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The Clash of World Views.


The theme of clash of the religious and scientific world views once was fashionable and tempting for many.

To a considerable extent this clash is inevitable, for the religious world-view is a stable phenomenon, eternal in principle, and the scientific world-view is an unstable phenomenon, that is constantly changing, depending on new discoveries and the development of the scientific views.

The religious world-view, thinking life over, and giving a certain direction to it, cannot change because of the fact, for example, that an atom was considered indivisible in the 19th century, and in the 20th century it was proved to be divisible.

The scientific work must be absolutely free in its researches, investigations and conclusions. It cannot be lead by any predisposed thoughts, created outside of its sphere. Therefore, strictly saying, there can be no scientific world-view, as a constant value. This value is changing all the time, depending on the success of knowledge development.

But does it mean that the complete estrangement between the religious world-view and scientific knowledge must always exist, that these two sources of understanding of the world and its phenomena are incompatible?

Absolutely not, on the contrary, such a divergence is a very sad phenomenon, which sows dissension and brings temptations into human souls. The integrity and consistency of the world-view is a precious quality, which in the full measure possessed the holy apostles and the great fathers and teachers of the Church of the ancient times.

Despite the usual understanding, such integrity, consistency of the world contemplation was reached by them not due to that simple method, which was assigned to them in the vulgar descriptions: substantiation of their religious and scientific ideas on the basis of the Holy Scripture alone. Despite the spread notion, such facilitated solution of the problem is incorrect in principle and unacceptable from the point of view of the Church.

If concerning the social questions we know, that Christ the Savior with all decisiveness said to those, who asked him: "Who made me a judge or a divider over you?" and with that rejected the direct solving of the social problems; if the state matters, according to the thoughts of Metropolitan Anthony, the Lord entrusted to the free human will and does not want any dogmatization it this sphere, then the same can be said in the relation to the scientific sphere. The Church never patronized the references to the Holy Scripture or to its tradition, as to the manual on the natural science or other branches of science. Even if such references were still made, and the Church did not punish for that, then it happened only because of condensing to the creative infirmity of those, who made the references, for that way of acting did not cause any direct harm to the soul.

But the ecclesiastic creators did not act that way. The Apostle Paul knows the Greek philosophy, and the wisdom of Talmud and when there appears some certain need, knows how to deal with these out-of-church sources of knowledge. Let us recall for example his famous speech in the Athenian Areopagus (The Acts, 17:22-31).

It is seen much more distinctly in the example of St. Basil the Great. In his "Hexaemeron," in the connection with the narration about the world creation, of course according to the Holy Scripture, because this is the religious topic, not accessible to the scientific experience, St. Basil the Great, as soon as the thing has to do with natural-scientific themes, switches on to the scientific subjects.

But all the supreme wealth of his knowledge St. Basil the Great subdues to the highest, ecclesiastical wisdom, bringing to it the outwardly gained wealth, but not simply taking this wealth from it. The integrity of the world-view of St. Basil the Great, as well as of the Apostle Paul, is in no way harmed through that.

Unfortunately, this thought direction, opening such vast perspectives, was abandoned. It required the extreme tension of thought and its flexibility, as well as the high spiritual level. It required unceasing mental work, for its secret was in the constant introduction of the new connections between the eternal Christian world-view and the always changing scientific ideas, in each new period of time.

The decline of such creative connecting work happened to some extent as a result of the common cultural slowing down in the middle ages, but, in some measure, due to the fact that during the started comparatively calm period of the church history, the Christian mankind, not only in its "fool," but in the "wise" part, "while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept" (Math. 25:5). The gigantic elevation of the creative thought, so bewildering, which was seen in Basil the Great and his contemporaries, lowered. The keen questions of the human mind started to be followed by the answers, which were sluggish and compilation-like, made of the references to the Holy Scripture and the Church tradition. Such answers satisfied those asking and responding throughout the centuries. There was no direct harm to the soul because of that sleeping state, it did not represent the danger for salvation. The moral truth of these answers was in the fact that they were given in a rather Christian way, on the basis of the infallible source. We as well clearly understand that for the eternal authentic aim of the human existence, for the soul salvation and inheriting the Kingdom of God it is absolutely unimportant, if the earth is round or flat, if the earth rotates around the sun or vice versa, if God created the world in six normal days or six milliards of years. Therefore, the Church, which was busy with its major task, did not worry about the fact that the answers to those questions were given, using the wrong method.

