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Offline cassini

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Just finished reading this book on Faith and Science by Fr Paul Robinson (SSPX), a book now advertised on THE ANGELUS website and I am sure promoted in their journal.

As philosopher, Fr Robinson is unable to say anything in short clear language. Instead one has to labour through page after page and you end up not knowing exactly what his view on many things are. Having made faith and science my own interest for the last 40 years, nearly every conclusion I have come to, Fr Robinson tries to dismiss in many ways.

Before I say any more let me summarise the two differences between us. My position is that the Catholic position as regards faith and science today has be shaped 100% by the 400 year old Galileo case, a conflict of faith and reason that for 400 years has been understood by all to have been lost by the Church. 6,000 books, millions of papers, articles and websites since 1636 tell us the Church was proven wrong by science and it had better REFORM its position on faith and science.
     In other words there are two versions of faith and science within Catholicism, pre-Galileo faith and science and post-Galileo faith and science, a traditional position and what I call the Modernist one. Alas popes since 1835 at least have been sucked in to the post-Galileo position on faith and science, the Modernist one.

There is also today a divide in many other spheres of Catholicism, a divide that has caused traditionalists to separate themselves from the Modernists to the extent that many traditionalists now refuse to go to their parish churches and go to different churches to receive the sacraments in different rites, and to hear traditional Catholicism taught from the pulpits. 

On the matter of faith and science, well there is a dilemma for traditionalists here. You see the thing is that most traditionalists believe all popes were traditional in the Church until Vatican II, so when it is said popes considered within the traditional time played their part in the faith and science reformation that led to Modernism, that upsets them and truth is lost to ideology.

In the last 50 years or so, it has emerged, with evidence that is absolute, that the Church of 1616, with its tradition of geocentrism, was never proven wrong. Now this fact should have caused dancing in the streets of Rome, for the Church, having been ridiculed for hundreds of years, could now be vindicated as never having been wrong in its tradition, it traditional way of reading Scripture, its papal decrees, in its trial of Galileo, in its ban on heretical heliocentric-favoured books etc. Instead the assault on those churchmen of 1616 continues. 

‘The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are. We cannot but deplore certain attitudes (not unknown among Christians) deriving from a short-sighted view of the rightful autonomy of science; they have occasioned conflict and controversy and have misled many into opposing faith and science.’ --- Gaudium et spes, # 36.

Alas, this admittance by science that the 1616 Church was never wrong presented a far worse scenario to the Church in that it means churchmen since 1741 , especially popes, were the ones who committed a far worse error than the 1616 Church was supposed to have committed. The Church of 1616 was following tradition, but the popes in the post-1741 era who accommodated the rejection of a geocentric doctrine for a heliocentric one did so in opposition to papal decrees, the Fathers defending a geocentric interpretation of the Bible. But even worse than that, for they had created a pro-Galileo exegesis and hermeneutics of Scripture. In so many ways, an excegesis for the church BASED ON THE LIE THAT GALILEO WAS PROVEN RIGHT BY SCIENCE.

So, what happened, did the truth prevail, no. By then the whole world, in both Church and State, accepted a heliocentric philosophy and theology, so if they left well enough alone, who would be the wiser. It was Albert Einstein the Pantheist who gave them a way out, as Pope John Paul Ii demonstrated in 1992. Einstein said that science had now to accept there is no proof for Heliocentrism, nor geocentrism. So science offers a CHOICE. Now if churchmen chose heliocentrism they can carry on as before with their pro-heliocentric exegesis and hermeneutics, just as they did before, contrary to the Church of 1616. The Encyclicals are thus saved and all the ridicule against the Church of 1616 and 1633 is also seen as vindicated.

And that is what this Book by Fr Robinson tries to do. Defend the post-Galileo exegesis, a book I will discuss in later threads. 

Offline klasG4e

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Fr. Robinson appears to continue in the way of the junior high school teacher Jason Winschel whose cover article about Galileo appeared in The Angeluls.

The following is an excerpt from the article: ‘On the other hand Galileo was right about heliocentricism. Moreover, some of his theological wanderings eventually found themselves mirrored in several papal encyclicals of the last two centuries. Providentissimus Deus by Leo XIII and Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII, for instance, both have pieces that could have been extracted from Galileo’s Letters to the Grand Duchess Christina… Galileo seems to have won out both on theological as well as scientific grounds…’   J.T. Winschel: Galileo, Victim or Villain, The Angelus, Oct. 2003, p.38.

Winschel was an ex-seminarian at STAS in Winona!

Winschel's article can be seen here: http://www.angelusonline.org/index.php?section=articles&subsection=show_article&article_id=2235




Offline cassini

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In the preface of this book, Fr Robinson sets out his task, 'a well guided tour of realism's take on religion and science disputes,' adding philosophical meat to Fr Stanley Jaki's writings as a scientific historian. Fr Robinson tells us he has taught 'various branches of Thomistic philosophy.' When I read of such philosophers I immediately think of of what Andrew White wrote about St Thomas;

 ‘With great power and clearness,’ wrote Andrew White, ‘Saint Thomas Aquinas, the sainted theologian, the glory of the mediaeval Church, the “Angelic Doctor,” brought the whole vast [Geocentric] system, material and spiritual, into its relation to God and man,’ a composite of theology and metaphysics that resulted in ‘a sacred system of cosmology, one of the great treasures of the universal Church.’

Search as you might, none of these philosophers acknowledge any such geocentrism of St Thomas. Indeed the opposite is the case, for Fr Robinson uses St Thomas, and St Augustine, another geocentrist, to argue the case against such a literal interpretation of Scripture. More on that later in the book.

Fr Robinson's REALISM, how we relate to reality. Quoting St Thomas he adds 'All knowledge has its starting point with sensation of the outside world.'
There is a chapter on realism, one being the senses. great I thought, he will have to deal with one contradiction at least, we see a geocentric universe, we live in it. I cannot help knowing later he will explain how we must ignore this particular sense even after portraying it as the no 1 physical KNOW.

Next chapter 2 is on CAUSES. Given the heliocentric fraud has as its ROCK causes invented by Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, I noted this chapter of 36 pages..
Next chapter 3 sets out ways of KNOWLEDGE. I don't think we need go over its 40 pages, do we?
We are now over 100 pages into the book.
Next chapter 4 PAGAN PANTHEISM. 44 pages. We know about their gods etc.
Next chapter 5 CATHOLIC CREATIVITY. Faith and science. God created natural laws.  Aristotle cleansed of pagan ideas etc.
Finally, on page 167 we come to Catholicism and the Bible. Begins well, placing the Church first, the Bible second, that is, it is the Church that teaches Catholics us about the Bible. A 'Jaki points out' is here and there. What you will not find in this book is that Church teaching that the Bible reveals a moving sun. But more on this ommission later. We are still in the learning pages, how to think up heliocentrism stage of the book.

