QUO VADIS, SCIENCE?

Written by Vladimir Moss

QUO VADIS, SCIENCE?

I am Thy slave and the son of Thy handmaid, a man who is weak and short-lived, with little understanding of judgement and laws; for even if one is perfect among the sons of men, yet without the wisdom that comes from Thee he will be regarded as nothing... For a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthly tent burdens the thoughtful mind. We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labour; but who has traced out what is in the heavens, and who has learned Thy counsel, unless Thou give him wisdom, and send Thy Holy Spirit from on high?

Wisdom of Solomon 9.5-6, 15-17.

Only Christianity is a reliable and useful philosophy. Only thus and for this reason can I be a philosopher.

St. Justin the Philosopher.

Introduction

What is the truth about science? Is it, as its worshippers claim, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or are there other truths that both stand independent of science and contradict it, both in its general assumptions and in some of its most cherished and universally accepted hypotheses? To what extent can we trust scientists? What is the relationship between science and faith, and can we expect any change in that relationship in the future?

Such questions cannot be avoided by any Orthodox Christian who has a conscious attitude towards his faith. For science is now more powerful than ever; it transforms the external conditions of man’s existence at an ever-accelerating rate, and generates an ever-growing army of servants with ever-increasing demands for money and resources. So unquestioned is the dogma that the well-being of mankind depends on scientific progress more than anything else that science may be said to rule governments and their budgets rather than being ruled by them. One of the two greatest powers of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union, fell in the 1980s largely because it bankrupted itself in the arms race, which was a struggle for scientific and technological superiority. The one that survived, the United States, retains its military, political and cultural power largely because it is able to attract more top-grade scientists from all over the world, and do more scientific research in every field, than any other state – at the price of the largest federal deficit in history.

But these material and external effects of science pale into insignificance beside its spiritual, internal effects: the corrosive effect of the scientific world-view on all traditional religions, and its self-exaltation above all other faiths as their ultimate arbiter and judge.

Bertrand Russell once wrote: "Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century."[1] Michael Polanyi confirms this judgement: "Just as the three centuries following on the calling of the Apostles sufficed to establish Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, so the three centuries after the founding of the Royal Society sufficed for science to establish itself as the supreme intellectual authority of the post-Christian age. 'It is contrary to religion!' - the objection ruled supreme in the seventeenth century. 'It is unscientific!' is its equivalent in the twentieth."[2]

At first, from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries, the scientific world-view coexisted in an increasingly uncomfortable and schizoid manner with various forms of the Christian world-view. But it has ended, in the twentieth century, by more or less completely banishing Christianity from the minds of "educated" men, whether or not they still call themselves "Christian". Science has indeed become the god of our age, worshipped both by scientists and by non-scientists, both in the democratic West and in the non-democratic East. Indeed, one of the most powerful arguments for the superiority of democracy and the market economy over other forms of politico-economic organization is that it promotes science, which in turn promotes peace, prosperity and democracy: authoritarian forms of government are rejected because they undermine the flee flow of ideas and criticism that fosters the scientific enterprise. There is no getting away from the influence of science: even the power of prayer to produce healings is now subject to controlled scientific experiments.

The cult of science was described in dark, almost apocalyptic colours by Dostoyevsky: "Half-science," says one of his characters, "is that most terrible scourge of mankind, worse than pestilence, famine, or war, and quite unknown till our present century. Half-science is a despot such as has never been known before, a despot that has its own priests and slaves, a despot before whom everybody prostrates himself with love and superstitious dread, such as has been inconceivable till now, before whom science trembles and surrenders in a shameful way."[3]

Dostoyevsky was careful to distinguish between science and "half-science", or what we would now call "scientism". This implies that he saw science as a legitimate pursuit, but one in danger of subjection to its parasite or counterfeit, “half-science”.

How can this be?

The Foundations of Science

Science obviously contains some measure or kind of truth, otherwise it would not have such formidable predictive power or generate such wonderful technologies. It has therefore been a natural and laudable quest on the part of educated Christians to try and find some way of resolving the apparent contradictions between science and Christianity. Indeed, this is a necessity of our faith. For if the universe is one and created by one God, we must believe that the truths of the faith and the final conclusions of true science (if such there can ever be) are compatible. To believe otherwise leads to a kind of epistemological Manichaeism postulating two kinds of mutually impenetrable universes which cannot be comprehended from a single viewpoint, or, alternatively, to a kind of solipsistic Buddhism according to which one of the two realms is considered to be illusory.

Thus Fr. Seraphim Rose writes: “Even though revealed knowledge is higher than natural knowledge, still we know that there can be no conflict between true revelation and true natural knowledge. But there can be conflict between revelation and human philosophy, which is often in error. There is thus no conflict between the knowledge of creation contained in Genesis, as interpreted for us by the Holy Fathers, and the true knowledge of creatures which modern science has acquired by observation; but there most certainly is an irreconcilable conflict between the knowledge contained in Genesis and the vain philosophical speculation of modern scientists, unenlightened by faith, about the state of the world in the Six Days of Creation.[4]

That human philosophy (philosophy as the world knows it) and natural philosophy (science) are often in error and in conflict with the revealed truth of the Scriptures is not surprising if we consider the different origins of the two kinds of knowledge.

The knowledge that science gives can be compared to the light of the sun that we know, which was created on the fourth day of creation; whereas the knowledge contained in the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church can be compared to that original light which flooded the universe on the very first day at the Lord’s word: “Let there be light!” The light of the sun lights up only one planet among the millions of planets in the universe; it is itself only one out of millions of stars in millions of galaxies. Moreover, the knowledge it gives us only illumines a part of the planet’s surface; for much of the time it is covered with clouds or completely obscured by night. As for what is under or beyond the earth, that remains completely unillumined by it. However, the light created at the beginning of creation, though we can only guess at its nature, was certainly such as to reveal the whole of material reality without casting any shadows or leaving any nook or cranny unillumined.

Science became useful only with the fall of man; it is a method of reasoning carried out by fallen men with fallen faculties and with strictly limited and earthly aims. As we shall see in more detail later, it cannot give real knowledge of the unfallen world, neither the world of unfallen spirits nor the world that will be after the restoration at the Second Coming of Christ. It is of limited use for limited men – that is, men who use only their fallen faculties; and when the true light of knowledge comes, as we see it come in the lives of the saints, the truly enlightened ones, it ceases to have any use at all.

The holy Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, who had a thorough training in physics, mathematics and engineering, writes: “You ask what is my opinion of the human sciences? After the fall men began to need clothing and numerous other things that accompany our earthly wanderings; in a word, they began to need material development, the striving for which has become the distinguishing feature of our age. The sciences are the fruit of our fall, the production of our damaged fallen reason. Scholarship is the acquisition and retention of impressions and knowledge that have been stored up by men during the time of the life of the fallen world. Scholarship is a lamp by which ‘the gloom of darkness is guarded to the ages’. The Redeemer returned to men that lamp which was given to them at creation by the Creator, of which they were deprived because of their sinfulness. This lamp is the Holy Spirit, He is the Spirit of Truth, who teaches every truth, searches out the deep things of God, opens and explains mysteries, and also bestows material knowledge when that is necessary for the spiritual benefit of man. Scholarship is not properly speaking wisdom, but an opinion about wisdom. The knowledge of the Truth that was revealed to men by the Lord, access to which is only by faith, which is inaccessible for the fallen mind of man, is replaced in scholarship by guesses and presuppositions. The wisdom of this world, in which many pagans and atheists occupy honoured positions, is directly contrary according to its very origins with spiritual, Divine wisdom: it is impossible to be a follower of the one and the other at the same time; one must unfailingly be renounced. The fallen man is ‘falsehood’, and from his reasonings ‘science falsely so-called’ is composed, that form and collection of false concepts and knowledge that has only the appearance of reasons, but is in essence vacillation, madness, the raving of the mind infected with the deadly plague of sin and the fall. This infirmity of the mind is revealed in special fullness in the philosophical sciences.”[5] And again he writes: “The holy faith at which the materialists laughed and laugh, is so subtle and exalted that it can be attained and taught only by spiritual reason. The reason of the world is opposed to it and rejects it. But when for some material necessity it finds it necessary and tolerates it, then it understands it falsely and interprets it wrongly; because the blindness ascribed by it to faith is its own characteristic.”[6]

St. Basil the Great said: “At all events let us prefer the simplicity of faith to the demonstrations of reason.”[7] These words should be our guide whenever science – or, as happens more often, philosophy clothed in “half-scientific” arguments - appears to contradict faith. That science could ever really refute faith is the opinion only of those who do not know what faith is, who have not tasted of that knowledge which comes, not from the fallen faculties of fallen men applied to the most limited and circumscribed of objects, but from God Himself.

The scientific world-view proclaims that the only reliable way of attaining non-mathematical truth is by inferences from the evidence of the senses. This principle, the principle of empiricism, was first proclaimed by Francis Bacon in his Advancement of Learning (1605). It rejects the witness of non-empirical sources – for example, God or intuition or so-called “innate ideas”. The reverse process – that is, inferences about God and other non-empirical realities from the evidence of the senses – was admitted by the early empiricists, but rejected by most later ones.[8]

Thus in time empiricism became not only a methodological or epistemological, but also an ontological principle, the principle, namely, that reality not only is best discovered by empirical means, but also is, solely and exclusively, that which can be investigated by empirical means, and that non-empirical reality simply does not exist.

By contrast, the Christian Faith makes no radical cleavage between empirical and non-empirical truth, accepting evidence of the senses with regard to the existence and activity of God and the witness of God Himself with regard to the nature of empirically perceived events.

