How much do you weight?

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Scientists measure the weight of our galaxy using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite.

It seems that the Milky Way weighs in at about 1.5 trillion solar masses, according to the latest measurements. Only a few percent of this is contributed by the approximately 200 billion stars in the Milky Way. Most of the rest of the mass is locked up in dark matter.

Although we cannot see it, dark matter is the dominant form of matter in the universe, and it can be weighed through its influence on visible objects like the globular clusters. “We know from cosmological simulations what the distribution of mass in the galaxies should look like, so we can calculate how accurate this extrapolation is for the Milky Way,” said Laura Watkins of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, lead author of the combined Hubble and Gaia study. These calculations based on the precise measurements of globular cluster motion from Gaia and Hubble enabled the researchers to pin down the mass of the entire Milky Way. (1)

Measuring something (mass) which we do not know what it is exactly (energy? creation of our observations? strings in multiple dimensions?) or how it is formed (Higgs?) through the use of observations interpreted via assumptions based on simulations based on other assumptions, only in order to discover that most of our galaxy is made up of something which we do not know anything about (dark matter) but which we use in our models that we then use to predict its mass…

Impressive isn’t it?

Building castles of sand on foundations of sand…

At the end we will end of explaining everything.

And a soft wave will hit the shore and will take everything away…

We will cry when this happens.

But our children will laugh…

And they’ll just start playing again!

Don’t be so serious.

Look closely.

And you will see your own small footprints on the beach too…

Can you start laughing?

Religion as the single foundation of Science


International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on the Dialogue between Sciences & Arts, Religion & Education

Religion as the single foundation of Science

Author: Ph.D. Spyridon I. Kakos

Abstract: For centuries, science was considered as something radically different from religion. Yet, the foundations of true science are deeply religious in nature. This paper seeks to show how religion is the only foundation needed for the formulation of scientific theories, since it provides the core principles on which the building of exact sciences is based upon. Our need to understand the cosmos and our faith in us being able to do so, are the main prerequisites for conducting science; prerequisites that are derived from our belief in us being the sons of God and, thus, being able to read His mind. From its birth on 7 March 1277 up to today, science seems to be the only logical attitude of religious people towards the unknown cosmos.

Keywords: science; science philosophy; foundations of science; religion; axioms; scientific principles

Published at: Academia (here), PhilPapers (here)

> Related YouTube video can be found here


People see science as something different and many times at war with religion. Thus, many would be surprised to know that the foundations of science lie in religion per se. If someone wants to do science then he must first believe in some of the basic principles of religion. This is not a figure of speech, a metaphor or a symbolical aphorism, but a very practical truth. Only religion can offer the justification to do science. The religiousness of so many great scientists is not a random phenomenon that can be attributed to the norm of society back at the time, but a logical consequence of what religion teaches for humans and their relation to God and the cosmos. Once one understands the needs of the scientific method, it is evident that the very first steps of the scientific inquiry could never be taken inside a sterile atheistic (or even agnostic) environment, but only inside the womb of deep religious belief in God.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the core foundations of science and its relationships with the relevant foundations of religion. The goal is to show that religion is not only compatible with science, but it is actually a fundamental prerequisite for science. Without religion, man would not be able to even start his exploration of the cosmos in a systematic way as per the scientific method. Science is not just another way of exploring the cosmos, but a logical consequence of religion when it comes to analyzing and understanding the universe.


The problem under analysis was examined with the help of two tools: Philosophy and History of science. The latter was the tool that provided evidence for the way science has been evolving throughout centuries of human endeavour. This provided helpful insights of how scientific theories are formulated and how scientists think in order to create new scientific models for explaining the cosmos. The former was used to show why the philosophy of religion is the basic principle on which scientific research is based upon. By using specific logical arguments, it was shown that the basic principles of science are the basic beliefs of Christianity regarding the relationship between humans and God.


The findings of the research clearly show that the principles used by exact science today are based on two basic Christian principles. The belief in the existence of God and the belief that we are part of Him (or that we can be part of Him). An analysis of how scientific theories are formed makes it obvious that these beliefs are the basic pre-requisites for conducting science and precede all other axiomatic assumptions needed for the formulation of any scientific theory.

4.1 How science builds scientific theories

Science builds theories to formulate models, which in turn explain (and predict) how the cosmos works. What we call “scientific method” uses various tools to build and verify or falsify hypotheses (e.g. statistical analysis) so as to create those models that explain the cosmos (Hanne Andersen, Brian Hepburn, 2015). These models do not exist in the void but are always part of general theories, which offer an overall understanding of how the cosmos operates. Scientists build these theories based on axioms or principles via the application of specific methods (e.g. logical induction). These principles are essentially the starting points on which the theory is based upon; there can be no theory without such principles, for even the simplest of theories must start from somewhere.

A note regarding nomenclature is of importance here. The term ‘axiom’ is mainly used in mathematics and geometry. The axioms of geometry are a good example (H. G. Forder, 1929). The infamous fifth axiom of Euclid is being taught around the world as the leading example of how axioms are used to build theories. Based on that and four more axioms, Euclid built his geometry, which dominated the world of mathematics for almost two thousand years up until very recently. When the time came to choose another axiom, different types of geometries emerged. All other sectors of science also have their own foundations, which are usually not called ‘axioms’ but ‘principles’. The principle of the conservation of energy is a good such example. This principle is usually referred to as a ‘law’, which can be confusing. What is significant here is to know that in both physics and geometry, theories are based on specific foundation building blocks.

