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Offline Tom Bishop

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Religious Views of the Enlightenment
« on: May 18, 2020, 07:59:49 PM »
Since this project stated years ago I found myself more focused on describing the physical Flat Earth Theory, which I have documented from the general arguments from various forum discussions and put on the Wiki, rather than here. I think that we are generally satisfied with most of the often discussed issues except for the nature and layout of the South, which I believe future generations will tackle (I have never really put much effort into it, but recognize that there are many more variables to consider than commonly assumed, especially when questioning the assumptions).

Lately I have been meaning to focus my FE activities back to non-physical aspects.

For instance, did you know that father of modern physics, Issac Newton, had some pretty interesting religious views, including a belief that he was chosen by God? See the work of professor Robert Iliffe:

https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/professor-robert-iliffe

Robert Iliffe
Professor of the History of Science
Linacre College

"Rob Iliffe is Professor of History of Science at Oxford, Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, and a General Editor of the Newton Project."

From a video titled Professor Rob Iliffe on Newton, Science and Religion:

    "Newton himself is a deeply devout and radical original Christian thinker. He's not a member of any Church, he's not always serving as a minister in the church, but he's somebody who spends virtually all of his life in this extraordinary quest to understand how Christianity had, in his eyes, come to be corrupted. He's somebody who certainly believes in natural theology. He believes that his own role as a natural philosopher is a religious role. He believes that doing natural philosophy is reading the book of God, but he's somebody who does a lot more than that, and he spends most of his time and he devotes his life to doing theology. He's somebody who believes he's one of the elect. He's specially chosen by God. He will reign with Christ in the Millennium. So he thinks he's a very special boy, and that that kind of self belief, that radical immense self belief, energizes the originality of his work in mathematics, physics, and theology itself."

    ~

    "Newton privately is a man who writes millions and millions of words on theology, on the apocalypse, on the Whore of Babylon, the woman in the wilderness, the two horned and ten horned beasts, but publicly he's somebody who doesn't seem to be that religious. He doesn't seem to be that devout and that view of Newton is quite clear in the 18th century. It's only in the 19th century and the 20th century that we've come to understand the deep religiosity that Newton had, this immense undertaking that he did for many hours and each day of his life of studying the Bible."

    ~

    "Newton's achievements in science were so great that he was worthy of being worshipped, that in the eyes of one of his followers, Etienne Louis Boule, that it was worth creating a gigantic Cenotaph that was dedicated to the life and works of Isaac Newton. And some people have laughed at Boule's project, certainly people in the 18th century in Anglican England would have been dismayed by it, even though Newton was of course their great hero. But what I think it shows in a sort of pre-figurative way is the way in which science can become a form of religion.

    It can in some aspects take on the character of that thing that it sets itself against, and what you see in a number of people in the late 18th century and 19th century is a developing anti-religious animus that takes on the character of the very people that they hate. People become deeply upset that people still believe in religion. They preach the truth of science, they preach the necessity of Newtonian physics and other kinds of physics. They take on the the kind of evangelizing and proselytizing characteristics of that very practice that they detest so much."

Professor Iliffe appears to go as far as to say that Newton's science movement was a religion by another name.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 11:58:23 PM by Tom Bishop »

Offline Dionysios

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2020, 09:21:22 PM »
In the long while since I’ve visited this forum I made two discoveries dealing with history which would probably be useful to this book and which I have mentioned in more detail in posts in the ‘Library Additions’ section.

One of these is a very positive factor dealing with the robust preservation of early Christian flat earthism in Russia for centuries after the west had caved in. I have posted there links to Slavonic manuscripts of the ‘Christian Topography’ and some accompanying history. I had long suspected this, but I never had much evidence of it until fairly recently.

Secondly, I discovered a couple of writers who described the apostasy of Western European flat earthism during the renaissance in greater detail and with more knowledge and evidence than I had previously known or suspected. These are two books by the late William Randles and also an article by Professor James J. Allegro.

W.G.L. Randles’s book ‘Unmaking of the Medieval Christian Cosmos’ in particular touches upon the anti-flat Earth role of the Protestant Reformation in league with renaissance humanists in smothering the old flat earthism which paved the way for the rise of heliocentrism during the “enlightenment”.

I’ll just observe that Randles personal views appear to resemble the science of medieval Catholicism a bit more than ancient stuff like Cosmas Indicopleustes - although the trends and science he attacks in this book are inimical to both.

https://www.amazon.com/Unmaking-Medieval-Christian-Cosmos-1500-1760/dp/1840146249

Allegro’s article does a fine job of condensing the vast information Randles collected into a shorter clearer article jam packed with razor sharp facts that overturn the very wrong status quo approach to the renaissance and proves flat earthism was actually still alive in Western Europe in the early 1500’s.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 09:34:30 PM by Dionysios »

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Offline Toddler Thork

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2020, 10:59:02 PM »
In my own flat earth non-physical studies (which I enjoy far more than the sunsets, tides and Coriolis discussions that I no longer have any inclination to participate in), Newton always comes back to Deism and alchemy. These themes run so strongly through his work, and that links back to many other flat earth proponents ... Deism being a recurring theme in flat earth history. Deist symbols and imagery appear all over flat earth texts and art.

