Can Catholics Still “Follow the Science?”

January 30, 2024 00:34:25
Can Catholics Still “Follow the Science?”
Crisis Point
Can Catholics Still “Follow the Science?”

Jan 30 2024 | 00:34:25

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

The reputation of "Science" is in tatters for many people, leading some to question things that were previously assumed by just about everyone. What is the proper Catholic approach to evaluating the claims of scientists?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] The reputation of science is in tatters, leaving many people to basically question things that previously were assumed by everybody. [00:00:27] What is the proper catholic approach to evaluating the claims of scientists? That's what we're going to talk about today on crisis point. Hello, I'm Eric Salmons, your host, and Aaron chief of Cris magazine. Before we get started, just want to encourage people to smash that, like, button. Subscribe to the channel. Don't hit the notify bell because you have a life outside of the Internet and you don't need your phone telling you what to do. [00:00:51] You can also subscribe to our email newsletter. Just go to crisismagazine.com and you'll be asked there to put your email address in. You can get our articles to you every day right into your inbox. We usually have two articles every day, Monday through Friday, and often an article or two on Saturday as well. I don't think we ever do an article on Sundays because that's your day arrest, not to be reading articles at crisis. [00:01:13] Also, you can follow us on social media at crisis mag. [00:01:19] Okay, so the discussion today is about science. And this was spurred on, actually by a number of things. It's kind of an Internet topic. It's a social media Twitter topic. I admit what I'm going to be talking about somewhat, but I think it's a broader topic that I see happening in a lot of places in the catholic world. And what got me finally to do it, I've been thinking about doing something like this for a while. What got me finally do it was Matt Walsh, the commentator for Daily Wire. He tweeted the other day that he saw the movie First man, which is about a movie about Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. [00:01:57] And he tweeted about seeing it for the second time. He really enjoyed it. And he got a couple people who said, oh, we never really landed on the moon. He then was like, that's stupid. Of course we land on the moon. And he got ratioed essentially by his followers, by people on Twitter saying, no, it's all fake. And so this is something I want to talk about, was basically, why is it that more and more people are rejecting things that are somewhat settled scientifically settled as much as something scientifically can be? Or even historical events like the moon landing, which almost everybody believed, I would guess, in the 1970s, but now a growing number of people actually reject. [00:02:43] But it's not just the moon landing. There's other things as well. So what I want to talk about then is that relationship between science and Catholicism, particularly in an era that we live in today where science is often abused. Now, the first thing we need to note, we need to remember, is that science is basically requires Christianity. [00:03:08] Science requires Christianity. What do I mean by that? [00:03:11] The philosophical and religious assumptions of Christianity are necessary for the proper use of science, for even the discipline of science. For example, you have to believe in an orderly world, meaning when you do something the exact same way, in the exact same conditions, two different times, you will get the exact same results. [00:03:38] So, for example, if I throw a ball up in the air and I catch it and I do it again, and we're going to assume everything is the same. Air quality, the weight of the ball, my arm, all that stuff, it's going to essentially have the exact same result the second time I do it. It's not going to all of a sudden not leave my hand or go up into orbit or something like that. [00:04:02] Science assumes an orderly world, an orderly creation. In other words, science also. [00:04:10] It's assuming that there's a reason to know about this world. Why do we want to know about it? And that has its basis in Christianity. Because in Christianity, we believe that there is a creator who created an orderly universe, but also that knowing about that creation can help us know him more. [00:04:34] Other religions, like, for example, in Islam. And I know there is some history of some scientific developments in Islam and things of that nature. I'm not denying that, however, in Islam, God is kind of a capricious God, and it's a very nominalistic system in the sense that he can just do whatever he wants. [00:04:52] There are no set rules of the universe, so to speak. God just can determine. We'll do things differently now. Not in Christianity. Christianity. Christianity. God has set up an oral universe, and he abides by that orally universe. Now, yes, there are miracles which can go outside the normal order, but those are rare things. Christianity does not claim