In accordance with this difference in the kinds of truth they seek, there is a difference in spirit between science (in its more “advanced”, materialist form) and faith. The spirit of true religion is the spirit of the humble receiving of the truth by revelation from God; it does not preclude active seeking for truth, but recognizes that it will never succeed in this search if God on His part does not reveal it. For Wisdom “goes about seeking those worthy of her, and She graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought” (Wisdom 6.16). Science, on the other hand, is supremely self-reliant…

Moreover, there is a Faustian spirit in science, a striving for power over nature, rather than simply knowledge of it, which is incompatible with the true religious spirit. Thus Bacon thought that the “pure knowledge of nature and universality” would lead to power - “knowledge is power”, in his famous phrase - and to “the effecting of all things possible”.[9] This is even more true of modern scientists, who place no limits to the powers of science.

Bacon compared science to the knowledge Adam had before the fall – “the pure knowledge of nature and universality, a knowledge by the light whereof man did give names unto other creatures in Paradise, as they were brought to him”.[10] “This light should in its very rising touch and illuminate all the border-regions that confine upon the circle of our present knowledge; and so, spreading further and further should presently disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the world.”[11] “God forbid,” he wrote, “that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world: rather may He graciously grant to us to write an apocalypse or true vision of the footsteps of the Creator imprinted on His creatures.”[12]

As J.M. Roberts writes, Bacon “seems to have been a visionary, glimpsing not so much what science would discover as what it would become: a faith. ‘The true and lawful end of the sciences’, he wrote, ‘is that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers.’ Through them could be achieved ‘a restitution and reinvigorating (in great part) of man to the sovereignty and power… which he had in his first creation.’ This was ambitious indeed – nothing less than the redemption of mankind through organised research; he was here, too, a prophetic figure, precursor of later scientific societies and institutes.”[13]

This striving for power by wresting the secrets of nature indicates a kinship between science and magic, if not in their methods, at any rate in their aims. And while Erasmus’ humorous critique of scientists in the early fifteenth century could not be applied to their early twenty-first century successors without qualification, he unerringly pointed to a common spirit between science of all ages and magic: “Near these march the scientists, reverenced for their beards and the fur on their gowns, who teach that they alone are wise while the rest of mortal men flit about as shadows. How pleasantly they dote, indeed, while they construct their numberless worlds, and measure the sun, moon, stars, and spheres as with thumb and line. They assign causes for lightning, winds, eclipses, and other inexplicable things, never hesitating a whit, as if they were privy to the secrets of nature, artificer of things, or as if they visited us fresh from the council of the gods. Yet all the while nature is laughing grandly at them and their conjectures. For to prove that they have good intelligence of nothing, this is a sufficient argument: they can never explain why they disagree with each other on every subject. Thus knowing nothing in general, they profess to know all things in particular; though they are ignorant even of themselves, and on occasion do not see the ditch or the stone lying across their path, because many of them are blear-eyed or absent-minded; yet they proclaim that they perceive ideas, universals, forms without matter, primary substances, quiddities, and ecceities – things so tenuous, I fear, that Lynceus himself could not see them. When they especially disdain the vulgar crowd is when they bring out their triangles, quadrangles, circles, and mathematical pictures of the sort, lay one upon the other, intertwine them into a maze, then deploy – and all to involve the uninitiated in darkness. Their fraternity does not lack those who predict future events by consulting the stars, and promise wonders even more magical; and these lucky scientists find people to believe them.”[14]

C.S. Lewis writes: “There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the wisdom of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious – such as digging up and mutilating the dead.”[15]

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes: “Modern science was born [in the Renaissance] out of the experiments of the Platonic alchemists, the astrologers and magicians. The underlying spirit of the new scientific world view was the spirit of Faustianism, the spirit of magic, which is retained as a definite undertone of contemporary science. The discovery, in fact, of atomic energy would have delighted the Renaissance alchemists very much: they were looking for just such power. The aim of modern science is power over nature. Descartes, who formulated the mechanistic scientific world view, said that man was to become the master and possessor of nature. It should be noted that this is a religious faith that takes the place of Christian faith.”[16]

Faith, on the other hand, does not seek power over nature, but obedience to God. It relies on no other ultimate authority than the Word of God Himself as communicated either directly to an individual or, collectively, to the Church, “the pillar and ground of the Truth” (I Timothy 3.15), which preserves and nurtures the individual revelations.

The Fallibility Principle

Science is in principle fallible, not only because scientists are fallen human beings, but also because the only way in which they progress in their work is by showing that the work of earlier scientists is fallible. It is not simply that they add to the work of earlier scientists, discovering facts that were concealed from their predecessors: they actively try and disprove the currently reigning hypotheses. No hypothesis can ever be proved beyond any possible doubt, and science advances by the systematic application of doubt to what are thought to be weak points in its hypothetical structure. This was seen already by John Donne, who said: “the new philosophy [science] calls all in doubt”.[17] And in the twentieth century it was confirmed by Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn and others: verifiability equals disprovability.

Now this is a paradox if ever there was one: that truth is truth only if it can, in principle, be proved to be not true! And yet this is the very corner-stone of the scientific method and the scientific world-view! Of course, scientists try and soften the force of this paradox. Even if we cannot be certain about the truth of any scientific hypothesis, they say, we can be sure that our present hypotheses are closer to the truth than those of our predecessors. And the proof of that is that science works: our science is truer than Aristotle’s because we can fly to the moon and explode atomic bombs, whereas he couldn’t.

And yet the paradox is not so easily disposed of, nor the destructive effects of the scientific world-view so easily forgiven. And by “destructive” here I do not mean the obviously destructive effects of atomic bombs, or of the pollution of the atmosphere caused by space flights, carbon gas emissions, etc. Science can defend itself against the charge of this kind of destructiveness by arguing, with greater or lesser plausibility, that it is not responsible for the use that is made of its discoveries. Knowledge is good in itself, or at least not evil: it is the use made of knowledge by irresponsible men that is evil. However, much more serious and fundamental than this is the charge that the principle of systematic and universal doubt that lies at the foundation of the modern scientific world-view is simply false, that there are certain very important truths we can be completely certain of, which we cannot and must not doubt, and that the enthroning of the scientific world-view in the heart of man actually makes it impossible for man to acquire these truths.

Faith is the opposite of doubt; it is defined by the apostle as “the certainty of things not seen” (Hebrews 11.1). Doubt has no place within the true religion, but only when one is still outside it, in the process of seeking it, when different religious systems are being approached as possible truths, that is, as hypotheses. Having cleaved to the true religion by faith, the religious believer advances, not by subjecting his faith to doubt, but by deepening that faith, by ever deeper immersion in the undoubted truths of religion.

When the differences between science and faith are viewed from this perspective, the perspective of Orthodox Christianity, there are seen to be important differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. For from this perspective, Catholicism is more “religious”, and Protestantism – more “scientific”. For Protestantism arose as a protest against, and a doubting of, the revealed truths of the Catholic religion. From an Orthodox point of view, some of these doubts were justified, and some not. But that is not the essential point here. The essential point is that Protestantism arose out of doubt rather than faith, out of negation rather than assertion, and, like Descartes in philosophy, placed doubt at the head of the corner of its new theology.

How? First, by doubting that there is any organization that is “the pillar and ground of the truth”, any collective vessel of God’s revelation. So where is God’s revelation to be sought? In the visions and words of individual men, the Prophets and Apostles, the Saints and Fathers? Yes; but – and here the corrosive power of doubt enters again – not all that the Church has passed down about these men can be trusted, according to the Protestants. In particular, the inspiration of the post-apostolic Saints and Fathers is to be doubted, as is much of what we are told of the lives even of the Prophets and Apostles. In fact, we can only rely on the Bible – Sola Scriptura. After all, the Bible is objective; everybody can have access to it, can touch it and read it; can analyse and interpret it. In other words, it corresponds to what we would call scientific evidence.

But can we be sure even of the Bible? After all, the text comes to us from the Church, that supposedly untrustworthy organization. Can we be sure that Moses wrote Genesis, or Isaiah Isaiah, or John John, or Paul Hebrews? To answer these questions we have to analyze the text, subject it to scientific verification. Then we will find the real text, the text we can really trust, because it is the text of the real author. But suppose we cannot find this real text? Or the real author? And suppose we come to the conclusion that the “real” text of a certain book was written by tens of authors, none of whom was the “inspired” author, spread over hundreds of years? Can we then be sure that it is the Word of God? But if we cannot be sure that the Bible is not the Word of God, how can we be sure of anything?

Thus Protestantism, which begins with the doubting of authority, ends with the loss of truth itself. Or rather, it ends with a scientific truth that accepts religious truth only to the extent that it is “confirmed by the findings of science”. It ends by being a branch of the scientific endeavour of systematic doubt, and not a species of religious faith at all.

If we go back to the original error of Protestantism, we will find that it consists in what we may call a false reductionist attitude to Divine Revelation. Revelation is given to us in the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth”, and consists of two indivisible and mutually interdependent parts – Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. Scripture and Tradition support each other, and are in turn supported by the Church, which herself rests on the rock of truth witnessed to in Scripture and Tradition. Any attempt to reduce Divine Revelation to one of these elements, any attempt to make one element essential and the other inessential, is doomed to end with the loss of Revelation altogether. The Truth is one irreducible whole.

Where does the false reductionist attitude come from? Vladimir Trostnikov has shown that it goes back as far as the 11th century, to the nominalist thinker Roscelin. Nominalism, which had triumphed over its philosophical rival, universalism, by the 14th century, “gives priority to the particular over the general, the lower over the higher”. As such, it is in essence the forerunner of reductionism, which insists that the simple precedes the complex, and that the complex can always be reduced, both logically and ontologically, to the simple.[18]

Thus the Catholic heresy of nominalism gave birth to the Protestant heresy of reductionism, which reduced the complex spiritual process of the absorption of God’s revelation in the life of the Church to the unaided rationalist dissection of a single element in that life, the book of the Holy Scriptures. As Trostnikov explains, the assumption – against all the evidence – that reductionism is true has led to a series of concepts which taken together represent a summation of the contemporary world-view: that matter consists of elementary particles which themselves do not consist of anything; that the planets and all the larger objects of the universe arose through the gradual condensation of simple gas; that all living creatures arose out of inorganic matter; that the later forms of social organization and politics arose out of earlier, simpler and less efficient ones; that human consciousness arose from lower phenomena, drives and archetypes; that political rulers must be guided, not from above, but from below, by their own subjects...

