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Monday, May 23, 2016

Schöpffer: Gauss doubts, Fontenelle dreams: Copernicanism, Part 18d

      This continues from Part 18c, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      We conclude Carl Schöpffer's narrative:

To my justification.
(concluded from Part 18c)
I began my studies in Göttingen in earnest and presented the results of my research in a monthly Blätter der Wahrheit [Journal of Truth, no WorldCat] but only nine issues were published, partly because I myself had awkwardly taken over the distribution by hand, partly because most of the distribution handlers were hostile to the venture.  If I had written “Journal of Lies”, so I would certainly have had more luck —  Journal of Truth was  not wanted.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
"new doubts"
Very soon I became acquainted with the famous astronomer of Göttingen [Carl Friedrich] Gauss.  He met me in the most friendly way, supported me with books and allowed me to turn to him anytime if I needed his advice.  Truly a great consolation for me!  The friendship of Humboldt and Gauss compensated me abundantly for the cold reception that I found with Encke and Lamont; the encouraging words of [King] Ludwig of Bavaria and Karl von Raumer had to be more valid for me than the threats of the small Berliner who wrote in the Magdeburg newspaper that he wanted to destroy me.  
Baader    Schelling    Hegel
I shared with Gauss the previous course of my research; I told him how I found that all great thinkers, a Franz von Baader, Schelling, a Hegel, had rebelled against the exuberant assumptions of the Copernicans, while only the smaller spirits and the uneducated arrogated to themselves the right, not only to mock as a fool, but to even follow with wild fanaticism those who had not joined in the chorus of the current assumptions of the day; [page 9] I told him that this very fanaticism, far from deterring me, rather strengthened me in my quest because it demonstrated the weakness of my opponents; I confessed that I was convinced that there was nothing more suitable to suppress in large part the development of reason and the formation of a sound judgment, than the dedication of these in the Copernican hypothesis and its conclusions; whoever, against the daily inspection and without having the slightest evidence, merely on blind faith, could assume that the Earth rotates, must be thereby enabled to accept every conceivable nonsense as bare truth, and has once and for all forged their reason and understanding in the tightest bondage;
Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle
"Plurality of Worlds"
NASA's mascot?
needless to say, how much the imagination of mankind must be misled by the dreams inferred from the Copernican hypothesis, as especially our youth, fed from the tenderest years with the silliest mythical stuff [Märchenkram], willingly they, as all poets borrowed, suffered Fontenelle dreams of the inhabitability of the stars, but so also their minds would be poisoned so that they would be unable to have serious notions, unresponsive to all things high and holy.  Gauss, the most famous and greatest of the astronomers then living, argued nothing against all these remarks, on the contrary he gave me to recognize his perfect applause.  He even confessed to me that every new discovery in astronomy filled him with new doubts about the dominant system.  But when I told him that Alexander von Humboldt had stated that he would also immediately object to the present views if an astronomer with a name would declare against them, he replied: “If I were twenty years younger!

Schöpffer calls on three philosophers who "rebelled against the exuberant assumptions of the Copernicans".  It should be noted that C.F.W. Walther also called on some astronomer/philosophers in 1868, including Schelling and Carol Grande, but would likely not have mentioned Baader or Hegel.  Walther stated:
"It should be noted that recently some astronomers acknowledge that the Copernican system is only a hypothesis (assumption), and that some have returned to this, that the sun goes around the Earth, for example Schelling, and Carol Grande..."
I suspect that Walther knew of practically all literature coming out of Germany through his time and would know of any authors who fought against Copernicanism.  I strongly suspect that he had also read Schöpffer's lectures published in the 1850s, maybe even had drawn on what he learned there.
      For all the supposed support for the "sciences" in the world today, isn't it more true that much of today's "science" is really Fontenelle's Dream, a dream of other worlds beside ours?  Much of what passes for content on the "Discovery Channel" should be rather called "Delusion". —  The dreams of the Frenchman Fontenelle caused me to remember how Walther had also spoken against French ideas and customs, ensnared as the French people are under the Pope  go >here< on Dance, search for "French".
      Dr. Gerhardus Bouw calls Carl Friedrich Gauss "one of history's greatest  astronomers" – quite a statement!  I would say that trumps Fontenelle, wouldn't you?
      In the next Part 18e, I want to publish a few more items from this book of Dr. Carl Schöpffer, and conclude my chapter on him.

