Skip to comments.A War Between Science and Religon? Ask Isaac Newton(a Scientist Guided by religious fervor)
Posted on 06/20/2007 9:05:55 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
A Jerusalem exhibit of Isaac Newton's manuscripts has some newly-discovered papers showing Newton's calculations of the exact date of the Apocalypse. Using the Book of Daniel, Newton argues that the world will end not earlier than 2060. "It may end later," Newton writes, "but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophecies into discredit as often as their predictions fail." Newton also interprets biblical prophecy to say that the Jews would return to the holy land before the world ends.
Yemima Ben-Manehem, curator of the exhibit, remarks that "these documents show a scientist guided by religious fervor, by a desire to see God's actions in the world." Newton's massive corpus of work reveals that he wrote almost as much about Scripture as he did about science, and indeed he saw his discoveries as showing the handiwork of the divine creator. All of which raises the interesting question: if arguably the greatest scientist of all time was such a fervent believer, indeed if most of the great scientists of the past five hundred years have been practicing Christians, what can we make of the insistence by contemporary atheist writers--from Dawkins to Pinker to Hitchens--that there has been an unceasing war between science and religion?
The atheist case relies on a few key episodes, mostly involving Darwin and Galileo. In my forthcoming book What's So Great About Christianity I will show that these episodes have been ideologically manipulated, and that the "lessons" drawn from them are largely fictitious. Here's a small example of that. We have all heard about the famous showdown between "Darwin's bulldog" Thomas Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce. When Wilberforce asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape on his grandfather's side or his grandmother's side, Huxley famously responded that he would rather be descended from a monkey than from a cleric who used his learning to prejudice people against scientific discoveries. The only problem with this incident is that it seems not to have occurred. Huxley apparently made it up to make himself look good. It's not reported in the minutes of the scientific association meeting. Darwin's friend, the botanist Joseph Hooker, was present at the debate. He gave Darwin a full account, which says nothing about Wilberforce's alleged jibe or Huxley's supposed rejoinder. In fact, Hooker told Darwin that Huxley had failed to answer Wilberforce's arguments so that he (Hooker) felt compelled to come to Darwin's defense. Nevertheless Huxley's winning rebuttal lives on in atheist propaganda.
Are science and religion compatible? Don't ask Dawkins and Hitchens, ask Isaac Newton.
I can't imagine how you came to believe I usually agree with you.
You have made a rather sweeping and factually incorrect statement about the limits of variation. I recommend doing some reading about directed evolution in the laboratory.
Why is that a different debate?
Do you not know the difference?
Evo's routinely offer examples of speciation as proof of Genus creation. To wit, for all of the discussion of the mutation/natural selection/evolution of bacteria, E.coli is still E.coli after all of the experiments.
The evidence for common descent is vast and involves dozens of lines of evidence. Even young earth creationists admit that variation can produce change up to the Family level. Check out baraminology.
But I am still asking how the concept of species applies to bacteria. Such organisms routinely exchange DNA in processes that resemble sex. These exchanges are not bound by any easy rules of type or kind.
You understand the threat of the Islamic extremists, but you don't seem to connect it to the Bible, strange indeed, you seem very analytical. Get a good commentary on Genesis, and Revelation.
The Immortal Jews (Mark Twain)
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
“You understand the threat of the Islamic extremists, but you don’t seem to connect it to the Bible, strange indeed, you seem very analytical. Get a good commentary on Genesis, and Revelation.”
I also don’t connect the threat of Islamic extremism to anything written by Nostradamus, either. Yet there are folks (some of them here, even!)who will tell you that he “predicted” 9/11, too (it must be true — after all, he wrote it down, they will tell you, and since Luke, Mark, Matthew and John wrote their stuff down, ergo it’s true, too?).
Because it’s been written down makes it strictly true, and better yet, provable? If your assumption is that it must be true because otherwise no one would bother to make the effort of writing anything then I have swampland I’d like to sell you as prime, beachfront property.