We see, then, why science, like capitalism, flourished in the Protestant countries. Protestantism, according to Landes, “gave a big boost to literacy, spawned dissent and heresies, and promoted the skepticism and refusal of authority that is at the heart of the scientific endeavor. The Catholic countries, instead of meeting the challenge, responded by closure and censure.”[19]

However, it is misleading to make too great a contrast between science-loving, democratic religion and science-hating authoritarian religion. Much confusion has been generated in this respect by Galileo’s trial, in which, so it is said, a Pope who falsely believed that the earth was flat and that the sun circled the earth persecuted Galileo, who believed on empirical evidence that the earth circled the sun. Other scientists persecuted by the Catholics, it is said, were Copernicus and Bruno. But the truth, as Jay Wesley Richards explains, was different. “First of all, some claim Copernicus was persecuted, but history shows he wasn’t; in fact, he died of natural causes the same year his ideas were published. As for Galileo, his case can’t be reduced to a simple conflict between scientific truth and religious superstition. He insisted the church immediately endorse his views rather than allow them to gradually gain acceptance, he mocked the Pope, and so forth. Yes, he was censured, but the church kept giving him his pension for the rest of his life.”[20]

“Indeed,” writes Lee Strobel, “historian William R. Shea said, ‘Galileo’s condemnation was the result of the complex interplay of untoward political circumstances, political ambitions, and wounded prides.’ Historical researcher Philip J. Sampson noted that Galileo himself was convinced that the ‘major cause’ of his troubles was that he had made ‘fun of his Holiness’ – that is, Pope Urban VIII – in a 1632 treatise. As for his punishment, Alfred North Whitehead put it this way: ‘Galileo suffered an honorable detention and a mild reproof, before dying peacefully in his bed.’”[21]

Richards continues. “[Bruno] was executed in Rome in 1600. Certainly this is a stain on [Roman Catholic] church history. But again, this was a complicated case. His Copernican views were incidental. He defended pantheism and was actually executed for his heretical views on the Trinity, the Incarnation, and other doctrines that had nothing to do with Copernicanism.”[22]

In fact, neither Holy Scripture[23], nor the Holy Fathers[24], nor even the Roman church as a whole denied the idea of a spherical earth. “The truth is,” writes David Lindberg, “that it’s almost impossible to find an educated person after Aristotle who doubts that the Earth is a sphere. In the Middle Ages, you couldn’t emerge from any kind of education, cathedral school or university, without being perfectly clear about the Earth’s sphericity and even its approximate circumference.”[25]

The Fallibility of Science: (1) The New Physics

Let us now turn to some of the ways in which the scientific enterprise has run aground in modern times, beginning with the new physics.

Since the time of Galileo a certain degree of counter-intuitiveness has come to be seen as an essential ingredient of "real" science; for science progresses by challenging accepted assumptions. And yet there is a very large difference between the counter-intuitiveness (to some in the 16th century) of an earth circling the sun and the plain nonsensicality of, for example, a universe in which time can go backwards! But this is one of things that some modern physicists are saying: since physics expresses all its laws in time-reversible equations, there is no reason in principle why time should not go backwards – and so no reason in principle (according to some of the more melodramatic writers) why one should not be able to go back in time and kill one’s own father!

To these writers we are tempted to say: you can't be serious! But many of them are being perfectly serious – and the idea of time-travel has now entered, through Hollywood, into the consciousness of a whole younger generation. So we have to take this phenomenon, if not these ideas, seriously.

Humility is required here, as in all spheres of knowledge. If our knowledge of physics and mathematics is as limited as the present writer's, then we are not in a position to argue with the scientists on their own ground. So should we retire from the fray hurt and simply bow down before the scientists' superior knowledge?

Many Christians have been prepared to do just that. But, bearing in mind Dostoyevsky's warning about “half-science”, we should be more careful. After all, if these scientists are right, we shall have to change, not only our ideas about the physical universe, but also our ideas about just about everything else, including God, freewill, morality and the human person. And since we have "many infallible proofs" (Acts 1.3) of our traditional beliefs in these spheres, we have good reason to pause.

For it would be false humility, even irrational, to abandon well-established beliefs out of respect for a tiny group of men, whose work extremely few understand (it is said that only about six people in the world fully understand “string theory”, for example, with its eleven dimensions of reality), and who are themselves far from agreed about how their results should be interpreted. If Einstein could not believe that God plays with dice, why should we? We know that these scientists are wrong in some of their wilder judgements - they must be wrong; the problem is discerning why, or rather how they are wrong.

But we are being too alarmist, we are told. These problems are simply temporary inconsistencies in the scientific picture of the world that will eventually be removed as science progresses and new theories are constructed. Thus the problems relating to the nature of time, we are told, will eventually be overcome in the unified field theory, the so-called TOE or "Theory of Everything".

This touching faith in the new physics is reminiscent of those biologists who say: although nobody has actually seen the evolution of a new species, “it is only a matter of time”; eventually (perhaps in a few million years) we shall see it. Thus time is the great healer of the wounds of modern science. And yet that is simply to place a non-religious faith and hope (in the eventual omniscience of science) in place of solid hypotheses based on firm evidence.

The problem is that physics, far from gradually removing all anomalies and contradictions in our understanding of the world, seems to be throwing up still more intractable ones. Thus quantum physics undermines not only the category of time, but also the category of substance; in fact, it undermines the very notion of objective reality. For the quantum wave function that is the fundamental unit of the modern physicist's universe is not a thing or an event, but a spectrum of possible things or events. Moreover, it exists as such only while it is not being observed. When the wave function is observed (by a physical screen or living being), it collapses into one and one only of the possibilities that define it. Thus the price of the birth of reality in this way is the destruction of the fundamental unity of reality!

This brings us to the famous Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. According to the most famous of contemporary scientists, Stephen Hawking, the universe owes its origin to a chance quantum fluctuation. Thus David Wilkinson, a physicist and Methodist minister, in a book on Stephen Hawking writes that the universe arose by “a chance quantum fluctuation from a state of absolute nothing… Quantum theory deals with events which do not have deterministic causes. By applying quantum theory to the universe, Hawking is saying that the event that triggered the Big Bang did not have a cause. In this way, science is able not only to encompass the laws of evolution but also the initial conditions.”[26]

The idea that the whole, vast, infinitely varied universe should come from a chance quantum fluctuation is unbelievable (and certainly undemonstrable). But still more unbelievable is the idea that the quantum fluctuation itself should come out of absolute nothing. Nothing comes from nothing. To say that the quantum fluctuation is not deterministically caused does not resolve the problem. Existing things can owe their existence only to “He Who Is” (Exodus 3.14) essentially and from before all time, Who is “the Beginning of every beginning(I Chronicles 29.12).

However, scientists – even Christian scientists – still believe that one can explain the emergence of something out of nothing without resort to God. Thus Wilkinson writes: “Many people find difficulty in imagining where the matter of the universe comes from to begin with. Surely, they say, there must be an amount of matter or a ‘primeval atom’ with which to go bang? As Einstein’s famous equation E=mc² implies that energy (E) is equivalent to mass (m) multiplied by the square of the speed of light (c), the question can be translated to where does the energy come from?

“Now energy has the property that it can be either positive or negative. Two objects attracted by the force of gravity need energy to pull them apart, and therefore in that state we say that they have negative gravitational energy.

“It turns out that the energy in matter in the universe is the same amount as the negative energy in the gravitational field of the universe. Thus the total energy of the universe is zero. In this way you can have something from nothing in terms of the matter in the universe. No problem here for the Big Bang…”[27]

But this is simply attempting to solve the problem by sleight of hand. Positive energy is something, and negative energy is something. They are not numbers that cancel each other out as in the equation: 1-1=0. They are things, and the existence of things needs to be explained. And something cannot come out of nothing except through the creative energy of God.

Actually, some of the most famous physicists of our time, while not endorsing the idea that God created the heavens and the earth, nevertheless admit that the concept of God is not entirely irrelevant. Thus Stephen Hawking writes: “It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the Universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the Universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws. But in that case one would just have to go by personal belief.”[28]

Another fact that has compelled scientists to accept the relevance of the concept of God is the anthropic principle. This is based on the discovery that there are about 10 constant physical and chemical values – for example, the distance of the earth from the sun – which, if altered even to the slightest degree, would immediately make life on earth impossible. The combination of these 10 values in one place at one time would seem to be an enormous – in fact, unbelievable - coincidence.

The most natural explanation is that it is in fact no coincidence, but that these 10 values have been precisely calibrated by a Creator in order that there should be life – specifically, human life - on earth. However, we must never underestimate the ability of scientists to refuse to accept the obvious conclusion if that conclusion involves the existence of a Being higher than themselves. Thus when we point out the extraordinary non-coincidence of the 10 constant physical and chemical values that make life on earth possible, the scientists resort to the innumerable parallel universes argument. It probably is a coincidence, they say, if we suppose that our universe is just one out of billions of other universes, in one of which the values of these 10 constants as we find them in ours is bound to occur by chance. For according to Everett, "the universe itself is described by a wave-function which contains the ingredients of any outcome. His interpretation carries with it a bizarre implication - that innumerable 'parallel' universes, each as real as our own, all exist independently. Your wildest dreams may be fulfilled within these other worlds. With every measurement made by an observer, who is by definition within a universe, the entire universe buds off an uncountable multitude of new universes (the 'many worlds'), each of which represents a different possible outcome of the observation (for example, a living or a dead cat)."[29]

And yet there is no reason whatsoever for believing that there are billions of other universes. This unbelievable hypothesis is created by scientists’ refusal to believe in the Creator God. They need to reject the God hypothesis, and so they have invented the innumerable parallel universes hypothesis!

The main philosophical argument against the idea of the Creator is that it sets up an infinite chain of causes. For if we say that God created the universe, then they reply: “And who caused God? (and who caused the Creator of God?, etc., etc.)” If we say: “But God has no cause”, then they reply: “Why not? Everything has a cause”.

