Science Generalization - RR148H15

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Science--Generalization
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 15
Length: 1:19:59
TapeCode: RR148H15
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


{?} study of science. In the first hour, we will deal with certain generalizations with regard to science, and then, in the second half of this first hour, certain principles with regard to the teaching of science. Then, we will continue with a further analysis of some of the aspects of science; the scientific method and the like, in the second hour.

Science in the modern world is important. It is important for its own sake, and important because of its impact on the human mind and the importance men have given it in their thinking. First of all, some sciences have had a major impact on our lives in a practical sense. Secondly, modern man tends to believe that science rather than the Bible is the primary source of truth. For both these reasons, therefore, it is important for us to look at science carefully and to recognize its centrality in the modern world. We must have a biblical perspective on it or we are in trouble.

The impact of science, of course, varies from one particular science to another. Some sciences are minor to peripheral in their impact n our lives. So that we must say, first of all, the major impact of science on the human mind has been of evolutionary thought, which is not a science but a theory. It has a religious premise. It is from beginning to end, a faith, an unverifiable faith, but it is equated with science. As Christians, we must stress this fact. Whether we believe in evolution or creation, we believe by faith. Now, we believe that there is far more reason, logic, and evidence for a creationist belief, but both rest on an act of faith. Neither is provable. [00:03:16]

Moreover, we must then go on to say that in every area...[edit]

Moreover, we must then go on to say that in every area of life and thought, faith has priority before fact, because faith determines what your facts will be. It is your perspective. My perspective on this room is determined by my point of view. I see this room than do you because I stand at this point. My perspective determines what I see. Intellectually and scientifically, this is also true. We begin with a faith, and that faith tells us what our facts will be. If we begin with a faith in the absolute and triune God, then that faith tells us what the facts are. If we deny God, then we are going to look at creation and we’re not going to see a single fact as God-given. We will see it as brute factuality, meaningless factuality, accidental facts. There are no non-interpreted facts under the sun. All facts are seen as facts in terms of a presupposition of faith, and it is your faith that determines what constitutes a fact for you.

Thus, we do not replace evolution with facts as such, but with the doctrine of creation and facts as created by the sovereign God. In other words, there is no neutrality on the part of any man. We begin with a faith, either an anti-Christian faith or a Christian faith.

Then second, we must say that some sciences have had a major impact on the modern world, and on life today, not in theory but in practical effects. A science that is very much neglected in popular thought today has perhaps influenced us more than any other science; chemistry. However, because chemistry is less involved in the theoretical aspects of science, we do not hear as much about it, but if you were to remove the twentieth century results of chemistry, we would be back in the horse and buggy age. We owe even gasoline to chemistry. Thus, it is important when we look at science, to recognize that in the teaching of it, if we’re merely reacting to what the evolutionists say, we’re dealing in the false areas. We’re not teaching what the real impact of science has been. [00:07:06]

Then third, we must not confuse academic scientists...[edit]

Then third, we must not confuse academic scientists with research scientists. It is academicians who tend to write textbooks, therefore, they tend to exalt the academicians and the theorists rather than the practical men of science. As a result, the histories of science that we read are radically wrong, because they give us a heavy emphasis on theoretical science, on academic science, but the major advances in science have been practical.

Consider, for example, how in every day life, we are surrounded now by untold servants or slaves which are mechanical. The average housewife can now do what it took a woman with a large staff of servants or slaves to do. All this is a product of the research scientist and his work.