These building blocks are not proven propositions (in the absolute philosophical meaning of the term), but propositions which are accepted as correct based on intuition and strong indications. An axiom or an accepted principle is by definition something not proved. This does not mean however that there are not arguments in favor of accepting them. As it is logical to infer that you can only draw one parallel line from another line, it is also logical to say that energy is conserved in a system – even though we have not examined all the physical systems in the universe. This conclusion is based on evidence currently available, but these evidence are in any case circumstantial when compared to the vastness of space and all the possible systems that can exist in the cosmos. At the end, the conservation of energy is accepted on terms of faith that all the other systems we have not yet examined will continue to work like the systems we have. For the time being, the belief in that principle (or ‘law’) is an axiom that we have to adhere to, if we want to move to the next step of building the theory, while keeping in mind that in the next day some new evidence or logical arguments could prove that principle wrong.

Taking the above for grated, a serious implication becomes evident: It is easy to change theories. In case we change axioms/ principles, then the theories change as well. Examining some indicative – but highly representative – examples of theories will make that point more clear.

4.1.1 From gravitational field to curved spacetime

The planetary movements had for a long time been the subject of discussion among philosophers and scientists alike. Gravitation is one of the most significant phenomena that attracted the attention of humankind for ages. The two most influential theories for gravitation currently are, namely, Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravitation and Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which includes an alternative explanation of the gravitation phenomena (Tomas Kala, 2019). These theories offer the context to explain and understand why things appear to attract things and why planets move the way they do in the vast space. Both theories are essentially consisting of a set of assumptions that formulate the foundations of a self-consistent explanation for the celestial phenomena we observe.

What is self-evident here is that no matter how we change the explanation, the observed phenomena[1] stay the same. No matter what the theory is, apples keep on falling down on the ground. What changes is the explanation of the why (or how) this happens.

Newtonian mechanics explain the planetary movements on the basis of the existence of a gravitational field, which exerts power over all bodies placed inside it. To formulate that theory, one has to begin with properly defining the notions used, e.g. with the definition of the mass (Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, 2015), of time and of space. Then we need to accept that this field would exert a force instantly to every body of mass placed inside that field. The existence of that instant force was a point that finally led to the replacement of the gravitational field with the idea of curved spacetime. The Theory of Relativity stated that there was no way a signal or a force could be transferred ‘instantly’, given that the speed of light posed a limit to that interaction (Pierre Fleury, 2018). Therefore, curved spacetime came into play. This curved spacetime in the eyes of Einstein was what caused planets to move. As already mentioned, the phenomena stayed the same. Yet, the theory explaining them was utterly different from the previous one: In the new theory of relativity there is no field whatsoever, no instantaneous force, no absolute space and time. Just curved spacetime within the context of relativity.

In other words, the explanation (theory) is not only dictated by the evidence on which it is based upon; we already saw how the same evidence could provide support to different (and even conflicting) explanations. This is not limited to one area but it is an inherent part of the nature of science per se. In future it might well be that the Theory of Relativity will be replaced by another theory (and indeed, since this is the way science works, we can safely predict that this will happen) that will have an entirely different notion as the basis of gravity. In all cases, what all those contradicting theories have in common is that they explain the same phenomena. And the latter gives to outside observers the illusion that the theories are similar – if not in their calculations[2] at least in their essence, something that is fundamentally wrong as portrayed above.

4.1.2 Quantum mechanics and possible interpretations

Staying in the realm of physics, we can find numerous other examples of how contradicting theories can be built based on the same observations but on different assumptions. Modern particle physics is a good example. The Standard Model shows how basic assumptions are turned into the main founding blocks for theories and how these theories can change in an instant if these assumptions are assumed wrong.

The currently accepted Standard Model of the cosmos is based on the idea of point particles. A point particle is a geometric concept with discrete feature, and its typical representatives are point mass and point charge. Quantum theory – yet another pillar of modern physics – builds on that concept further on and uses the idea of wave particles as its core assumption. Wave particles are figment with both wave and particle features (Z. C. Liang, 2019) and within quantum theory they behave in many unintuitive ways.

To deal with the weird implications of observed quantum phenomena, scientists came up with many interpretations of quantum mechanics (Peter J. Lewis, 2020) (Graham P. Collins, 2007), but not one of them has gained the level of confidence that humanity once had placed on the axioms of Euclid. It is noteworthy to mention that these interpretations are incompatible with one another or even contradicting one another (Graham P. Collins, 2007). From the classical Copenhagen interpretation to the Many-Worlds interpretation, there are multiple ways to explain the observed quantum phenomena. Besides the abovementioned different interpretations of quantum physics, it is also important to know that there are other theories that propose a completely new way of looking into things altogether. So for example in the case of particles, there is a theory which claims that particles are in fact not at all what the Standard Model says they are, but instead one-dimensional objects called ‘strings’ (“String theory”, 2020).

