The Method in Aristotle’s Madness

The moon: not at all what it seemed to the ancients.

Today I'm continuing last week's discussion of Aristotle in response to Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry's post "How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything." Last week I discussed the questions Aristotle was trying to answer; this week I'm going to discuss his methods vs. the methods of modern scientists.In Ancient Greece, the very type of true knowledge was mathematics. Here certainty was possible; and the Greeks were good at it, both arithmetic and (most especially) geometry. I've … [Read more...]

What We Can Know, and How We Can Know It

Men looking through microscope

According to Thomas Aquinas, we can know things in three ways:Directly, as we know the things we see around us. Indirectly, by reasoning from the things we see around us. By revelation from God.The first category—the things we know by direct experience, as I know the keyboard on which I'm typing and the desk it sits on—would go without saying if it weren't for the persistent influence of Descartes' methodological doubt and the absurdities of those who followed after him. As for … [Read more...]

Faith Ain’t Nonsensical

The common view of faith is well represented by this speech from Jack McDevitt's novel Odyssey:Faith is conviction without evidence, and sometimes even in the face of contrary evidence. In some quarters, this quality is perceived as a virtue.In fact, this is not what the Catholic Church means by faith. Per Cardinal Schönborn,A blind faith, one that would simply demand a leap into the utter void of uncertainty, would be no human faith. If belief in the Creator were totally without … [Read more...]

Shakers of Salt

You might have seen headlines around the web today about how Oreos are as addictive as cocaine. Slashdot has this to say:Here's how the experiment, which has not been peer reviewed and has not been presented yet, went down. Mice were placed in a maze, with one end holding an Oreo and the other end holding a rice cake. The mice, without fail, decided to eat the Oreo over the rice cake, proving once and for all that mice like cookies better than tasteless discs with a styrofoamy … [Read more...]