Most of our actual history of science is thus, unknown, because the concentration in the textbooks is on the theoretical and academic side. I hope that in not too many years, we will see the beginning of textbooks written by Christians which will deal with actual scientific development area which has largely been sponsored by industry. If you want to know where the real development in science is, you have to look at your large, modern corporation, its research and development department. This is where your new inventions come from. This is where the great pioneering is. Without it, our contemporary culture would stand still to a large degree. This is true not only in technological things, it is true also in the area of plant genetics and related fields. The industrial connection in the development of modern science is basic. If you were to eliminate it, you would be back in the horse and buggy age. [00:10:32]

I’m going to stop for a moment to offer you a book...[edit]

I’m going to stop for a moment to offer you a book, those of you who are teachers in either American history of science. It is a book titled, The Professional, a biography of J.D. Saunders by Otto J. Scott. It is the life story from 1900 to the present of an oil man, an independent oil man who went into the oil business in the middle of the depression and, in no time at all, gave the big corporations quite a run for their money. His life is used also to tell the story of American history, so it’s important in history, from 1900 to the present, and also the kind of thing that has gone into the technological and scientific development as a result of the oil industry. It’s an excellent tool for the practical side of scientific development. Now it’ll be first come, first served, so if you will drop me a note: R.J. Rushdoony, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, California 95251, and tell me that you are a teacher in a Christian school teaching science or history, and you’d like to have a copy of the book The Professional. As long as our supply lasts, we will send you a copy freely, and you will promise, in return, to read it. I think you’ll find it most helpful to you.

Then fourth, there is another factor in the development of science that is often neglected; the inventor, who is commonly not even regarded as a scientist. He is very often a man who is a tinkerer, who has an idea and works with it until finally he develops something. I know that when I was in high school, the barber I went to in my home town, whose girl was one of my classmates, felt that when he saw men working in the fields, plowing, that there had to be a better disc than the manufacturers were putting out, and so he spent a great deal of time in his garage, tinkering with one idea after another, until he developed the Goble disc, which was bought out quickly by a major farm implement company, and became very important in the later part of the 30’s, 40’s and thereafter, in a greatly improved method of working the soil. Edison, of course, was an inventor, not a scientist and inventors, too, have had their centrality in the development of science. [00:14:36]

Thus, as we look at science, thus, we have to see the...[edit]

Thus, as we look at science, thus, we have to see the theoretical side, which has predominated, and while we must deal with it in our teaching, we cannot give it the total emphasis. There has been the very practical, technological side, which has been a product of industrial research and development, which has been basic to science, and there has been the role of the outsider, the inventor.

Now to go further, science is regarded, as I said earlier, as a source of truth today by many people rather than the Bible. We are told that science gives us verifiable truth by means of the experimental method. We would have to say, however, that if this is true, then many of the sciences are hardly sciences at all, because the experimental method has a very limited place within science. In many sciences, such as geology and astronomy, paleontology and so on, there is no place for the experimental method. Science, in reality, is not to be defined by a uniform method, but a common interest in knowledge of the physical world. Moreover, the experimental method is not infallible. It is never comprehensive. It rests, moreover, on hypothesis and interpretations. We shall return to that subsequently. We are told, moreover, that sciences are concerned with the physical world and therefore, with reality, so that in the modern perspective, reality and the physical world are identified, and reality is reduced to things material, things physical. It is therefore, implied that Christianity has no real concern with reality because it deals with things that are more than material. However, in answer to this, we must recognize that the line between science and religion cannot be sharply drawn, especially in our modern world, because science has become a religion faith, and it imposes its ideas of what constitute reality onto reality. [00:17:51]

I’d like to quote from Cornelius Van Til’s ...[edit]

I’d like to quote from Cornelius Van Til’s An Introduction to Systematic Theology. He writes, “We should avoid the error of separating too sharply between science and religion, as is often done. The world of natural and historical facts with which science deals cannot be truly interpreted by anyone who is not a Christian anymore than can the world of spiritual things. Every statement about the physical universe implies, in the last analysis, some view about the spiritual realm. Scientists frequently say that in their statements, they will limit themselves to the phenomenal world, that every assertion they make about the phenomenal world involves an attitude toward the pneuminal world. Even the mere assumption that anything can intelligently be asserted about the phenomenal world by itself presupposes its independence of God, and as such is in effect a denial of Him.”

