In his campaign speech on February 23rd, 2012, Obama blamed everyone but himself for the rise in fuel prices, stating that there were international pressures on the price of oil that are beyond his control. He went on to criticize Republicans for saying that the solution was to drill, drill, drill – saying instead that the answer was to use algae as a source of fuel. Amazingly, he then boasted that under his administration domestic oil and gas production has increased; but as the Heritage Foundation reported on January 18th, 2012, “Under Obama, Oil and Gas Production on Federal Lands is Down 40%.” There has been an increase in production on private land, but if Obama’s EPA has its way, energy production won’t be happening there either.
If one looks at Obama’s energy web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy it says, “The President has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment.” In fact, Obama’s entire energy policy is based on environmental dogma, as there is absolutely nothing in his stated position that works to improve our nation’s energy independence. The truth is none of this should be a surprise, as Obama said in his 2008 run for office that his goal was to bankrupt energy companies, and drive the cost of gasoline to $7.00 per gallon. On February 5th of 2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of federal land, and then on the 26th, he canceled all oil shale development in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming – claiming that the “new” process of extracting oil and gas, called hydrofracking needed to be studied before it can be used.
While his signature piece of legislation, Cap and Trade, otherwise known as Cap and Tax, was killed in Congress, Obama has largely made good on his campaign promises. He placed a moratorium on off-shore drilling, driving companies like Sea Hawk Oil into bankruptcy, while subsidizing oil companies in Brazil. On February 17th 2012, Obama raised the Royalties on Oil Companies by 50% and his new budget proposes to tax all oil and coal production out of existence.
A point that needs to be made is that destroying the energy sector doesn’t just increase the price of fuel; it destroys our ability to produce fertilizers and insecticides, affecting a decrease in crop yields. America is an industrialized country and we use energy to sow, irrigate, harvest, transport, and process food. Without energy, most of the people you know will starve, suffer heat stroke, or freeze to death. This was demonstrated in Russia where, prior the Bolshevik revolution, she was the world’s largest exporter of oil and grain. After the revolution, there was massive starvation and people froze to death.
The question is why has environmentalism become the force it is today; and what do we do about it? This is the first in a four part series exploring the answers to these and other questions about the realities of environmentalism. The first two articles explore the pseudo science that drives environmentalism; the third explores the economics behind environmentalism; and the forth explores the religious aspects of environmentalism. While this may be more detail than most people usually expect, we can’t fix it if we don’t know what’s broken, and that takes some time.
A Brief History of Science
“We are confronted by a fortress. The name of this fortress is science with its innumerable branches. We must conquer this fortress. Youth must take this fortress, if it wishes to build the new life, if it wishes to replace the old guard.”
– Joseph Stalin
As with other aspects of the Christian and Socialist worldviews there are two versions of science. The Christian view comes from the concept of Natural Law where revelation, observation, and reason must agree. When they appear to disagree, the fault must be with our understanding of the conflicting statements, a position that can be traced back to Augustine of Hippo (AD 354 – 430) and Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225 – 1274). This approach to science is called empiricism, because it relies on empirical observation and experimentation to confirm theory as a means of understanding God’s creation. When combined with the proscription against lying or bearing false witness, empirical science becomes the search for the truthful realities of how our universe functions. There can be no disparity between what we observe in the universe and revelation since they were both created by the same God, thus there can be no difference between empirical science and the Christian faith.
While empirical science by itself is interesting, it is of little practical value if it doesn’t serve a useful purpose. Engineers solve this problem by applying science to practical applications, thus making science useful; where the result of the engineering effort is called technology. Once science has been translated into a practical application; the resultant technology requires no innovation to duplicate or to marginally improve. In fact, stealing it from the inventor is fairly easy.
Empiricism is in sharp contrast with the socialist view of science, which ignores observation, relying on politics or imagination to determine what is real and what is not. This is a view of science that comes from Aristotle and his argument that our senses cannot be trusted, saying we must rely on the cosmic mind of the Universe to tell us what is real. Socialists also tend to blur the meaning of science and technology, often treating them as the same thing. This helps to feint science by re-branding technology as innovative, after stealing it from its original inventor.
Americans were once taught empirical science, but today most Americans get their science from television, movies, and politicians such as Al Gore, while the universities produce politically functional pseudoscience. Science has been replaced with science fiction where scientists have been replaced with “enlightened thinkers” who manufacture political “utterances” called “facts.” Two people who popularized the socialist approach to science are Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. Central to the socialist worldview is the priori requirement that science and Hebrew-Christianity are incompatible; but this assertion is only true in the socialist definition of science, since the empirical view is a central tenant of the Hebrew/Christian faith.
The Rise of Empirical Science
Christians built on the teachings of the Church, and around 1640 the Jesuit monk Father Giovanni Riccioli (1598 – 1671) produced a massive encyclopedia of astronomy for his order. He then used a pendulum to measure the force of the gravitational constant for the very first time. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727), a pious Christian, brought together what had been done before him. He combined empirical observations from the Jesuits and their telescopes with his newly developed mathematics called calculus. Calculus provided Newton a way to express what had been observed, including movement and time. Before Newton, mathematics could only deal with static observations. In other words, they could only describe things that don’t change or move about. Other things like arrows, cannonballs, or planets could not be described mathematically because they moved.