Schöpffer: King, Lamont question Copernicanism; Part 18c

      This continues from Part 18b, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      We continue with Carl Schöpffer's narrative as he departed from Karl von Raumer.  Here he meets with a King and an astronomer.  Schöpffer then tells of two startling events in his life, yet in a comforting way... for a Christian:

To my justification.
(continued from Part 18b)

King Ludwig I
From Erlangen I went to Munich, where the aged King Ludwig I conversed with me in a friendly way and for a long time, and expressed in his guileless manner: “I do not understand it, but it's always seemed ridiculous to me that we should so tumble about head over heels in the world.”  Finally he requested of me: “Nevertheless, speak also with [page 6] [Johann von] Lamont who is a very clever man.  Just say that I recommended you to him.”
Johann von Lamont
hypotheses –
It was actually not my intention to go  to Lamont, the Munich astronomer at that time, because I already knew that from these kind people nothing was to be learned.  Even the astronomers are in a bad situation — although it would indeed be certainly nobler and simpler to free themselves by frank confession of the same.  Lamont allowed, due to the recommendation of King Ludwig, not to oppose me so gruffly as Encke had done, but he betrayed his embarrassment and just said, “You and the world in general, are in error: there has never been a real astronomer to speak of a Copernican system; we know only a Copernican hypothesis.  Whether this is true or false, any real astronomer is quite indifferent.” — “I know that quite well,” I replied, “but you should then not let the laity be under the delusion that astronomers consider the Copernican hypothesis as a truth.” — “I have never dealt with amateur astronomy,” replied Lamont; “if Littrow and Mädler teach the people superstitions by selling hypotheses for truths, so that's their business.”
J. v. Littrow  ––––  J. H. v. Mädler
 selling hypotheses for truths?

From Munich I went to Württemberg, where a high and truth-loving Lady had invited me to spend a few weeks at her lovely mansion on the Neckar river. Although it does not belong here, I can not refrain to tell how I was saved on that journey from apparent threat of death.  Between Augsburg and Ulm, the railway was not yet finished, and for a distance of a few miles, the travelers were transported in mail carriages.  The path that this mail wagon drove went quite steeply down at one point and was close to a towering steep slope. The road was covered with slippery ice and therefore placed an ice chain on a rear wheel, but in the wrong way so that the ice chain even caused the car to be dragged closer and closer to the abyss.  The coachman tried everything possible, but the carriage was not to be brought to a halt and [page 7] slipped continuously toward the deep.  Three Jews who were sitting with me in the carriage began to scream loudly when they saw death facing them — because the life we ​​thirst for had no hope of coming when we plunged down into the abyss.  As serious as the situation was, so I could only but smile when I saw the great despair of my neighbors.  No sparrow falls from the sky without the Father's will [Matt. 10:29]; were my end secured, so it would have affected me in the same moment in a room the same as in the mail car. With such conviction looking forward, I never knew fear in my life.  The fateful moment, however, appeared; the car slid off from the edge of the road, laid down, — a strong crack, a loud cry of three Jews, then deep silence.  Just where the carriage had fallen down, there stood an old cherry tree.  The carriage had landed on it, the horses stopped at the same moment, and we were saved.
I will not detain you with the story of my stay in the Neckar valley, not even with the release from a second mortal danger in which I came to return to my home and from which I was also saved by a miracle, — but note presently that I had made the decision to go for a year to Göttingen to use the resources of the local library.  And there I wanted to come to a serious decision on the questions of whether Copernicus or Tycho? and likewise another question for me: whether Volcanism or Neptunism?
What I experienced during my stay in Göttingen borders so strongly to the fictional that I hardly dared the message. The first day in Göttingen proceeded in a most ominous way for me. I went over Groner Street.  Suddenly a red light flared up, a terrible crash shook the air, thick darkness surrounded me while I heard a strange rattling and crackling around me.  I could smell that the darkness that surrounded me was caused by powder smoke and thick dust, and stopped in amazement [page 8] at the outcome to be expected of this adventure. When the smoke and dust had cleared enough so that I could see, I noticed that a home was missing its roof and on the other hand, the road was covered with bricks and debris of various kinds. There with his teaching master the apprentice of a merchant disgruntled with his teaching master had placed himself in a powder keg, ignited the powder and blown himself up with the roof into the air. Three people on the street were injured, I had remained untouched, although just around me the bricks were the most dense.
(conclusion follows next)