Modern science tends to rule out anything that is spiritual. In fact, it rules out mind, in many cases, as an epic{?} phenomenon. It sees reality as purely physical. Now this does not mean that we see reality as dualistic or tritritrite{?}. For us, the total of reality is a unit, God-created. The Greeks divided reality between mind and body, and some into mind, body, and spirit. We must avoid that kind of division. For us, reality is divided between the uncreated being of God and the created being of all the universe, of all creation. Now within created being, we can see distinctions in mind and body, and so on, but they are not distinctions of substance. The only two kinds of being that we recognize are the uncreated being of God and the created being of the universe. Truth for us, therefore, is not in duality nor in singleness, but in the createdness of the universe.

Our teaching of science must be scripturally sound. We cannot fall into the trap because science denies mind or spirit, or saying, “Oh, we affirm that reality is body and mind, or body, mind and spirit.” No, then we are dividing reality into alien substances. The reality that we deal with in science is creation. Creation is a unit. Within creation we can and must make distinctions, but to be theologically sound, we cannot separate the aspects of creation into different substances. They are unity. [00:21:48]

Science teaching today is too often governed by the...[edit]

Science teaching today is too often governed by the theology of humanism, and it must be governed instead by biblical theology. As a result, we must, at all times, be careful with our statements within the context of science, to be governed by theological presuppositions, and to remember that the scientist is not a man of pure science, but first of all a man. As he approaches science, he approached it with his religious convictions, all too often with humanism.

Now to deal a little more directly with our approach in the teaching of science. Let us remember, as I said earlier, that science has replaced religion for many today as the source of authority and truth. The appeal in one field after another is to the authority of science, whether it be in politics, in religion, in education, or elsewhere. Therefore, when we teach science, we must teach it from our rooten branch Christian perspective or we will feed our student false concepts. Now for us, the task of instruction is made simpler by the fact that the Hebrew word for instruction is “torah,” which means both law and instruction. God’s law is fundamental in the universe, and God’s law is intended for instruction. Apart from God’s law there can be no science. Any careful reading of the history of science will reveal very quickly that it was Puritanism that produced modern science, and modern science will quickly disintegrate if it abandons that background, if it abandons the framework of a God whose absolute law governs all reality. Then you have no possibility of assuming that anything follows after anything else. There is no logic, no rhyme, no reason; therefore, no science in the universe. [00:24:52]

As a result, the scientist is schizophrenic...[edit]

As a result, the scientist is schizophrenic. In the laboratory, he assumes the God of scripture, otherwise he could have no science. When he talks about science, he talks as an atheist, so he denies his own work. For the science teacher who is a Christian, the ultimacy of God and His law must be basic. For the humanist, on the other hand, is the ultimacy of this world which is basic. Now, this has an enormous consequence for causality alone. For scripture, there are two kinds of being, as I said a moment earlier. The uncreated being of God, and the created being of the universe, and the two are totally separate. Uncreated being and created being can meet at only one point in the universe, in the person of Jesus Christ, and there, we have perfect union without confusion. We cannot mix God into man. We cannot hold, as some heretics did in the early period of the church, that Christ became man that man might become God. It is a unique incarnation, a unique union without confusion.

Now what does this have to do with the idea of causality? Those scientists who still hold to the older eighteenth century perspective of nature and natural law, when they speak of causality, must see nature as providing the first cause and therefore, every secondary case is simply a product and has no independent existence. Their perspective becomes not only pantheistic, but totally deterministic, because the first cause; nature, is identical with all subsequent causes. We are simply aspects of nature, and the sum total of all things is nature. So the first cause and all subsequent causes are identical. They are one and the same being. This is why naturalistic philosophies are invariably deterministic. They cannot permit the existence of free will. Man, as an individual, becomes a myth. He is nothing at all but one minor reflex{?} on a vast chain of causes. Therefore, any valid doctrine of man, and the reality of his existence as an individual being, as a person and a personality, disappears in terms of naturalistic thought. But, when we say that the ultimate cause of all things is in the sovereign God who is separate from creation, we maintain the separateness of the personality of God, and the separateness of the nature and personality of created beings, and then we can, at one and the same time, assert both, that God, by His sovereign counsel has determined all things that come to pass, the doctrine of predestination, and assert also the responsibility of the creature so that he is, at all times and all places and all things, accountable to the sovereign God. So that you see very clearly that only in terms of the doctrine of creation can we maintain the integrity of what our observation tells us, that we are actual persons, individuals, and not merely a blind link on a vast chain of causes. [00:30:05]

