Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Two Truths Theory

The Enemies of Reason have a certain blind look. ~The Duelists (1977) directed by Ridley Scott adapted from the short story by Joseph Conrad.

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin approaches and those who seek to roll back knowledge to the Dark Ages are busily at work trying to litigate mythology into the teaching of Biology, Geology, Anthropology, Paleontology, Astronomy, Medicine and Education. Namely, science is false because it disagrees with holy revelation.

But, I do have a memo from the 12th century to the Creationists out there: Science and Religion are not incompatible.

At least so say the Medieval Scholastics. Those men when faced with reality and the newly rediscovered works of the Ancient Greeks understood revelation could not account for the observable world and, in order to reconcile their myths with reality, crafted several philosophical edifices to buttress their beliefs.

The most famous was the attempt by Thomas Aquinas to reconcile the "truth" of revelation with empirical observable fact by using reason to prove the existence of god. However, Aquinas is disingenuous because what he was attempting to do was shoe horn Aristotle and evidence from the real world into the corset of Catholicism. He already knows the "truth". His appeals to reason are to reach an already revealed conclusion.

More impressive than Aquinas were the Averroists, after the muslim Ibn Rushd, who created the the Dual Truth Theory of Reason and revelation. There is one truth shown by the observable world and another through holy revelation and the human mind is not capable of merging the two, due to it's inherent limitations. Of course, the muslin fanatics had him condemned for placing reason on par with faith and as a result the engine of scientific advancement passed from islam unto the West.

And there in lies the interesting parallel. For the modern creationists are attempting to accomplish the same work the Berbers of the 13th century. Destroy the upstart philosophers and return the holy word to prominence.

If, Darwin, Wallace and those who've built modern science upon their theories, disagree with the bible? Then, the theories are incorrect and need be burned.

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