The close relation of the Church to the science or the pseudo-scientific missiology?

  1. Lemma
  2. ეკლესიის მჭიდრო კავშირი მეცნიერებასთან, თუ ფსევდომეცნიერული მისიოლოგია?
  3. English
  4. Pataridze, Tamara
  5. Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Biblical interpretation - Scientific theories and disciplines > Modern physics: Relativity
  7. Zaza Osmanov
  8. Click Here
    1. By prof. Zaza Osmanov

      In 2011 the Center for the Researches on Christianity had organized a seminar intitled “Religion and Science”. We have greatly appreciated this initiative coming from the Georgian Orthodox Church, aiming to restart the dialogue between religion and science: indeed, according to our initial expectation, this initiative would have encouraged to diminish the dividing line inadvertently induced between the religion and the various fields of the science. In this article we would like to discuss some unexpected conclusions suggested by the paper delivered at this seminar by A. Gerassimov, Doctor in Physics and Mathematics. His paper entitled “Orthodox Doctrine and Science” had promoted, in our opinion, some very unexpected “conclusions”. Gerassimov argues that “personal faith is important for the research carried out in the field of physics, for example, when one is dealing with the principle of indeterminism”. Nevertheless, this declaration must be recognized as irrelevant: indeed, unlike religious dogmas, the scientific hypotheses must be confirmed by experiments. Generally speaking, instead of looking for the link between science and religion, Gerassimov’s paper tries, on the contrary, to create the yawning gap between them. Promoting creationist hypothesis about the apparition of universe since 75000 years, the author understands the modern astrophysical calculations of the age of universe (13,7 milliard years) as an idea which is “contradictory with the biblical teaching”. In real terms, it is a very simple idea to consider the modern cosmological model as irreconcilable with the Bible. There are numerous orthodox theologians and scholars thinking that such a contradiction appears only with a very limited interpretation of the Bible. The Church Fathers, such as St. Augustin, have argued for the figurative interpretation of the “day” meaning, in general, “time”. The Fathers pave the way for the possibility of allegorical interpretation for the period spend for creation. In fact, in the Bible there is no clear indication about the age of universe, and, moreover, this is not a theological issue (see: Протоиерей Глеб Каледа). The age of the universe was never discussed by the Church Councils. Despite this, Gerassimov tries to resolve the contradiction in favour of the hypothesis of 7500 years recognized as the age of universe. He relies to the theory of N. A. Kozirev who has considered time as a substance that can be absorbed or emanated by the material objects. However, Kozirev’s theories are not recognized by the contemporary science. This type of argumentation allows to Gerassimov to lead to the conclusions which are in favour of the conspiracy theory suggesting therefore that the whole scientific community is unethical and incompetent and “instead of looking for find the truth, the contemporary science is relying on the commercial interests of his founders”. This is a pseudo-scientific judgment that damages any perspective of the science-religion dialogue. Another participant of the same seminar, M. Djibladze relies to the conspiracy theory arguing that the theory considering that “the age of the universe is about 13,7 milliard years is against any existing religion and it is struggling against God: indeed, if we recognize this age to the universe, there will be no need of God”. Djibladze criticises the Doppler effect. It is known that information about stars within galaxies can be determined by application of the Doppler effect. Electromagnetic radiation emitted by the stars would appear with a red shift if the star is rotating in a direction that is away from the Earth. On the other hand, there is a blue shift if the star is rotating in a direction that is towards the Earth. Djibladze argues that the Doppler effect (measurement of the red shift) is not enabling to lead to the reliable conclusion about inflation of the universe. He says: “there is no inflation. The Nobel prize awarded in 2011 for the conclusion demonstrating that the universe is in inflation – is the greatest stupidity”. This opinion was supported by Gerassimov who added that “the 40% of the Nobel prices have been discerned for the wrong theories”. Obviously, Gerassimov and Djibladze did not presented any scientific argument in favour of their claim pretending that Doppler effect is scientifically irrelevant and they didn’t precise which are the theories awarded for the Nobel price that are “wrong”. To conclude, we hope that the seminars organized by the Center for the Researches on Christianity will become, in the future, scientifically more relevant. It is really hard to accept the claims that science relies with conspiracy theories and to declare scientific conclusions as “great stupidities”.