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When the Royal Society was founded in 1660, as the first in its kind, nine of its ten governmental members were Protestants, two of which were bishops. From the 68 founding members, 42 belong to the minority of English puritans. Important names, afterwards, have been puritans such as Sir Robert Moray, Sir William Petty, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, John Wallis and Jonathan Goddard. In the Acadèmie des Sciences’ of Paris, the relationship between Protestants and others during 1666-1883 was 27:6, although generally it was 4:6.
What started the exponential progress of science? I claim that the driving force was puritanian rational. The "pioneers" of the Enlightment have got the honour of pulling us up from the swamp of the liturgical mysticism. Seldom is the contribution of the 13th century Fransiscans or foundators of Oxford University mentioned, for instance. What were excellent for them and typical for the victorious western scientist, were the attributes that the Enlightment was actually attenuating. Even Rousseau criticised the Enlightment, whereas Franciscans had admired the character of a child. John Tyndall was one of the leading agnostics of the 19th century. He wrote to Michael Faraday, confessing: "I often think, that the qualities of a good christian are precisely those that are essential for a scientist, who first have to become like little children, for such is the kingdom."
Michael Faraday - my own favorite - was a preacher of a small Free Church. He invented the electric motor and dynamo, found the electrical induction - and emphasized the intelligence of children to understand technical sciences, to his death. Faraday's Christmas lectures were one of the beginnings of the popularization of science. Faraday was offside for a decade or two due to his dissidence, before his theory of electricity broke through. Faraday rose up from the slums of London, and his career of a scientist began as a job at a bookbinder's, where the assistant boy got excited to read the books he manufactured. At the heights of his fame Faraday did not accept the chairmanship of the Royal Society, and did not join to any elitistic club-for-brothers.
The list of pioneers of science who personally trusted in the Creation is impressive. Newton fell into pride, but others are Pasteur, Lister, Cuvier, Bacon, Kepler, Joyle, Maxwell, Faraday, Kelvin, Linné, Mendel etc. These fathers of us "thought the thought of God after Him". "To God there are, in the whole material world, material laws, figures and relations of special excellency and of the most appropriate order... Those laws are within the grasp of the human mind; God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share his own thoughts." (Kepler, J. (1599). Letter to Herwart von Hohenburg reprinted in Johannes Kepler: Life and Letters. Carola Baumgardt, 1951. Philosophical Library, New York. p 50.) Our digital era stands in the shoulders of giants, as the side of the English pound still declares. The Holy Trinity of the Chance, the Natural Laws and the Time is liturgy, but young for such. The foundations of our technocracy was not built on these feet of clay. The early scientific method was anchored in the abstraction of ID - Intelligent Design. As Imago Dei, bronze-mirror image of the sensible and personal Creator, also we could understand the nature and design ourselves.
The equations of James Maxwell and Michael Faraday at the 1840's were not in accords with the newtonian paradigms. They operated with the concepts of electricity and magnetics, that could not be driven from the mechanics. These physicists called their equations "beautiful" if it was trustworthy. The equations were reduced and functionable. Even the synteticator of Stephen Hawkings cries out: "What breaths the spirit into these equations!" The jewish Heinrich Hertz confessed: "We cannot escape the feeling, that these equations have reality and intelligence within. That they are wiser than we are. Even wiser than their inventors, and that we can draw out more from them than was written to them." (Päiviö Latvus, Luonnonmysteerien tuolla puolen. Yliopisto 7/98 s 35.) Albert Einstein commented: "I think it is not marvellous, that the wise men of China did not take this step. I think it is marvellous that these inventions were made on the whole."
Episcopal churches admired hellenistic philosophy - and made their worst Odysseias there. Ptolemaios (for geocentricity), Aristoteles and others were hewn on stone, the understanding of the Bible was often purely formal. Often the book was actually hidden from the people, actually. Latin in the west, church-slav in the east. The saddest out-of-context quotes from the world literature come from the Bible, persecution of the Jews being the foremost example. The more catholic the institution became the more aggressively it hunted the personal christians trying to understand the "relevation" themselves, over the authority of the priesthood.
On the other hand, christianity and the churches also integrated the Europe facing the migration of the people. They continued also the technical traditions of antiquities for the reneissance to rediscover. At the northern borders we were the vikings roaring down annually to destroy the manuscripts and transcripts of the monasteries. How did we as Finns get our literary language? What was the book whose teaching was the motivator for the task?