    The two harrowing events that Schöpffer describes might seem to be out of place, but he would rather have his readers know the peace that a Christian knows, the peace in knowing a Father who does not miss a sparrow falling and numbers the hair of our head, Matt. 10:29-30.
      Some might say that Lamont would not be one to count among those who questioned Copernicanism, but didn't he call some hypotheses "superstitions"?  And what adds to this account is that Lamont was still living († 1879) when Schöpffer's book was published in 1869.  Lamont could have publicly renounced Schöpffer, but there does not seem to be any publicity about this. —  Ah, but we are not quite finished with "Schöpffer's List"... in the next Part 18d, we conclude with another astonishing name, on the same high level as Humboldt.

Schöpffer meets Encke, von Raumer– questions Copernicanism; Part 18b

      This continues from Part 18a, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      We continue with Carl Schöpffer's narrative after he finished his visit with Alexander von Humboldt.  In between his visits with the great scientists, he describes his (in)famous lectures "The Earth Stands Fast" which came to be published, and the reactions he received from them:

To my justification.
J. F. Encke
hypotheses; no advice
(continued from Part 18a)
From  Humboldt I went to [Johann Franz] Encke.  I was certainly not well received.  Gruffly Encke explained that astronomers have other things to do than to bother with hypotheses; he had not the time to instruct anyone who had any doubts; there were books enough about astronomy, which I should read. I replied that I had already read the books written for a wider audience by Littrow and Mädler, but could find no real information in them.  Encke remarked then that if these books were not enough for me, he could also not advise me further.  Whereupon I left him and bravely gave a lecture in which I expressed my concerns about the Copernican hypothesis.  I had expected opposition, hoping instruction — but none of this.  A newspaper editor who was in the audience tried to make me mad and make himself  important by only smiling mockingly, and then he left the hall; an old gentleman stepped up to me after completion of the lecture and asked me if I knew calculus, — that was everything that I achieved.  My appearance would probably have passed without a trace and would have had no farther consequences for me, except that I lost my wallet.  I don’t know how it happened except that it probably was stolen in a crowd.  I was much embarrassed by this because I did not know how I was to pay the bill and for my return trip.  I turned to the bookseller Sacco whom [page 4] I had already known fourteen years earlier in Magdeburg, and asked him for a loan. Sacco used my momentary embarrassment and demanded that I sell him the manuscript of my presentation.  This came about and so it was held as a lecture by me, although it was still very premature, under the title: Die Erde steht fest [The earth stands fast].  It was printed and sold in the course of the year 1853 at least 50,000 copies, while the attacks of the Kladderadatsch and of other newspapers only became just so many advertisements.
The wide distribution which my little booklet achieved was the reason for numerous and sometimes strange acquaintances.  Almost all enthusiasts and maniacs with fixed ideas appealed with letters to me, believing to have found in me their man.  But most nobly, I met people persecuted unjustly because of their faith and it opened up my eyes to a picture of hostility, which had to appear more horrible therefore than everything that one knows of what was similar from other countries and from past centuries, because one understood that by disseminating untrue information one could falsify the judgment of the world. I recall only one instance of the reports of fraud which came out most recently about the so-called Königsberger Mucker.
Meanwhile, some rebuttals of my assertion of the fixedness of the Earth were tried [see here for one example, here for another], but failed so sorrily that it was evidence to me that I could not be refuted.  My courage could be only increased, and I wrote the brochure: Die Bewegungen der Himmelskörper [The movements of the heavenly bodies], which appeared in the last days of 1853 by Oehme and Müller in Braunschweig and contained a bit more than the first brochure: “The earth stands fast.”   In addition, I revealed the vulgar, clumsy, irritable attacks and failures that several magazines allowed themselves against me, the great weakness of my opponents.  Where there is bitter scolding, where one proceeds with inquisitions and persecutions, there one is never entitled, [page 5] but only has the feeling of weakness, the awareness of injustice.  Earlier I was often attacked when I rebelled against the errors of Pharmacology, against the aberrations in politics; I had already endured some harsh persecution when I appeared with strength for justice and truth; only now I had never experienced anything like it.  In the Magdeburg newspaper a correspondent stated outright that he wanted to destroy me.  Such a wild rage has always been to me inexplicable.  I allow each his view, but why does one not acknowledge the same right for me?
Karl von Raumer
gentle hints
G. F. Brandes
Tycho over Copernicus