Aquinas's contribution to science and philosophy that helps us understand things.One is that Aquinas anticipated the same (HELIOCENTRIC) mentality with which the great names of modern science would approach. [Einstein?] Then arises MOTION, another ROCK upon which Newton built up his heresy. Fr Robinson tells us  Fr Jean  Burdian French scholastic philosopher of the 13th century opened up this subject of causes of physical motion. Fr Robinson then begins to show how all this Burdianism adds up 'The Newtonian and Einsteinian phases of science which later postulated laws for the universe as a whole were steeped in that same epistemology.' All this stuff is building up to show it was CATHOLIC THINKING that led to true science of cosmology, helio big bangism. 41 pages of it

Next chapter 6  MUSLIM MONOTHEISM. no interest, 32 pages. page 232 now, all philosophical talk so far, yes 232 pages of it.

Next chapter 7 PROTESTANT BIBLICISM. Things getting heated up. More later.




Offline klasG4e

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 ‘With great power and clearness,’ wrote Andrew White, ‘Saint Thomas Aquinas, the sainted theologian, the glory of the mediaeval Church, the “Angelic Doctor,” brought the whole vast [Geocentric] system, material and spiritual, into its relation to God and man,’ a composite of theology and metaphysics that resulted in ‘a sacred system of cosmology, one of the great treasures of the universal Church.’

Search as you might, none of these philosophers acknowledge any such geocentrism of St Thomas. Indeed the opposite is the case, for Fr Robinson uses St Thomas, and St Augustine, another geocentrist, to argue the case against such a literal interpretation of Scripture.

I wonder what take, if any, Fr. Robinson has on the Doctor of the Church St. Hildegard who wrote extensively and with profound insight on the nature of the geocentric universe.  Possibly one of the very best books on this from a traditional Catholic perspective is The Geocentric Universe According to St. Hildegard by Dr. Rober Sungenis.

St. Hildegard, an eleventh century German mystic and Benedictine Abbess, was called the most gifted woman of the epoch and was gifted with insight into cosmology that far exceeds the theories of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein.  (The fullest exposition of the St. Hildegard's cosmological writngs is found in her Liber Divinorum Operum or Book of Divine Works.)

Offline klasG4e

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Fr Robinson's REALISM, how we relate to reality. Quoting St Thomas he adds 'All knowledge has its starting point with sensation of the outside world.'
There is a chapter on realism, one being the senses. great I thought, he will have to deal with one contradiction at least, we see a geocentric universe, we live in it. I cannot help knowing later he will explain how we must ignore this particular sense even after portraying it as the no 1 physical KNOW.



Mark Twain, although no apologist for Christianity, nevertheless spoke and wrote rather wisely at times.  The following might be apropos here:  "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."  (From Twain's,  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)


Offline cassini

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CHAPTER 7, Protestant biblicism.

Begins with 'reason is the devil's greatest whore! (Martin Luther)

Exactly what Fr Robinson meant by quoting Luther I do not know, especially when it comes to the Bible and reason. In this sphere, Luther was spot on

This chapter begins with a debate between Bill Nye (atheist) against Ken Ham, 'arch-creationist' as Fr Robinson calls him. Fr Robinson tells us that Nye pressented 'a barrage of scvientific arguments supporting the Big Bang model of the universe' '13.7 billion years ago and the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.' Nye used science to preach atheism, Ham used the Bible to preach science.' 'Where we may ask, was the truth of all this.'

Let me digress. Here is one of the best talks about atheists and their Big Bang.
https://youtu.be/kdLQheSRA70

Now while Fr Robinson had his Fr Buridan and his excommunicated Franciscan William of Occam  working on a Catholic, Big Bang 13.7 million year old universe and 4.6, yes, 4.6 billion year old solar system, not 4.25 billion years old, 13.7, Luther is a Scripture alone, faith alone creationist.

On page 246 we get our first lesson about the Bible and science from Fr Robinson. 'What truths did God and the authors intend to convey in the Bible' Fr asks, for those who do not know that every word in the Bible is true. Two paragraphs later, he gives reasons why you cannot teach faith language and science language at the same time. 'FOR EXAMPLE,' (I bet you can guess the example he uses) after a long detailed story about Sally taking place in the early morning, even if the term sunrise is used, we would 'err scientifically.' Fr Robinson, as a heliocentrist of course, is giving us the very same EXCUSE conjured up since 1700 by churchmen to turn the sunrise of Scripture into a metaphor. What Sally really experienced, according to Fr Robinson was of course her turning around with the whole earth.

Next he call the firmament of Genesis as a roof, and points out the absurdity of God being able to create plants before He creates the sun. God it seems, is not as omnipotent as we we Catholics were led to believe. Only the likes of Luther would fall for that absurdity using faith alone. Oh no, biblical creration must be scientifically plausable

'The answer is obvious from the very beginning of the Bible which presents serious challenges for anyone seeking to find properly scientific information about the formation of the world., at least to anyone possising today's extensive knowledge of the universe's true architecture.' (p.248)

CATHOLIC INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE.

Now remember there is a pre-Galileo case interpretation (Pope Paul V, Urban VII and Bellarmine's)and a post-Galileo interpretation. The pre Galileo one said it reveals a moving sun, the post-Galileo interpretation says the sun doesn't move.

'Principles of interpretation. Only for salvation, Fr Robinson teaches, everything else  falls outside the Bible's scope. 'This is not to say the Bible does not teach natural truths; it is to say that the Bible  teaches natural truths only insofar as they are needed to support supernatural truths.' Did you get that?
Let us find an example. God stopped the sun for a day to allow a battle to be won. Would you say that was a natural truth of physics or a supernatural truth. Is a miracle of a stopped sun not a supernatural event and a physical truth?

More tomorrow

Offline cassini

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P251 Catholic understanding of Genesis 1.

To summarise Fr Robinson's thinking, God created the world. That is all Catholics need to believe after Galileo showed the Church how to read the Bible. Catholics can now think what they like. Protestants on the other hand, can interpret it literally, just as God told us when, how, and in the order it happened. Poor Protestants, totally ignorant that it started with a Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and evolved thereafter. This makes creation more like 13.7 bíllion miracles ago. These Protestants actually believe God created all ex nihilo, that is, not by way of miracles that would be necessary to turn dust into sponges and then into elephants. It seems, as Fr Robinson infers, Protestants are less 'educated' that members of the Catholic Church.
   