Many of Newton's friends were deists, and he finds himself at odds with his own beliefs and theirs, when he starts looking at gravity and motion of planets, which runs contrary to the Deist belief of a clockwork universe set in motion by God. He then can't square the circle. His gravity vs knowing there must be a creator. So he writes

Quote from: Isaac Newton
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. [...] This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called "Lord God" παντοκρατωρ [pantokratōr], or "Universal Ruler". [...] The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, [and] absolutely perfect.

Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.

He flip flops back and forth on so many issues leaving one wondering does he end up an ally or an enemy of the flat earth society? Its a lot like Einstein. Some of his theories are a problem, but then Special Relativity is needed by flat earth. Galileo, the same problems.

I shall look forward to reading your findings. I'll warn of my own experience though, on this forum. Not many people want to discuss such things. They always want to bring it back to sunsets, perspective or some equally dull similar topic so they can try to spring an 'aha!' moment on you, because they think no one but them could have mentioned it before.  ::)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 11:01:52 PM by Toddler Thork »
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 09:13:54 PM »
This was mentioned in a previous thread, but Galileo clearly does some hypocritical flip-flopping when trying to justify the earth in scripture with heliocentrism.

Unifying the Universe: The Physics of Heaven and Earth - Page 488

    "Instead of obedience, an unruly Galileo embarked upon a lonely crusade, taking on the challenge of enlightening the Church hierarchy. He even wanted to convert the Pope to the Copernican View. Echoing a Roman cardinal of antiquity, Galileo proclaimed [30]:

    'The Bible should not be treated as a text book of physics. . .the Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.'

    It was vintage Thomas Aquinas, the early medieval thinker who separated matters of faith from arguments of reason. Galileo was reminding the Church to respect the divorce between faith and reason."

And at American Scientist we see:

American Scientist - Galileo’s Discoveries After 400 Years

    "Galileo set out his own views of Scripture and science, offering an ingenious interpretation of Joshua’s making the Sun stand still to show that not only does Holy Scripture not oppose Copernican theory, it actually supports it."

Galileo says that if the Bible supports heliocentrism then we can point to the Bible as scriptual support for astronomy. And if it doesn't support heliocentrism then we can't use it.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:55:11 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2020, 10:39:06 PM »
Astrophysicist Paul Sutter produced content on the 'real story of Kepler, Copernicus and the Church'.

Space.com - Going Bananas: The Real Story of Kepler, Copernicus and the Church

From the embedded video:

    "Kepler published a book defending Copernicus's model not on mathematical grounds, not on physics grounds, not on any kind of science grounds; he defended it on religious grounds. That's right, before Kepler developed his laws of planetary motion he defended the heliocentric model arguing—get this—that the Sun, the s-u-n, the Sun should be at the center of the solar system or the center of the universe just like the Son of God,  s-o-n, is at the center of Christian faith.

    Jesus is the center of the Christian life, so if the Son of God is going to be at the center of Christian life then the Sun, which you know sounds a lot like son, ought to be the center of the universe. I'm not joking—that was Kepler's argument for the heliocentric model and that's why Kepler thought the heliocentric model was onto something."

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Religious Views of the Enlightenment
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2021, 06:06:51 PM »
It is possible that Kepler fudged his science to support his religious arguments.

From a NYTimes article - After 400 Years, a Challenge to Kepler: He Fabricated His Data, Scholar Says:

    JOHANNES KEPLER, the father of modern astronomy, fabricated data in presenting his theory of how the planets move around the Sun, apparently to bolster acceptance of the insight by skeptics, a scholar has found.

    The scholar, William H. Donahue, said the evidence of Kepler's scientific fakery is contained in an elaborate chart he presented to support his theory.

    Kepler showed that the planets move in elliptical orbits rather than in circles as Copernicus suggested. In his book describing the insight, he said it was confirmed by independent calculations of the planets' positions. In fact, Dr. Donahue says, Kepler derived the data by calculations based on the theory itself.

    Kepler anticipated stiff criticism of his theory. From antiquity, the circle had been considered the only geometrical shape perfect enough to describe the movement of heavenly bodies.

    Done in 1609, Kepler's fakery is one of the earliest known examples of the use of false data by a giant of modern science.

    The discovery was made by Dr. Donahue, a science historian, while translating Kepler's master work, ''Astronomia Nova,'' or ''The New Astronomy,'' into English. Dr. Donahue, who lives in Sante Fe, N.M., described his discovery in a recent issue of The Journal of the History of Astronomy.