Like Augustine and Aquinas, Newton’s God was omnipresent and had established the rules by which the universe operated, a creation that humans must strive to know; but Newton was careful to declare that while mathematics was necessary to understand God’s creation, nothing man possessed, including mathematics, would ever show us how God created it. To explain creation, Newton spoke of a single “Devine Impulse,” that set the universe into motion; but God did not set his clockwork in motion and then abandon it.
This period of empiricism would develop into what we now call Newtonian science, or Natural Science, as it is based on Thomas Aquinas’ Natural Law. In natural or empirical science, the physical world obeys a fixed set of rules and is separate from the spirit, or life force, that comes directly from God. It would create modern Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Thermodynamics, and biology; accounting for every modern technology that you use in your life. From accurate tide tables to aircraft with jet engines, automobiles, personal computers, and cell phones, we owe it all to Newton and a bunch of Christian Monks. It is also the basis of economics, agriculture, and many other fields of research. Empirical science is the bedrock foundation of modern engineering and the Western world, making it a prime target.
When asked about his accomplishments, Newton responded, “I stood on the shoulders of Giants,” but he was talking about Christian scientists like Riccioli and Kepler, not Aristotle. What he meant is that true scientific progress is made by building on what others had done before, instead of trying to rebrand the occult teachings of the past, which improves nothing. The world would have to wait for Einstein to see the next great leap by applying reason and empirical observations to expand Newtonian physics. Today, many try to say that Einstein replaced Newton, but in 1919 Einstein himself said, “Let no one suppose, that the mighty work of Newton can really be superseded by this or any other theory. His great and lucid ideas will retain their unique significance for all time as the foundation of our whole modern conceptual structure in the sphere of natural philosophy.”
Einstein’s theories help to explain gravity, time dilation, and describe the relation between mass and energy that runs the universe. This also helps to illustrate the difference between Aristotelian and empirical science. If the state had declared Newton to be settled fact, then all further inquiry would have been abandoned. Only by continuing to pursue the truth could Einstein and his theories have ever seen the light of day. This is why science is never about establishment of fact, but remains a never-ending pursuit of the truth.
Socialism, Science, and the Universities
The attitude of socialists toward science and universities is an ambivalent one at best. While socialist ideology is supposed to rest upon scientific foundations, the anti-dogmatic attitude of true science doesn’t fit into the authoritarian scheme of things. As a result, socialism takes a political view where science is merely a means to an end, and all other views are denounced. This is illustrated by Hitler’s denunciation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and by Stalin’s purges, where he rewrote textbooks and sent scientists to the Gulags. Eventually, the needs of the state prevail so that truth becomes obsolete and scientific “facts” are determined before an experiment is even funded, much less conducted.
On the other hand, Hitler and Stalin depended on technology to achieve their ends; producing a contradiction, where the throttling of science places dictatorships at a disadvantage with free societies that allow science to progress unimpeded. To counter this, Soviet science continuously fed off of Western discoveries; in fact, both the National Socialists and the Social Democrats (Communists) depended on the cooperation of bourgeoisie scientists and engineers who were willing to continue their work, either through coercion or deception. Examples include Hitler’s V2 Rockets and his jet fighters, as well as the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik. While these are held as highly visible examples of the superiority of the socialist system, these and other breakthroughs came from Western scientists that you probably never heard of.
Science, Universities, and the Socialist Faith
Fabian socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb insisted that Universities should be deprived of their autonomy and be subjected to rigid bureaucratic controls. Rectors, presidents, and deans would be made appointees of governmental agencies and programs of ideological indoctrination, where “true science” is dictated to faculty and students alike. They went on to say that ideology and party qualifications should be given increasing weight in the selection of students, as well as faculty. In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned about this threat to science and our universities when he said:
“…research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded…”
Today our universities have been converted to Aristotelian institutions, where empirical science has been replaced with a competition for government grants. The result is there hasn’t been a truly original or innovative advancement in science since the early 1970s. The reason for this has more to do with the socialist faith and Weimar Romanticism than any other factors.
Central to the enlightenment would be a reliance on Aristotelian science to publicly argue against the existence of an otherworldly deity, while embracing ancient paganism. Cosmologies came and went rapidly, with the new sweeping aside the old in scarcely a lifetime, but Newton would change all that. For example, a popular belief in France was that the tides were the result of some mysterious pressure that came from the moon; but after Newton, it was the sea that gravitated towards the moon. At first, Newton was treated like any other scientist that had come along, assuming it would be only a matter of time before his thoughts would be replaced by someone else’s. But when this didn’t happen, empirical science created a problem for enlightened thinkers who didn’t believe in Jesus Christ, and didn’t want others to believe in him either.