However, those who reply in this way are making what the linguistic philosophers call a “category mistake”. Empirical causality, as Kant pointed out in his Critique of Pure Reason, is one of the basic categories (the others are substance and time) by which we order the flux of sensory experience. The category of empirical causality can be applied to any segment of space-time. But it cannot be applied to space-time as a whole, because, while the effect here will be spatiotemporal, the cause will be outside space-time. And a fortiori it cannot be applied to a supposed Creator of the Creator of space-time.

But are we not contradicting ourselves here? Did we not agree that God, Who is immaterial and outside space-time, is the Cause of the spatiotemporal universe? There is no contradiction here if we carefully distinguish between three types of causality: empirical, human and Divine.

Let us begin with empirical causality, which is the weakest, most insubstantial form of causality. For, strange as it may seem, we never actually see an empirical causal bond. What we see is events of class A being regularly followed by events of class B. We then infer that there is something forcing this sequence of events, or making it happen; and this we call causality. But, as David Hume pointed out, we never actually see this force, this bond uniting A and B: we only see regular sequences of events. We say that A causes B, but all we actually ever see is events of classes A and B in regular, predictable succession to one another, not the force that joins A to B.

In fact, our only direct experience of causality is when we cause our own actions. Thus when I decide to open the door, I have a direct experience of myself making my hand go towards the door-knob and turn it. This experience of causality is quite different from watching events of class A “causing” events of class B in empirical nature. I do not see the exercise of my will being constantly followed by the opening of doors. I know by direct, irrefutable, non-sensory (what the philosophers call phenomenological) experience that the cause of that door opening was I. This is the second type of causality, human causality; and our knowledge of it, unlike our knowledge of any empirical causality, is both direct and certain.

Moreover, - and this, as we shall see, is a very significant point for the so-called science of psychology – I know that my decision to open the door was uncaused in the scientific, empirical sense. Even if a man were standing behind me with a gun and ordering me to open the door, this would not take away from the uncaused nature of my action. It might explain why I decided to open the door at that moment; but, as the philosophers have demonstrated, to give the reasons for an action is not the same as describing the causes of an event; to confuse reasons with causes is another “category mistake”. Only if the man with a gun took away my power of decision – that is, hypnotized me to open the door, or took hold of my hand and placed it on the door-knob and then turned my hand, would it be true to say that my action was caused. Or rather, then it would no longer be my action, for my action can only be the free result of my will: it would be the action of another person, he would be the cause (the uncaused cause) of the action.

Both human and empirical causality are caused by God, Who brings all things into being out of nothing. Thus it is the Divine Causality which causes events of type A to be followed always (or almost always – the exception is what we perceive to be miracles) by events of type B: He is the Cause of all empirical causation. But Divine Causality is closer to human causality, in Whose image it was made, insofar as It, too, is (a) empirically uncaused, and (b) personal, whereas every empirical cause is (a) empirically caused (because God has caused it to be so), and (b) impersonal.

We experience Divine Causality in moments of grace. It has this effect on human causality that it does not violate the latter’s free and uncaused nature; It informs it without compelling it. Thus when a saint speaks under the influence of God’s grace, he retains complete control over his own words while submitting to the influence of God’s Word. This is incomprehensible within the scientific world-view. But since the scientists cannot see even the empirical causes they postulate, why should this concern us?…

The Fallibility of Science: (2) The New Biology

Let us take as another example of the radical fallibility of science Darwin’s theory of evolution. One of the few encouraging developments in the modern world is the gradual undermining, from many directions, of the hitherto unchallenged pseudo-dogma of Darwinism. However, long before modern scientists began to doubt it (and it is still only a minority that doubts), it was considered false by the saints both on empirical grounds and, much more importantly, because it conflicted with the dogmas of the Christian faith and morality.

It is sometimes supposed that the saints disdained to speak of science as being a lower form of knowledge irrelevant to questions of faith. But this is not so. That they were not afraid to discuss science on its own terms, the terms of empirical evidence, is indicated by the following conversation between Elder Nectarius of Optina (+1928) and one of his spiritual children, who sorrowfully remarked to her friend in his reception room:

"I don't know, perhaps education is altogether unnecessary and only brings harm. How can it be reconciled with Orthodoxy?"

The elder, coming out of his cell, rejoined: "Once a man came to me who simply couldn't believe that there had been a flood. Then I told him that on very high mountains in the sand are found shells and other remains from the ocean floor, and how geology testifies to the flood, and he came to believe. You see how necessary learning is at times." And again the elder said: “God not only permits, but demands of man that he grow in knowledge. However, it is necessary to live and learn so that not only does knowledge not ruin morality, but that morality does not ruin knowledge."[30]

Thus in answer to the question how Orthodox could be reconciled with “education”, i.e. modern science, the elder pointed, on the one hand, to the geological evidence for the flood of Noah - the fossil evidence on which Darwinism rests can much more easily be explained by the flood than by Darwinism itself. However, he did not linger on this evidence. More important, in his view, was the effect that scientific hypotheses like Darwinism had on morality. For, as St. Nectarius’ fellow-elder at Optina, St. Barsanuphius (+1912) said: “The English philosopher Darwin created an entire system according to which life is a struggle for existence, a struggle of the strong against the weak, where those that are conquered are doomed to destruction and the conquerors are triumphant. This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy…”[31]

More important still is the incompatibility of Darwinism with certain cardinal dogmas of the Christian faith. Thus the consistent Darwinist must believe: (i) that God did not create the heavens and the earth, or that if He did, He did it through death, the destructive forces of mutation and natural selection (but “God did not create death” (Wisdom 1.13)); (ii) that the species came into being through chance (St. Basil says that anyone who believes in chance is an atheist[32]); (iii) that death was not the result of sin, as Scripture says (Romans 5.19), but existed even before sin was possible; (iv) that man, being only matter, does not have free will, and therefore cannot be judged; and (v) that man does not have an immortal soul, but is wholly the product of chance forces operating on matter.

St. Nectarios of Aegina wrote: “The followers of pithecogeny [the derivation of man from the apes] are ignorant of man and of his lofty destiny, because they have denied him his soul and Divine revelation. They have rejected the Spirit, and the Spirit has abandoned them. They withdrew from God, and God withdrew from them; for, thinking they were wise, they became fools… If they had acted with knowledge, they would not have lowered themselves so much, nor would they have taken pride in tracing the origin of the human race to the most shameless of animals. Rightly did the Prophet say of them: ‘Man being in honour, did not understand; he is compared to the dumb beasts, and is become like unto them.”[33]

It is amazing how many so many Christians fail to see the incompatibility of Darwinism with Christian dogma and morality. Or perhaps they see it, but suppress this perception because of the choice it will then place before them: to accept the modern world-view and reject Christianity, or vice-versa. They prefer the muddled and impossible compromise of “theistic evolution”, choosing to believe that God somehow works through death and chance, that He could not or would not make His creation perfect from the beginning, but had to go through billions of years of bloody experiments before He “hit upon” the world as it is now![34] Or perhaps they are seduced by the perspective of infinite progress through unending evolution that Darwinism offers - as one Masonic writer puts it: “First a mollusc, then a fish then a bird, then a mammal, then a man, then a Master, then a God”.[35] In any case, it must be firmly understood: it is impossible to be a Christian and a Darwinist.

It is important to remind ourselves at this point that science is hypothetical in essence; it proclaims no certainties; what is declared to be a self-evident law of nature in one generation is denounced as false in the next. Moreover, several of the major hypotheses of science appear to contradict each other, at least in the opinion of significant sections of the scientific community - for example, the time-reversible laws of quantum physics and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Darwinism also contradicts this latter law, since evolution involves the build-up of complexity and information rather than its inexorable loss, as the Second Law says.

In fact, Darwinism is essentially a fairy-tale dressed up in scientific language. As A. N. Field writes: ‘With oaks to be seen sprouting from acorns, grubs turning into butterflies, and chickens pecking their way out of eggs, it is not surprising that human fancy from an early date toyed with the notion of one kind of living thing being transformed into some other kind. This idea has been the stock-in-trade of folk-lore and fairy tales in all ages and all lands. It was the achievement of Charles Darwin to make it the foundation of modern biological science.”[36]

However, as Field goes on to say, a major difficulty is encountered by the Darwinists at the very outset of their argument: “There is… not a shred of evidence of any living thing ever evolving into some different kind of living thing capable of breeding but infertile with its parent stock. All that breeding experiments have produced is mere varieties fertile with their parent stock, or else sterile hybrids, incapable of breeding, such as the mule produced by a cross between horse and donkey.”

Darwin admitted as much in a private letter to Dr. Bentham on May 22, 1863: “In fact belief in Natural Selection must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations… When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed (i.e. we cannot prove that a single species has changed); nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.” Nearly 150 years later, this statement is still true. Moreover, developments in genetics and molecular biology have placed further vast obstacles in the way of the possibility of natural selection.

