Michael Newton, Copernicus, Europe discussed on Coast to Coast AM
And welcome back with Michael Newton keys. We will take calls with Michael next hour. His book is called unbelievable seven myths about the history and future of science and religion. And Michael, let's go through those seven eighths if we can one by one, and I shall let you begin. Okay. So the first mess we covered already which was that a big university is a problem for Christianity. It's not the second myth is. There were these dark ages during the medieval period when Christianity held that cultural progress. It didn't Christians invented the university, which has been the primary home for teaching and doing research and science the third myth, which we haven't talked about yet. It's kind of a subset of the second one. It's it's it's the idea that people in the middle ages in Europe, South Europe was flat. And it was because of Christianity that they thought this because you know, the bible teaches that supposedly the bible does it actually doesn't take take any of you on the shape of the earth. It only describes the world as it as it appears to the senses. But there and Furthermore after teaching astronomy for a quarter century, I found that when students I come into my class. They have fewer rational grounds for believing in around earth in most medieval students, most students today believe it because they see in a pitcher well that could be Photoshop now. I'm not into conspiracy theories. But but students should know that, you know, like, for example, medieval students knew that. If you look up at the moon during a lunar eclipse, you see the shadow of the earth's going across it and the shadow is curved. It's girl I could rattle off about a half dozen of these arguments, and modern students usually can't. So those are the first three months in when you look at the moon. It's route you look at the sun, it's round you look at everything out there. They're all. Around. I mean one would have to deduce that earth was round. Yeah. That's an argument from analogy, and it has some power. But yeah, Nevil students could give you evidence, you know, observations that that are best interpreted as around earth. So that's the third Ness the fourth method was about Bruno, which we covered the fifth messes about Galileo, which we've covered the six mess. We haven't talked about has really important the six mess. I call the Copernican demotion mess now that's the idea that when Copernicus came up with this theory with some pretty good arguments that earth moves around the sun, and it's not in Europe is not in the center of the universe. But the sun is well that was supposedly an action that demoted humans from the privilege center and therefore discredited religious views of human importance where you know, we're in the centre of God's plan. Well, it turns out that. Even though a lot of new atheist. Christopher Hitchens when he was with us and others have tried this out as you know, Christianity's greatest failure. When you look at the real history turns out that that at the time. It's. Macos? Going because of the views of Aristotle and Plato and throughout the middle ages people at the time of Copernicus still thought of the center of the universe as the bottom of the universe. Not the place of honor. But the place of dishonor, and so when earth was re positioned as a planet as moving around the sun that was framed as a promotion by folks like Galileo and Yohannes kept their these dreamers that came just after Copernicus who were arguing for Copernicus view. So so this this idea that well Copernicus demoted humanity and undermine religion is just doesn't fit the history. For example, Copernicus himself said the cosmos was created for our sake now that even overstates with what Christianity specialized, but but it's clearly he wasn't demoting humanity. Of course, the seventh. Yo seven Smith. Okay. Right. We have short on time here. Let's. You know, the the the six Sixsmith kinda is a set for the seventh one. Because if if you believe the sickness it. Well, humans were demoted, we're not important, and oh all that other religious stuff that we talked about earlier if it looks anti-zionist, then that leaves a significant gap and people want dearly to fill it with something. And so in recent years, many leading astronomers and philosophers have been feeling that significance. Void which is only a perceived void left by these myths that really aren't true after all. But if you think they're true, then you're searching for some substitute for our significance. And that deleting one right now is what I call the extraterrestrial enlightenment. Myth now. This is not well aliens exist. No, that's a mess. No. This is about what what would the significance? Be. If they're worth to be contact. If aliens worded arrive in the money and. Here's what the myth says. And here I use the mess in the sense of a worldview shaping story in this case, a futuristic mess, and it goes like this any ET any alien that arrives on the planet earth would have to have technology. Indistinguishable from magic and also due to billions of years of evolution prior to us would have highly evolved, moral spiritual insights, that would trigger religious reorientation on our planet. And a lot of this myth is this expectation is built on what we think a what some people think that artificial intelligence can do that we can bring about conscious computers that will be doing things. Indistinguishable from magic. But leading a experts like Rodney Brooks who's at MIT says. In fact, I quote him here. He says that and if it becomes if this. I, you know, projected in the future becomes indistinguishable from magic anything one says about it is no longer falsifiable that is no longer testable in a rigorous way and leads to kind of a blind faith, as you imaginatively think about the future, which is great for SCI fi. But not so great when you're thinking about you know, what what should we expect? And here's here's the real