that they are the norm. Instead, the norm is that God allows his creation to operate in a certain way. So what we see is that Christianity and science are not only compatible, but they feed off of each other in a sense. And that is why there have been so many Catholics through the centuries who have been great scientists. This is not something that Catholics just jumped on recently or have always rejected or anything of that nature. No, Catholicism has always been very pro science. In fact, like I said, it's the cradle of science. The catholic church is the cradle of science. And you do see a difference between, for example, Catholicism and Protestantism. Not that there aren't excellent scientists who are Protestants or excellent Protestants who are scientists. [00:06:08] But in general, what you find is that Catholicism has always been more open to science and scientific findings, and I think that has to do with our sacramental nature. The physical world is much more important to Catholics than it is to Protestants in general. Protestants view the physical world as almost like a necessary evil, that we just have to get through this to get to the spiritual world. It's a spiritual that really matters. [00:06:36] But for Catholics, no, the physical world really matters. That's where the sacraments come from. God uses the physical world to save us. And so learning about that physical world is apropos to Catholics. This is, again, why Catholics and science, they work together very well. And why science, the cradle of science is the catholic church. [00:07:01] Okay, so that's all being said. That's a nice little ode to science. I just gave. And I do believe it. I do believe that science is a great discipline. Very important. All the different disciplines within science. And the Catholics always embrace that. [00:07:16] Okay, that being said, our faith in science, and I use that term, that phrase kind of purposely, our faith in science has been tested, particularly in recent years. [00:07:31] Obviously, the elephant in the room is Covid. What happened with COVID That we saw that we had to follow the science. We had to believe science, and that meant we had to mask and vaccinate one year olds. [00:07:49] That was the science we were being told. Yet anybody who dared to actually look into this realized those claims are ridiculous. [00:07:59] But we were told, if you didn't believe what Anthony Fauci said every day, you rejected science. I mean, literally, Fauci said that, like, to reject him is to reject science. [00:08:12] So, needless to say, that increased the skepticism. A lot of people, including a lot of Catholics, about the claims of science. [00:08:20] We also see it in the acceptance of transgenderism. We're told that's scientific, that a man can declare himself to be a woman, and that's scientific. And if you reject that, then you are anti science. You're not following the science because science has proven that. A dude can say he's a chick. [00:08:44] He's proven it again. It's something that makes us question the science, makes us question science in general, makes us skeptical of the claims of scientists. [00:08:56] Now, it also goes a little bit deeper than that before, like, just Covid and transgenderism and things like that, because, of course, the last century and a half, we've seen the rise of the evolution, the claims of evolution, and that this is the dominant explanation, the scientific consensus, so to speak, for how life began here on earth is through evolution. Specifically like a neo darwinian evolution, and tied to that is often atheistic undercurrents. Atheistic evolution is kind of the religion of a lot of people who say they follow the science. And clearly, as Catholics, we have to be skeptical of any system that removes God from the equation, particularly from the equation of creating life, creating souls. [00:09:56] Now, I hope to have on the podcast here in the next month or so, somebody who's going to talk a lot about that specific issue about evolution and about the science behind it and the catholic view of it and things like that. So I'm not going to get into that right now. [00:10:11] But what we've seen, and this is particularly kind of coordinated in conjunction with the rise of atheistic evolutionary thought, is the turning of science into a religion, what I would call scientism. It's like a pseudoreligious system, scientism, this idea that, frankly, when somebody says, believe the science, that's a religious statement, that's not a scientific statement. A scientific statement would say, look at the evidence, weigh it against all the other evidence that we have, and then come to a hypothesis, not necessarily a conclusion. Always it might be a conclusion in the sense of like, this is the best information we have, but it wouldn't be one that says, okay, this is dogma. But to believe the science folks, they are preaching dogma. [00:11:05] And the fact is that science itself has no dogmas other than principles of the physical universe, which we can just observe. [00:11:17] But really, there's no dogmas. There's no revealed truth that you must submit to. When it