The year 1854 was particularly eventful for me.  I made a trip to southern Germany at the beginning of this year and on this occasion also visited the wonderful Karl von Raumer in Erlangen. He frankly confessed to me that he was also no friend of the Copernican hypothesis, but had never dared to give more than gentle hints against it.   So in his Kreuzzüge [Crusades] p.119, he writes: “Yet now every schoolmaster teaches according to hearsay, that the earth moves around the sun, without thinking or laboring even remotely for himself and his students to understand the planetary motions. Not so lightly, of course, did the great minds of the earlier time make of it, a Tycho Brahe, Riccioli, Baco.”  And in his Lehrbuch der allgemeinen Geographie [or Textbook of General Geography] 2nd edition, p. 101 [sic p. 102], he argues that according to the remark of astronomer Brandes [† 1791] “the Tycho Brahe system has for himself more of an appearance of truth than the Copernican system.”   As I departed from von Raumer, he sincerely wished me luck in my efforts to establish the truth of their cause but doubted that it would soon be possible to win against the fanaticism of the world.
...(to be continued)

A sympathetic scientist (von Raumer), and an unsympathetic one (Encke) Schöpffer met a range of responses.  The irony with von Raumer is that his brother, Friedrich Ludwig Georg von Raumer, the great historian, fought bitterly against Pastor Knak and his confession of Holy Scripture.
      It amazes me how Schöpffer could himself meet with such great names of science.  But we are not yet done with our travels alongside... Dr. Carl Schöpffer.  Next up, Part 18c.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Schöpffer's List– German scientists question Copernicanism; Part 18a

      This continues from Part 17, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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     In this this next sub-series of posts, I want to go beyond my previous post on the German scientist of the mid-1800s who almost single-handedly confronted the scientific community against Copernicanism – Dr. Carl Schöpffer.  But what is most striking is that he exposed a list of famous scientists who at least questioned Copernicanism.  And like the dubious nature of the "science" of Copernicanism, so too this list is embarrassing for today's historians of science.  Some may question this list since it only comes from one man, but it was "borrowed" by another writer of the 1800s, August Tischner, who "borrowed" and publicized it in English in his 1885 book – The Fixed Idea of Astronomical Theory, (pages 33-35).  Curiously, Tischner did not credit Schöpffer for his list of scientists.  — Later, in 1900, Schöpffer's lecture was directly translated into English and published under the title The Earth Stands Fast.  In this same book, Tischner is quoted by Frank Allaben as if Tischner were original in producing "Schöpffer's List" (Part XVI, pages 59-60), but again, it was clearly Schöpffer's List, not Tischner's.
      As I translated Schöpffer's full account and compared it with Tischner's abbreviated "borrowing", I marveled at Schöpffer's experience.  Schöpffer's narrative reminds me of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, for he was truly a pilgrim in his native Germany.
      Again, as I read this account of "Schöpffer's List", I recalled somewhere in my youth, perhaps as Junior or Senior in High School, hearing of it, and as I was walking home from a Sunday morning worship service, I thought
"Why isn't this list published more?"
Now I have that honor  the honor of publishing "Schöpffer's List" to the world again... not that it has not been available, but that it has been hidden because "popular science" doesn't want the general public to know about it.
Highlighting, hyperlinks, text in brackets [ ] are mine.