As in the case of gravity, we see the same pattern emerging: One set of universally observed phenomena, but multiple different theories attempting to explain them. A disturbing truth is coming into light as one examines more and more such examples. A truth that destroys the ideal picture we have in mind regarding the relationship between science and reality, by showing how assumptions dictate the theories regardless of the facts and evidence[3] at hand. The facts anyway have to be respected, since they are the starting point of everything. But the theories change when the assumptions change. Based on the same facts and evidence there can be more than one theories that fit the data. Theories that are built upon different assumptions, which are then in turn questioned by other (newer) theories. The multiplicity of theories and interpretations mentioned in this chapter is not a temporary flaw in our understanding of the cosmos that we will someday resolve, but an inherent limitation of the way science works. As long as you have to start your analysis from assumptions, your theories will always be subject to debate by someone else who uses different assumptions than you.

As I will show below however, there are some assumptions that are more fundamental than others. These are the assumptions which form the basis of science itself and the realm from which they emerge is anything but scientific.

4.2 Principles of science’s principles

Having established that there are many principles (axioms) that are used to build scientific theories, the next step is to try to explore whether there are any assumptions that transcend all scientific theories, in the sense that they are more global and universal than others. What is of interest here are the basic principles that make the other principles (and thus science) even possible. If one could envisage a hierarchy of principles, then the principles presented in this section are the ‘principles of principles’ of modern science. Without those, there would be no way to even formulate other principles or axioms, in order to start building new theories. Knowing these assumptions is of high importance, since they are connected to the very essence of science per se. Exploring them will lead to a greater and deeper understanding of science.

4.2.1 The comprehensibility of the cosmos

When people speak about science, they usually omit the most obvious of principles on which science is based upon: The (seemingly unfounded) belief that the cosmos is comprehensible. People use to quote Einstein on saying that the most incomprehensible thing about our cosmos is its comprehensibility (James B. Hartle, 2016). However the actual expression used by Einstein was much more ‘religious’ in nature. Einstein actually wrote in a U.S. science journal in 1936 that “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility… The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle”. (Andrew Robinson, 2016) This comprehensibility or – to be exact – our faith in it, lies in the foundations of science in all its aspects, common to both the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment (Steve Fuller, 2008, p. 5). The assumption that the world is (rationally) intelligible transcends all scientific enterprise (Alan Thomas, 2018) and without that assumption (call it an ‘axiom’ or a ‘principle’ and the essence will not change) there is no point in even starting to analyse the cosmos with scientific tools. If one could state which is the most fundamental assumption used by all science sectors and all scientists regardless of their field of expertise, this would be it.

It is so fundamental that one does not even think of it. But it is there. Buried under every scientific endeavour. Almost tautological in nature[4], it transcends all efforts of the human intellect to make sense of the cosmos and to comprehend its workings. And this is logical in every sense. One does not start walking unless he believes he will reach his destination. One does not start analysing gravity or the physics of particles unless he firmly believes that his efforts will result in something. Such a fundamental principle does not require more analysis or elaboration for it is self-explanatory. Yet, it is still not sufficient to explain science. For the scientist to get out of bed and start experimenting, something more is needed.

4.2.2 Our ability to comprehend the cosmos

The acceptance (by faith) of the comprehensibility of the cosmos may provide a potential goal, but this is not sufficient by itself to make someone start building science. For even if something is possible, this does not mean that it will happen as well. One also needs to believe that he is capable of reaching that something as well. It is not enough that the cosmos is comprehensible. In order to embark on a journey to understand it and explain it, we need to believe that we are able to attain the comprehension the cosmos offers. In other words, if we are to start building theories to explain the universe, we need to believe that we are capable of building those theories – they will not be built by themselves.

Again, this assumption is so self-evident and tautological in nature that it sounds almost paradoxical to speak about it. But if we are to break down the required assumptions for doing science, this belief into our ability to make science is necessary. The possibility of science happening is not enough. We must have – or at least believe that we have – the capability of developing that science. This faith is instilled in everything science tries to achieve today; evident in the efforts of scientists to understand the universe, present in the efforts of researchers to understand the human brain, obvious in our efforts to explain the very existence of the cosmos. We are making science because we believe we can make science.

This second assumptions completes the list of fundamental assumptions needed to start conducting science. After taking these two assumptions for granted, the road is open for analysing specific phenomena, formulating scientific models to explain them and trying to reach a theoretical understanding of their nature. This paper will focus on those two basic assumptions – although it is needless to say that the epistemology of all other principles used by science in its various fields is a topic of immense importance.

The next element to examine is how we came to believe into the above assumptions. What drove us into accepting them and, thus, allowing us to start being scientists in the first place? The results of this analysis will show that the cause of our belief into these assumptions is unscientific and at the same time hugely religious in nature, at least as per the modern way of defining science.

4.3 Reading the mind of God

The quest to find out how humans started believing (or accepting) the two principles described above as the pillars of science, leads to religion. Because it is religion that offers us faith in the importance of man. Without believing in our importance, it would be laughable to even consider the possibility that we have the ability to create theories, let alone comprehend the cosmos. The belief that we can comprehend the universe is based on two major Christian assertions: The belief that we are made in the image of God (Matt Stefon, Geoffrey Wainwright, Carter H. Lindberg, William Richey Hogg, Henry Chadwick, …, Linwood Fredericksen, 2020) and essentially part of Him (Mark Shuttleworth, 2020) (Lossky, Vladimir, 2002) (Athanasius of Alexandria, 2011) [5] and the belief that, consequently, we can comprehend how His mind works.

This was the main idea behind every scientist’s mind up until very recently in human history. As Newton said, “This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all: And on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God παντοκράτωρ or Universal Ruler” (Newton, 1729).