    The fabricated data appear in calculated positions for the planet Mars, which Kepler used as a case study for all planetary motion. Kepler claimed the calculations gave his elliptical theory an independent check. But in fact they did nothing of the kind.

    ''He fudged things,'' Dr. Donahue said, adding that Kepler was never challenged by a contemporary.

    Experts, nearly unanimous in defending the great astronomer, say Kepler's act may be less reprehensible than it seems. For instance, methods of investigation and reporting at the start of the scientific revolution were often quiet rudimentary.

    ''Kepler was one of the people who invented modern science,'' said Walter W. Stewart, a researcher with the National Institutes of Health who is helping Congress investigate cases of scientific fraud. ''It's not clear his standards were the same as ours.''
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 12:27:43 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Religious Views of the Enlightenment
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 08:01:43 PM »
Newton brings in "divine intervention" to explain the failings of his science.

From The Kam Story by Professor H Scott Dumas:

    “ At the beginning of the 18th century, Newton famously wrote that the solar system needed occasional divine intervention (presumably a nudge here and there from the hand of God) in order to remain stable.(11) This was interpreted to mean that Newton believed his mathematical model of the solar system—the n body problem—did not have stable solutions. Thus was the gauntlet laid down, and a proof of the stability of the n body problem became one of the great mathematical challenges of the age.

    (11) Newton's remarks about divine intervention appear in Query 23 of the 1706 (Latin) edition of Opticks, which became Query 31 of the 1717 (2nd Edition) edition see Quote Q(New) in Appendix E). Similar 'theological' remarks are found in scholia of the 2nd and 3rd editions of Principia, and in at least one of Newton's letters. In a 1715 letter to Caroline, Princess of Wales, Leibniz observed sarcastically that Newton had not only cast the Creator as a clock-maker, and a faulty one, but now as a clock-repairman (see (Klo73), Part XXXIV, pp. 54-55). ”

The University of California San Diego credits Newton with providing the laws of physics for the Solar System:

    “ Then came Isaac Newton (1642-1727) who brought the laws of physics to the solar system. Isaac Newton explained why the planets move the way they do, by applying his laws of motion, and the force of gravitation between any two bodies, letting the force decrease with the square of the distance between the two bodies. ”

Further reference here:

P. Kelly, LL. D. in his Metrology; Or, an Exposition of Weights and Measures (1816) comments on p.10:

    “ Some philosophers have doubted the perfect equability of the earth's diurnal rotation on its axis; but from the best observations that have been made for 2000 years, in fixed observatories, it is concluded that there is no variation whatever. It is perhaps the only uniform motion of which astronomers are certain. And here it may be worthy of remark, that no natural cause has yet been assigned for the diurnal rotation of the planets. Sir Issac Newton observes, in one of his letters to Dr. Bently, (reviewed in Dr. Johnson's Works, Vol. II. p.332, Murphy's edition) that "the diurnal rotations of the planets cannot be derived from gravity, but must require a divine arm to impress them."

    The above question respecting the natural cause of plentary rotation was submitted to the principle Astronomers of France in the summer of 1814, at a Metting of the Board of Longitude. It was introduced by a visitor from England, who wished to learn if any new light had been thrown on the subject, by the great advances made in analytical science and physical astronomy, by some of the members present. They all agreed that no satisfactory solution had yet been given of the phenomenon; and they listened with much attention to the opinion quoted from Sir Issac Newton's Letters, which they had not previously known, and on which the Count Laplace modestly observed -- "Si Netwon n'a pas pu l'exfliquer ce n'est pas a nous d'y pretendre." (Translated: If Netwon could not explain it, it is not up to us to claim it.) ”
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 08:18:43 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Religious Views of the Enlightenment
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 01:13:55 AM »
Galileo says that Catholics should not question the Copernican system:

    “ The falsity of the Copernican system should not in any way be called into question, above all, not by Catholics, since we have the unshakeable authority of the Sacred Scripture, interpreted by the most erudite theologians, whose consensus gives us certainty regarding the stability of the Earth, situated in the center, and the motion of the sun around the Earth. The conjectures employed by Copernicus and his followers in maintaining the contrary thesis are all sufficiently rebutted by that most solid argument deriving from the omnipotence of God. He is able to bring about in different ways, indeed, in an infinite number of ways, things that, according to our opinion and observation, appear to happen in one particular way. We should not seek to shorten the hand of God and boldly insist on something beyond the limits of our competence. ”
                      —Le Opere Di Galileo Galilei, p. 316, footnote #2.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 01:33:52 AM by Tom Bishop »

Peter Winfield

Re: Religious Views of the Enlightenment
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 07:15:03 AM »
Galileo says that Catholics should not question the Copernican system:

The argument was not about the shape of the Earth, it was about the motion of the sun and stars.

Both the Catholics and the Copernicans agreed that the Earth was a globe, they just didn't agree on which of them was stationary.

They both knew that the motion of the stars is an insurmountable problem for a flat Earth model.