Moreover, in humanistic science, because it is this...[edit]

Moreover, in humanistic science, because it is this world and physical reality that is exalted, because you assert the ultimacy of the universe as the cause of everything, you not only get into determinism and the denial of secondary causes, but you have the death of responsibility. You have man merely as a product of the universe, totally conditioned, and therefore, it is to all practical intent, the death of man in any Christian sense. This is why some of the French thinkers in the death of God school recognized and witnessed against themselves when they said, “The logical conclusion of the death of God in theology is the death of man.” When we affirm the death of God, we affirm the death of man, we affirm the death of meaning, the death of reality, and so the whole of our world is reduced to meaninglessness.

The Christian and the non-Christian approaches, thus, are radically different. I dealt with the fact of definition earlier. For the humanist, definition is easy, but when he defines, he distorts, because he believes all things are definable in terms of this world. As he defines man, therefore, he is guilty of a serious reductionism. He reduces man to that which man is chemically or biologically, or psychologically, and he insists on defining man purely in terms of what his presupposition tells him is real, physical reality, but he insists things are definable. [00:32:59]

On the other hand, as Christians, we can say that things...[edit]

On the other hand, as Christians, we can say that things are defined by God, and definable by God, but they escape definition by man because there is always more to all things than man can see. Ultimately, the definition of all things, including the atom, must be in terms of the mind and the purpose of God.

Therefore, for us there is not this {?} easy bent to defining all things. We believe, rather, in classifying all things, recognizing an existing God-given order. There is today a radical de-emphasis in the sciences on classification, and yet modern science owes so much of what it is to classification, which is a product of the older Christian perspective. As a result, when we work in the area of science as teachers, let us always make clear, because textbooks are all too prone to define, and up to a point we need definitions, but we must stress that definition is not comprehension. It does not totally comprehend, because nothing in this world is comprehensible in terms of this world. We cannot define life, either chemically, physiologically, or in any sense, naturalistically. For us it is not possible. Genesis 2:7 tells us God created all things and He breathed life into man, so that the creation of the material and of the non-material is like the handiwork of God, and is not definable in terms of itself.

Moreover, we are told in Leviticus, for example 17:11, that life is in the blood, but not that life is of the blood, and that’s an important distinction so that we cannot reduce life to the blood. To understand life, we must look beyond life. To understand matter, we must look beyond matter. Definition thus, is no easy matter for us. Science, for us is not definition, but description, classification, and at all times, a theological task. The theological foundations of science means that we must have a realistic view of scientific goals. Because God is God, this means with us, in terms of Matthew 19:26, that with God, all things are possible. [00:37:14]

Now you will recall yesterday, I spoke about the fact...[edit]

Now you will recall yesterday, I spoke about the fact that there are certain inescapable categories of thought. Man cannot evade them. He may deny them in scripture, but he will reproduce them elsewhere. He may deny that God is sovereign. He will them transfer sovereignty to nature, or to man, or to some aspect of creation. He may deny that the word of God is infallible, but he will transfer infallibility to something else. In Marxism, it’s to the dictatorship of the proletariat. In democracy, it’s the voice of the people as the voice of God. Every system of thought has implicit a doctrine of infallibility. Now, with any system of thought, wherever you have ultimacy, there you also center total potentiality. Scripture tells us, “With God, all things are possible.” But if we deny God and we affirm nature, we than say with nature, all things are possible. If this physical universe is ultimate, if it is all there is, then it does follow logically that all potentiality is within the physical universe.