It seems that the “ignorant” St. Basil was right after all: “Nothing is truer than that each plant produces its seed or contains some seminal virtue; this is what is meant by ‘after its kind’. So that the shoot of a reed does not produce an olive tree, but from a reed grows another reed, and from one sort of seed a plant of the same sort always germinates. Thus all that has sprung from the earth in its first bringing forth is kept the same to our time, thanks to the constant reproduction of kind.”[37]

Since this is the case, there is no need to concede to the scientific world-view more than it claims for itself (in the mouths of its more honest and intelligent spokesmen). Otherwise we fall into the trap which so many non-scientific Christians have fallen into of immediately accepting the latest scientific fashion and adapting one's faith to it, only to find that science has moved on and left their "modernised faith" as an out-of-date relic. This has been the fate of the "Christian Marxists" and "theist evolutionists", who in trying slavishly to adapt Christianity to the latest and least credible fashion in science show themselves to be neither Christians nor scientists. What we must always remember is that, whatever its many and undoubted achievements, science is a fallible enterprise conducted by sinful men. Therefore scientists individually and collectively are not immune from deception, and we Christians should not be cowed by their supposedly superior knowledge from subjecting their conclusions to criticism. As A.S. Khomiakov writes, “we should accept, preserve and develop [science] in all the intellectual space that it requires; but at the same time subject it constantly to our own criticism, enlightened by those lofty principles that were passed down to us of old by the Orthodox of our ancestors. Only in this way can we raise science itself, giving it the wholeness and fullness that it does not yet have.”[38]

This is especially the case with regard to the new biology, because in this field, at any rate, there is a growing minority of fully qualified scientists who reject the Darwinist myth. They point to a vast number of facts that contradict Darwinism: not only the familiar one of the missing links in human evolution, but such facts as the impossibility of generating even a single-cell organism out of a primitive biochemical soup, the impossibility of assembling the elements of a cell into working order one by one (they all have to be present simultaneously and in exactly the right relationship to each other), the impossibility of understanding the evolution of sexually differentiated species from asexual ones (since the vastly complicated differences between the male and the female of the new species have to emerge, in perfect working order, in a single generation), the circularity and radical unreliability of the Darwinist methods of dating rocks and fossils, the fact of the universal flood as witnessed in the folk lore of all peoples, etc., etc. “Creationism” is not, as many suppose, the imposition of Protestant fundamentalism into the realm of pure science, but simply honest science.

And if elements of heretical Protestantism have crept into some creationist work, these are easily separated from the science, like wheat from the chaff. There is no reason why the great bulk of creationist work – as well as all conventional science that does not rest on Darwinist assumptions (i.e. the vast majority of science) - could not be absorbed into a new project of “Orthodox creationism”, which will be honest both to God and to science, being interested in truth alone…

The Fallibility of Science: (3) The New Psychology

The modern scientific project of encompassing the whole universe from the primal matter of the Big Bang to all the planets and galaxies and all the species of plants and animals in a single explanatory framework, that is, in a single causal nexus, would surely be judged to have failed if it stopped short at man. After all, while earlier generations of men wished to demonstrate that man is a “fifth essence” separate from the four natural essences of fire, earth, water and air, and not included in the causal nexus of the material universe, modern scientists think just the opposite. They have an enormous respect for matter as the origin of all things, and the fount of the evolutionary ascent of man; and they wish to be included in that evolutionary ascent at all costs – even at the cost of denying the existence of their own souls![39]

The hub of the scientific project in its application to man is what is sometimes called the Artificial Intelligence or "AI" hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, mental states are to be identified with brain states, which in turn can be described exclusively in terms of computer states. The crucial test of this hypothesis would be to build a robot whose behaviour would simulate the behaviour of a man in every way. If the behaviour of the robot were indistinguishable from what we recognize as the behaviour of a man, then we would be forced to admit that the robot is a man. And then we would be forced to the further conclusion that man is the product of evolution: the last link in the chain would be complete.

However, the philosopher John Searle has argued that however accurately a machine could mimic the behaviour of an intelligent human being, it cannot be said to understand what it is doing. And he proves his contention by describing an imaginary "Chinese room" experiment. Suppose a person is locked in a room and is given a large amount of Chinese writing. Suppose, further, that he understands not a word of Chinese, but is given a set of instructions in a language he does understand which teaches him to correlate one set of Chinese symbols with another. If the rules correlating input and output are sufficiently complex and sophisticated, and if the man becomes sufficiently skilled in manipulating them, then it is possible to envisage a situation in which, for any question given him in Chinese, the man will be able to give an appropriate answer also in Chinese in such a way that no-one would guess from his answers that he knows not a word of Chinese![40]

Thus scientists will never be able to explain their own thought processes by purely scientific means - by building a model of the brain on a computer. For such functions as "understanding meaning" and "intending" cannot be simulated on a machine, no matter how sophisticated. As Michael Polanyi writes: "These personal powers include the capacity for understanding a meaning, for believing a factual statement, for interpreting a mechanism in relation to its purpose, and on a higher level, for reflecting on problems and exercising originality in solving them. They include, indeed, every manner of reaching convictions by an act of personal judgement. The neurologist exercises these powers to the highest degree in constructing the neurological model of a man - to whom he denies in this very act any similar powers."[41]

This conclusion reached by philosophical thought is confirmed by the findings of mathematicians. Thus the Oxford professor Roger Penrose, relying on the work of other mathematicians such as Godel and Turing, has given some excellent reasons for not believing that minds are algorithmic, i.e. mechanistic entities. For example, there are certain necessary mathematical truths which are seen to be true but cannot be logically deduced from the axioms of the system to which they belong; that is, although we know that they are true, we cannot prove them to be true. This suggests that the seeing of mathematical truths is a spontaneous, uncaused, yet completely rational act. Penrose believes that mathematical truths are like Platonic ideas, which exist independently both of the mind and of the physical world. Whether or not he is right in this, he has clearly demonstrated that mathematical thinking cannot be described or explained in deterministic terms. And if mathematical thinking, the most rigorous and logical of all kinds of thought, is free and not determined, the same must be true of scientific thought in general.[42]

It follows that if psychologists try to deny that thinking is free, they cut the ground from under their own feet and deprive their own thought of any credibility. For let us suppose that the thinking of psychologists is in fact determined by certain natural laws. The question then arises: if that is so, what reason do we have for believing that their reasoning is rational and true? For if a man speaks under some kind of compulsion, we conclude either that he does not understand what he is saying, or that he is lying, or that he is telling the truth "by accident", as it were. In any case, we attach no significance to his words; for free and rational men believe only the words of free and rational men.

Now just as rational thought presupposes freedom, so does responsible action. The whole of morality and law is based on the premise that the actions of men can be free, although they are not always so. If a man is judged to have committed a criminal offence freely, then he is blamed and punished accordingly. If, on the other hand, he is judged to have been "not in his sound mind", he is not blamed and is sent to a psychiatric hospital rather than a prison. If we could not make such distinctions between various degrees of freedom, civilized society would soon collapse.

Now, as we have seen, free will is a completely different kind of causality from empirical causality. Unlike empirical causality, it is not inferred, but directly perceived by the cause himself. As such, we can be certain about our human causality, whereas empirical causality can never be more than a subject of conjecture or hypothesis.

Free will is only faintly discerned at the subconscious level of human life, where we feel that we are being pushed and pulled in a dark sea of desires and aversions, of attractions and repulsions, over which we have little control. In this context we can see that it was no accident that psychology should have begun its section of the scientific enterprise at the beginning of the twentieth century with the psychoanalytical study of the subconscious and of those pathological states in which free will and rationality appear to be suspended. For, with his freewill and rationality removed, man can be more easily treated as if he were just a biological organism, subject to the same empirical laws as other biological organisms.

However, even psychoanalysis was forced to introduce the concept of the ego – that is, the person, the seat of free will and rationality. For insofar as a man feels himself to be the victim of subconscious forces that he cannot yet conceptualize or control, he also feels himself to be distinct from them, and therefore potentially able to resist them. Moreover, at the higher level of consciousness, this feeling of passive "victimization" is translated into active attention to objects and resistance to (some) desires; Prometheus bound becomes Prometheus unbound, at least in relation to some elements of his mental life.

The phenomenon of attention is of particular interest here because it is at the same time the sine qua non of all perception and thought and the first real manifestation of freedom of the will, the will being bound at the lower, subconscious level. As the Russian religious philosopher S.L. Frank points out, some element of will is present in all perception and thought insofar as it is not imposed by either the environment or the subconscious. Even if our attention is involuntarily drawn to an object, the perception of it as occupying a definite place in the objective world requires an effort of will directing our cognitive faculties upon it. Thus my attention may be involuntarily drawn by a bright light or a pretty face - at this moment I am under the control of subconsciously registered images, sensations and desires. But immediately I try to perceive where and what it is that has attracted my attention, I am displaying freedom of will.[43]

However, it is above in all in the experience of resisting one or other of our desires that we become conscious that our will is free. This freedom is only relative insofar as the resistance to one desire is conditioned by submission to another, stronger one. But introspection reveals that in any struggle between two desires at the conscious level there is always a third element, the ego, that chooses between them, however under pressure by one of the desires the ego may feel itself to be. It is in the hesitation before choice that we become conscious of our freedom. And it is in the consciousness that we could have chosen differently that we become conscious of our responsibility.

Empirical psychology cannot provide us with knowledge of the workings of our free will insofar as it is dominated by the dogma of scientism, which excludes specifically human, as opposed to empirical causality. In the most extreme manifestation of psychological scientism, behaviourism, even the word "action" is removed from the scientific vocabulary and replaced by the word "behaviour", which has fewer connotations of free will and choice. According to the behaviourists, our “behaviour” is exclusively determined by biological drives and learned conditional reflexes. Fortunately, behaviourism is now generally admitted to have been a mistake; but we must not underestimate the continued influence of scientistic modes of thought in psychology. If the mechanistic model of the behaviourists is simply replaced by the computer models of the cognitive scientists, then we are no nearer the truth now than we were in the 1950s.