Let us now read some of the now redundant literalism that Fr Robinson would have his Catholioc readers believe. It is from the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

‘I Believe in God, Almighty Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth. He followed no external form or model; but contemplating, and as it were imitating, the universal model contained in the divine intelligence, the supreme Architect, with infinite wisdom and power – attributes peculiar to the Divinity – created all things in the beginning. He spoke and they were made; He commanded and they were created.’ The words heaven and Earth include all things that the heavens and the Earth contain; for besides the heavens, which the Prophet has called the works of His fingers, He also gave to the sun its brilliancy, and to the moon and stars their beauty; and that they may be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years. He so ordered the celestial bodies in a certain and uniform course that nothing varies more than their continual revolution, while nothing is more fixed than their variety…. The Earth also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world, rooted in its own foundations [Psa. 103:5: You fixed the Earth upon its foundations, not to be moved forever], and made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place that He had founded for them…. He next not only clothed and adorned it with trees and every variety of plants and flowers, but filled it, as He had already filled the air and water, with innumerable kinds of creatures…. Not only does God protect and govern all things by His Providence, but He also by an internal power impels to motion and action whatever moves and acts, and this in such a manner that, although He excludes not, He yet precedes the agency of secondary causes.’

We can now DUMP TRENT'S version of Genesis. Then there are other accounts that can now be dumped into the Catholic FAIRY-TALE BIN. There is St Hildegard as GlasG4e says, and Mary of Agreda. Here is some of her revelations of 1637, FOUR YEARS AFTER GALILEO WAS FOUND GUILTY OF SUSPICION OF HERESY.:

'Although, this divine knowledge is one, most simple and indivisible, nevertheless since the things which I see are many, and since there is a certain order, by which some are first and some come after, it is necessary to divide the knowledge of God’s intelligence and the knowledge of his will into many instants, or into many different acts, according as they correspond to the diverse orders of created things. For as some of the creatures hold their existence because of others, there is a dependence of one upon the other. Accordingly we say that God intended and decreed this before that, the one on account of the other; and that if He had not desired or included in the science of vision the one He would not have desired the other. But by this way of speaking, we must not try to convey the meaning that God placed many acts of intelligence, or of the will; rather we must intend merely to indicate, that the creatures are dependent on each other and that they succeed one another. In order to be able to comprehend the manner of creation more easily, we apply the order of things as we see them objectively, to the acts of the divine intelligence and will in creating them…. [Genesis: creation of heaven, Earth, sun, stars, flora, fauna and mankind.] ....Of the first day Moses says that “In the beginning God created heaven and Earth.” And before creating intellectual and rational creatures, desiring also the order of executing these works to be most perfect, He created heaven for angels and men; and the Earth as a place of pilgrimage for mortals. These places are so adapted to their end and so perfect that as David says of them, the heavens publish the glory of the Lord, the firmament and the Earth announce the glory of the work of his hands (Ps.18, 2). The heavens in their beauty manifest His magnificence and glory, because in them is deposited the predestined reward of the just. And the Earthly firmament announced that there would be creatures and man to inhabit the Earth and that man should journey upon it to their Creator. Of the Earth Moses says that it was void, which he does not say of the heavens, for God had created the angels at the instant indicated by the word of Moses: “God said: Let there be light, and light was made.” He speaks here not only of material light, but also of the intellectual or angelic lights. God created the Earth co-jointly with the heavens in order to call into existence hell in its centre; for, at the instant of its creation, there were left in the interior of that globe, spacious and wide cavities, suitable for hell, purgatory and limbo. And in hell was created at the same time material fire and other requisites, which now serve for the punishment of the damned. The Lord was presently to divide the light from the darkness and to call the light day and the darkness night. And this did happen not only in regard to the natural night and day, but in regard to the good and bad angels; for to the good, He gave the eternal light of his vision and called it day, the eternal day, and to the bad, the night of sin, casting them into the eternal darkness of hell.'

Are we to take most of the abover as NONSENSE, like Hell at the centre of the Earth, as Our Lady of Fatima showed the children?

St Augustine Fr Robinson points out, was one of the first to question the six day creation. He tells us Augustine 'was puzzled as to how the light created on the first day could exist without there being light bearing bodies that were only created on the fourth day.' How could there be days without the sun to cause them. Accordingly he concluded all must have been created immediately and recorded in Genesis as spread over a week. Well, today we really do know light is only an effect of electromagnetism, and can be created without the sun. If St Augustine saw an electric bulb lighting up a dark room he would be amazed. The idea that God could not create light before the sun is to be putting a limit to God's omnipotence, and I am surprised to read St Augustine questioned this. Anyway, from 7 literal days to an immediate creation, hardly gives Catholicism licence to turn 7 days into a ten billion year creation, does it?

More later

Offline cassini

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Fr Robinson continues page 251:
'Up to the 18th century there was not overwhelming evidence against a literal understanding of Genesis,'
Now what evidence does Fr Robinson give us to show God couldn't have created all in six days? None here at any rate.
In his chapter on Protestant Biblicism as he spells it, Fr Robinson really gets down to his efforts to undermine the 'creationists' the young earthers and geocentrism. He singles out Robert Sungenis and makes a joke of the $1000 for anyone who can prove geocentrism false, writing no one has ever done this 'in his mind.' We then get a lesson on the Flood of Noah. A global flood presents 'scientific difficulties' he says, listing the reasons why Genesis was exaggerating when it said it was global.

Finally in his geocentrism Fr Robinson illustrates STELLAR PARALLAX giving it an exclusive heliocentric interpretation as proving the earth orbits the sun and can give us a distance for many near stars. At this stage you can DUMP this book as a science book. The book then goes into radioactive dating, usuall stuff. What he does not refer to is Robert Gentry's book that shows the rock formed on earth in a year (of the flood).

http://www.halos.com/books.htm

http://www.halos.com/book01/book.htm

When Fr Robinson addresses Gentry's (Dsc. hon) findings, then I will listen to him.

Next chapter is SCIENCE SUICIDE p.305. In it we get the lot, the history of the universe from Copernicus to Newton, 40 pages of their anti-geocentric illusions presenterd ass SCIENCE.

Next chapter GODLIKE UNIVERSE, p.350 to 390.
Beginning with Hubble's interpretation of red-shifts, and ignoring Gentry's list of scientists who differ in interpretation, even that Copernicus said a geocentric universe would result in an expanding universe, his readers are offered the Big Bang extrapolation as SCIENCE. Fr George Lemaitre is the CATHOLIC SCIENTIST that we can rely on to prove a big bang happened and is is Catholic, and what was good enough for Pope Pius XII should be good enough for all catholics. He goes into a philosophical story of an infinite universe that is also not an infinite universe if you can know what he means.  Then we get Einstein, with not a word about the fact that Einstein admitted a geocentric universe is as plausable as a heliocentric one. He does not tell his readers that Einstein's special theory of relativity - the one that kept the 1887 M&M experiment from showing the earth is NOT IN ORBIT - has been FALSIFIED TO DEATH. No, his SSPX readers are given the whole bundle as SCIENCE.