But the Lord gave to the man his reason to have the deliberate look at the surrounding him world, that was why the people had a moral right to pause the mentioned above questions and look for the correct, corresponding to the objective truth, answer. Exactly this was the circumstance that the demonic power used in its unceasing attacks of faith and the Church of Christ — the citadel of salvation. Having torn off the known part of the leading thinking circle of the society from the Church, the militant atheism used them to throw a number of impudent questions about these or those phenomena of the outer world to the Church, to which the church thinkers could not give a good answer exactly because the activity of St. Basil the Great ceased, the Christian integral world-view was narrowed up to the purely theological world-view, and the method of the whole Christian, not at all compromising, answers to the natural-scientific questions, based not on the theological, but the natural-scientific ground, was lost.

Those questions were sometimes the maliciously intended attempts to humiliate the Church and bring confusion into the Christian minds, but sometimes they represented sincere perplexity.

The fact that the most outstanding creative minds of the science, such as Copernicus, Keppler, Newton, Faraday, Mendeleyev and many others were the believing people, helped very little in the matter, for those scientists worked in their own field and were not able to fulfill the duties of the church leaders to restore the integrity of the Christian world-view on the basis of science, as well as on any other basis.

At present, the situation with the Christian apology improved to the great extent. Though we do not possess the integral ecclesiastical-scientific world-view, which had St. Basil the Great, we still have the Christian answers to the number of scientific questions, which are strictly substantiated.

Sometimes, these answers are given by the scientists themselves, as for example, in the questions of paleontology — by the catholic monks Teyar de Charden and abbot Brale; sometimes they naturally come out of a new scientific discovery together with already aroused religious interest in the scientific field, as it can be clearly seen in the example of religious conclusions from the theory of relativity of Professor Einstein or the latest ideas of the structure of an atom.

Some of such successful and deeply acute religious answers to the scientific questions were enough to refute the wrong and harmful thought about the inevitability of the contradiction between the religious and scientific world-views. By the present moment, the thought about the inevitability of such contradiction is absolutely out-of-date and no one will seriously insist on it.

But in the 20th century, in the period of confusion of the ecclesiastic thought there was formed an anti-religious in its essence movement, which took as a base these, seemingly irreconcilable contradictions between religion and science, for its anti-religious struggle.

Thinking science to be in principle and inevitably irreconcilable with religion and proclaiming it as such, this anti-religious movement, taking its name from its main ideologist — Marxism — proclaimed itself the follower and protector of the scientific world-view.

Even before the revolution, various anti-religious Marxist movements, such as for example, memorable for the entire anteceding generation publications of Buchner and Bittner, in every way accused religion and the representatives of the religious thought of the oppression of the scientific investigations and drew the pictures of the blossoming forth of the scientific thought in the age of triumph of "the scientific" socialism.

That idea supported the leaders of Marxism, for example Stalin, who said: "The party holds the anti-religious propaganda against all and any religious prejudices, because it stands for science, and the religious prejudices contradict science, for any religion is somewhat opposite to science… The party holds the politics of the universal defense of science" ("The Questions of Leninism," p. 194).

Till in science reigned the ideas, using which that anti-religious movement had built its principles, the similar seeming union of it with science could seem stable and cause the consequent wrong conclusions, with the superficial outlook at it.

Though, if the religious world-view wants to be eternal principally, then the anti-religious, Marxist world-view must inevitably have pretensions if not for eternity, then at least for durability, stability, because it, by its conception, as well as religion, should define the whole life of the man, and as a result, cannot change in a blink of an eye, due to this or that scientific discovery.