It is not just that if we exclude God from the definition of science then, in one swoop, we exclude the greatest natural philosophers of the so-called scientific revolution – Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, and Newton to name just a few (Helen De Cruz, 2017). Faith in God was important not only due to social or personal reasons. It was of paramount importance for the actual scientific work of these men as well. So deeply rooted is that belief that even so-called agnostic or atheistic scientists cannot escape referring to the same faith when making science. For example, one of the most famous pages of the well-known book “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking is that in which the writer speaks of an imminent ‘theory of everything’ and claims that such a theory would allow us to know “the mind of God” (Stephen W. Hawking, 1988). For Hawking, an agnostic, the phrase is supposedly little more than a metaphor (at least for his atheist readers), but yet again it is also true that γλώσσα λανθάνουσα τα αληθή λέγει[6]. And surely no one else can interpret what he meant but himself, who for a long time disliked the label “atheist” (Karl Giberson, Mariano Artigas, 2007)[7], even though at the end he started to identify as such.

Hawking aside, one can trace the importance of believing that we can read the mind of God in the thought of all prominent scientists especially in the early era of modern scientific endeavour. To the eighteenth-century mind, the whole world seemed to be evidence of God’s special provisions. God had provided the Earth with an atmosphere with the intention of allowing men and animals to breathe. He had created humans with complicated organs whose purposes were evident, but whose workings were obscure. Kant quite understandably wanted to save God the trouble of making special provisions for each plant and animal, and argued for the possibility of an overriding system of physical law that could result in the world of living organisms that we know, without the need of innumerable particular divine interventions (Roger Caldwell, 1995).

The overall point is that, despite the details, in all cases of scientific thought the idea of a God penetrates everything – either consciously or unconsciously, but always essentially. Overall, humans believe that they can understand the cosmos only because they believe in the idea of them being created as creatures in imago dei. Thus, nature is intelligible for them (Steve Fuller, 2008, p. 5). The cosmos is not considered as something foreign but as a place on which we can exert our mind to make sense of. And even though we were temporarily cast out of heaven, we are still His sons. And as the sons of God, we can understand Him, so that we can eventually reach Him again.

Going back into the first years of modern science is important can help us understand and appreciate the nature of the issues we are dealing with here. The birth of science in the womb of religion was a very important milestone in human intellectual history that we often and easily (perhaps also knowingly) tend to ignore.

4.3.1 The birth of a new child

If we are to understand the true nature of science, we must go far beyond Newton and Leibnitz (who also had God as a cornerstone of his science, refer to Brandon C. Look, 2013), to the beginning of science as we know it today. From ancient Greece up to the time before Thomas Aquinas, science and religion were not separated. At some point though, something happened which separated the two realms of knowledge and gave birth to what we know today as modern science. Understanding how this happened is important to gain an understanding of the character of this new child of human intellect.

There is a lot of discussion on how modern science was born. For many, the birth date is 7 March 1277, when Bishop Tempier condemned a great number of “errors” from teachers. The condemnation sought to stop the Master of Arts teachers from interpreting the works of Aristotle in ways that were contrary to the beliefs of the Church (Condemnations of 1277, 2020). Among the theses condemned were sixteen of Aquina’s theses (J.J. Chambliss, 2013). There is much debate on the significance of this event (Hans Thijssen, 2018). For many, this denoted the separation of theology from natural sciences, where the latter where deemed incompatible with the wisdom of the scriptures. Others claim that this event freed up Christianity from the dogmatic Aristotelian view of the cosmos. Other believe that Thomism allowed the two schools or realism and idealism to agree to disagree to the extent that in the graduate curriculum of the university, natural philosophy could be taught apart from theology. This separation of secular or natural philosophy from theology opened the way for the development of the empirical sciences. The disparities between these two separate ways of knowing were resolved, not by compartmentalizing them into separate domains, but by proving the domains to be philosophically complementary, creating a holistic framework in which we could reconcile apparent conflicts between theology (religion) and natural philosophy (science) (Kondrick LC, 2008). Others believe that Tempier’s condemnation was a symptom of the existence of rationalist currents at the University of Paris, in the sense of the emergence of philosophy as an autonomous discipline vis-à-vis divine revelation, has been further developed by scholars such as Alain de Libera, Kurt Flasch, and Luca Bianchi (Hans Thijssen, 2018).

The details of what really happened are mute. What is certain is that science was born; science that we use today as a separate domain of thought, different than that of religion. Before a point in time, religion and science were not separated, but from that point onwards science as we know it today started following its own separate path. Going forward some centuries, the next important milestone in the life of modern science is the time when it reached adulthood. And even if the exact date of birth of science is a matter of debate, most would agree that the date when science reached adulthood can be placed with the era of the Galileo trial and its implications on how science stood up against its own parent. Again, the details are insignificant in the face of the actual facts[8]. What is important is that from a point onwards the child became a parent, after killing its own father. And from Galileo’s time onwards, science dictated terms in its relationship with religion.

This philosophical separation resulted in the scientists forgetting what was the real reason they do science. They still kept looking for answers, but without religion they had forgotten why they even do it. And in order to compensate for this lost knowledge, they needed to add the foundations to their structure as assumptions. The child was orphan now. And to explain its existence, it needed to invent its parents. The only problem is that when you decide the destination on your own, it is easy to change destination at your own free will. When there is no compass, the final destination is never certain.