On page 386 Fr Robinson credits Christians (like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton?) as overthrowing pagan ideas of the universe. 'Astounding discoveries were made about the LAWS of the universe.' Fr Robinson asserts. THIS IS NONSENSE, HIS LAWS ARE INVENTIONS, AND INVENTIONS ARE NOT LAWS. If science says the universe can be geocentric or heliocentric, then the LAWS of the universe ARE NOT DISCOVERED.This is a book offering SCIENTIFIC FICTION.

There is another 100 pages on the evolution of everything. Without bothering to read it I know it is an effort to support theistic evolution in preference to evolution by chance. Any 100 pages on evolution is pure waste of paper, trying to make nonsense worthy of debate.

What is ABSENT from this Book is the Church's 1616 and 1633 position on the heliocentric heresy Fr Robinson is trying to get his readers to believe. Nor do we find the Church's teaching on creation like so:
‘God…creator of all visible and invisible things, of the spiritual and of the corporal; who by His own omnipotent power at once from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing, spiritual and corporal, namely, angelic and mundane, and finally the human, both of the spirit and the body.’ - - - Lateran Council IV, 1215.

‘All that exists outside God was, in its whole substance, produced out of nothing by God. (De fide.) --- Vatican I.

Faith in this book is optional, science is its GOD.


Offline klasG4e

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Faith in this book is optional, science is its GOD.

Father Denis Fahey C.S.Sp.
  so rightly stated: "The world must conform to Our Divine Lord, not He to it"

And a properly/correctly informed Catholic is to view science through the lens of his true faith not to view his true faith through the eyes of science.  For a pagan what one day may be considered true according to science may the next day be considered falsified by that same science.  Our objective and absolute -- yes absolulte! -- doctrinal Catholic faith, however, is timeless.  Its truth is absolute.  It does not change and like God it cannot change.

Offline Neil Obstat

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There is another 100 pages on the evolution of everything. Without bothering to read it I know it is an effort to support theistic evolution in preference to evolution by chance. Any 100 pages on evolution is pure waste of paper, trying to make nonsense worthy of debate.
.
Perhaps after you calm down you can at least go through those 100 pages and hit some highlights for us?
If Fr. Robinson is mixing truth with error that would be worth pointing out.
Or where he contradicts any of the dogmatic Councils of the Church or definitions of the Popes, that would be good to know about.
.--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

Offline cassini

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.
Perhaps after you calm down you can at least go through those 100 pages and hit some highlights for us?
If Fr. Robinson is mixing truth with error that would be worth pointing out.
Or where he contradicts any of the dogmatic Councils of the Church or definitions of the Popes, that would be good to know about.

And I thought I was getting away easy Neil.

Fr Robinson begins with a 2008 documentary by Ben Stein called Expelled exploring the repercussions falling on academics who dissent from ‘the standard conclusions of modern empiricist science. While this is the main focus of the documentary, it has for its leitmotiv the investigation of life origin expectations.’ This leads to intelligent design or by chance.

Now I am only on the first page and I see already what I am about to read, Fr Robinson using his mind to rubbish the possibility of chance, and argue for intelligent design. You see if you are a 13.7 billion year old big Banger, as Fr Robinson is, and a Catholic, you have to rubbish chance evolution and have God operating the evolutionary machine. Now Genesis says God finished all on the sixth day, but does even theistic evolution ever finish? Isn’t evolution a never ending process, I wonder if Fr will address this.

Anyway he lists four chancers:

Biologist R.Dawson ; ‘Intelligent design people are not genuine scientists.’

Biologist P.Z. Myers: ‘Intelligent design is a racket!’

Philosopher of science M. Ruse: ‘It’s really very stupid.’

Cosmic origins, Chemicals hit with lightening give it life.

Ruse says it was evolving crystals.

Dawking says he doesn’t know how it started.

Here is a philosopher on Dawkins:  https://youtu.be/kdLQheSRA70

There followed Fr Robinson’s eight page philosophy of life. Finally we come to a paragraph Forming a place for life. ‘How do you get the raw atomic stuff and make a plant? For one thing you are going to need a third generation solar system… the reason is that all life is carbon-based… So, how do you get carbon if you start with a big bang? Fr quotes The Privileged Planet, explosions after explosions. Fr comments: ‘So, only massive stars form heaver elements like carbon… This cycle would have to take place at least twice before our sun and planet Earth could be formed if that took place 4.55 billion years ago.. to get the elements needed for life on Earth.’…. but we grant our planet could have formed by merely natural processes without direct intervention by God or an immaterial agent.

Formation of CellsAs for the Earth, life had to get started quite soon after the planet’s formation. Scientists have found fossils in rocks 3.5 billion years old. That is an awful lot of time, surely enough for a nice, simple. little life form, like a bit of mould or a clump of alge or a juvenile protoza.’ There is no such thing as a simple life-form. Fr goes into the problems we are all aware of, cells, DNA etc.. ‘Chance is 1 in 000000000000000000000000’

Pages later Fr says under paragraph Irrational Attachments to Unintelligence; ‘The fact is that evidence for a non-material origin for life is overwhelming.’ Fr then goes into pages of stuff debating the problems, but does not tell us directly.how he gets life in the Big Bang. Its as if he is allowing God to make the breakthrough somehow, using the already evolved chemicals etc.

Before you know it on page 421 he has The Search for Aliens. Again he quotes others and says aliens  is a product of the natural origin of life myth. He ends saying  it is only possible if a higher intelligence causes it. Again we see him sitting on the fence, simply dismissing a natural cause for these evolutions.

Chapter Summary To try to get a sentence in this book that tells you something is a hard job. Here is what you have to read: ‘The universe has a basic order in that all non-living things have a certain configuration that makes them act in a most consistent way. Because of their homogenous matter, their regularity, and their consistency, human minds are easily able to quantify and measure them. This makes them most apt for the consideration of the exact sciences, specifically physics. In that sense, their material and efficient causality is more evident to us than their final causality.’ Now how in God’s name are your ordinary guys and gals to make any sense of that lot? He ends with : ‘In the next chapter, we will conclude our analysis of scientism by considering materialistic explanations for the evolution of life forms and human intelligence.’