comes to science, everything is in the question. Now, some things can be put in a more question, other things, depending on how well tested, or if something has been tested a million times and it's always come out the same result. Technically, it hasn't been proven in the sense of the thousandth and first time, or what I say millionth and first time, it could be a different result. But we can basically say, okay, we accept those results until further data comes in. Whereas if something has been tested once or twice and the results come a certain way, we say, well, hold on a second. I'm not going to necessarily accept that as true. I'm going to say the evidence is pointing that direction. So you see, this is the big difference between the scientism and science. So we've seen this idea, though, among Catholics, and that's what I'm talking to mostly here. If you're non Catholic, welcome and please become Catholic. [00:12:17] But I'm talking to Catholics mostly here. So we have a reason to be skeptical of scientific claims today. [00:12:25] And because of that, what has happened is I've noticed over the past few years an expansion of what is kind of rejected from the scientific consensus where Catholics were rejecting maybe the claims of Fauci because that's not scientific consensus. That's just one dude who's getting paid a lot of money and is corrupt to the core and is a liar. [00:12:49] That's not scientific consensus. But basically people are rejecting scientific consensus of other things. For example, the age of the universe. It's basically scientific consensus that the age of the universe is billions of years old. But you see a number of Catholics are arguing, no, it's 6000 years old or something to that nature, something radically different. [00:13:13] You also see even that's not that uncommon, that view, but even more uncommon but even more radical, is a rejection of heliocentricism, the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. Accepting instead of a geocentricism, the scientific consensus is clear. It supports heliocentricism. Now, I know somebody's going to try to get into the idea of the way the universe expands and everything like that. Every point in the universe is actually the center of the universe from a certain perspective. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the geocentricism of the ancient times. [00:13:51] Oh, I'm blanking on the name of the guy Ptolemy or something like that who came up with this. And heliocentricism as thought by modern science. But there are Catholics now, and let's be honest, these things I'm saying are more prevalent among traditional Catholics, among trad Catholics. If somebody attends a traditional mass and consider himself a traditional Catholic, I'm just talking about my own in some ways. So there's rejection of the age of the universe, the consensus, the scientific consensus about the heliocentricism. I already mentioned a rejection of the moon landing, which isn't technically, that's more of a rejection of history than of science. But often in that rejection of saying the moon landing was faked is the idea that scientifically, man cannot get to the moon. [00:14:40] At least it wasn't possible in the. I've seen some argue that it's impossible for man to get to the moon scientifically, they would claim, and of course, there are a few, not many, who would even argue for a flat earth. [00:14:56] Now, yes, some of these are more extreme than others, but we're seeing, though, this growth in rejecting the scientific consensus not just on some recent things like Covid or transgenderism, but on more major things that have been accepted for a very long time. [00:15:15] So the question becomes then, how should Catholics look at this? [00:15:19] How should Catholics then approach science and the scientific consensus that's often used to beat over our heads to accept certain things? In fact, you'll see this in Catholicism. I've seen this from a number of high ranking church members to basically say the way that the Catholics have to deal with homosexuality has to be completely different than we have in the past because of the scientific consensus about homosexuality, that now that we know more about the human person and psychology and things of that nature, we can't condemn homosexual acts. I mean, honestly, the blessing of homosexual couples that came about, about a month or so ago is directly tied to the arguments that science has shown us that certain people are born homosexual, certain people. That's the way God made them, and so therefore, we bless it. We have to accept these as different situations. They're not inherently immoral. They're not moral problems. They're just a difference in physiology, psychology, something of that nature. [00:16:35] So it's a real issue how we deal with this, and it's understandable. And I'm the first in line for this, being skeptical of scientific consensus these days. In fact, if you go back on this podcast, you'll see, especially during COVID time, after that and crisis, we have challenged the so called scientific consensus, especially when it comes to Covid and transgenderism, things like