If Richard Dawkins is reliefed to sigh: "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." (Dawkins, Richard, "The Blind Watchmaker" 1986 , p.6.) Then Thomson alias Lordi Kelvin declared: "There are insurmountable evidences for an intelligent and benign design everywhere around us... The atheistic view is so unreasonable that I cannot put it into words." The evolutionary Hype does not honour its father and mother - that its days might be long upon the land which was given to it.
I think the poison of the Middle Ages was mysticism and the fear of the magia of the nature. Judeo-christian faith was affected by the politics and the dismissal of voluntariness. The mustard seed became a large and rusty bush and shrub, quoting the parable. But despite of this, the reference point should be the amount of light at the other continents at the time.
It is true, that with a few exceptions, the authors of both the Old and the New Testament were Jews. Black plague, crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, shoas, holocausts, diasporas, galuts, expulsions (practically speaking at least once from all of the Europeans countries, often to the nation under Islam), custodies of children, decalvations, customs, decrees for clothes, judenmarkens, restrictions for occupations, guilds, feodal systems, bans for ownerships, mockering medals, ghettos, nomenclature, etc. etc. It is a history of escape from the stigma of being "chosen" for a task of service. The escapism from ministry has good reasons in the persecution, however.
Why did Adolf Hitler prohibit German scientists to visit Stockholm to receive "the Jewish prize"? Above, I reproduce the extremely perplexing tables made by John Hulley (1996). Hulley is a concerned astronomer, who uses merely the religious culture and especially the attitude to the "Judenfrage", as an indicator of the progress of science in a given culture.
Hulley seems to draw attention not only to the sheer innovations motivated by the Jewish heritage, but especially to the potentiating effect of it to the surroundings.He maintains that it is the interaction between Protestants and Jews which causes the phenomenon. Jewish performance is much better in Protestant countries than in Catholic countries. You can be a very smart Jew, but if you were in the communist and atheist regime of Soviet Union, your chances of creating something original were small. The individual depends on his society.
"The view of science held by the 'scientific creationists' is at odds with everything that science has become in the past four hundred years."? As an answer to the defence of Ernst Haeckel's evolutionary forgeries, fraudulent animalization of human embryos and polemic stereotypes of "creationism" in www.devbio.com/chap22/link2202a.shtml, http://www.devbio.com/chap22/link2201a.shtml, and http://www.devbio.com/chap22/link2201b.shtml
I would rather not go into this strife and would like to suggest that scientia per se is not a private possession to anyone. Explicitly, the modern trinity seems to have been a poor motivator to the scientific tradition. Once moving, it might be able to keep the scientific wagon in motion for a time, but - according to the classical mechanics - the friction was biggest when the motion was first started.
First the roots, then the fruits. First the forced dismission of rational creation froms schools beyond an existentialistic leap and cutting of the roots - then the postmodern chaos. The bulk of scientists who have won the Nobel Prize - especially Jewish scientists - have not been religious. It is a question of social environment. According to Hulley, it is the religious people who create the environment and the secular who then benefit from it. Fairness and charity is the ideal of both Jewish and Protestant cultures. It has been said that the deepest motivation in the Jewish New Testament was the opposite of Charles Darwin's Struggle of Life, Adolf Hitler's Kampf or Alfred Rosenbergs' rücksichtlos Kampf. It was agapee - self-sacrificing and serving love. The Dark Ages of the Church correlate with the persecution of the Jews, but compared to other continents and despite the politicization, even that was better than its reputation.
The leadership of China still said at the beginning of the 20th century: "We don't need the western science or technology for anything."
Is the scientific establishment in western countries now admiring a world view of the pantheistic eastern religions? If so, it is ironic. The reality and the personality was and it still is maya and illusion there. There was a chance for progress with great innovations from gunpowder to macaroni, but and the question is focused on the lack of motivation. Who has comprehended the degree of plagiarization in the east? Was the western society shaped by conquests or the steam-engine? Should its collapse be prevented by conquests, or confession of denial of its own cultural heritage?