It is not only free will and rationality that empirical psychology cannot comprehend. Consider, for example, the important phenomenon of falling in love. Frank writes: "What can so-called empirical psychology observe in it? First of all it will fall on the external, physical symptoms of this phenomenon - it will point out the changes in blood circulation, feeding and sleep in the person under observation. But remembering that it is, first of all, psychology, it will pass over to the observation of 'mental phenomena', it will record changes in self-image, sharp alterations in mental exaltation and depression, the stormy emotions of a pleasant and repulsive nature through which the life of a lover usually passes, the dominance in his consciousness of images relating to the beloved person, etc. Insofar as psychology thinks that in these observations it has expressed, albeit incompletely, the very essence of being in love - then this is a mockery of the lover, a denial of the mental phenomenon under the guise of a description of it. For for the lover himself all these are just symptoms or consequences of his feeling, not the feeling itself. Its essence consists, roughly, in a living consciousness of the exceptional value of the beloved person, in an aesthetic delight in him, in the experience of his central significance for the life of the beloved - in a word, in a series of phenomena characterizing the inner meaning of life. To elucidate these phenomena means to understand them compassionately from within, to recreate them sympathetically in oneself. The beloved will find an echo of himself in artistic descriptions of love in novels, he will find understanding in a friend, as a living person who has himself experienced something similar and is able to enter the soul of his friend; but the judgements of the psychologist will seem to him to be simply misunderstandings of his condition - and he will be right."[44]

A description of love in terms of drives, stimuli and learning will invariably miss out the most important element, the element that makes love love – the perception of another person as a person. Nor is it simply the one-way perception of another as a person that is important: it is the mutual perception that the other is perceiving oneself in the same way. This is the fact of inter-personal communion, which enables two people to relate to each other not as subjects and objects but as inter-penetrating subjects whose knowledge of each other, though from different points of view, is identical, and though taking place in space and time seems to transcend space and time. Heron has described this fact as follows: "My awareness of myself is in part constituted by my awareness of his awareness of me, and my awareness of him is in part constituted by my awareness of his awareness of me."[45]

I am not here talking simply about empathy, which is another basic psychological phenomenon that transcends empirical science. Empathy lies at the root of art, and has been described by one Russian scientist as "a necessary and most important, although not the only condition of creativity in any sphere of human activity".[46] But empathy is a one-way relationship, like art itself: here we are talking rather about mutual and simultaneous empathy which creates a new content as well as form of consciousness.

Thus two people in relation to each other as people are like two mirrors placed opposite each other. That which is reflected in mirror A is mirror B, and that which is reflected in mirror B is mirror A. The "knowledge" that each has is therefore objective and subjective at the same time; in fact, the objectivity and subjectivity of the vision or visions are logically and chronologically inseparable. But this amounts to a radically different kind of knowledge from that of scientific, empirical knowledge, which Frank calls "object consciousness".[47] For whereas object consciousness entails a radical separation between a spaceless and timeless subject and a spatial (if material) or temporal (if mental) object, person consciousness entails an equally radical identity-in-diversity of subject and object which we may simply call communion.

Frank describes communion as follows: "When we speak to a person, or even when our eyes meet in silence, that person ceases to be an 'object' for us and is no longer a 'he' but a 'thou'. That means he no longer fits into the frame-work of 'the world of objects': he ceases to be a passive something upon which our cognitive gaze is directed for the purposes of perception without in any way affecting it. Such one-sided relation is replaced by a two-sided one, by an interchange of spiritual activities. We attend to him and he to us, and this attitude is different from - though it may co-exist with - the purely ideal direction of attention which we call objective knowledge: it is real spiritual interaction. Communion is both our link with that which is external to us, and a part of our inner life, and indeed a most essential part of it. From an abstract logical point of view this is a paradoxical case of something external not merely coexisting with the 'inward' but of actually merging into it. Communion is at one and the same time both something 'external' to us and something 'inward' - in other words it cannot in the strict sense be called either external or internal.

"This can still more clearly be seen from the fact that all communion between 'I' and 'thou' leads to the formation of a new reality designated by the word 'we' - or rather, coincides with it."[48]

The fact is that human beings can relate to themselves and each other not only in the scientific, "I-it" mode, but also in the artistic "I-thou" mode, and in what we may call the religious "I-we" mode.[49] It follows that if psychologists are to truly understand their subject, and not dehumanize man by pretending that he exists only on the "I-it" mode of our limited scientific understanding, then they must be prepared to ascend to the "I-thou" and "I-we" modes, and understand him in these, more intimate and at the same time more comprehensive and universal modes. For how can we understand the humanity of another man if we do not exert our own humanity to its fullest extent?

In the Steven Spielberg film Artificial Intelligence a boy who is in fact a robot is rejected by his human “parents” because the son whom they lost is brought to life and begins to be jealous of the “brother” robot who had been constructed to replace him. The robot makes it his life’s mission to find his “mother” again and prove to himself that she loves him just as much as her “real”, human son. In the course of the film, humanity destroys itself, and only the robots are left “alive”. With the help of some fellow-robots, and some DNA preserved from a wisp of his mother’s hair, the robots are able to bring the mother to life again for a single day. And so the boy-robot is at last able to enjoy the supreme pleasure of hearing her say that she loves him…

The “message” of the film (for this writer, if not for Spielberg) is by no means that robots will one day be just as human as real human beings. It is rather that scientific advances in artificial intelligence, and in the knowledge of man’s genetic and physiological make-up, will never penetrate to the heart of man’s mystery, which is the capacity to love, freely and not in order to fulfil a biological desire, but simply because an object worthy of love exists. For, as Hamlet says:

You would play upon me;

You would seem to know my stops;

You would pluck out the heart of my mystery;

You would sound me from my lowest

note to the top of my compass.

And there is much music, excellent voice,

in this little organ.

Yet cannot you make it speak...

Science and the Word of God

The study of science gives us many reasons for believing in God. After all, “since the creation of the world”, says St. Paul, “His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead”; which is why those who do not believe in the Creator God “are without excuse” (Romans 1.20). This leads many to believe that science and the Word of God must be compatible.

If they mean by “science” real science, science unaffected and unpolluted by scientism and “half-science”, then they are right. But modern science has long ago been hijacked, as it were, by a project that actually has nothing to do with real science: the project, namely, to prove that empirical reality, the reality studied by the scientists, is the only reality, and that scientific truth is the only truth. It is therefore naïve to expect that science as it is presently practised in most universities and laboratories will be found to be compatible with the Word of God. In the end, in spite of all attempts to reconcile the one with the other, glaring contradictions will remain, because it is not only in theological science that the truth is unattainable without the help of God. In every sphere the full truth can be found only with the help of the Truth Himself, that is, God, and will remain hidden unless the Truth Himself is invoked.

Thus one fact clearly proclaimed by the Word of God is that the sun and all the heavenly bodies were created after the earth. This fact is in no way compatible with any modern hypothesis put forward by godless science about the origin of the solar system. And it would dishonest of us to try to “reinterpret” that fact to make it “fit” with modern physics in the way that the theistic evolutionists try to make Genesis’s seven days of creation somehow “fit” with the million-year epochs of Darwinist time.

Instead of trying to reinterpret or allegorise the Word of God to make it fit with godless science, we should heed the words of St. Basil the Great: “I know the laws of allegory, though less by myself than from the works of others. There are those truly who do not admit the common sense of the Scriptures, for whom water is not water, but some other nature, who see in a plant, in a fish, what their fancy wishes, who change the nature of reptiles and of wild beasts to suit their allegories, like the interpreters of dreams who explain visions in sleep to make them serve their own ends. For me grass is grass; plant, fish, wild beast, domestic animal, I take all in a literal sense. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. Those who have written about the nature of the universe have discussed at length the shape of the earth. If it be spherical or cylindrical, if it resemble a disc and is equally rounded in all parts, or if it has the form of a winnowing basket and is hollow in the middle; all those conjectures have been suggested by cosmographers, each one upsetting that of his predecessor. It will not lead me to give less importance to the creation of the universe that the servant of God Moses is silent as to shapes; he has not said that the earth is a hundred and eighty thousand furlongs in circumference; he has not measured into what extent of air its shadow projects itself while the sun revolves around it, nor state how its shadow, casting itself upon the moon, produces eclipses. He has passed over in silence, as useless, all that is unimportant for us. Shall I then prefer foolish wisdom to the oracles of the Holy Spirit? Shall I not rather exalt Him Who, not wishing to fill our minds with these vanities, has regulated all the economy of Scripture in view of the edification and the making perfect of our souls? It is this that those seem to me not to have understood, who, giving themselves up to the distorted meaning of allegory, have undertaken to give a majesty of their own invention to Scripture. It is to believe themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and to bring forth their own ideas under a pretext of exegesis. Let us hear Scripture as it has been written…”[50]

One may object that the book of Genesis was not written as a scientific textbook, so it is useless to cite anything from it as if it contradicted any scientific hypothesis. Now it is, of course, true that Genesis is not a scientific textbook – as St. Basil himself points out. But at the same time, as the same saint pointed out, it is not allegory, and it does describe facts. And if these facts, whether expressed in scientific language or not, contradict the hypotheses of modern science, such as the fact that the earth was created before the sun, or that man was created separately from the other species, or that there was once a universal flood which destroyed the old world and laid down the fossils that we see now, then there is no way of getting round this for the honest, truly believing Christian. We either believe the Word of God, or we believe modern godless science.

The problem with trying to reconcile the Word of God with modern godless science is that in our joy at finding certain points of concord, or apparent concord, between the two, we may subconsciously accept certain ideas of science which are definitely heretical. Thus the anthropic principle in physics can be interpreted to imply that God created the universe in precisely such a way that man should be able to study and understand it, which is clearly what Christians believe. However, it may also be interpreted in a quite different way more in accordance with Hindu ideas about the divinity of man; for according to Marek Kohn, the principle "seems to be on the verge of substituting man for God, by hinting that consciousness, unbound by time's arrow, causes creation"![51] In fact, the eastern idea that every man is by nature a god gains credence from both from the Darwinist idea that we are evolving into gods, and from the physicists’ idea that our consciousness causes creation.

These parallels between ideas in modern science and eastern religions suggest that the strange path that science is treading may be connected with the general penetration of western civilisation by these religions. For centuries, Christians have believed that there are clear and important differences between the Creator and creation, matter and spirit, time and eternity, freedom and determinism, man and animal, soul and body, life and death. But in the twentieth century, the age of relativity and relativism, all these terms have melted into each other; under the combined onslaught of modern science and eastern religion, the distinctions which are so basic to our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in have tended to disappear in a pantheist, panpsychic or panmaterialist soup.

However, the recognition that all these alarming intellectual and spiritual trends are related makes the task of resisting them only a little easier. For even if we reject eastern religion as false and satanic, and suspect that the god of this world has also had a hand in blinding some scientists, we cannot say the same about science in general. We have to explain both how science has gone wrong and why it still manages to get so many things right...