Humanistic science, therefore, operates on the premise of the ultimacy of nature and its infinite potentiality. As a result, scientists are ever-ready to experiment or to hypothesize in areas they know to be impossible from scientific experience. Scientists have demonstrated that spontaneous generation is not a fact, yet they posit it for evolution. Why? Given enough time, the infinite potentiality of the universe, they maintain, will produce spontaneous generation, so that all those things that are impossible in the laboratory become possible in terms of the infinite potentiality of nature. You have heard of the infinite potentiality of nature, the infinity of time, and they you say all limitations will be overcome.

Contemporary genetic research, DNA research and other such things, is based on this doctrine of infinite potentiality. In June of this year, there was an organ transplant in South Africa. A baboon’s heart was implanted in a human being. Now, this is a violation, of course, of the biblical doctrine of kine. There is a rejection factor that is operative, and yet, Dr. Bernard insisted afterwards in an interview in San Francisco, they would overcome this. His premise was the infinite potentiality of nature. Given enough time, all things, you see, he believe, are possible in nature. Therefore, there are those, and I’ve heard it said that, given enough time, they can produce a mule that will be fertile. [00:41:29]

If you believe this is nonsense, let me refer you to...[edit]

If you believe this is nonsense, let me refer you to the Saturday Review for July 9, 1977, the Scienceletter, on page 38, and the title is, “And Now Interkingdom Fusion: The Marriage of Plant and Animal.” Let me read a little bit. “From the Minotaur to the Sphinx, ancient art and mythology are replete with composite monsters. Perhaps the best known of them, because its name has long since been lower cased encompassed many other meanings is the Chimera. It possessed the basic body of a goat, but it began at one end with a dragon’s tail and terminated at the other in a lion’s head that spout forth mighty jets of fire. This was the formidable monster that Bellerophon finally did in, but only by virtue of swooping down astride Pegasus -- an other composite. The word Chimera now applies to any composite creature, be it ever so non-monstrous as a centaur say, or a mermaid. In the current era of organ transplantations, medicine has adopted the term to describe a human patient surgically supplied with some other person’s organs, perhaps, or tissues. Such Chimeras are still relatively rare, and each individual implantation is still a slow, painstaking procedure, but suddenly, over the past few years, cell biologists have learned how to turn out Chimeras (or mini-Chimeras at least) in wholesale quantities. Scientists cannot yet create a centaur or a mermaid; nor am I aware of any who are interested in so doing. Nevertheless, it would probably be well within their capabilities, if they chose, to produce a hybrid cell whose composite genes would be half man, half horse (though it might be hard to differentiate head from tail); or half woman, half fish. They might even duplicate the essential ingredients of the original Chimera—if dragon cells were not so hard to come by (the goat and the lion they could undoubtedly manage). Anyway, such composite creatures—at the cellular level only, mind you—are no longer purely mythical. They represent a real, even a commonplace, achievement. Man-mouse hybrid cells, for instance, are used routinely as laboratory tools in the growing field of study known as ‘somatic-cell genetics.’” [00:44:30]

Now, when you read through the article, the evidence...[edit]

Now, when you read through the article, the evidence for what they are doing becomes slimmer and slimmer and the statements vaguer and vaguer, but this type of article is not uncommon in our day. One geneticist has told me to take all these things with several grains of salt. As a Christian and a six-day Creationist, he has the technical capability to follow the research, and says they overrun their experiments by a country mile, usually. Nonetheless, they do these things believing that it is possible, because when you deny God, you are going to transfer potentiality from God to the universe, and you are going to say, instead of “All things are possible with God,” that all things are possible in the universe.

As a result, the lines created by God between the various forms of life, and between life and non-life are denied, because this violates the potentiality of nature, an article of faith.

Moreover, eternity is now attributed to nature, because eternity is also an attribute of ultimacy. God is eternal, therefore now, nature is eternal. Well, if nature is eternal, this then presents then with a problem with what is time, and so although the idea of time is extensively used in contemporary science, I won’t go into this, there is an ambivalence with regard to time and a distaste for it, and you find cross-time{?}, an object of tremendous hostility in the modern temper. In my Mythology of Science, page 76 following, I do touch on this if you’re interested in it a little further. [00:47:00]

Now, because of this belief in the potentiality of...[edit]

Now, because of this belief in the potentiality of nature, science and scientific experimentation today is guilty of extensive fraud. I cited, in one of the earlier lectures, the drawings of Ernest Heickel, one of the most noted biologists of the last century. He showed the apparent development of a human embryo through all the animal stages of evolution up to man. His drawings were shown to be fraudulent. The wish was fathered to the thought in the drawings, but they are still used in all textbooks on human embryology.