Propaganda is NOT a modern invention. The idea that the written word (reproduceable, portable) helps convey a message is NOT a modern conception. It’s fairly obvious that those who wrote the Scriptures had an agenda, and naturally, what they wrote reflected what they believed and what they wanted to influence others to believe.
THAT’S why it was written down in the first place!
The idea of the Bible as “divinely inspired”, from God’s mouth to man’s ear (and pen), is a lovely little way to dodge this question of what influence the personal beliefs and intent of the writers played in what was ultimately written. The same question could be asked about the book we’re discussing; the Bible we now hold is the final result of translation from language to language, with it’s texts carefully selected, and edited, to adhere to (often) arbitrary standards of orthodoxy (which themsleves have changed over the centuries — see Henry VIII, Pelagius, Arian and Martin Luther).
Having said that, he went on to say that “These are not, however, the most fundamental problem with C14 dating. Although C14 is among the most useful and reliable of all the dating techniques, it still relies on several key assumptions. The same is true for tree ring dating. Why not ask Coyotemen to review some of the other mainstream arguments and references, such as those I’ve listed by Douglas J. Keenan?”
Having said that, he went on to say that These are not, however, the most fundamental problem with C14 dating. Although C14 is among the most useful and reliable of all the dating techniques, it still relies on several key assumptions. The same is true for tree ring dating. Why not ask Coyotemen to review some of the other mainstream arguments and references, such as those Ive listed by Douglas J. Keenan?
It is wonderful that he is willing to correct those errors. Unfortunately, a lot of other websites still contain the same errors.
I will continue to examine the article, but I am not willing to accept that all assumptions are unjustified, nor am I willing to accept that the assumptions used are no better than wild guesses.
This seems to be a common creation "science" tactic lately -- "Your [test, theory, etc.] is based on assumptions, so its probably wrong."
Anyway, I am glad that you got those three errors off Dr. Pitman's website. I'll see how many more I can find.
==It is wonderful that he is willing to correct those errors. Unfortunately, a lot of other websites still contain the same errors.
I just checked his website. I’d say he did a little more than just correct the errors:
I just checked his website. Id say he did a little more than just correct the errors:
He should have cited the source of the corrections. Some appear to be lifted directly from my FR post to you.
Also, I note in one of his corrections he has quoted wholesale, without attribution, from the Darwin Central blog titled "A Look at Creation Science Part IV."
==He should have cited the source of the corrections. Some appear to be lifted directly from my FR post to you.
==Also, I note in one of his corrections he has quoted wholesale, without attribution, from the Darwin Central blog titled “A Look at Creation Science Part IV.”
I was the one who sent him the Darwin Central link he is quoting from. Thus, I’m sure it’s just an oversight on Dr. Pitman’s part. After all, he knows that I sent him the link. And he also knows that the Darwin Central link contains a link that links back to him. So I highly doubt there is any foul play (if that is what you are implying)—GGG
It is a matter of scholarship, not "foul play."
If you cite several paragraphs of someone else's work, you cite that work. And you cite it correctly (which Dr. Pitman did).
Like I said, I’m sure it was just an oversight. I can understand your motivations if you feel compelled to jump all over it. Having said that, I think it’s safe to say it will be fixed in short order.
Now that attribution has been properly given, how about answering Dr. Pitman’s article on problems/assumption re: Carbon 14 and Tree dating!
PS I also noticed that your favorite website has strayed into another scientific controversy: AIDS. Can’t these guys get anything right? What’s next, are they going to start keeping track of Human-Caused-Global-Warming denialists too? One thing’s for sure, this just goes to show that Darwinist ideology mucks-up anything it touches.
Newton set 2060 for end of world
The Daily Telegraph | February 22, 2003 | Jonathan Petre
Posted on 02/21/2003 8:35:31 PM EST by MadIvan