This past Wednesday at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, Father gave his presentation on the Church’s teaching of evolution versus creation. In presenting this teaching, it is important to notice some things, including the Hebrew understanding of knowledge. There are several Hebrew words for knowledge in the Hebrew standing prayer. This prayer reads:
דעת אתה חונן לאדם דאאת ומלמד לאנוש בינה חוננו מאתך דעה בינה והשכל בורך אתה יהוה חונן
Graciously give to Adam knowledge, and teach humanity understanding. Graciously give from yourself, knowledge, understanding, and discernment. Blessed are you Personal Name, who gives knowledge.
The first word for knowledge is Daath, an assemblage of facts. The second word, Ben, means to build, therefore a son we build into adulthood. The third is Shekel, the Hebrew coin, a measure, an analyzing.
“Science” is Latin for “Daath/knowledge.” Science has no cause and effect. That is not because there is no cause and effect in the world, there is. David Hume, a close friend of Adam Smith, the founder of capitalism asked, “How do we know the sun will rise tomorrow?” His answer comes from the law of probabilities. I lived 20,567 days and the sun rose every one of those days. The law of probabilities (a concept in our head) dictates it will rise again tomorrow. Science gives us probabilities and correlations. We build up these correlations in time and space, using concepts which we develop in our heads to posit relationships. These include the relationships between large white birds.
Science is an assemblage of facts, things, in the world. Philosophy has the question, “Are all swans white?” Science can gather all the birds that look like swans, millions of them. Most will be white, and some will be black. Scientists will do DNA samples on the birds and find all the samples are identical, except for the section of the DNA strand for feather color. Science ends and Metaphysics begins. We are as free to posit the strong relationship between the large white and black birds means a relationship as we are to posit that the difference proves that they are not related. The definition for similarity and difference is in us, not in the birds.
Each bird is a fact, an individual. We remember growing up, pointing to a cow and saying, “Big dog.” We remember singing, “Get along little doggies.” Our parents corrected us, “That is not a dog; that is a cow.” Our definition does not lie in the cow, the dog, or the swan, but in us.
Discussing the issue with Father Francisco, Psalm 131 we read, “Personal Name, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in things too great, or too wonderful for me.” Father stated, this does not restrict the need to do science.
Science is important. Without science, we could not build a one-room home, much less the 4.5-mile long Jerusalem wall, or the 90 feet long, 30 feet wide Solomon’s temple. Without science/ knowledge, when we saw a very large orange cat looking at us, we would not know to call it a tiger and take evasive action.
Without the scientific theory of Einstein and others, we could never have built the atomic bomb, or created the atomic power, which powers many of the world’s cities. One problem is the energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Light travels at 671 million miles per hour. The problem is that Einstein concluded mass and time are inter-related. The more mass there is, the faster time moves. Time is not a constant, so the speed of light is not a constant.
Another problem is that when Abraham and his family walked the planet the moon was 133 yards closer to earth than it is today.That meant time moved faster, and that the gravitational pull of moon, resulting in tides, earthquakes, and the like must have been greater. This is all fun to posit, and we are not the first to do so.
St. Augustine asked what God was doing five minutes before he created the world. He concluded that mass and time were related. When there is no mass, there is no time. Therefore the question makes no sense.
We do not understand electricity. Nobody has seen the electrons, which power the light bulbs and every other electronic device in our homes. Electricity is a theoretical concept, not knowledge, science. Who wants to give up every electronic device we take for granted everyday because we do not know how it works? Much of modern medicine is the same way, based upon theories, not direct observation. Who wants to give up on medicine because of this?
Gwen, who presented with Father Francisco, brought fossils of sea creatures found in the desert. We could take a Gestalt approach and point out that they just look like the sea creatures of our oceans today. There is within us a need to understand our world. We look at the fossils and ask how sea urchins arrived in the desert. We speculate that in the desert where someone found the fossil must have been ocean.
With evolution, we speculate, when we find apes and ape like creatures that look human, the most ape like must have evolved into us. In pure science, we only have bones. Science tells us that the bones are highly similar, highly correlated in shape. They do not and cannot prove a relationship between the two sets of bones. We are as free to posit the relationship based on their strong correlation in shape as to deny a relationship based on differences, as we are with the swans. This does not mean apes did not evolve into human beings, or that they did. It means we do not know.