4.3.2 Killing our Father (From Understanding to just Knowing)

As a spoiled child, modern science tries hard to get free of the “bondage” of its true father. In its effort to do so, it has created a fantasy of a cosmos that is intelligible (if it was not, there would be no science) but with no reason at all. In its effort to do so, it has created a cosmos where humans are able to understand the cosmos (if they could not, there would be no reason to strive for science), but again for no apparent explanation for that wonder.

The phrase of Einstein about a “miracle” starts now to reveal its true meaning. With religion around, trying to find answers for how the cosmos works did not require any special explanation. It was simply part of the knowledge we were destined to acquire as children of God and as parts of the cosmos itself. But in an era without religion, in an era were God is dead (only because we killed Him as Nietzsche said), the mere action of doing science is absurd. Why search for answers in a cosmos ruled by randomness? Why do science if there is no reason to believe that you can understand the cosmos? In an era without religion, we desperately need the assumptions described in the sections above, while in the years when science was not separated from religion, there was no need for such assumptions since they were embedded in the way humans thought in the first place. Not as assumptions or principles but as facts of life; facts based on the faith on something bigger than life itself as Rilke used to say. And as weird as it may sound, today, in an era when we do not believe in miracles, we do science only because of them.

The ripples of the religion and science separation do not stop at why we do science. The removal of God’s Logos from scientific effort made also science void of any true meaning. That is the reason why science gradually turned from philosophy to a simple data gathering exercise. As Levy Bruhl correctly pointed out, science turned from understanding to just knowing (Wilbur M. Urban, 1924). And the story of science turned from a tragedy into a farce. Because knowing is nothing more than an illusion; with different assumptions we can easily ‘know’ completely different things than the ones we currently do. In a science based on nothing more than miracles, there is nothing to stop us from believing in some other kind of miracles and, thus, changing course to another direction altogether. In the post-modern era when people constantly doubt about everything, there is nothing to stop science from doubting its own existence. Funnily enough, this was not even possible when religion was the dominant way of thinking in Europe.

千里之行,始於足下 (A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step)

~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

4.4 Why do we do science?

We have almost reached the end of the road. Having established why the cosmos is intelligible and why we can grasp that intelligibility, we are yet one small step away from fully explaining the existence of science. Because even after taking all of the above for granted, the question still remains. Why do we do science anyway? Even if the world is intelligible and even if we can understand it, why do we choose to do so? A question so simple and yet – as every simple question – hard to answer. Knowing why this happens provides an additional insight on the relation between religion and science, at an even more essential level than the one mentioned already.

We can only reach that level if we see beyond the details of epistemology, details that do nothing but obscure the real question we should try to answer. Behind the surface of trying to comprehend a cosmos and of believing that we can achieve that comprehension, there lies something more fundamental: A basic need for knowledge per se. Science is accepted and used on the very practical basis of fulfilling that basic need to understand and know. Our belief that the cosmos can be understood and our belief that we can achieve that knowledge, only come as a consequence of our most basic initial need for knowledge as such. A need that existed long before we had the tools to attain it

In other words, if our belief that we can answer our questions for the cosmos is the basis of us using science, us having those questions is the reason we begun the journey of science in the first place. Our fundamental need to know, is translated in religion as our need to reach theosis. This was a need that existed for Christians aeons before science came into the scene as an independent realm of human intellect and translated this need for theosis in the need to acquire knowledge. This more fundamental element missing to answer why we do science has been lying in the foundations of religion for millennia now: It is our need to reach God.

And the only reason humans dare to start this journey is because they believe they occupy a privileged position in the cosmos, something evident in the creation accounts of religion. In Christianity, Judaism, and some strands of Islam, humans are created in the image of God. There are at least three different ways in which this image-bearing is understood. According to the functionalist account, humans are in the image of God by virtue of things they do, such as having dominion over nature. The structuralist account emphasizes characteristics that humans uniquely possess, such as reason. The relational interpretation sees the image as a special relationship between God and humanity (Helen De Cruz, 2017). In any of those cases, the result is essentially the same: this special relationship between man and God is what drives the former to start a journey towards the latter. And the first step is the most important part of any journey.

It is weird that so many articles on the matter fail to see and examine the obvious question lingering in science from the beginning: even if we are able to understand the universe, even if the universe is comprehensible and able to be understood, why would someone start the journey towards that understanding? Mere curiosity is one way to explain this; however, this would reduce thousands of years of philosophy to a mere caprice. And would make the non-development of science as logical as the current path we have chosen. But could we ever imagine a world without science? In a world full of God, there is only one destination we could choose. And that is towards achieving a union with Him. That is the only meaning one can ever find in science and the only goal science can ever strive for; for if we are to accept that the cosmos is void of anything meaningful then there is no reason to disembark on any journey even though we know we can.

“If we do discover a theory of everything… it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason, for then we would truly know the mind of God”

~ Stephen Hawking, Brief history of Time


When Jesus Christ came back to Earth after His resurrection, He visited his students for the last time. What did He offer as this last appearance? Did He offer any great philosophical quote for us to remember Him by? Did He provide any deep spiritual piece of wisdom for us to ponder upon? Perhaps He gave us a hint on how to understand and decipher the secrets of the cosmos? No. He just asked them “Are you catching any fish?”. And the students answered “No”. And He helped them. And then He prepared food for them. “Come and have breakfast” He told them (John: 21). And they came.