kicker. Richard Dawkins has said and I quote him. There are very probably alien civilizations. That are superhuman to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine. This is Richard Dawkins you talking leading atheist, right? And he's an and what's ironic about that is some of the stories sound scientific? But if you want I can explain why it isn't it? Yeah. Please. Okay. Got some. Here's my critique of this story. Okay. And I and I follow. A part, partly the work of Rodney Brooks MIT. One of the founding fathers of AI again, he says that it's when once you extrapolate imaginatively into the future, and you start talking about technology. That's like magic. There's really no way to test that I mean that he thinks that hey, I can do a lot of great things, but it's never going to become conscious and super powerful and to the point of being magical or or or Quinta magic. But let's just imagine for for a moment that there is that there is an event on earth that seems like okay, some conscious super intelligent creature has just arrived on the planet and has magical powers. Well, what's what's weird about? This. Is that atheist like dockings would have no way of helping undecided. People to distinguish between the natural and the supernatural interpretation of the creature because according to dock ins and many other atheists the an alien natural explanation. That is an alien. It would look I. Identifiable to a supernatural creature like some whatever whether a good ra-, bad spiritual creature arriving on the planet, claiming that they're going to save us, and you know, from holocaust and bring peace and revise, religion, etc. And so I don't think that this view is very scientific because it it's more based on inspiration from science fiction than science 'cause you know, as I mentioned I follow the Harvard. Astronomer named Howard Smith. Quote them in my book. And he he shows that look technology can be come sophisticated, but technology never can overcome the laws of nature, and the speed of light is one of those for the absolute fastest, you can communicate or travel and even travel as you approach the speed of light lot of weird things happen and make it kind of impractical. So this ET salvation story sound scientific, but isn't because technology can't overcome natural laws, and there's and the whole story makes the ability to distinguish between the natural and the supernatural virtually impossible that sounds like a safe physician of dachshund's, not a scientific one. So that's why I'm very skeptical of this ET enlightenment meth, and Michael why do so many people think that ET's at a higher level are more moralistic than what we should be. How do we know? They don't get worse. Not better. Exactly. In fact, you know, when Darwin published his book in eighteen seventy one about the of of humanity and morality, this is long after his original book on the origin of species. You know, he he wanted to believe that that be nice to each other. What we call altruism is is the highest evolve trade, but look if if there is no God. And if things if morality evolves randomly with along the lines of natural laws, then you know, there is no really good and evil. It's just stuff happens, and and creatures from outer space that have been around for a billion years, they might be real bad asses. You know, not want to help us might want to destroy us. Exactly. Obviously, this is all played out in science fiction, and there's no way to from an atheist perspective to know, what kind of you know, if these creatures would really be morally superior and spiritually superior to us. They probably know that you know, the longer a civilization lasts the more resources. They're going to use up, and they, you know, one of the things they probably say as you know, they don't get better. They get worse. We're going to take what we need now. Okay. Yeah. But again, a lot of this is the national of thinking about the future. And but again, I I am a skeptic of the ET enlightenment. Math. Because again, the the point here is not whether ET exists or not is whether is whether ET is our savior or not that's the method. I'm going after. This is pretty remarkable in that it's realistic. And it's very probable, isn't it? Well, I think that the as I mentioned earlier, the likelihood of of aliens existing is is pretty low and the likelihood of aliens living with within contact dozens of us. I think it's extremely low. So that makes so if there is an quote an appearance event or something that looks like an alien appearance. You know, I think people ought to be open to both naturalistic and supernatural interpretations of that event. Is it is it an alien or is it not is it some kind of creature. After an open minded person should be open to both of those polisher. Absolutely. There's no question we've talked about dimensional other universes who knows. They're all possible. When Dunkin's, of course, says he's a, you know, atheist, right? So he obviously doesn't believe in spiritual beings. But what's what's ironic is latter day atheism is becoming harder and harder. Does this thing wish from the cold and a lot of these UFO stories sound, very demonic? And so if you have no way of really helping people who are like undecided about whether this is spiritual or whether this is natural. Do you have to have much of a scientific background in order to grasp this no and my book after teaching non science majors science for a quarter century? My book is very accessible to the ordinary guy. And I get into the cool stuff like the history of science fiction. How science fiction affects how we even evaluate theories like this UT enlightenment story. Stay with us, Michael we're gonna take a quick break. But we'll be back and take phone calls with you as we talk about Michael Newton's book. Michael Newton keys book. Unbelievable, seven myths about the history and future of science and religion. Michael Newton keys website. Unbelievable. Myths dot com linked up for you at coast to coast, AM.