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
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
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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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