This very simple story reveals the common ground not only between religion and science but between all types of human endeavour in general. We have specific needs and these basic needs are those which govern our lives from the moment we started walking on this Earth. Our need is to eat. And grow. Our need is to know. And become part of God. It is just that we are progressing too fast to realize that we might be wandering off course, our arrogance making it impossible to know that we are astray. We will eat the apple. Not yet though.

Heisenberg was famous to note that “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you”. Newton had certainly reached that point when he wrote about gravity that “Gravity must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain laws; but whether this agent be material or immaterial, I have left open to the consideration of my readers” (Andrew Janiak, 2006). In his theory, as in every other scientific theory, something is ever-present beyond the words written on paper. Something beyond the plain numbers and scientific models. Something that could explain the existence of science per se – and why we would even start drinking from the glass of science to begin with.

Science is not a way towards God nor a path away from Him. It is God himself speaking to us. Look at the most basic assumptions of every theory, any scientific paper. And beyond the words of children who have been lost for a long time, you will recognize their agony that one day they will return home. For unlike religion that has God as its ultimate goal, science has God as its sole starting point. And when we reach the bottom of the glass, He will lovingly remind us the obvious. “You wouldn’t be searching for Me if you hadn’t already found Me”…


  1. Alan Thomas, (2018), Intelligibility all the way down: Interpreting Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, Klesis Revue philosophique, Vol. 41, 01.08.2018, p. 1–29, retrieved from on 2020-01-07.
  2. Andrew Janiak, (2006), Newton’s philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2019-12-15.
  3. Andrew Robinson, (2016), We Just Can’t Stop Misquoting Einstein, Prime Mind, retrieved from on 2019-12-12.
  4. Athanasius of Alexandria, (2011), On the Incarnation of the Word. Popular Patristics Series. 44. Translated by Behr, John. Yonkers, New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88141-427-1.
  5. Brandon C. Look, (2013), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2020-04-10.
  6. Brandon Specktor, (2018), Stephen Hawking’s Final Book Says There’s ‘No Possibility’ of God in Our Universe, Livescience, October 17, 2018, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  7. Condemnations of 1277, (2020), Wikipedia article, retrieved from on 2020-01-07.
  8. Graham P. Collins, (2007), The Many Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, Scientific American, November 19, 2007, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  9. H. G. Forder, (1929), The Axioms of Geometry, The Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 14, No. 199 (Mar., 1929), pp. 321-331, Published by: The Mathematical Association, DOI: 10.2307/3606716, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  10. Hanne Andersen, Brian Hepburn, (2015), Scientific method, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2019-12-26.
  11. Hans Thijssen, (2018), Condemnation of 1277, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2020-01-07.
  12. Helen De Cruz, (2017), Religion and Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2019-12-12.
  13. J.J. Chambliss, (2013), Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopedia, p. 640.
  14. James B. Hartle, (2016), Why Our Universe Is Comprehensible, Department of Physics, University of California, retrieved from on 2019-12-12.
  15. Karl Giberson, Mariano Artigas, (2007), Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists versus God and Religion, Oxford Scholarship Online, DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310726.001.0001, retrieved from 0001/acprof-9780195310726-chapter-3 on 2020-01-03.
  16. Kondrick LC, (2008), Thomism and science education: history informs a modern debate, Integr Comp Biol. 2008 Aug;48(2):202-12. doi: 10.1093/icb/icn059. Epub 2008 Jun 21., retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  17. Lossky, Vladimir, (2002) [1957], The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-913836-31-6.
  18. Marco Giovanelli, (2004), Einstein’s Philosophy of Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2019-12-12.
  19. Mark Shuttleworth, (2020), Theosis: Partaking of the Divine Nature, Antiochian Archdiocese, Conciliar Press, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  20. Matt Stefon, Geoffrey Wainwright, Carter H. Lindberg, William Richey Hogg, Henry Chadwick, …, Linwood Fredericksen, (2020), The human as the image of God, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  21. Newton, (1729), The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.
  22. Peter J. Lewis, (2020), Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  23. Pierre Fleury, (2018), Gravitation: From Newton to Einstein, Lectures given at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cameroon (AIMS-Cameroon), in January 2018 and January 2019, retrieved from on 2020-01-30.
  24. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, (2015), The Structure of Scientific Theories, Stanform Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from on 2019-12-27
  25. Roger Caldwell, (1995), Reading the Mind of God, Philosophy Now, retrieved from on 2020-01-03.
  26. S. Kakos, (2018), From Galileo to Hubble: Copernican principle as a philosophical dogma defining modern astronomy, International Journal of Theology, Philosophy and Science 2 (3), 13-37.
  27. Stephen W. Hawking, (1988), Το χρονικό του Χρόνου (A brief history of Time – From the Big Bang to Black Holes), εκδόσεις Κάτοπτρο.
  28. Steve Fuller (2008), Dissent over Descent, Icon Books.
  29. String theory, (2020), Encyclopedia Britannica, retrieved from on 2020-03-08.
  30. Tomas Kala, (2019), Remarks to Gravitation Theories, Journal of Physical Science and Application 9 (2) (2019) 26-29, doi: 10.17265/2159-5348/2019.02.004, retrieved from on 2019-12-20.
  31. Wilbur M. Urban, (1924), The Intelligible World (I), The Philosophical Review, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Jan., 1924), pp. 1-29 (29 pages), Duke University, retrieved from on 2020-01-07.
  32. Z. C. Liang (2019), Modeling of real particles, 8th International Conference on Mathematical Modeling in Physical Science, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1391 (2019) 012026, IOP Publishing, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1391/1/012026, retrieved from on 2019-12-20.

