demonstrate] that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction."

DeWitt, however, concluded no such thing. Indeed, he discovered in his study that 50% more eggs hatched from DDT fed quail than from those in the control group.

Following Carson's lead, hippie environmentalists began claiming that raptor populations -- eagles, osprey, hawks, etc. -- were declining due to DDT. They failed to note that such populations had been declining precipitously for years prior to the use of DDT. Indeed, according to the yearly Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, 1941 to 1960, years that saw the greatest, most widespread use of DDT, the count of eagles actually increased from 197 in 1941 to 897 in 1960. A forty-year count over roughly the same period by the Hawks Mountain Sanctuary Association also found population increases for Ospreys and most kinds of hawks.
..."

Except for down at the local dupe level, the environmentalist movement has never been about the environment, not at the higher levels which sets it's direction, that's just where they manipulate the heart strings in order to get the useful idiots to take the bait - it has always been about opposition to the West, to industry, and that only as a way to damage the free market and America in particular in order to promote the favored marxist variant at hand, and which they hope will remain left in a position to feed off the wreckage were they ever to actually succeed.

2/20/2010 07:58:00 AM  

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