11 UNSPECIFIED SPECIES. P433. Begins with Dawkins quote. Then he goes on to Darwin, his story, his philosophy.
Ten pages later he has paragraph Evolution and Empirical Evidence. My criticism of evolutionary theory thus far have only considered its capacity to explain all reality solely through material efficient causes – this is empiricist evolutionism… if this were true it would in no way detract from the glory of God.’ He then agrees there is evidence of micro-evolution, even if he takes a page or two to say this. He agrees with the fossil records like sponges in 3,000,000,000 year old strata. Goes into detail, pages on DNA, mutations, proteins, cells etc. to find out his opinion is impossible, its all about  examining what others say.

Evolution and the Origin of the Human Species.

‘history of life on Earth is that of an extremely gradual stepwise progression from a single cell to human beings, with no breaks or jumps to be found at any time, no sudden introduction of life forms more complex than previous life forms. Humans cannot be detached from this scheme, and so they too must be a long-term result of gradual process.’ One minute Fr Robinson writes about Darwin’s theory and then he writes the above. Is the above based on Darwin’s theory or his own? Again and again one does not know if he is stating another’s belief or his own. From Animals to Humans.  Can Animals Speak? Two more chapters of pages of analysis debating the pros and cons of these ideas. Then ‘At the end of the day, establishing the precise origins of the human species is beyond the reach of empirical science.’

Summary of this section (chapters 8-11)

Fr begins with praising Kepler, Galileo and Newton ‘accompanied with empirical proofs.’ There are no proofs, but try telling him that. But natural evolution is discrediting science (2 pages).

EPILOGUE

Begins with Dante, who describes modern man as ‘off the track of truth’ ‘Ironically today’s empirical science has become today’s religious ideology. P.501

It seems Fr spent 100 pages showing natural evolution of all is full of problems. Nowhere does he say how God filled the universe over that 13.7 billion years, so maybe we are simply to accept it, theistic evolution by way of miracles. If someone else finds a clear, one sentence written by Fr Robinson telling us how theistic evolution works, then I am listening. Telling us nature cannot do it is only half the story.


Offline klasG4e

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Thanks much cassini for plowing on with this unpleasant (to say the least) and laborious task.

Perhaps, you would like to add a comment on the issue of plausible denial.

I am not going to call anyone names here, but I know that modernists are very adept when it comes at writing in such a way that allows them some plausible denial when they are confronted.  If you were to put yourself in the shoes of Fr. Robinson do you think you could make a good case of plausible denial on various issues and if so just how actually plausible would it be?

Was it not for their skilled exercise in plausible denial that allowed a lot of their modernist trash to sneak under the Index radar back when that radar was in effect?

I just read (for the umpteenth time) the Oath Against Modernism, the document instituted by a great saint only to be wiped away in the post Conciliar Revolution.  Query as to how Fr. Robinson's book would hold up to the letter (or if not the letter than at least to the spirit) of the Oath?!

P.S. On a somewhat interesting (and ironic?) side note of sorts, I mention here that Fr. Robinson's stepfather authored the article The Heliocentric Hoax.  It can be found at https://jeranism.com/the-heliocentric-hoax-written-by-james-v-forsee/

Offline cassini

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Plausible denial:

Interesting subject klasG4e. In this case we are dealing with a matter of formal heresy. In 1741 after Isaac Newton and the discovery of stellar aberration, most intellectuals began to reject faith (the Church's 1616 decree) and favour human reason. By 1820 the vast majority in Church and State believed heliocentrism was proven, and this came to a head in the Holy Office of that time. But there were some still defending the papal decree of Pope Paul V, expecially Fr Filippo Anfossi, Master of the sacred Palace and a few others of the Holy Office. On the other side was Fr Benedeto Olivieri who was pushing for a heliocentric ban to be abandoned in favour of heliocentrism. As we know, by then popes were making pro-heliocentric decisions, ending up with their accepting heliocentrism over geocentrism completely.
Any recollection of these facts result in the likes of the following: 'Are you saying popes were responsible for bringing heresy inside the Catholic Church? For even inferring this you are banned from this Catholic forum!'

Now interesting how such accusers react to anyone retelling history as it is. Not even Galileo was found guilty of heresy because unless you know what is in anyone's heart and mind, they cannot be accused of personal heresy. It is not the messenger who called heliocentrism heresy, but the Church of the 17th century. So if it was introduced into the womb of the Church, then it was popes who allowed it in. But then we have to distinguish between formal heresy and material heresy. According to the rule, formal heresy is deliberate, a direct denial of a dogma. But what if the denial is not deliberate, but based on a belief that the heresy cannot be a heresy because one believes it is proven not to be a denial of a papal decree? Then it is material heresy with no sinful consequences for that person. Not one churchman involved, do we accuse of a deliberate denial, for all were fooled into ignorance, thus material heresy.

But then there is another side to this dilemma. Fr Anfossi in 1820 insisted there was no proof, and that the 1616 papal decree was irreversable. For him it was a matter of faith not human reason. Had he believed in heliocentrism his would have been formal heresy because he knew the decree was irreversable and never proved wrong by science. Indeed other lay philosophers of the time knew the 1616 decree defining belief in a fixed sun solar system was never falsified. In other words at the time when the popes gave the go ahead for heliocentrism, there was not a 100% agreement that the 1616 decree was proven wrong. So, can one abandon a defined definition on the basis of something that was not 100%? Does this doubt not make the fear of formal heresy a consideration? When a person is told heliocentrism was never proven and that it was decreed formal heresy to believe in it, is one not risking some degree of consequental heresy by chosing to believe in it anyway? Can one claim non-consequental material heresy without it being 100% certain?  

Now Fr Robinson is well aware that geocentrism was never proven wrong. He read Sungenis's book but laughed at it. He is a fan of Einstein who admitted to the world it was as plausable as heliocentrism. and, just like every person that went to school on Earth, he knows about the Galileo case and the fact that the Church ruled heliocentrism formal hersey. So is he guilty of heresy, and is it 100% material, or 99% material or 98% or what? If I told him to his face it was formal heresy, never abrogated, could he claim material heresy when he goes before his God to be judged for what he wrote about and taught in his SSPX seminaries?

These are the contradictions brought about by that 1741-1835 rejection of the 1616 decree of Pope Paul V. Satan drew the elect into a trap that had many consequences, the elimination of God's visibility in His creation, Modernism, and now that the fact that the Church's 1616 decree was never falsified is known, a situation in God's Church that in fact the DOCTRINAL ERROR was in 1835 and not in 1616. Indeed it has been known since 1835 that the Church's decree was never falsified by science, but ignored by every single churchman so as to be at one with the secular world. Intellectual pride took over from the truth.