[1] It is important to keep on using the proper nomenclature: Phenomena instead of ‘facts’. The former is what we observe. The latter refer to an ideal form of objective reality many philosopher – and even scientists – deny its existence.

[2] In any case, the calculations of any theory can be improved to fit better with the data, regardless of the theoretical background explaining the phenomena. It is just that when a new theory comes along, the old theories are rarely (if ever) updated accordingly and, thus, appear outdated. This could be misleading and has nothing to do with their actual fitness for purpose. The equations of Newton do not have any inherent inability to provide proper results due to insufficient theoretical reasoning; they can just as easily be fitted to the new observations and be adjusted to fit with the new data we have (regarding the speed of light etc). However scientists are reluctant to perform such work and rightfully so, for practical reasons. If everyone in the scientific community is doing research on the latest theory available, why spend time to update the ‘old’ one? The hasty world of research today does not allow space for such work.

[3] By ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’ we refer to anything we perceive with our senses. This may well be completely invalid or insufficient to describe reality, but that is a philosophical question that is currently unanswered and beyond the scope of this paper.

[4] Tautology could be the only valid form of knowledge, which needs no assumptions to be considered true. However, the analysis of this very important topic is beyond the scope of this paper.

[5] “I said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High” (Psalm 82:6) In the Orthodox Church, the concept of humans being god is neither new nor startling. It even has a name: theosis. Theosis is the understanding that human beings can have real union with God, and so become like God to such a degree that we participate in the divine nature. Also referred to as deification, divinization, or illumination, it is a concept derived from the New Testament regarding the goal of our relationship with the Triune God. [AA16] As Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, “He was incarnate that we might be made god” (Αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐνηνθρώπησεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς θεοποιηθῶμεν). (“Athanasius of Alexandria”, 2011)

[6] Logos which refers to something by mistake, speaks the truth.

[7] To provide the full picture, it must be noted that this changed during the latest stages of his life though, where he declared that there is little or no possibility of God into our universe (Brandon Specktor, 2018).

[8] For Galileo one can find a detailed account on how he was scientifically and philosophically wrong in defending his views the way he did, in the article “From Galileo to Hubble: Copernican principle as a philosophical dogma defining modern astronomy”, International Journal of Theology, Philosophy and Science 2 (3), 13-37 (S. Kakos, 2018).

Life. Evolution. Quantum algorithms. A veil of obscurity disguised as light…

A scenario of artificial intelligence could see the emergence of circumstances in which models of simple organisms could be capable of experiencing the various phases of life in a controlled virtual environment. This is what has been designed by the QUTIS research group at the UPV/EHU’s Department of Physical Chemistry, but the scenario is that of quantum computers: an artificial life protocol that encodes quantum behaviors belonging to living systems.

The models of organism designed were coined as units of quantum life, each one of which is made up of two qubits that act as genotype and phenotype, respectively, and where the genotype contains the information that describes the type of living unit, and this information is transmitted from generation to generation. By contrast, the phenotype, the characteristics displayed by individuals, are determined by genetic information as well as by the interaction of the individuals themselves with the environment.

To be able to regard the systems as organisms of artificial life, the basic characteristics of Darwinian evolution that were simulated by these systems were birth and its evolution, self-replication, interaction between individuals and the environment, which gradually degrades the phenotype of the individual as it ages and ends in a state representing death. The protocol also considered interaction between individuals as well as mutations, which were implemented in random rotations of individual qubits. (1)

Every time one reads such a description of how science managed to emulate something so fundamental as “life” or “death”, he must be very skeptical. For even the slightest hint of science understanding the core elements of our existence must be faced with nothing less than hard laughter.

Scientists playing around with what they do not know.

So many words.

So much effort.


Do you believe you are your life?

Do you believe you are your death?

You are more than the sum of your cells.

You are more than the atoms that consist you.

As time passes by, we can see that the main promise of the Enlightenment for a better world cannot be kept. The world is not full of light, it is full of terror and death. The world is not more ethical, it is instead colder and more soulless. The world is not understood better. It is now hidden behind a dark veil of ‘knowledge’. A veil which disguises the dark secret we all try to keep from ourselves: That our ‘understanding’ destroys the cosmos we are in.

How can you have an ethical cosmos by calculating data?

How can you have a better world by analyzing theories?

The basis of living good is first of all… the “living” part.

And science has by default given up on this from the time it made the “data” and the “theories” its main goal. Life cannot be lived in theory. Advise cannot be given based just on hard cold data. You cannot know the earth, without making your hands dirty. You cannot touch the stars without crying upon the touch of a loved one.

We have forgotten that science is a verb, not a noun. (as this article here reminded us)

Science in the example above is not the emulation. But the process of trying to understand, feel and touch the very essence of our existence. Science is not the ridiculous idea that you can emulate life with a set of rules. Nor the childish notion of random mutations generating useful original information which can lead to order instead of random chaos. Science is the deep passionate believe that we can somehow reach the truth regarding our self.

Look at that butterfly.

It has come back for you.

To remind you something you once knew.