To my justification.
In previous years as a teacher, when I connected my pupils sensually with the orbit of the earth around the sun, it struck me each time that the daily rotation cannot be combined with the annual circulation.  I did not know then that Copernicus had already made this observation and it weighed so heavily on him that he therefore postponed the publication of his book up to the final passing of his life and without the constant urging of his friends unknown to astronomy, certainly would not have given it for publication.  With this fact unknown, I was content  that surely astronomers would understand the matter better than I, and continued to lecture  without concern.   Actually almost all lessons would have to stop if the teacher himself had to check.  Who would then want to teach history?  We do not even know from personal experience the history of our time, let alone the past centuries and millennia.  We have to accept on faith what the so-called historians tell us before and also these — we can only believe.  Even if we consider the traditional news carefully when trying to examine the opposing ones, it is all only based on the individual faith in the credibility of any reporter or any source.
If even the researcher can only basically believe, all the more the teacher has not the time and the means available for research.  And thus I also believed in the Copernican system until I wrote my [page 2] Lehrbuch of Physik für das weibliche Geschlecht [Physics textbook for women, especially for teachers and students of higher girls’ schools].  It was really my intention to write this work comprehensibly and clear, but while working on the Copernican system, so many contradictions were yet to be met, that I deleted the whole paragraph again.  I let the matter rest.
As it so happened, early in the year of 1853, a man who was more than a dilettante in astronomy, Dr. Menzzer from Halberstadt next to Quedlinburg, came there to repeat the Foucault pendulum proof of the earth's rotation.  In an introductory lecture, he showed that they had yet had no proof of the Copernican hypothesis, that previous proofs could rather be accepted as so many contradictory evidences upon closer examination; only the Foucault pendulum proof demonstrates obviously and irrefutably the rotation of the earth. The pendulum was tied, the thread burned, the oscillations began and the pendulum deviated off to the left, instead of right.  It was hastily brought back to rest.  New burning off of the thread.  This time the deviation was the desired one, and we were invited on the following morning again to appear at 8 pm in the church to convince us that the divergence agreed with the theory.  The following morning, however, revealed that the pendulum had in the night changed its mind, and from the deviation to the right had reversed to the left again.
Alexander von Humboldt
"no evidence"
It seemed to me this new evidence was not yet quite right.  My faith in the Copernican doctrine had but become unstable by the lecture of Dr. Menzzer, and I decided to travel to Berlin to gain insight.  Once again I saw the pendulum experiment, and curiously it turned with a deviation to the left; so I proceeded to Alexander von Humboldt [† 1859], who was always the first refuge of those seeking instruction, and thereby was so complacent that he dismissed no one, that he even answered every letter conscientiously.  He received me very kindly and [page 3] said the memorable words: “I have also known this long ago that we do not have any evidence for the Copernican system; but the first attack on it, I would never dare.  Do not poke into this hornet's nest; you will incur only the scorn of the unthinking crowd.  If an astronomer with a name once rises against the current view, so I will also share my observations, but to act first against views that have become dear to the world, I do not feel the courage.”  But I was encouraged by those words, because I realized from them that the famous scholar also had his doubts.
... (to be continued)
Schöpffer sure got my attention as he published one of the greatest names in science history, 10 years after Humboldt's death.  I shall remember Humboldt, not for his other major scientific works, not that he advised President Thomas Jefferson, but that he at least questioned Copernicanism.
      This list is just getting started as I continue the "List" in Part 18b...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Science Historians; Math– Loss of Certainty; Copernicanism Part 17

      This continues from Part 16c, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      The history of science from the "early modern period" (Copernicus to Newton) up to our modern period is a broad one indeed.  As I have read through what must seem dozens of authors, I wanted to summarize them, but have despaired of doing so.  The reading can be interesting and it can be saddening.  I will present two examples of the latter:
Prof. Peter Barker

(1)  Prof. Peter Barker of Oklahoma University presents himself not only as an authority on the history of science, but also on... Lutheranism.  But is this really so?  Here is his comment regarding the Lutheran Confessions in his essay "The Role of Religion in the Lutheran Response to Copernicus" among the essays in the book Rethinking the Scientific Revolution edited by Margaret J. Osler (page 68):
The unfortunately named Formula of Concord was an attempt to heal the breach between strict Lutherans and less-strict Phillippists and others sympathetic to Calvinism. Issued on June 25, 1580 (the fiftieth anniversary of the Augsburg confession), it was accepted by Saxony, Württemberg, and Baden, ... The employment of the formula thus deepened the divisions it was intended to heal, by obliging people like ... Kepler, to choose between a new orthodox Lutheranism that opposed Calvinism, and the older Phillipist version that tolerated it. Kepler's response was to follow a career that avoided the Formula.
Barker claims to be a judge over the Lutheran Confessions, essentially saying the naming of "Formula of Concord" was deceptive.  To him, it is not important to hold to the teaching of the Bible, especially not for Johannes Kepler.  Rather the maintenance of unity or "concord" should not depend on what doctrine is taught.  Barker discusses Luther, Melanchthon and other Lutheran theologians, but he has already disqualified himself from true theological history.  It is not surprising that he, like J. R. Christianson, discounts the Table Talks of Luther against Copernicanism (page 64).  Even sadder than Prof. Barker are the modern Lutheran theologians who agree with him concerning the Formula of Concord!
Prof. Mark Noll