I will end here KlasG4e with a most interesting quote that says it all:

‘Christ warned us that life on Earth is a test, full of temptations. God’s enemy, Satan, will do anything to keep us from reaching heaven. Therefore, whoever wants to follow God must restrain themselves in this life and concentrate all efforts on finding a way to heaven. No wonder that during the Middle Ages Christians were occupied with the afterlife. Such thoughts occupied the minds of the majority, but in all societies there are those who try to approach the matter from a different angle. Such men tried to reconcile the simple teachings of Christianity with ancient pagan theories of philosophy, astronomy and science, to gain full knowledge of God.

    Then came the Renaissance, the rebirth of pagan culture, philosophy, literature, and art, and the thousand years’ peaceful development of Christianity was over. More and more, mankind took their eyes from heaven and focused them on the Earth. The Renaissance changed considerably the way of thinking. Those, who earlier had readily sacrificed their lives to gain in exchange the Eternal One, suddenly discovered the sweet pleasures of Earthly life. Adopting the pagan, mainly Greek and Roman, ways of life and thinking, many aristocrats, princes and kings gradually became sceptical about religious truths. Soon they started to question the authority of the Church over them. The first target of the worldly rulers was the Earthly property of the Church, but soon her spiritual authority became the subject of profane inquiry, which leads to the open rebellion of the Protestant Luther against the spiritual authority of the Church.

    At the Protestant Reformation, both the temporal and spiritual power of the Church was destroyed. No wonder that in such an atmosphere the knowledge of God (theology) also became the subject of heated debates. The most vulnerable part of theology [we now see was creation as literally depicted in Genesis]. Copernicus, [Bruno and Galileo] with his heliocentric theory, caused an Earthquake that shattered the foundation of the accepted theology of St Thomas. And that shattering coincided with the Reformation. These two major blows set the Church, together with all accepted values, on a course that eventually led her to defeat and humiliation, in our own century. With Copernicus, science started a war against religious truth. Science [rather pseudo-science] went on triumphantly to achieve a complete victory and, in our days, the unconditional surrender of Catholic theology. Nowadays Christianity is regarded as a major obstacle to scientific progress, which blocked the way for the development of science for a thousand years, as Edward Gibbon, a philosopher, put it in the last century. Andrew White went a little further, calling the saints of the Church mild mental cases who saw hallucinations. The father of psychology, Freud, generalised this idea by calling religion a mass neurosis to be cured; and Marx called it simply the opiate of the masses.

    The tendency of the scientific war – or revolution if you like – is clear; to destroy religious truth, and replace it with new perspectives, views, theories, and hypotheses entirely different from [Catholic] beliefs man [held for centuries], and replace it with an outlook on a universe where God no longer has any place,’[1]



[1] Stephen Foglein, MS: The Apple of Knowledge, Two heart Books, California, USA 1981..

And Fr Robinson, with his defence of the old Pagan heresies under the guise of science, shows us what is being taught to would-be-priests who went to SSPX seminaries so as to defend the truth and the true faith of Catholicism.

Offline klasG4e

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I just noticed for the first time today that Father Robinson's book is highlighted on the Angelus Press website at https://angeluspress.org/products/the-realist-guide-to-religion-and-science


People are free to submit a review on the book at the site.  There are 9 reviews presently listed.  Of the 9 listed so far 8 of them rate the book with 5 stars.  (I tried to copy and paste the stars below, but was unable to do so.)  The other rates it at one star and perhaps safe to say due to that fact  alone as well as what the person actually wrote in the review, the author Father Robinson has responded underneath that review and that review alone.  For the convenience of anyone reading this, I have pasted all the 9 reviews seen so far as well as Father's aforementioned response to one of them.
**************************************************************************************************************************

The Realist Guide to Religion and Science

Fr. Paul Robinson, SSPX
SKU: 8716
$35.00  
Qty  


NOW AVAILABLE!
Why do some religious believers slaughter those who refuse to convert to their faith, refuse scientific evidence for an ancient universe, or hold God to be an utterly arbitrary being? Why do some scientists believe that universes pop into existence from nothing, that aliens seeded life on earth, or that fish turn into reptiles by chance processes? The answer, for both, is the same: the abandonment of realism, the human way for knowing reality. In The Realist Guide to Religion and Science, Fr Robinson explains what realism is all about, then undertakes an historical exploration to show how religion and science become irrational when they abandon realism and how they are intellectually fruitful when they embrace it.
  • “With this volume, the student will be able to safely navigate through the busy halls of philosophy.” Fr Joseph Azize, Ph.D (University of Sydney), Honorary Associate, Dept of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney; Adjunct Assoc. Prof. University of Notre Dame, Australia.
  • The Realist Guide to Religion and Science is an historical and radically interdisciplinary work that provides clear answers to the intellectual confusion that besieges the modern world.” Dennis Bonnette, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, (Retired, Niagara University)
  • “Fr Robinson knows that talking about the absoluteness of truth is not very pleasant to a modern scholar … but it is – de facto – a very scholarly thing to do. In my opinion, the author of the ‘Guide’ deserves praise for this attempt.” Jakub Taylor, Ph.D. (Seoul National University), Prof. Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Fr. Paul Robinson, a native of Kentucky, USA, received a Masters in Engineering Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Louisville. After two years in the field, he entered St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary to discern his vocation. Since his ordination into the priestly fraternity of the Society of St. Pius X in 2006, he has been teaching Thomistic philosophy and theology at Holy Cross Seminary in Australia. Visit his site here to learn more.

Customer Reviews

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Realist Guide to Religion and Science
Steven Lantier MD, Apr 2018
Destined to become a classic for people who care about the maladies of the current culture and where it went wrong. Fr. Robinson does a great job taking you on a tour of philosophy from ground zero, through the roof. He clearly shows how these errors of philosophy have led to the false religions, false gods and inconsistencies of the many Christian denominations. This isn't an easy read, but well worth the effort.

Reconciliation Confirmed
Stephen Mattia, Apr 2018
This is not a book by a priest supporting evolution, relativism, or new are nonsense. Far from it...it is a book based on sound Catholic Philosophical thinking by a true son of the Church. In a sweeping analysis of what Realism is - as a way of knowing reality - Father Robinson brings the reader from pagan thinking through to the Middle Ages then to modern thought. The author presents to the lay reader not only an analysis of what Realism is but how historical errors in how we know reality have sidetracked not only religious belief but scientific progress. All throughout the book Father Robinson maintains that the Truth is one...contending that there is not a truth for religion and another for science. Indeed, his efforts at a reconciliation between religion and science go a long way in restoring the traditional Catholic view of intellectual discovery - bringing us an injection of St. Thomas Aquinas' system of thought. "Blessed are the peace makers" - I believe that Father Robinson has successfully restored a lost trust shared by those who believe in God and who also believe in Science based on right reason. Wonderful book for those of Faith and Reason.