Meanwhile, all the principle conception of Marxism is connected with the certain level of the scientific knowledge, to be more precise, with the level of knowledge of the second half of the 19th century — the period of domination of materialism in the scientific thought.

But the scientific progress since that time made significant progress, and the Marxist world-view lagged behind so much, being unable to catch up. Together with that in its conflict with science, the religious world-view appears to be in the much worse situation, that the religious world-view.

For a religious thinker the whole visible world is a masterpiece of the Same Creator, Who is the source of the revelation, on which a religious thinker builds his world-view. Therefore, he priory knows, that there can be no fundamental contradiction in understanding of these two manifestations of One and the Same Ever-Wise Mind. The contradictions always appear either because of misunderstandings, or lack of thinking, of human limitedness, or the evil will of that resisting to God, and announcing of such a contradiction researcher.

That is why, when there appear controversial questions, a religious thinker might be calm, he can wait for the forthcoming investigation about the subject and use his world-view as a guiding light. This world-view gives him the key for understanding, what is more and less stable in the scientific concepts.

While an anti-religious thinker does not have any support out of the scientific notions’ sphere. He like a slave depends on each and every innovation in science, no matter how ephemeral it is. Under the influence of the present day discovery he has to restore his world-view, in order that the next day to rebuild it again, if the present day discovery will be refuted the next day.

Consequently, if anti-religious world-view wants to be thorough, scientific, then in our age of the rapid progress of all kinds of science, it cannot be stable.

Consequently, in order to exist, it should be unscrupulous, which it is.

First, this personal scientific unscrupulousness had to be revealed by the Marxists in the very first days after the seizure of authority in Russia.

In 1915, as it is known, A. Einstein established the principles of relativity. The strictly substantiated concept of the finite universe, based on the theory of relativity, was introduced into the astronomic understanding of the world.

Developing the thoughts of Einstein, a Belgian scientist, the professor of Luven University abbot Lemetre found out that all the nebulas get away from us with the cosmic speed of 100 kilometers per second, and so, the material objects, which form the visible world, are distributed over greater and greater distance. The defined world expansion, according to the calculations of Ellington, is to increase the size of the whole universe twice in 1300 millions of years, and during one and a half milliard of years the density of matter should diminish to 1/10, i.e. in one and a half milliards of years, one would be able to see 10 times less of the star nebulas from the Earth.

Even the Soviet power could not hush up all these discoveries, establishing the new astronomy époque. But Marxism had to accept its defeat, shown in the fact that the simple police measures forbade the Soviet scientists to derive direct conclusions out of the scientific ideas.

Exactly the same way the Marxists acted in the relation to another important discovery of our days: the new idea of the atomic structure, and consequently, matter on the whole.

In the time of Marxism, in science dominated the theory of matter conservation, i.e. the idea that matter never and under no conditions can be destroyed, but only changes its forms in different physic and chemical processes. Thanks to that theory, it was possible to assign to matter one of the main Divine qualities, infinity, for the sake of building of the anti-religious materialistic concept of Marxism.

According to the latest scientific theories, matter as such is being destroyed with the explosion of an atom, converting into energy. Such a conversion of matter into energy with the help of human means began to be fulfilled not long ago, first, in the laboratories, and since 1945 on a large scale for the scientific purpose, but in the depth of the sun and other stars it is done continuously, on a gigantic scale. With that, such a process is inconvertible, i.e. that amount of energy, which we obtained from the given amount of matter, cannot be converted into the same amount of matter, because for such a reverse process the extra quantity of energy should have been used.