that, homosexuality. So clearly, I'm not a person who is unwilling to question that. I would say, though, the proper catholic approach is a balanced one. On the one hand, we should not have unquestioning fealty to science. The scientific consensus, we should reject scientism. The idea that just because a couple of guys and gals in lab coats showed up on tv and said something, we then therefore have to accept it as science. Here's the dirty little secret, is, of course, assets for scientific consensus. Often today is the idea that we're going to pick a few scientists who agree with what we think, put them on tv or on the Internet, and say, okay, that's a scientific consensus, while there's other scientists just as qualified who believe something very different, who believe the evidence shows something very different, they're ignored. That was very much seen in Covid, because you saw that all scientists agree that we have to mask and stuff like that, and yet you had scientists who disagreed with that, very qualified scientists. All scientists say we have to do these lockdowns. Well, no, that's not true. Like all the experts say, no, just the experts that you agreed with beforehand, and then you made them experts. But other people, just as qualified scientifically are saying that. So we don't have this unquestioned fealty. It is actually against reason to blindly accept whatever quote unquote, science says. [00:18:38] And science, though, does always question. We have to question science, always. But again, there is a spectrum here. [00:18:50] Questioning science does not mean that literally everything that you find in your science textbook you should spend your time questioning that is just being stupid. [00:19:01] Because what you're doing is you're just taking it to an irrational conclusion, irrational extreme. Because the fact is, some things scientifically are much more a scientific consensus than others. The idea that lockdowns are a good idea when you have a pandemic, a supposed pandemic, there's no deep, experimented on scientific consensus about that. That's just a few scientists who gave their opinion and other scientists gave an opposite opinion. So we don't have this unquestioning fealty to science. We don't have scientism. But we also, on the other hand, do not have an automatic rejection of all modern science. That is very anti catholic to be like that. Because you're rejecting how the world is using our reason, you're rejecting the use of reason. One of the arguments I've seen that justifies this rejection of all scientific consensus is basically the people who say we land on the moon are the same people who say men can become women. [00:20:17] Now that's a ridiculous argument. That's the same as the argument of, well, Hitler said. Hitler said he likes dogs, so anybody likes dogs, I'm against them. They're evil. [00:20:29] There's no basis in it. Just because somebody believes something stupid doesn't mean every single thing they say is stupid. The other problem with the course is it's complete cherry picking. Because it's not like the only people who think we land on the moon also think that men can become ladies. That's not the only people. Most people think it. Most rational people think it, and everybody involved in it thinks it. [00:20:58] Just one example, my father in law, a devout, faithful Catholic until he passed away a number of years ago. He worked for NASA during the time of the moon landing. He worked there from the mid to late 60s, mid and late 60s until the early seventy s. So he was actually working for NASA when we landed on the moon. [00:21:18] He believed to his dying day he knew, I should say, that we landed on the moon. [00:21:24] And of course, that's the major problem of the idea that the moon landing was fake. The number of people who have to be involved in the conspiracy is just so ridiculous. I mean, think about it. They couldn't mean everything with COVID Look how quickly we revealed all the untruths about COVID You're really telling me that all that stuff, if that was faked, it wouldn't have gotten out? I mean, watch Matt Walsh's video on. He just put it out a day or two ago and he kind of goes through this. But the idea, though, is that we don't reject all science. There's pseudoscience that passes itself and masquerades the science, and then there's actual science. And again, the more something has been proven, experiment upon and proven in lab or wherever observed, the more likely it's be true and the more ridiculous it is to reject it. [00:22:22] And so this rejection of modern science, and I see it more and more and again, mostly among traditional Catholics in the catholic world. I'm not saying it's outside the catholic world. I don't keep up with, I think is just a really anti catholic way of viewing things. And the fact is that we all accept modern science, even if we try to act like we don't. If you've been on an airplane, you accept modern science, otherwise you wouldn't have gotten on. [00:22:54] If you go to a hospital, you accept modern science. Now, a lot of what hospitals do these days is crap. A lot of what doctors prescribe and what have