Why is there a hostile relation between Scientism and the Church? Why do the followers of Scientism attempt to vilify the Church? In what way does Scientism's version of Galileo's and Copernicus' relation with the Church veer from the facts? Did the new heliocentric view of the Universe really have anything to do with political change? What inspired Copernicus' theory - Science or the Church? Article Summary
Spawned by Science the civil religion of Scientism pretends to be logic-based like its parent. In reality it is faith-based like any other religion. As such its adherents attempt to sidle up to Science calling him Brother, while simultaneously distancing themselves from Religion – portraying her as the dark side when she is just their Shadow – something they want to eliminate – as a competing philosophy of life - when religion and scientism are just two sides of the same coin.
On the other hand, Science is something else entirely – a different and perhaps unique species – only of its own class.
In the attempt to avoid cognitive dissonance, the followers of scientism have inadvertently or deliberately distorted the early history of Science – sweeping anomalies under the rug and distorting events to fit their implicit beliefs. The winner tells the tale – vilifying the Loser. The stories of Copernicus and Galileo, whose discoveries catalyzed the actual emergence of modern scientific techniques, are cases in point.
The popular scientism-influenced history, currently in vogue, propagates the illusion that the Old Guard of the Catholic Church met Copernicus’ heliocentric worldview with fierce resistance and maintained their obstruction to the noble progress of Logos-ruled Science in the centuries that followed. In defense of Religion’s old Box – the outdated paradigm that the earth was the center of the Universe, the religious leaders forced Galileo to recant his new views on Science.
The facts tell the story with a different slant. Copernicus wrote a small article detailing his theory, which he showed to just a few close friends. After reading the article, instead of censuring him, Pope Clement VII urged Copernicus to expand his views. This encouragement from the head of the Church resulted in his epoch-initiating book – hardly a fierce resistance to change. Without the Pope’s backing, Copernicus may have never written his book.
Further the quieting of Galileo had less to do with the suppression of Science and more to do with maintaining political supremacy. Besides being an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church, there is evidence that Galileo was also involved in a secret revolutionary organization aimed at undermining the Church’s authority. These new scientific notions of a heliocentric Universe with a moving earth was linked heavily with changing the political paradigms as well. Galileo was not the innocent scientist performing research that he is made out to be – but may well have been of a Masonic bent – dedicated to the overthrow of the established order – replacing the superstitions of Religion with the reason of Science.
Despite the prevalent view of scientism, the Church suppressed Galileo’s new ideas due to their connection with revolutionary political attitudes, not his science. The intensity of the battle was due to the fact that a new civil religion was attempting to supplant the old – not because the Church hated Science. Galileo, the scientist, was persecuted for advocating scientism, not for his research or scientific ideas. It was during this time that the powerful Science Arrow spawned the new civil religion of Scientism – which undermined both the Political and Religious paradigms of the day. To this day, Scientism and the Church are still fighting for supremacy in the Political Realm.
Why did the Copernican viewpoint inspire this new political stance? The traditional after-the-fact analysis suggests that an unchanging geocentric notion of the Universe corresponded with the Catholic Church’s notion that they were the center of the Earth’s unchanging, static political system. In contrast the heliocentric vision overturned the traditional way of thinking – in fact the common sense viewpoint that the earth was the center of our world – and with it the traditional political system as well.
This is also a distortion. The changing scientific attitude was barely a ripple on the surface. The Catholic Church was just pursuing business as normal. Since its inception, the Church had existed in a dynamic political world in which they were continually vying for political control with kings, emperors, other versions of Christianity, and other religions – polytheism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Further they had become rigid and afraid since the Protestant Reformation of the prior century had shaken their core. Due to this fear, dogmatism was on the rise and with it the fear of any new ideas. The persecution of Science at this time in history was just a continuation of their attempt to purify the world of heretical thinking – more for political than religious reasons.
Contrary to scientism’s popular history, it is evident that Galileo was primarily suppressed for his Political Views, which were partially connected with the new emerging Science, which was linked intimately with Copernicus’ heliocentric Universe. However, the religious establishment didn’t suppress this viewpoint until it became political. In fact, not only did the Pope – the embodiment of Religion and the Universal Church – encourage Copernicus to expand his ideas, but Copernicus’ religious beliefs – specifically his belief that one feature of God’s Divine Order was elegant simplicity – inspired his momentous discoveries – not Science or anomalous Data. For more, read ‘Copernicus inspired by Aesthetics’ to discover the underlying mechanisms behind this counter-intuitive transition.
Note that Galileo was simultaneously a Scientist and an advocate for Scientism – a necessary antithesis to the unexamined superstitions of the Church. With time Scientism, Science's political branch, developed an antipathy for Religion, its rival for converts. In the ensuing battle, both employed similar divisive tactics - the suppression of any new ideas that seemed to threaten their realm. It is high time to move beyond this unnecessary hostility. By differentiating between neutral Science and subjective Scientism, these papers hope to create an opening for the fresh ideas behind my Theory of Attention.
If this has piqued your interest here are some links to related topics:
How Beauty, not Data, inspired Copernicus’ epoch changing planetary theory.
How the transition from the Why to the What question created Science.
Why Scientism is the primary Civil Religion of the global intellegentsia.
 Similarly the current fight over the legalization of marijuana has far more to do with the resistance to a change in the social paradigm – the old civil religion fighting the new – than with the negative social effects of the Herb.