The apologetic horizons, revealed by such latest theories and discoveries, are extremely broad. The discovery of the opportunity of conversion of matter into energy radically destroys the scientific materialism. It will not be saved by the law of energy conservation, for energy has different qualities, than matter. Any kind of energy is to be converted into heat energy, and heat energy strives for equal spreading. In the scientific language this is called striving for entropy, i.e. the even heating of the entire space, and consequently, ceasing in it any chemical and physic processes. That means, if matter existed infinitely, then an eternity ago it would have been converted into energy, which would have reached even distribution over the whole space of the finite universe, and consequently, the heated evenly and spread all over the universe matter would have been absolutely lifeless, without change and movement.

These indisputable conclusions of the theory of relativity and division of an atom clearly prove that matter originated from the immaterial Source.

The resembling conclusions can be drawn out of the theory of Lemetre, concerning the expanding universe. If all the nebulas and star congestions move away from one another with the constant speed of 100 kilometers per second, then 15 milliards years before matter would have had the density 10 times more than it is, i.e. star worlds would be 10 million times closer to one another, and 200 milliards of years ago all matter of the universe would have been concentrated in the space of some cubic millimeters.

Surely, the Soviet regime did not allow even to discuss those problems, and the wide circles of the former Soviet Union were hardly acquainted with the theory of Lemetre.

It could be that this conflict between the Marxist anti-religious thought and science in the argument on the biologic theory of Mendel, which ended up with prohibiting such a discipline as genetics in the Soviet Union, revealed itself even brighter.

The theory of Mendel appears in biology as the same counterpart theory of the époque, revealing the new horizons, as there was the theory of Darwin at its time.

Gregory Mendel, a Czech, the Catholic monk of St. Thomas monastery in Brno, performed a number of the most interesting experiments on cross-breeding giant beans with dwarf ones, and yellow peas with green in the middle of the past century, between 1856 and 1865. The conclusions, drawn out of those experiments, establishing the indefeasibility of the laws of heredity, he described in his book "The experiments with Plant Hybrids," published in 1865. Up to the year of 1900 this work of Mendel was unknown. But in 1900 three biologists Devrie, Correns and Chermack, got acquainted with the work of Mendel and made it known. L. Ceno in France and Bateson in England developed it, passing over to the experiments on cross-breading the animals, according to the method of Mendel, and in 1910 the professor of Columbia University in the U.S.A. T. Morgan together with his helpers Muller, Bridge and Trurvent and independently of them — professor Weisman, applying the same methods in cross-breeding to flies and their dozens of thousands of generations, gained the more stable establishment of laws of the new science — genetics, the science of heredity.

The laws of this science in brief are reduced to the determination of the fact of presence of the living organisms in the embryos cells, which appear to be the carriers of heredity. These molecules got the name of genes. They cannot be mixed or join with other similar cells. That is why, on the one hand, the progeny inherits this or that hereditary sign from one or the other parent, and on the other hand, not a single sign, acquired by the parents in their life, even in the line of generations, can be inherited, if there is no corresponding gene in the embryo cell. The manifestation of new hereditary features can be explained only by the so-called phenomenon of mutation, which happens under the influence of extraordinary, powerful factors. For example, in one case, the American Mendel-followers professors Muller and Henson achieved the effect of mutation of fruit flies, affecting them by the X-rays.

For, being developed further, the theory of Mendel absolutely distinctly comes into collision with one of the basic principles of Marxism: "existence determinates the consciousness," asserting that the surrounding is the decisive factor in the life of organisms, and because the theory of mutation reveals broad horizons for the religious apologetics, then the Soviet regime first began to fight with Mendel doctrine with the help of police measures, and then finally prohibited the existence of this science within reach of its power.

At the same time, due to the similar police measures the doctrine of Michurin about the changeability of the hereditary signs under the influence of the outward world was elevated to the rank of the indisputable scientific law. The preacher of the principle of Michurin was absolutely unknown before in the scientific circles T. Lysenko, appointed by the Soviet rule (by Stalin) instead of sent into exile genius Vavilov, as the president of the agricultural academy.