One obvious way in which science has gone wrong is by drastically narrowing a priori the range of data it examines, eliminating from its field of observation the vast sphere of phenomena that we call religious. Concealment of data which conflicts with one's hypothesis is usually considered dishonest science. And yet in relation to religion it has been practised on a massive scale by most of the scientific community for centuries. Even when scientists do deign to study religion, their methods and conclusions are often blatantly biassed and unscientific. This was obvious with regard to the "achievements" of Soviet "scientists" as they tried to explain, for example, the incorruption of the relics of the Russian saints: but western scientists have been hardly less biassed, if usually more sophisticated than their Soviet counterparts.

Of course, some "miracles" are contrived, just as some religious beliefs are superstitious; and science can do a genuine service to the truth by exposing these frauds.[52] But the existence of some frauds does not undermine religion in general, any more than the existence of quack doctors undermines genuine medicine. Moreover, science itself has not been immune from quackery of its own in its eagerness to explain away the phenomena of religion. Particularly useful to it in this respect has been the concept of psychosomatic illness and psychology in general. But psychology is the least developed of the sciences; and, as we have seen, there are strong reasons for disputing whether it can ever be a genuinely empirical science.

We must also remember that, as Sir Peter Medawar writes, "it is logically outside the competence of science to answer questions to do with first and last things."[53] For any such answers must be in principle unverifiable insofar as no man observed the beginning of the universe and no man can see its end. As the Lord said to Job: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding” (Job 38.4). Science, however, - or rather, false science - denies any such limits to its competence; and so, by the just judgement of God, it proceeds further and further away from the knowledge of the greater mysteries of the universe - of God, of the soul, of the origins and destiny of creation, - while puffing itself up by its knowledge of the lesser mystery of how to build a rocket to the moon.

To understand the first and last things we have to resort to another method, that of faith; for, as St. Paul says, "we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5.7). In this sphere we cannot walk by sight, because, as Fr. Seraphim Rose writes, “the state of Adam and the first-created world has been placed forever beyond the knowledge of science by the barrier of Adam’s transgression, which changed the very nature of Adam and creation, and indeed the very nature of knowledge itself. Modern science knows only what it observes and what can be reasonably inferred from observation… The true knowledge of Adam and the first-created world – as much as is useful for us to know – is accessible only in God’s revelation and in the Divine vision of the saints.”[54]

Walking by faith does not mean ignoring the evidence of our senses or the methods of logical reasoning. Thus the central truth of our Faith, the Resurrection of Christ, was verified by the Apostle Thomas in a simple scientific experiment involving the sense of touch. And the main physical evidence of the Resurrection, the Turin Shroud, has been subjected to analysis by scientists from practically every discipline from botany to astrophysics - and remains inexplicable by any other hypothesis (a recent carbon-14 analysis of its age conducted with the aim of refuting its authenticity turned out to be based on false presuppositions.[55]

And yet millions of people confronted by these "many infallible proofs" do not believe; they cannot make the, for us, eminently logical deduction that the man who fulfils so many prophecies in His own life must be "my Lord and my God" (John 20.28). They cannot do this because, while science and logic confirm the Resurrection of Christ, the Person they point to is an unseen reality Who cannot be contained within the confines of the senses and logic and therefore represents a challenge to their carnal nature. Thus their seeing and reasoning are not mixed with faith, which is, in St. Paul's words, "the reality (Greek hypostasis: literally "substance") of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen" (Hebrews 11.1).

When a man, following the evidence of his senses and the reasoning of his logical mind, penetrates, through faith, beyond the veil of the senses to the Logos Himself, He receives further revelations about things not seen in accordance with his spiritual level. He learns about the creation of the world in the beginning, and its judgement at the end, about angels and demons, the souls of men and the logoi of all created beings. Nature becomes for him, in the words of St. Anthony the Great, "a book in which we read the thoughts of God".

Only those "thoughts" are not mathematical formulae describing the structure of matter or space-time. Rather, they express the essential nature and purpose for which each thing was created, its place in the universe as a whole and in eternity. This alone is the true knowledge of things…

Two Approaches to Nature

The scientific approach to nature may be described as analytic and reductionist; the Christian approach as analogical and symbolic. The essence of the one approach is mathematical and quantitative; of the other - spiritual and qualitative. The two approaches are compatible; there is no reason why we cannot go up the great ladder of Being at one moment – qualitatively, “from glory to glory”, and go down it at another – quantitatively, until we reach that smallest quantum or “thing” which is in fact “no thing”. However, these two approaches are not on a par with each other; for while the analogical approach ascends from one level of reality to a higher one which is closer to Absolute Reality, the analytical approach sheds, as it were, dimensions or planes of reality, as it descends lower. Thus by reducing psychology and the social sciences to neurophysiology, analytical science loses the reality of freewill and consciousness; by reducing biology to chemistry, it loses the élan vital, the essence of life; and by reducing chemistry to quanta, it loses, time, substance and causality.

Indeed, the analytical approach reduces itself to absurdity by claiming that there is nothing else than these "no-things" - the ultimate statement of nihilism. This is what happens when qualities are redefined as quantities, when the analytical approach is adopted on its own without any reference to the truths and dimensions of reality revealed by the analogical approach. That is how we come to have theories which deny the arrow of time while trying to describe its supposed beginning (the Big Bang) and end (the Big Crunch); and theories about the origin of life which are based on destruction (mutation) and death (natural selection); and theories about the neurological nature of mind which, if they were true, would deprive us of any reason for believing in the truth of any theories whatsoever - for why should I believe that the chance product of one set of neuronal firings is "truer" than any other?[56]

Reductionism leads to nihilism and absurdity: the opposite process reveals an ever-increasing fullness of reality leading to God Himself. As Elder Barsanuphius writes: “In nature, in this visible world, various forces function, and the lowest of them yield to the higher: the physical yields to the chemical, the chemical to the organic, and finally, all of them together to the highest of all, the spiritual. Without the intervention of the higher forces, the lower forces would function in a homogeneous, immutable order. But the higher forces alter, and sometimes even suspend the actions of the lower. In such a natural subordination of the lower forces to the higher, not one of the laws of nature is changed. Thus, for example, a physician changes the progression of a disease, a man changes the face of the earth by digging of canals, and so on. Cannot God cause the same thing to a boundlessly greater extent?”[57]

Orthodox Christianity is not against science that stays humbly within its limits, which recognises that the universe is not an isolated system, but one that is open to the God Who created it, Who preserves it and all its parts in existence, and Who sustains every one of its laws by His Providence until the day when He will come to judge it, when "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Peter 3.10).

Orthodoxy declares that there is nothing more real than God, that all things "live and move and have their being in Him" (Acts 17.28), and that things lose reality when they begin to move away from Him and cease to reflect His light. Some things reflect God more fully and therefore partake in more dimensions of His reality. Christ is His perfect, consubstantial Image and Name; for He "reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature, upholding the universe by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1.3). Men are also images of God, though not consubstantial ones; and their ability to use the word in science, art and religion in order to describe and understand the universe is a true reflection of the power of the Word of God.

Indeed, Adam's "naming" of the animals in Paradise may be seen as the beginning of true, analogical science; for through it, in St. Ambrose's words, "God granted [us] the power of being able to discern by the application of sober logic the species of each and every object, in order that [we] may be induced to form a judgement on all of them."[58] Again, Nicetas Stethatos writes, God made man “king of creation”, enabling him “to possess within himself the inward essences, the natures and the knowledge of all beings”.[59]

Lower levels of being do not have the power of the word and can therefore symbolise higher levels less fully and deeply. And yet in Christ and the Church, "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1.22), even the lowliest wave-function acquires reality and meaning and the ability to partake in some measure in the Providence of God.

The proof of the primordial unity of the universe, and the guarantee of its eternal unity, is the Incarnation of Christ. For when the Word became flesh, He that is absolutely immaterial and unquantifiable took on matter and was as it were "quantised". Thus in His one and indivisible Person was united the Godhead, mind, soul, body, atoms and quanta. We might call this the First Law of Analogical Thermodynamics. It is the Law of the conservation of matter and life and meaning in the Light and Life and Logos of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, the unity of the universe has been threatened by man, who, misusing the freedom and rationality given him in the image of God's absolute Freedom and Rationality, has turned away from God to the lower levels of reality. Thus instead of contemplating all things in symbolic and symbiotic relation to the Word and Wisdom of the universe, he has considered them only in relation to himself, the observer and user; instead of offering nature up to God in eucharistic thanksgiving, he has dragged it down to the level of his own self-centred desires. As a result, both he and nature have disintegrated, and not only abstractly, in the systems of scientists and philosophers, but concretely, in history; for there has been a progressive seepage or dissipation of reality and meaning from the universe separating man from God, then man from woman, the soul from the body, and all the elements of nature from their original moorings.

In scientific terms, this seepage or disintegration or expanding chaos is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics, the best verified law in the whole of science. We might call it the Second Law of Analogical Thermodynamics. In theological language it is known as original sin or, in St. Paul's words, "the bondage of corruption", under which the whole of creation has been groaning to the present day (Romans 8.21-22).

We fell through partaking of the tree of knowledge prematurely, before partaking of the tree of life. We began to analyse and reduce and kill and consume before we had acquired real, stable life in Christ. God did not say that knowledge was evil, nor that Adam and Eve would not acquire a certain kind of knowledge by partaking of the forbidden tree; but since this knowledge was not a knowledge of life grounded in life it became a knowledge of death that brought in death.

The thesis of the First Law, and the antithesis of the Second Law, require a Third Law which restores or recreates the order that was in the beginning. This Third Law began to operate at the Incarnation of Christ, when human nature was recreated in the image and likeness of God, but with a new energy that took it onto a higher plane, the plane of deification. This Third Law is in fact not a law in the sense of a constraint upon nature, but rather "the law of liberty" (James 2.12), "the glorious liberty of the sons of God" (Romans 8.22), the law of grace...