you is crap. But I tell you what, if you get in a car wreck, where do you want to go? [00:23:08] You want to go to the hospital because that's where you're going to get fixed. And in fact, you want to go to the hospital in America because that's the best place it's going to happen. [00:23:18] So I think the fact is we all accept modern science instinctively, intuitively, we have to, even if we claim we don't. Now, I think there's a couple of reasons. Why is it that people are rejecting so many of these accepted conclusions of modern science? I think there's a couple of different reasons. One is, I think there's a certain tribalism, which I kind of hinted at already, this idea. Well, the people who are saying dudes can become ladies, they're saying we land on the moon, so therefore I reject that. They're saying the earth revolves around the sun, therefore I reject that. The people who said that we have to lock down and wear mask all the time and get the vaccine, they're saying also that we land on the moon. They're also saying the earth revolves around the sun. Therefore I reject all those things. It's a tribalism. Their team is evil, and so everything they say is evil is wrong. My team, good. [00:24:22] And I think that's not scientific. It's not rational. It's probably a better way to look at. It's not catholic. [00:24:29] People who are on the other team can be right about things. You see this in politics all the time. [00:24:36] That basically forgot to turn off my phone. I will do it here. [00:24:41] People who reject you see it in politics where. I mean, you see this like, donald Trump, when he says, like, vivek Ramaswamy, he's a terrible guy. Two days later, he says, he's a great guy for those two days. All the Trump buys. I'm not talking about, everybody vote for Trump. A lot of good, normal, rational people vote for Trump. I'm talking about the kind of cult members of the Trump clan. They were like, ramasami's evil. And then as soon as Trump said he's okay, then okay, he's okay. That's all party politics. It's tribalism. And that's what we're getting. We're getting this tribalism that, okay, these people who are claiming science backs them up on transgenderism or lockdowns or whatever, we have to reject all the scientific claims they make. [00:25:33] I honestly think if Fauci came out tomorrow and said, we definitely did not land on the moon, then a bunch of people who now say, we didn't land on the moon would then say, oh, no, we did. [00:25:46] Or if he said something like, the earth, the sun revolves around the earth. All the people who believe in geocentricism would reject geocentricism. It's just tribalism. I also think it's this idea of this desire to be based. I wrote an article about this a while back at crisis. This idea that it's better to be based than to be Catholic. I mean, it's like, just. You're trying to get, like, social media cred. What can I say? That's outlandish enough? That gets me more likes, gets me more followers, or at least gets me more, like, in the algorithm, because we all know the algorithm it favors crazy takes. [00:26:22] The algorithm on social media, on YouTube, on Twitter, on Facebook, wherever the case may be. And so people are more and more tempted to make their crazy takes. In fact, I will say, if I had done this video today instead on why the moon landing was faked, I guarantee you I would have gotten at least five times more views than I'll get from this one. A balanced view of, like, okay, we don't reject science, but we don't embrace scientism. [00:26:53] The algorithm does not like that. But if I say, wow, moon landing, fate, question mark or something like that, I'll get more views. I know that, you know that. We all know that. And so people, they're tempted by that, and I think they're more likely to do that. So that's the second reason. I think a third reason, more traditional Catholics and just some Catholics they do this is because it's this idea of they believe it's being more faithful, it's being more catholic, more piistic or something like that. The church fathers all believe in geocentricism, and so I believe in geocentricism because I go along with the church fathers. [00:27:40] Well, the church fathers also had an understanding of a biology that would kill you today, that you'd be dead by the time you're 30, more than likely. [00:27:50] Your mom probably wouldn't even have childbirth. I'm not saying everybody died back then, but the fact is life expectancy was a lot shorter. A lot of things that don't kill us now killed us back then. [00:28:01] But because of science and our understanding of things that the church fathers had no idea about, these things we can live longer. I mean, the food you eat and things, how you can keep them, all that stuff. There's lots of things that all the church fathers would have thought that is completely wrong. [00:28:20] And that's okay because they just accepted like we do what's going on around us, like what the current model is. [00:28:29] So just saying that the church fathers all accept, all were pro geocentric. So therefore I am is not like a catholic argument that makes you more catholic