I’d like to refer you for an account of the extent of fraud in science today to an article in the June 1977 Science Digest. The June 1977 Science Digest. I think it is well worth your while to go to some effort to locate that issue, to have it Xeroxed and to make heavy use of it, because there are so many today who have a blind faith in science, and they need to recognize the facts as they are presented by this study. According to this report, the major part of the experiments reported today by scientists are fraudulent. Several samplings were made at random of experiments and their results as they were reported in scientific articles, and they found that the data and the conclusions did not jive. The very obvious conclusion was not only that most experiments today are fraudulent, but that scientists are not anxious to do anything about it. The extent of fraud is becoming such that it is becoming a d{?} science because you assume that you can do something on the basis of a reported result, and the result is not valid. Behind this is the faith of the potentiality of nature. The idea is, if it isn’t true now, it will soon be. Therefore, while I haven’t been able to get these results, in time we will get them. [00:50:20]

Now, to go on to another area in the practical aspect...[edit]

Now, to go on to another area in the practical aspect of teaching, one of our problems in the teaching of science today is that the dominance of the academic orientation of subjects is so great. Biology, chemistry, and physics for example are taught in isolation from one another as though a different world existed for each. And there is no real correlation made between the subjects. This is too much the abstracted, academic view of science which prevails in our humanistic universities. It shows the predominance of the academic perspective. This is why is it healthy to stress the practical consequences of science around us, industrial research and development and its work, and to give a wholeness so that as we go into the particular fields, we are always mindful of the wholeness of the goal of learning.

This is why, as I said earlier, I hope someday we will have textbooks that give us the history of science in terms of its development in relationship to the realities of the world and the role of industrial research and development. We would then see the place and the role of science more accurately. The oil companies, for example, have been very much in the limelight in recent years and have been kicked around rather savagely, but very few people are aware of how much we owe to the oil corporations for their research and development department, and very few people are aware of how much, for example, beginning in the war years and just before, one corporation Raytheon contributed, not only to saving this country in the war, but to so much of our technological development since. It would be impossible to write the history of science since 1930, and so much has taken place since then, without going to the research and development departments of the various sciences. [00:53:25]

Moreover, a great deal of medical technique has developed...[edit]

Moreover, a great deal of medical technique has developed as a result of practice. It’s a grim fact, but wars have been responsible for some of the major developments in medicine in modern history. World War 2 was the tremendous area of the development of medical science, because the doctors who were in the battle field in the military zones, treating the patients who were brought to them, always had crisis medicine. It was a situation where they had to innovate, try things that were subsequently channeled into everyday life, yet strangely enough, there isn’t a book out, even yet, on the developments of science in World War 2. What was done in orthopedics alone was tremendous, and this was true in one field after another. I hope some day some Christian scholars can do justice to that kind of development.

My point in bringing that up was for you to realize that your textbooks that you use in school give you tunnel vision, a tunnel vision that is restricted to the work of academicians. This should not surprise us. The humanistic curriculum tends to exalt subjects for their own sake and in terms of their academic orientation. Just as we have had art for art’s sake, we have had a great deal of science for science’s sake, but man must be viewed theologically, and science must be viewed theologically in terms of God’s purposes. Science is a tool for man in his calling to exercise dominion, to serve and to glorify his creator, and to develop his life in the service of God, and so our perspective on science must be always not academic, but theological and therefore, very practical. Are there any questions now? Yes?