This is very good - get it and read it
Anthony Massey, Apr 2018
Re my earlier review - the third last word should be foreword not forward. I'm waiting for a Fr Robinson book on the English language.
This is very good - get it and read it

Anthony Massey, Apr 2018
I wish I could have more than 1500 characters to review this book. It's scholarly and exceptional both in its thoroughness and its dispassionate adherence to logic and Aristotelian/Thomistic philosophy. Fr Robinson's philosophical discussion and assessment of the major religions and atheistic empiricisim is a bright light shining in the darkness. It is irrefutable because it remains perfectly loyal to logic. It is also loaded with mountains of really interesting information and scientific facts (not opinions). Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell et al. are convicted with their own words. Darwinian evolution is refuted with pure science, something macro-evolution is not. Being a 500 page scholarly work it required some hard work to get through it but that doesn't mean it wasn't hugely entertaining and engaging and it was definitely worth the effort. One more thing, just reading bits of it will lead to misunderstanding. One or two negative reviews I have seen so far misrepresent what Fr says because I suspect they have just read bits or maybe have not read any of it beyond the forward. Happy reading.

Apologists Secret Weapon
Carol Massey, Apr 2018
Fr Robinson's book is truly a Godsend in explaining creation from a Catholic perspective in a well explained manner, which has been much needed for quite some time.

Wow! In-depth analysis beyond my expectations
Rob Riforgiate, Apr 2018
I must admit, when I purchased the book I was expecting, perhaps, a practical guide to resolving the science vs. religion divide currently prevalent in our culture, assuming "Realist" just meant "practical".

Instead, this book is takes a step-by-step progression from showing the philosophical school known as Realism, contrasting it with other schools, and showing the basis of what we humans know and how we know it. Only then does Fr. Robinson move on to resolving the apparent divide, and showing how there is no divide after all.

Fr. Robinson doesn't shy away from communicating difficult concepts, but does so in the manner of a true teacher, by breaking them down so even someone with almost no background in the subject matter can understand and apply them.

I highly recommend this for anyone struggling with the apparent dichotomy between science & faith, and also anyone wanting to get a good working understanding of philosophy.

Surprised to say the least [At the time of my post this is the only 1 star rating.  The other 8 give it a 5 star rating! Ugh!]
John Hoff, Apr 2018
Pros: Fr. Robinson gives the reader a very articulate description of realism, as well as numerous examples and practical application. Despite the need to by very " philosophy heavy" Fr. Robinson explains things very well to a simple dumb sheep like myself.
Cons: Oh boy. Well for starters, one might notice the book is published by a liberal publisher instead of Angelus press. The forward is particularly hard on those whom I expect to be Fr.'s core group of readers ( saint jp2, saint Paul ect.) I am also exceedingly troubled by the open aceptance of an ancient creation. This is a position based on, shall we say, dubious evidence. The way Fr. portrays it, if you think it is maybe possible for a "young earth", you are obviously an irrational religious like the kind who goes around slaying those who refuse to convert.
In conclusion: I personally was shocked by some of the positions Fr. Robinson takes, so conservative's may not be interested. However if things of that nature do not bother people, this is certainly a very well explained philosophical study of the titled subject.
FROM THE AUTHOR:
Thanks for your review, John.
To be honest, I myself, at one time, considered Young Earth Creationism (YEC) to be a ‘conservative’ viewpoint. However, I had to change my mind when I did an in-depth study of the Scriptural encyclicals of Popes Leo XIII, Benedict XV, and Pius XII, as well as the classic pre-Vatican II Scripture manuals: authors like Steinmueller, Simon-Prado, Gigot, Renié, and Vigouroux. What I discovered was that YEC is not a ‘conservative’ viewpoint, but a Protestant viewpoint, motivated by Protestant principles of Scriptural exegesis and the Protestant notion of God. The closest that Catholics ever came to YEC was a position called ‘concordism’, but this is quite different from YEC, and concordism was almost universally abandoned by Catholic exegetes well before Vatican II.

Since the last thing that we should want to do as Catholics is source our cues for Scriptural interpretation from Protestants, I wanted to make clear, in The Realist Guide, how foreign YEC is to the Catholic mindset, theologically, philosophically, and scientifically. This does not mean that Catholics are forbidden to be YEC, as the Church permits it as an opinion. It does mean, however, that it seems to be dangerous for Catholics to be YEC, because it is an opinion that harmonizes with the Protestant spirit and conflicts with the wisdom of papal teaching on Scripture.
- Angelus Press

Religion and Science. A Pathway to Their Reconciliation
Wolfgang Koch, PhD, Bonn, Germany , Mar 2018
Dr. Koch, was kind enough to write a thorough review of The Realist Guide unfortunately, there simply wasn't enough room to post it all here. To read the full review, you can do so in our blog, https://angeluspress.org/blogs/blog/religion-and-science-a-pathway-to-their-reconciliation, or read it in our reply, below.

A Short biographical sketch of Dr. Koch: After his studies in Physics and Mathematics, Wolfgang Koch graduated with a PhD degree in Theoretical Physics at Aachen Technical University (RWTH) and a habilitation degree at the University of Bonn in Computer Science. He is head of a research department the Fraunhofer Society, Professor for Computer Science at Bonn University, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, and active in the Board of Governors of IEEE Aero-space and Electronic Systems Society AESS and the International Society of Information Fusion ISIF.
Book Review of The Realist Guide to Religion and Science by, Wolfgang Koch, PhD.

Sedi Sapientiae, Reginae coeli et terrae, Matri universae, to the Seat of Wisdom, to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, to the Mother of all, an important new publication has been dedicated. It has the potential of becoming a substantial contribution to a healing of philosophical thinking about religion and science that our intellectually and spiritually broken time needs. In his own way and covering a certain aspect, the author, Fr. Paul Robinson FSSPX, Her servant and son, is preparing the promised triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

What reward is awaiting the reader? Being very readable even for non-native speakers, Fr. Robinson’s book does not require any specific prior knowledge, but it does require patience in following the lines of thought from the first to the last page – it is not a book for page hoppers! Its fruit is a unified, unifying, and at the same time joyful view of the universe as a whole, where in an intellectually coherent and satisfying way, religious and scientific thinking co-exist in harmony without excluding but supporting each other.

However, can there exist such an integrity of human reason after all the intellectual and spiritual revolutions since the times of “Enlightenment”, a wisdom where even the highest objects of knowledge come into the view, in whose light all other things begin to shine? Yes - argues Fr. Robinson. Every other answer is logically inconsistent and ultimately leads to despair. Only the realist is an optimist.

After studying engineering, mathematics and computer science at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, U. S. A., where he graduated with a Master's degree, Fr. Robinson spent two years in his profession before joining the American seminary of the Society of St. Pius X. Since his priestly ordination in 2006, he has taught Thomistic Philosophy and Theology, currently at the Holy Cross Seminary in Australia.