(2) Prof. Mark A. Noll, Another example of the sadness comes from Noll, a "Reformed evangelical Christian" now teaching at the Roman Catholic Notre Dame University.  Noll is particularly troublesome in his history of B. B. Warfield regarding evolutionism and inerrancy.  In an article on Andrew Dickson White on the BioLogos website, in Part 3 he makes the following statement:
B.B. Warfield

“Perhaps even more notable as someone who promoted major aspects of Darwin’s science in the United States was a theologian from Princeton Seminary, Benjamin B. Warfield, who was alive and active when White published his big book. Warfield’s support for evolution is especially noteworthy since Warfield was, in his day, the nation’s strongest supporter for the theological concept of biblical inerrancy, the belief that the Bible makes no mistakes whatever. Warfield wrote carefully about evolution and with several qualifications, but he also articulated his conviction on many occasions that natural selection did not in principle contradict historic Christian faith nor did it undermine a very high conception of the Christian Scriptures.”
Part of what is troubling in Noll's sweeping statement of "Warfield's support for evolution" is that Noll himself admits that "Warfield wrote carefully about evolution and with several qualifications".  What Noll omits here is what he stated earlier in his portrait of Warfield in Elwell's Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, pages 32-33:
“Warfield’s opposition to naturalistic forms of evolution never wavered. On several occasions he wrote on Darwin and, in so doing, took pains to show that if Darwinism meant random, purposeless change, then it must be opposed by every Christian.”
It would seem that these statements would not fit well with the BioLogos theme!  In the end though, Warfield did seem to exhibit weakness in defending against evolution as it is generally understood today.  And how modern theology will highlight this weakness!
      But Prof. Noll is incorrect about Warfield being "the nation’s strongest supporter for ... biblical inerrancy" for even Noll has heard of Franz Pieper whom he purposely ignores as the great Lutheran teacher of the Twentieth Century.  I believe it was Warfield who "called upon" Dr. Pieper to write his essay "Luther's Doctrine of Inspiration" for his periodical The Presbyterian and Reformed Review in 1893.   So Prof. Noll misinforms us to a degree about Warfield.  And he apparently follows Warfield's weakness on inerrancy and prefers to infer that Warfield really meant to teach the Scriptures are in error regarding the creation account. — It is quite easy for Prof. Noll to ignore Pieper, especially since today's LC-MS largely ignores (or repudiates)... Franz Pieper.  But I have news for both Noll and today's LC-MS — Franz Pieper, the Twentieth Century Luther!  If anyone wants to know the true account of Martin Luther on the Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures, they should read what Warfield printed of Franz Pieper's essay -->> HERE.
      With "evangelicals" such as Prof. Mark Noll, is it any wonder that the bookstores today have complete sections on the history of science, typified by popular authors like Shawn Otto who says in his book The War on Science (pages 48-49):
“Is it better to base our knowledge on reading an old book, or on observations of nature before our very eyes? ... If it is inaccurate, can we take any of it seriously?
Indeed, Mr. Otto would find agreement in the second question from... Luther, Walther and Pieper!  It is an excellent question, albeit with two entirely different responses.
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      To finish this post, I would reprint a portion of the Preface to Morris Kline's book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty:
     This book treats the fundamental changes that man has been forced to make in his understanding of the nature and role of mathematics. We know today that mathematics does not possess the qualities that in the past earned for it universal respect and admiration. Mathematics was regarded as the acme of exact reasoning, a body of truths in itself, and the truth about the design of nature. How man came to the realization that these values are false and just what our present understanding is constitute the major themes. ...
     Many mathematicians would perhaps prefer to limit the disclosure of the present status of mathematics to members of the family. To air these troubles in public may appear to be in bad taste, as bad as airing one’s marital difficulties. But intellectually oriented people must be fully aware of the powers of the tools at their disposal. Recognition of the limitations, as well as the capabilities, of reason is far more beneficial than blind trust, which can lead to false ideologies and even to destruction.
Quite a refreshing judgment of not only modern mathematics, but perhaps much of today's "science".
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In the next Part 18a I want to publicize Carl Schöpffer's list of famous German scientists in the mid-1800s who at least questioned Copernicanism...