[Audience] You mentioned {?} [00:57:23]

[Rushdoony] Yes, I am sure there is a connection between...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes, I am sure there is a connection between evolutionary thinking which downgrades man and the embryo, and abortion. Also, there is a connection between evolutionary thinking and the increasing demand for euthanasia because the proponents of abortion are now pressing to have euthanasia legalized. After all, man is nothing in the modern perspective. He is not a creature created in the image of God, and therefore, his life has less and less value, but the ugliness of the situation is that the unborn baby who has committed no crime must be killed, and the murderer cannot be given the capital punishment which is his due. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] A very good question. Has missionary medicine had the same impact? It has had a real impact because the mission doctor has encountered problems that are not encountered by, say a doctor in Pensacola or Los Angeles. As a result, he has had to be alert and innovative. A number of major foundations have, as a result of having contact with missionary doctors and seeing the problems on the field, instituted research stations in various areas such as Africa and other places, because they recognize that here is a place where a great deal can be learned, but the innovative ability of many missionary doctors is truly remarkable. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Could you repeat that?

[Audience] {?} [01:00:15]

[Rushdoony] The question is with regard to the fraudulent...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The question is with regard to the fraudulent experimentation as reported in Science Digest, is it equally prevalent in research and development within corporations? No. It prevails in the academic realm. Where you have your R & D departments, research and developments in corporation, it all has a practical purpose, it’s going to be put to work, and therefore, there is a day of judgment, you see, ahead. They cannot indulge in fraud there, very readily. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes. The question is with regard to human experimentation. There is no question, and there are a few books out now that give us, really, a frightening picture of the extent of experimentation on human beings. The type of thing that Delgado and Skinner advocate has actually been tried, electrode in human brains, and it is done with mental patients who are helpless and cannot defend themselves against that. I have seen a number of really horrifying reports on such experimentation. I believe that, as Christians, we must recognize that man, because he is created in the image of God, whether he is a criminal or a saint, cannot be treated with contempt. There are boundaries beyond which experimentation cannot go, and second, the experimentation that now takes place is mostly experimentation for experimentation’s sake. The kind of thing you cited earlier, experimentation in order to get funds and to look respectable, we are a research institution, leads to all kinds of pointless experimentation. We cannot tolerate, as Christians, pointless experimentation in any sphere. Third, if the experimentation has a valid and a practical goal, which will be preserving of life and of health, and will not be needlessly endangering the life of the patient and the patient consents to it, I think there is an area of validity. I think there are many people who are in very serious condition, let us say with cancer or with something else, who are ready, both for the possibility that it might lead to their own recovery and the possibility that it will contribute to someone else’s, to consent to such things. Only then should it be done, with consent and within proper bounds. I do believe that before experimentation is undertaken, there should be a committee of doctors with ministers to pass on the validity of it in certain, very difficult, and key areas. I don’t think it should be a judgment of one or two men. It should be a prayerful, considered decision. Yes? [01:05:42]

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes. A very good question. In case some of you didn’t’ hear it, autopsies at one time were very strongly condemned, and yet it has been more instrumental in medical advance, and a very important instrument. Well, there isn’t a question about the importance of autopsies in the development of medical science. Now, this hostility to autopsies have deep roots in the medieval period. It was a part of the medieval period and its outlook that has carried over into Protestantism. I won’t go into some of the very peculiar ideas that came along with it. Some of them are a delight to report because they’re so amusing, but it came over also with a great many prejudices and the like that were definitely not scriptural. Now, scripture requires respect for the human body. It is to be resurrected, although not the same body, but the body is as it were the seed for the resurrection body. So, only in Christianity do you have a respectful attitude towards the body. In other religions, the body of the dead is feared. It is uniformly disposed of as quickly as possible and with terror. I know among the Indians, the dead were not even put in graveyards. They were taken somewhere in an isolated area and buried, and always with rosebushes cut into long strips and placed over the body so the spirit wouldn’t follow them home. So, Christianity brought about a respect for the body, but at the same time, it made clear that the individual was not to be identified with the remains, and therefore, they were to rejoice in that their loved one was now in eternity. With the Medieval period, there came to be a number of beliefs that took very literally the resurrection of the exact body that was buried. So there were great pains taken with regard to that exact body. The care of it, the disposition of it, and so on. [01:09:47]