His intellectual pathway from the rigorous discipline of reasoning in the realm of science and technology, where "right" and "wrong" is relentlessly valid, has led Fr. Robinson through the school of classical western and ecclesiastical thought, into philosophical realism as mentality, as an intellectual and spiritual way of life. The reviewer had the pleasure of personally meeting with this gracious, humble, and pious priest, who is marked by a deep inner life.

Realism as a mentality refers to a basic mental attitude in which people are able to know something reliably and to relate themselves validly to reality. Why is this mentality no longer indisputably normal? It is due to the abuse of free will, argues Fr. Robinson, which chooses other mentalities. Such a wrong preference then limits the natural ability to perceive the world as it really is – darkening the eye of reason, blurring intellectual perception.

However, whenever reasoning goes wrong, because the will has not chosen a mentality appropriate for human beings, a person’s thinking about the objects of faith and the facts of science also diverges. The apparent incompatibility of religion and science, which has characterized western thinking since the Copernican revolution, is not so much caused by the mutual incompatibility between these two ways of thinking, but by the fact that those who do religion or science or both have made their mindset incompatible with reality. Fr. Robinson therefore seeks to reconcile religion and science with one another, but not through religion or science. He rather seeks to reconcile human reasoning with reality itself.

If there is a single origin of the entire universe as the realistic view of the world suggests, reality is a single whole. Moreover, if that one origin has given man the ability to perceive reality, then there is no reason to assume that this very perception does not also focus on the whole of reality. For the great realist philosopher Josef Pieper, human beings have the potential of “being able to live in the face of and in the midst of the whole of reality. The created spirit is capax universi, open to the whole of truth". (Die Wahrheit der Dinge, 1947).

Elsewhere, Pieper speaks of “the uncharted territory that awaits conquest today, one might say more precisely, the already conquered land that would finally be taken over and used for philosophical world interpretation". It has a vast extension. Which country is it? “First of all, it is the world region opened up by physics and biology”, Pieper explains (Die Aktualität des Thomismus, 1953).

Fr. Robinson’s book is a travel guide to this adventurous country, an intellectual frontier, waiting for its spiritual settlement: The Realist Guide to Religion and Science. With a smiling wink of the eye, the title alludes to a cult novel of the science and technology community, Douglas N. Adams' satirical science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1979.

In the first part of his travel guide entitled REASON, Fr. Robinson looks as a realist on reality. Analyzing the logical structure underlying pagan pantheism, the Catholic doctrine of creation, Muslim monotheism and Protestant biblicism, the second part of the book, RELIGION, shows how religion is reasonable as long as it remains realistic but becomes unreasonable as soon as it turns away from reality. The same applies to the interpretation of scientific facts, the theme of the third part, SCIENCE.

For readers from the science and technology communities, the first part is particularly instructive. Shortly and precisely, Fr. Robinson calls upon the three witnesses of reality, the senses, from which all knowledge about the particulars emanates, reason, to recognizing the universals, and authority, which complements all knowledge – for all knowledge needs trust. Starting from the principle that science is certain knowledge through insight into the causes, he then convincingly discusses Aristotle’s analysis of the four aspects of causality, the material, formal, efficient and final causes. An outline of the three ways of knowledge, science, philosophy, religion, concludes this compact and concise introduction to realistic thinking.

The second part offers insights into the inner structure of Muslim and Protestant thinking, which is put into contrast to the balanced character of the Catholic doctrine of creation according to St. Thomas Aquinas which has been called Thomas a Creatore by G. K. Chesterton. These sober insights are particularly valuable in the current debate with intelligent fundamentalists that may seriously inflict injuries to religion and block the pathways to it for many.

In most countries, popularized representations of physical cosmology and evolutionary biology dominate the public mainstream and even the unconscious of modern man, where scientific facts are mixed up with ideologically charged interpretations that usually turn against the Christian faith. Against this backdrop, special emphasis is to be placed at the third part of the book. Fr. Robinson sharply distinguishes between the facts that are scientifically sound and their interpretations that are open to discussion and correction. This distinction could perhaps have been made even sharper.

Right in the beginning of part three, Fr. Robinson addresses a core problem when he cites Albert Einstein: "The man of science is a poor philosopher". Note that Einstein underlined the importance of sound philosophical thinking even though he followed philosophical strands that are unacceptable for Christians. In the first of the four chapters of this part, Fr. Robinson critically analyses the development of philosophical thinking on nature from the late Middle Ages to modern times. The reader realizes how much progress towards the ever more important scientific discoveries coincides with a progressive disintegration of philosophically clear and valid thinking.

The reviewer is able to technically evaluate the content of the chapter on physical cosmology beginning with the important discoveries of Einstein, Hubble, and Lemaître, which he considers convincing, thorough and serious. The representation of the universe in its highly specific peculiarity is comprehensibly presented also for the non-scientist, by which the inhabitability of the universe for living creatures is made possible (keyword: cosmic fine-tuning). Fr. Robinson sharply refutes, by philosophical reasoning, on the other hand, experimentally non-falsifiable cosmologies (keyword: multiverses), which are highly controversial even among physicists because these cease to be part of natural science at all.

Thoroughly in the spirit of Pius XII and his Encyclical Humani generis (1950), the two biological chapters on the origin of life and evolution provide, on the one hand, verified facts of biology. On the other hand, they document the internal contradictions of “biologistical” ideologies, which are associated with names such as Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin. Obviously, the same person can make significant biological discoveries and at the same time make serious “biologistical”, i.e. philosophical errors. Fr. Robinson’s discussion seems to be convincing. Since the reviewer has no specific training in biology, a review from a professional biologist would be desirable. Teilhard de Chardin is not an issue for Fr. Robinson. However, his sound realistic principles may prove themselves valuable in the debate about his rehabilitation.

Besides being a sound philosophical book on the realist mentality, Fr. Robinson’s travel guide has at the same time also a profoundly missionary impulse. May his guide open up again pathways to the Catholics faith, especially for the science and technology communities, and may it light the love for the Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Mother of the Universe and be blessed by Her!
- Angelus Press

A great book on thinking
Joseph Strong, Feb 2018
In a very accessible style, Fr. Robinson shows the reader what it means to think rationally No one who knows the teachings of the Church regarding the age of the universe or other strangely controversial topics will be surprised by his analyses. True science and true philosophy work together to give the correct view of God's creation - that is Father's point. One without the other leads to cramming intellectual round pegs into square holes. Father's book will help the reader not fall into that trap.


 

Offline klasG4e

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I get the impression that at some point in time the SSPX decided to double down behind this book, but perhaps not before they lined up some public backers of same.

 

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