than somebody else. It just makes it clear that you don't understand how to interpret and how to read the Church fathers. It honestly reminds me of my fundamentalist protestant days. [00:28:51] I mean, I was never a fundamentalist or protestant, but I was around a lot of fundamentalists. It's this idea that if I take something more literally, then I'm holier, then I'm more faithful, I guess is probably a better way to put it. So if I see the church fathers only think that the world is 6000 years old, or whatever the case may be, or I think, or the church fathers believe that the sun revolved around the earth, therefore that's what I believe. [00:29:19] There's nothing more catholic about that. There's nothing more faithful about that. It's abusing the church fathers. It's abusing our understanding of how we are to interpret the church fathers and look at them. [00:29:33] So ultimately, I feel like this all comes down to a crisis of trust today, that we don't trust our institutions. And there's a good reason we don't trust our institutions. I mean, look at this podcast. Often I will question and reject our institutions. And so we have this in politics, in the church, in science, in all institutions. In fact, I have an article coming out tomorrow, not by me, but by Amon senior, who's talking about how the recent approval of same sex blessings reduces our trust even further. In church leaders. We just simply don't trust. And so because of that, we're looking for reasons, we're looking for alternatives. And I do this too, and I think it's not an unhealthy thing as long as not taken to an extreme, a bad extreme. [00:30:26] In the big thing was question everything. [00:30:31] Catholics actually shouldn't question everything. That's not a healthy way to live because what happens is questioning everything leads to a very extreme skepticism about everything. So for example, when you see somebody questioning everything about science, about institutions, there's a very small step to question the basis of even the institution of the Catholic Church. Also this abuse of, like the church fathers, when somebody says, well, to be a Catholic, you have to believe the earth is 6000 years old because the church fathers taught that, or be Catholic, you have to believe that the sun revolves around the earth because the church fathers taught that. You know what that does? It just lessens people's trust in the church fathers. [00:31:20] It makes them realize, well, if I have to believe that to be Catholic, I'm not going to be Catholic. It makes a laughingstock out of the catholic faith. And honestly, it distracts us from the main point of life, which is our salvation. [00:31:37] When we start debating about whether or not we really land on the moon, it's distracting us. In fact, I think our elites like us debating things like that because then it keeps us from the real issues going on today, the real evil going on. I mean, we're about to go to war with Iran for no reason, but hey, let's debate the moon landing. I think they love it when that happens. [00:31:58] So ultimately, when it comes to science, I'm going to wrap it up here. [00:32:02] When it comes to science, we have to remember the very good principle, which is the abuse of something does not invalidate its use. Its valid use. The abuse of something does not negate its valid use. [00:32:18] Abusing science, which is what many in the mainstream media, the corporate media, the elites, that's what they do. [00:32:26] They're abusing science to get more power, more control. [00:32:31] That does not invalidate the proper use of science, which we see over the centuries. We see in modern science as well. [00:32:42] We are made as human beings to be curious about the world. God made us like that. It's not being unfaithful to be pro science to be for science. It's not being less faithful to want to know more about the world. That's the way God made us. In fact, the more we discover about this world, the more we have to glorify God. How he made it. I mean, it's amazing. Think about the little things we can make. We're amazed because we can make an iPhone compared to how this world is made. The iPhone is barely even a stick. [00:33:18] It's barely even a rock. [00:33:22] Yet the more we learn about this world, the more we can glorify God with. That's why I'm always like, the older the universe is, the bigger the universe is. Even the more populated the universe is, the more glory that's given to God. So I don't think that's a challenge to our faith to believe those things. So as Catholics, I would argue we need to reject scientism, reject the abuse of science, turning it into a pseudo religion, but embrace science. Don't get off on these half cocked ideas just because we want to be based. Get some social media cred. Instead, let's go ahead and accept willingly things that have been proven have been shown. [00:34:03] And yes, question when scientist is abused for things like the lockdowns or transgender ism and things like that. [00:34:11] Okay, I'm going to wrap it up there. Until next time, everybody. God love.

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