Conclusion

The original fall of man took place as the result of a desire for forbidden knowledge – forbidden because useless for the man who has the knowledge of God and leading in the end to alienation from God. Why? Because this sin, as St. Innocent of Kherson (+1857) writes, “blinds and spoils even the greatest abilities, and perverts and destroys even the widest knowledge”. For “its ineradicable property is to predispose man to mental craziness. But shall we then dispute that the sinner has any knowledge? No, we grant this to him, even that he has a certain special kind of knowledge, bearing in mind the experience and example of our unfortunate forbears. [For] they, after the fall, truly had their eyes opened, as the tempter promised them. But what did they see? That they were naked.[60]

Science has repeated the original fall of man, coming to the bitter and senseless and deadly conclusion that all life has evolved through a struggle to the death, being constructed out of ghostly spectra of possibilities that disappear on encountering the first dawn of knowledge. The universe, according to science, is indeed, in Macbeth’s words, "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". Science can only come to life again, covering its shameful nakedness, by coming into contact with the true Light, Christ, "in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2.3).

Science and faith can come to a single, mutually consistent understanding of the universe. But only if science takes the absolute truths revealed by faith. and not the forever-provisional hypotheses of the fallen mind of man, as its starting point. Scientific method that does not attempt to compete with faith, but is grounded in faith and constantly united with, and informed by it, will lead to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Let us hope and pray that science, grounded in this way in absolute truth, in certainty and not in mere hypothesis, will undergo its own resurrection...

But in the meantime let us not be deceived by "antitheses of science falsely so called" (I Timothy 6.20). Let us "continue in the faith grounded and settled", taking care lest any man rob us "through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ" (Colossians 1.23, 2.8). For the words of St. Basil the Great about the "half-scientists" of his day are no less relevant in our own: "Have not those who give themselves up to vain science the eyes of owls? The sight of the owl, piercing during the night time, is dazzled by the splendour of the sun. Thus the intelligence of these men, so keen to contemplate vanities, is blind in the presence of the true Light..."[61]

Vladimir Moss.

January 1/14, 2005; revised June 10/23, 2010.



[1] Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, London: Allen Unwin, 1959, p. 512.

[2] Polanyi, “The Two Cultures”, Encounter, 1959, № 13, p. 61.

[3] Dostoyevsky, The Devils, London: Penguin Books, 1971, p. 257.

[4] Rose, “The Orthodox Patristic Understanding of Genesis”, ch. 5, The Orthodox Word, № 171, 1993.

[5] Bishop Ignatius, Sochinenia (Works), volume 4, letter № 45 (in Russian).

[6] Bishop Ignatius, Sochinenia (Works), volume 4, letter № 61 (in Russian).

[7] St. Basil, Homily 1 on the Hexaemeron.

[8] The transition from the early to the later empiricism is marked by David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1747), in which he writes: “While we argue from the course of nature and infer a particular intelligent cause which first bestowed and still preserves order in the universe, we embrace a principle which is still uncertain and useless. It is uncertain because the subject lies entirely beyond the reach of human experience. It is useless because… we can never on that basis establish any principles of conduct and behaviour.”

[9] Bacon, New Atlantis; see Porter, op. cit., p. 17.

[10] Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, Book I, 1, 3.

[11] Bacon, The Interpretation of Nature, proemium.

[12] Bacon, The Great Instauration, “The Plan of the Work”.

[13] Roberts, The Triumph of the West, London: Phoenix Press, 1985, p. 160.

[14] Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, in Charles H. George, 500 Years of Revolution: European Radicals from Hus to Lenin, Chicago: Charles H. Kerr Co., 1998, p. 38.

[15] Lewis, quoted in Fr. Seraphim Johnson, “A Sane Family in an Insane World”.

[16] Rose, in Monk Damascene Christensen, Not of this World: The Life and Teachings of Fr. Seraphim Rose, Forestville, CA: Fr. Seraphim Rose Foundation, 1993, p. 594.

[17] Donne, The First Anniversarie (1611), quoted in Roy Porter, The Enlightenment, London: Macmillan, 1990, p. 130.

[18] Trostnikov, “The Role and Place of the Baptism of Rus in the European Spiritual Process of the Second Millenium of Christian History”, Orthodox Life, volume 39, 3, May-June, 1989, p. 29.

[19] Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, London: Abacus, 1999, p. 179.

[20] Richards, in Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004, pp. 162-163.

[21] Strobel, op. cit., p. 163.

[22] Richards, in Strobel, op. cit., p. 163.

[23] Cf. Isaiah 40.22: “It is He Who sits above the circle of the earth”.

[24] St. Gregory of Nyssa calls the earth “spherical” in his On the Soul and the Resurrection, chapter 4.

[25] Lindberg, in Strobel, op. cit., p. 164. Cf. Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ, London: Bantam Press, 1988, pp. 221-231.

[26] Wilkinson, God, Time and Stephen Hawking, London: Monarch Books, 2001, p. 104.

[27] Wilkinson, op. cit., pp. 83-84.

[28] 20/20, ABC Television Broadcast, March, 1998; quoted in Wilkinson, op. cit., p. 26.

[29] Everett, in Coveney, P. & Highfield, R., The Arrow of Time, London: Flamingo, 1991, p. 133.

[30] Zhitia prepodobnykh Startsev Optinoj Pustyni (The Lives of the Holy Elders of Optina Desert), Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, 1992 (in Russian). According to another version, the elder said: "God not only allows, He demands that a man grow in knowledge. There is no stopping place in God's creation, everything moves, and even the angels do not remain in one rank, but ascend from step to step, receiving new revelations. And even if a man has studied for a hundred years, he must still go on to ever new knowledge... You must work - years pass unnoticed while you work." And as he spoke these words, "his face became unusually bright, so that it was difficult to look at it." (Zhitia, op. cit., p. 337).

[31] Victor Afanasyev, Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2000, p. 488.

[32] St. Basil the Great, Homily on Avarice.

[33] St. Nectarios, Sketch concerning Man, Athens, 1885.

[34] Thus Pope John Paul II believes in Darwinism, making an exception only for the soul of man, which he believes was created directly by God.

[35] J.D. Buck, The Genius of Freemasonry, p. 43; quoted in Vicomte Léon de Poncins, Freemasonry and the Vatican, London and Chumleigh: Britons Publishing Company. Buck goes on: “The theologians who have made such a caricature or fetish of Jesus were ignorant of this normal, progressive, higher evolution of man” (p. 29).

[36] Field, The Evolution Hoax Exposed, Hawthorne, Ca.: The Christian Book Club of America, 1971, p. 12.

[37] St. Basil the Great, Homily 5 on the Hexaemeron.

[38] Khomiakov, Sochinenia (Works), Moscow, 1914, vol. 1, pp. 256-257 (in Russian).

[39] The transition between the old and the new concept of man may perhaps be seen best in Hamlet, where the superiority of man to the natural world is indeed extolled, and man himself is called a “quintessence”, but a quintessence – “of dust”: What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason” how infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?…

[40] Searle, J., Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge University Press, 1983.

[41] Polanyi, M., Personal Knowledge, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958, p. 262.

[42] Penrose, R., The Emperor’s New Mind, London: Vintage, 1989.

[43] Frank, Dusha Cheloveka (The Soul of Man), Paris: YMCA Press, 1917.

[44] Frank, op. cit., pp. 43-44.

[45] Heron, J., “The Phenomenology of the Social Encounter: The Gaze”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 1970-71, XXXI, pp. 243-264.

[46] Basin, E.Y., “Tvorchestvo i Empatia” (“Creativity and Empathy”), Voprosy Filosofii (Questions of Philosophy), 1987, 2, p. 55 (in Russian).

[47] Frank, op. cit.

[48] Frank, S.L., Reality and Man, London: Faber & Faber, 1965, p. 61.

[49] John Macmurray, Interpreting the Universe, London: Faber, 1933; Reason and Emotion, London: Faber, 1935; Persons in Relation, London: Faber, 1965.

[50] St. Basil the Great, Homily 9 on the Hexaemeron.

[51] Kohn, “Joyfully back to Church?”, New Statesman and Society, May 1, 1992, p. 32.

[52] Thus Professor I.M. Andreyev writes: "Only with a superficial knowledge do there arise false contradictions between faith and knowledge, between religion and science. With a deeper knowledge these false contradictions disappear without a trace... A broad, scientific and philosophical education not only does not hinder faith in God, but makes it easier, because the whole arsenal of scientific-philosophical thought is natural apologetic material for religious faith. Moreover, honest knowledge often has a methodical opportunity to uncover corruptions of faith and exposing superstitions, whether religious or scientific-philosophical." ("Christian Truth and Scientific Knowledge", The Orthodox Word, March-April, 1977)

[53] Medawar, in John Tailor, When the Clock struck Zero, London: Picador, 1993, p. 5.

[54] Rose, in Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen), Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Press, 2003, pp. 542-543.

[55] Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Rus’), № 7, 1993, p. 16 (in Russian); Orthodoxie, 60, September, 1994, pp. 33-34 (in French).

[56] C.S. Lewis, “’Bulverism’ or the Foundation of 20th Century Thought”, in God in the Dock, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997, pp. 271-275, 276. Alvin Plantinga has recently produced a similar argument to refute Darwinism. See Jim Holt, “Divine Evolution”, Prospect, May, 2002, p. 13.

[57] Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, Kelejnye Zapiski (Cell Notes), Moscow, 1991, p. 16 (in Russian).

[58] St. Ambrose of Milan, On Paradise, 11.

[59] Nicetas Stethatos, Century 3, 10; P.G. 120, 957D-980A; quoted in P. Nellas, Deification in Christ, Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1987, p. 85.

[60] St. Innocent, “O Grekhe” (On Sin), in Zhitia i Tvorenia Russkikh Svyatykh (Lives and Works of the Russian Saints), Moscow, 2001, pp. 724-725 (in Russian).

[61] St. Basil, Homily 8 on the Hexaemeron.

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