Kant’s Concept of Synthetic Reason
Emanuel Kant tried to bridge the divide between empiricism and Aristotle’s concept of pure reason. His goal was to find some way to derive cause and effect without relying on empirical observations or the use of analytical methods. He argued that external objects are interpreted through a priori knowledge that clouds our observation – a central tenant of the socialist faith. Instead Kant argued the use of what he called synthetic reason where we obtain empirical knowledge from pure mathematics and metaphysics. Kant held that since the validity of mathematics is empirically valid without observation, the Newtonian concepts of space and time could only be known through the metaphysical and the transcendental, independently of experience. The foundation for this argument can be found in the Pythagorean movement of ancient Greece, which held that the universe was composed of divine numbers. As a result of Kant’s definition of synthetic reason, if something can be expressed mathematically, there is no need for empirical observation, a philosophy that is touted as modern science today.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Another prominent philosopher of Weimar Romanticism was the German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832). Goethe is considered by many socialists to be the supreme genius of modern German literature, science, art, poetry, and philosophy. His Faust is said to epitomize modern European literature and Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship is said to capture the empty soul of the bourgeoisie businessman.
Like other romantics, Goethe would attack not just Christianity but its concept of science. To him “empiricists looked at the outer world while ignoring their inner experience, forming a detached view of reality, while stressing the morality of a divine world.” Isaac Newton was his favorite target saying, “… throughout his life he [Newton] saw the limits of the capacity of human reason to encompass experience, which explained his unflagging interest in the Bible of Prophecy.” Goethe’s hatred for Newton is revealed in a conversation he had with a friend where Goethe reportedly said, “We have worked for fifty years to establish and strengthen the kingdom of Newton, and it will require fifty years more to overthrow it.” Goethe talked about professors who, after they had supposedly found a better theory, still talked of Newton.
“This is not to be wondered at,” said Goethe; “such people continue in error because they are indebted to it for their existence. They would otherwise have to learn everything over again, and that would be very inconvenient.”
“But,” said his friend, “how can their experiments prove the truth when the basis of their doctrine is false?”
“They do not prove the truth,” said Goethe, “nor is such the intention; the only point with these professors is to prove their own opinion.” Today, socialists still treat empiricism as personal opinion, making it no more factual than their own opinions.
Goethe relentlessly attacks empiricism because, he says, “It does not go beyond the facts, limiting itself to describing every detail of every phenomenon that it meets.” “Theories,” he said, “are usually the overly hasty conclusions of an impatient intellect that would like to be rid of the phenomenon and therefore sets in its place pictures, concepts, indeed often only words. One senses, one even sees, in fact, that it is only an expedient; but have not passion and a partisan spirit.” Goethe particularly criticizes what he calls the misuse of causality, which in his opinion, is totally misrepresented. “Rationalism, in its unbridled fantasy, seeks causality where, if you are looking for facts, it is not to be found.”
Instead of empirical science, Goethe believes that true science lies in the belief that all things have a spirit and are connected in nature. Along with his friends: Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 – 1803) and Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling (1775 – 1854), Goethe believed that true science came from an understanding of one’s emotions, not from empirical observation. This idea gave birth to the “Romantic” notion that truth was revealed in art, literature, poetry, and music, a belief that found its expression in the Sturm und Drang movement, which epitomized Weimar Romanticism.
Goethe transcribed his beliefs into his Faust, creating what has become known as “Goethe’s Gospel” where he sets forth a tale that describes the inner workings of man’s cosmic evolution. He describes three worlds: the physical, the astral, and the spiritual, which are brought together through their inner unity, where Homunculus and Mephistopheles represent the forces of good and evil. In his essay “Nature,” Goethe talks about the earth spirit that permeates the universal organism, where phenomenon and spiritual power meet each other and merge into one – “Only then can the human spirit be fully satisfied.” The final result of Goethe’s philosophy is that the world and the universe is actually one living organism, where man is but a part, until he will one day become the man-god.
Goethe attacks the refusal of Christianity and empirical science to consider the spiritual aspects of all matter saying, “In the course of centuries, the Christian picture took effect more than the dim feelings inherited from Greek antiquity. One lost the feeling for the reality of concepts and ideas. But one also lost therefore one’s belief in the spirit itself. There began the worship of the purely material: the era of Newton began in natural science…”
Goethe’s views became a central theme of the Romantics, including Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859) and Friedrich Hegel. Humboldt stressed the unity of nature describing the Earth as a great whole; and Hegel spoke of the “universal mind, the mind of the world, free from all restriction, producing itself as that which exercises its right… the universal mind exists in art, its intuition, and imagery.”
If you would like to learn more about the real history of science read the book: Totalitarianism: How the Socialist Faith is Destroying America. You will learn the real stories about Galileo, Darwin, and how science owes its existence to Hebrews and Christians. You will also learn the realities behind environmental pseudo-science and its connection to ancient paganism.
The End to Part 1
Part 2 will begin with the rise of Soviet Science and the pseudo-science of environmentalism.