Science – humble artist
In 1951, Pope Pius XII addressed the Papal Academy of Sciences, reminding the audience that in 1911 the physicist Svante Arrhenius declared: The substance is immutable. ”
The immutability of matter was dissolved in the forty years between the Arrhenius Proclamation and the Pope’s Lecture in 1951. The “Big Bang Theory” appeared on the world stage and was accepted by many as a scientific fact. At the end of his lecture, Pius declared:
So what is the significance of modern science in proving the existence of God derived from the mutability of the universe?[a] Beginning about 5 billion years ago, due to the specificity of the physical evidence, [the] A well-founded reasoning that the universe and then the universe came out of the hand of the Creator.
Therefore, it is created over time. Hence the creator. Therefore, God! This, though not explicitly or completely, is the voice we asked science for, and the voice the current human generation expects from science.
“…what the present generation of man expects from it” was probably packed for Rome by the Belgian priest and physicist Msgr. Georges Lemaître (1894-1966). The illustrious Lemaître developed the Big Bang theory (the expanding universe) and went to Rome to personally warn the Pope not to make serious statements overly rooted in the moving sands of natural science.
Is that great science lesson stuck in our minds? I don’t think so.
So, am I wrong, or does CDC stand for Catholic Diocesan Consensus? I certainly hope so. I hate to think the Centers for Disease Control is calling all the shots. But I don’t know who’s worse, the bishop who thinks he’s a scientist, or the scientist who thinks he’s a bishop.
Before entering a seminary to study the priesthood, a man must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in an area of interest. For any degree to be of value, a graduate must at least achieve one thing. It is an appreciation for the vastness of what one does not know and what one does not know and/or cannot know.
At a time when many of our bishops are expounding on subjects outside their wheelhouse, such as climatology, economics, virology, and psychology, scientifically speaking, their education , seems to have been insufficient to fully demonstrate human depth. Ignorance, thereby unable to force the expression of their humble genes.
Having said that, would competence in any of these areas make public policy their job? (Msgr. Lemaître needs you!). Consider, for example, the demands they made to priests and believers regarding his COVID-19, or their impulsive synodal virtue signals against supposed science in the field of homosexuality.
Then stop again. Let’s take that into consideration. all right? I mean, we all know what’s going on. Let’s talk about why. Let’s start by doing a little research into the world of medicine and the god it has come to worship. Science is the same God many of our bishops seem to be completely fascinated with.
Science is nothing more than a despicable methodology, but every day we hear the cry of “Follow science!” Science invents nothing, designs nothing, builds nothing, but all this. It is a methodology for research and a humble tool for investigation. And it’s most revered by those who barely understand it—those who admire its dogmatic character.
And what about science in the “practice” of medicine? When a surgeon achieves a feat never before achieved (think Ben Carson separating conjoined twins), the world stands at his feet with admiration. While there is certainly a lot of science involved in surgical procedures, there is no denying that there is a large element of art that is the ‘practice’ of medical practice.
However, practice quickly goes out the window. Surgery is an art, and every human body has medical and physical nuances that surgeons dare not know. But there are fewer and fewer nuances and techniques to consider when prescribing drugs.
An herb that has been beneficially used for thousands of years, willow bark contains the active ingredient salicin. Aspirin is a synthetic chemical analogue of salicin. In other words, scientists are fully aware of the value of the willow bark and have created a chemical that has nearly the same results without stripping the willow bark and dealing with the huge changes in potency that occur in nature. On WebMD.com, there is a long list of ailments under the now clichéd headline “Not Enough Evidence” regarding the uses and efficacy of willow bark.
Substances that fail FDA-required double-blind, placebo-controlled trials cannot be said to be effective for a particular disease, per FDA regulations. Double-blind placebo-controlled means that two separate groups of participants (patients) are tested, one group receiving the actual treatment and the other group receiving the sham (placebo) treatment. Neither participants nor researchers will know which is the actual treatment until the test is finished and all data is recorded and analyzed.
This costly process sets the stage for considerable protectionism on the part of the pharmacological/regulatory industry. I’m not going to spend millions of dollars doing double-blind studies of non-patentable items. The headline “insufficient evidence against” is grossly misleading, if not disingenuous. Is there sufficient evidence of surgical separation of conjoined twins? Surgery cannot be subject to a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial regimen, and that fact does not prevent surgeons from remaining employed. .
The point is, we come to a dangerous place. I don’t want to give art any meaning there. Willow bark has been used for thousands of years and was known to be so effective that patented aspirin manufacturers have made their fortunes by imitating willow bark. During the covid-19 debacle, we have seen the pharmacological/regulatory industry adamantly against using some established and safe drugs for off-label use. This is an unprecedented heavy-handed move. Is this the wave of the future? Will all previously permitted off-label uses be a thing of the past? Is the art and practice of medicine lost forever?
Rhetorically, there’s an old wit that asks, “If your doctor told you you only had three months to live with treatment, what would you put at the top of your to-do list?” Of course, the correct answer is that the first order of business is getting a second opinion. But what if a doctor’s livelihood is threatened if the second opinion doesn’t match the established narrative?
During my manufacturing career, one of the hats I wore was that of a process engineer. My job was to consult experts (artists), and through testing and mathematical correlation, determine the key elements of the process so that I could create constraints and controls that ensured quality. In other words, we had to move from art to science-backed art.
Every process and every product starts with art. The scientific method itself is an art. In other words, it was arrived at by practice, through centuries of methodological trial and error. Science is only a methodological quantification of art, and to dismiss art is to dismiss its auxiliaries.
What effect does this have on faith? The God invoked by the deists to satisfy the classical logical requirements of the motive force is the scientist, saying that the God of Abraham, the triune God of creation, salvation and sanctification, is undoubtedly the scientist. It is no exaggeration to say that artist.
- Constraints are attributes of great artists and great art, but they are not art.
- People are not produced on assembly lines, and the conformity of controlled processes does not exist within the world’s greatest bastion of personal worth: faith.
- Science is mechanical. Art is hands-on.
- Science is the tool of the wonder man. Art is magical.
- Science limits itself. Art rejects limitations.
Science without art is art that has starved to death. We seem to follow science, but it’s just a skeleton remnant of a once grand undertaking.
Interfering with the practitioner’s skill strangles the practice. Federal bureaucracy constrains medical practice. This is what many of our bishops do to our priests, our pastoral practitioners, the doctors of our souls. Reports from various monastic communities around the country also reflect this. So the Vatican seems to be trying to destroy the basic charisma of many of these communities. As if St. Paul’s teaching on the various charisms of the body of Christ has no value. .
Similarly, Rome seems to say that we should not bother preaching sexual morality when we are busy saving the planet. Deposit! Deposit! We are destined to indulge Catholic politicians in murder. Why would they expect a world without the fortitude to protect fetuses, families, marriages, the elderly, vulnerable people, sexual morality, life itself, to be driven to protect the environment? Such worlds will certainly be encouraged to use the skill they have already demonstrated, which is to protect the environment by destroying humanity. The worst possible failure of pastoral care.
The catholicity of the Christian faith does not establish the immutability of matter or science, but the immutability of faith. Truth is truth everywhere at all times. But the constancy of faith does not remove the nuances of pastoral care. Each soul answers the same truth, but each soul’s spiritual needs are different. In fact, many members of the bishopric, including those of Rome, seem to confuse Catholicism with homogenization. Deeply ironic, this is the Pope who easily defeats the dangers of scandal and leads us to believe that pastoral concerns are paramount.