The first action of the new president (the ignoramus) was closing of the Medical-Biological Institute, where were held the most interesting experiments with human and animal, so called "identical," twins, i.e. the twins, coming from one embryo cell. Those experiments established that heredity plays an important role in forming mentality, while the influence of the outward world is trifling. The Institute was closed in 1937, all its leaders were arrested, and the majority of them shot.

Never, even in the most backward medieval time, anyone had resorted to such bloody measures to oppress the unpleasing scientific thought. About the reasons of such relentless hatred, such panic fear of Mendel doctrine, is rather sincerely written in the Soviet magazine "Science and Life," the issue of the Academy of Sciences of USSR: "The doctrine of Michurin asserts the unity in the organism of the embryo and bodily cells, the unity of the organism and medium, states the dependence of hereditary qualities of an organism on the conditions of life and inheriting of the typical features, acquired by plants and animals in the process of their development under the influence of the factors of the inhabitance medium."

"On the contrary, the oppositionist Weisman-Mendel-Morgan’s doctrine in biology asserts, that a living organism is divided into the autonomous hereditary essence and somatic cell, which appears to be only the case for the essence. According to this concept the conditions of life cannot change the hereditary qualities of an organism, the inheritance of the typical features, acquired by plants and animals in the process of their development under the influence of the factors of inhabitance medium, is denied, and so, the unity of an organism and its inhabitance is denied as well."

"The Mendel’s doctrine asserts that the basis of forming of the hereditary features of an organism is the mechanical re-combination on the principle of fortuity of the so-called material carriers of heredity (according to Morgan — genes), passing from one generation to another through the cross-breeding of animals or plant forms. Weisman’s doctrine admits the change of hereditary matter only in the form of new formations — mutations, as the exceptional phenomena. According to Weisman, mutations have the immanent stipulation, which in the final run leads to the acceptance of the Creator."

"Weisman-Mendel-Morgan’s doctrine in biology is anti-national, pseudo-scientific and harmful movement. It destroys practice, orientates the man towards subduing." "The founders of this movement are reactionary bourgeois biologists Weisman, Mendel and Morgan" ("Science and Life," № 9, 1948, p. 12-13).

Concerning the way the question is posed, the English scientist, Professor Eric Ashby, in his book writes: "The Scientists in Russia are the product of the medieval way of thinking, resorting to the medieval technique of verbal fantasies."

The coincidence of the Soviet methods of fighting against science and those medieval ones is not accidental, as we are trying to explain in the present article. But the oppression of science by the medieval religious authorities with all cruelty and incorrectness of it was an honest act, for the medieval religious authority did not proclaim itself to be fighting for science, but professed itself to be struggling for religion, to which it tried to serve through that rough, incorrect, but principally honest and logical method.

The Soviet anti-religious authority proclaimed its goal to be "the universal protection of science." Therefore, its persecution of the scientific thought revealed its ontological mendacity from one more side.

We, the believers, find out one more important truth in it.

Once Metropolitan Anthony wrote that everything kind, good, true, wherever it is, in its essence belongs to the Church of Christ and is typical of It. We see the undisputable confirmation of that in the fact, that nothing kind, nothing true even in the sphere that does not belong to the Church, cannot be slightly vicious, cannot belong to that horrible demonic power, which totally manifested itself in anti-religious Marxism.

The persecution of science from the side of the Marxists was a meaningful phenomenon.

Once, in the first period of Communism domination, many honest people plunged into the scientific work, as it was some kind of inner immigration. Suffering from the spiritual and political oppression of the Communism in the political world and everyday life, many of those, who had the opportunity, changed their lavish life for the scientific field, inaccessible for masses and political leaders. But the satanic power found them even there.

So, in this secret sphere, too, it demands from the scientists an answer to the question, which it poses through various threats and temptations to all its victims in all the spheres: "Whom are you with: with the Truth (and the truth is always Divine) or with us?" And once again we get convinced that for no one, who wishes to be faithful to any form of the good, there can be any reconciliation with that fighting with God power in any field.

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