Similar beliefs were picked up in Islam, so that a...[edit]

Similar beliefs were picked up in Islam, so that a great many fears permeate Islam as to a man’s resurrection and what will happen if certain things happened to the body. As a result, these prejudices which rested on a too naturalist a concept of the resurrection of the body, that it was a very same atoms and so on, lead to a distrust of any tampering with it. This carried over, as I say, into the Reformation, although you did have some theologians who opposed it. You had, as a result, a rather mixed picture. Now, when this was overcome, and it was overcome in part with the cooperation of some very fine clergymen, and Christians who recognized that the older attitude had its defects, it did contributed markedly to medical advance, and it did make possible that the bodies of criminals, and others could be made available for medical research. So, it’s a problem that is not entirely over yet, because in many cultures, there are problems where medicine goes in to a new culture with any kind of handling of the dead body on the part of the doctors. So they’re encountering similar problems elsewhere but from a totally different approach, because it is believed to be contaminating and dangerous. I don’t know how much that helps to answer. I’ve just given a kind of a historical sketch of what was in the background of the idea. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] All I can say is I have no way of knowing how accurate that is. I know there are a number of people who, one doctor in Italy and some here, who claim to be experimenting in that area. We have to take a great deal with a grain of salt today. Their claims are commonly extravagant, but also there is no question they are trying with desperation to push ahead here. They do want to play God. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [01:13:29]

[Rushdoony] Two questions...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Two questions. First, should we donate to these various societies. Well, that’s very general question and it’s hard to answer. Now, one man in Washington dealt with the cancer research funds and point out that, in that case at least, it was one vast boondoggle. We need to examine each group that comes along. Some are good, some are bad, so it’s hard to generalize. One thing to do before anyone, whether it’s a Christian or non-Christian group, asks for funds, ask for something that gives a breakdown of how the money is spent. That’s always important. They don’t bother to come back and ask for funds in some cases then. With regard to the second part of the question, donating our organs, I think that’s a personal question. Scripture doesn’t give any guidelines on that, and I don’t think we can speak where scripture does not speak, either pro or con, and to say thou shalt or thou shalt not. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] The ramifications of socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is only the prelude to socialized religion, because medicine is historically in the Christian faith, closely related to the ministry. It is seen as a ministry. This is why, to this day, what you say to a doctor or to a pastor is privileged communication. No officer of law can compel the doctor or the pastor to testify as to what you said to him, although there are attacks of both types of privileged communication in various states now. The reason for that is this, in terms of scripture, the word “salvation” means the fullness of health, and victory, deliverance. Ultimately, it means our resurrection, our physical resurrection, our life in the new creation. So, it is the salvation of our body and of our soul and their totality. Hence, in scripture healing was closely associated with the ministry, not the same calling but a coordinate calling. It was an aspect of the levitical work, and there is certain of the Levites whose ministry was a ministry of healing. When you go to your pastor for counsel, you are talking to him for the health of your soul. Therefore, you are talking to him as God’s servant. When you go to the doctor, you are talking to him for the health of your body, which is created by God, and therefore, you are talking to him as God’s servant. This is why increasingly I believe it will be wrong to go to an non-Christian doctor, especially as the lines are drawn clear, and abortion is making that clear, that there are two kinds of medical practice. [01:17:56]

Now, what the state is saying in its attempt to socialize...[edit]

Now, what the state is saying in its attempt to socialize medicine, is that there is only one mediator between whatever is ultimate, or that we are the ultimate power, and no one can be in independence of us and least of all, can there be any privileged communication. Any realm which sets itself up as having an immunity, of being free from our government and our control, Big Brother must hear everything and see everything. So, the invasion of medicine is not occasion to buy the fact that there are such serious problems within medicine and there are so many of you that are not being properly treated. As a matter of fact, doctors within their own charitable practice, were doing far more than socialized medicine is doing in Europe. The purpose is an anti-Christian one.

Well, we’ll continue in ten minutes. [01:19:21]

End of tape.