The essential question of the Haeckelian ontogenesis (embryonic ontogenesis) is the classical one: To be or not to be? A human being does not develop to be a human being, but as a human being. Humanity is not a consequence of ontogenesis, but the prerequisity to it. How will the fruits fare, if the roots of our dignity are cut? Publish or perish. In remembrance of Platon and Aristoteles, are we making research at Universities or Particursities? Debates seem to have gone extinct at the turning points of research traditions. I emphasize that the medical endeavours related to embryonic stem cells are pragmatic, but sincerely noble and respectable in aims. The enterprise should not be darkened because of economic interests of a small number of people. I do not marvel if the laymen lose confidence, if they do not see public academic argumentation for and against. How significant are the indirect societal consequences of the medical competition at the point of ethical tangent?
Be it cancer, autism, podcasting, bebo, myspace, metacafe, rebelde, mininova, Baidu, iTunes, warcraft, spongebob, kazaa, mp3, spybot, linux, ebay, mapquest, amazon, depot, camcorder, lingerie, webcam, poker, sushi, hurricane, bankruptcy, celebrities or other hot trends that makes you move - acknowledge the roots of your culture. Culture is the soil where you grow.
For a fresh look aside the evolutionary praise, see
John Hulley (1996) Comets, Jews & Christians. Root & Branch
Books, Jerusalem. ISBN 0-9630917-0-0
Päiviö Latvus, Ymmärryksen siivet - Miksi tiede on länsimaista? Omega-kirjat 2000, "The Wings of Comprehension - Why is the Science Western?
Päiviö Latvus, Faradayn, Kelvinin ja Maxwellin löytämä uusi todellisuus. TKK:n sähkömagnetiikan laboratorion julkaisusarja. SF 18, Otakustannus 1995.
In the internet: www.science.co.il/Nobel.asp
One of my first vocations to research came from the fact that the ex nihilo founder of my hometown, Axel Wahren (1814-1885), was a chemist before the chemistry as a discipline even existed. After the bankruptcy of his father, the young dyer and journeyman had come to the remote Jokioinen-Forssa region possessing only his skills, and did not dare to speak openly about his Jewish heritage. He established an old Hi-Tech phenomenon among common farmers when nobody had done such in our country before.
I acknowledge the Father of Forssa as a symbol of the independence of Finland. Although we didn't open the doors for refugees from Russia, the pogroms never landed here. There's no railway In Forssa, anymore, but in 1878 even the first longer telephone cable was drawn from the cotton industries to what is now in the middle of nothing in the forest. Rarely is the Jewish Emile Berliner mentioned along the eugenicist race breeder Alexander Graham Bell, althoughit was Berliner who made numerous inventions that were mere curiosities available to the larger public: telephone, microphone, gramophone... Finland is the Nokia country.
Wahren was the first to launch an industrial resale network in Finland with its local dealers and travelling salesmen. Wahren continuously borrowed money from the peasants and had to burgle to his own fabric magazines embargoed by the government. At the time of Russian serfdom, Wahren employed fugitive farm-hands from the reach of police in the autonomy of Finland. He founded a school for his child laborers, from which the first female minister of Finland (Miina Sillanpää) later on strove forward. He founded a savings-bank, a sick-fund, a fund for handicapped, a library and a parish for his laborers. Wahren had a role of a father in the establishment of Suomen Yhdyspankki a year after the birth of Finnish late currency, Markka (1862). (Though he couldn't mark much of the stocks of this first Finnish commercial bank.) Wahren cofounded Oy Kymi-Kymmene Ab in 1872. His favorite hobby was the breeding of sheeps, pigs and cattle. Besides, he also pioneered in agronomy and forestry in Finland by introducing subsurface drainage and rotation of crops.
In 1876, Wahren donated the funds to launch the homecrafts-school of Tammela. If JW Snellman (1806-81) fought against the "Russianization" by the power of culture, he ordered Wahren to design national home industries - which were adapted to the whole country. Despite the fact that Wahren was not given license to trade abroad like the staple towns, in 1875 he was nominated as the leading commissary for the first industrial exhibition of the autonomy of Finland, and in 1879-81 he served as the chairman of Finnish Economical Society.
Finally, after his death, the manifesto of the Social Democratic Party of Finland was written in Forssa upon the foundation of the party at the close of the 19th Century. Maybe I was told about that and just slept over it in the school, but I ended up in not believing my father concerning any of the Jewish story. We do not need options to our companies. We need fathers.
John Hulley (1996) Comets, Jews & Christians. Root & Branch Books, Jerusalem
ISBN 0-9630917-0-0 (tables and charts)
Päiviö Latvus: Ymmärryksen siivet - Miksi tiede on länsimaista? Why is science Western? http://www.latvus.com/
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