That the science you believe in is not inside the lab.

That the only thing algorithms can emulate are themselves.

That true scientists are only the ones who are not.

Science will soon realize that it is useless.

Only when it reaches a point where it is really useful.

At some point everything will be successfully emulated.

Including the emulation of life itself.

Which in turn emulates life.

Only to result in the emulation of itself.

And inside an infinite set of turtles.

To keep on searching for that super turtle.

Gradually realizing…

That there was no turtle to find in the first place.

Except the one we started emulating…

“Cell phones do not cause cancer” and other Science-Money fairy tales. (as in “Smoking does not cause cancer”)

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

According to studies, cell phones do not cause cancer. (1)

So reassuring.

In the same way the old days science was not sure whether smoking caused cancer, or was even convinced that in some cases it was even beneficial! (2)

On one side, there is the ridiculously slow pace at which science crawled towards the obvious (yes, if you put smoke in you something bad will happen). Even though smoking was around for years, official science starting to realize the connection between smoking and cancer only in the 1950’s. (3) (6) Surely science tries to reach a certain degree of certainty to say something, but this should never conflict with common sense.

“Putting tar inside your organism causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

“Putting radiation inside your brain causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

Scientists should be clear when making statements and they should clarify what the lack of evidence for correlation does not necessarily mean that there is no correlation. Not clarifying this is certainly not a result of stupidity. After all, scientists should know better right?

And now we come to the other interesting point: How science and scientists can be manipulated by money. It had happened before with smoking. (4) Scientists of respectable positions we also part of a specific “council” for research on the subject of smoking with clean instructions not to actually find any connections with cancer. (5) (7)

You may say that these scientists did not represent science.

But what is science except the scientists who practice it?

Would you say that Pope does not represent Catholicism?

Many claim that science is all about methodologically and systematically analyzing something. Any errors related to its practice do not relate to science per se. It is a beautiful childish opinion. And as all childish opinions, it is very appealing. But it is wrong.

Not because a bad scientist represents science.

This is indeed false.

But exactly because science is all about the systematic analysis of things. This makes it void of any ethical obligation to follow any common sense outside its own methodological constraints, thus leaving room for research which claims that “we do not know” even in the face of the obvious. And there is where money comes in.

You see, no scientist will even admit that he is doing wrong or insufficient research. But what he will never admit is that given the proper statistics, almost anything can be supported. Give some funds on top of those inherent limitations of science and statistics and you will get this research paper stating “No evidence for cell phones related to cancer”.

At the end, a slight connection will be found.

Then some more serious evidence will ‘arise’.

And at the end, scientists will be certain that cell phones are dangerous.

Not sure it will be like that?

Well, you may be right.

Like the scientists who claimed that things heavier than air will never fly. (8) Now we laugh at those scientists. But their analysis and conclusions were not to be laughed at.

At the end, you are allowed to believe what you wish.

Put a cell phone next to your head and speak for hours.

Are you willing to testify for what you believe?

Do you believe that science puts anything in the line for you? And yet, you believe in science and not in those who did actually put everything in line for you. (who are they? find out yourself)

Science today is cut from ethics and the obvious ever since it claimed was against religion. Because religion is the art of the obvious and the ethical. You can read Harmonia Philosophica for more on that, but in any case it is easy to see that in the case of smoking science feel in the trap of its own convictions. Seeking certainty is not always the way to go when lives are at stake. And taking money while doing it does not make it look prettier. It happened with smoking. It had happen before (yes, science has been about money and corruption for many years now). And the same story seems to be repeated now with cell phones. Radiation had been constantly seen as a source of problems when it comes to mutations, but now for a magical reason there seem to be “no evidence” for problems.

Yes, science continually questions itself. And that is a good thing. For science.

But life and common sense cannot question themselves.

Yes science needs and seeks certainty.

But life does not offer certainty. (let alone the fact that science has anyway proved that it will never find it)

Yes science is not the experiments done by Mengele.

But he did make those experiments in the context of science. (and papers were published and research – from which you may even benefit today – was conducted based on them)

And humanity cannot accept that.

Yes scientists are just humans.

So why not admit that instead of playing God?

Yes science is cold and systemic.

But life should not be anything like that.

Yes, you can “prove” with proper assumptions and statistics that infinite parallel universe exist.

But smoking killed people down here, in this universe.

Hang up the phone.

Wait for science to decide.

Take a walk.

Do you need science to tell you that?

PS. And yes, there is research which shows that cell phones are linked to cancer. See here for one recent example.

Science: This beautiful whore! [From the Reproducibility crisis to Epstein connections]

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

In Greece (and many other countries) there is a saying: After going to the doctor, always go to a second one to get a second opinion! This public wisdom has been so much embedded in our everyday life that we do not even consider it as something special. And yet, this simple but highly intuitive advice hides something much more sinister than we would like to admit…

But let’s take things from the beginning.

In the times of ancient Greeks, science and religion were not even separated. Both fields of thinking existed harmoniously together and helped wise people to their common goal: reach the truth. This common path continued up to the era of Galileo (whose case was largely overstated and wrongly attributed by all – read the relevant articles in Harmonia Philosophica), when for reasons altogether irrelevant to the essence of science or religion philosophy science was separated from religion.

And then the downfall started…

Science started being an independent realm of human endeavor and this resulted in the infamous “war” with religion. A war based on false premises and fed by the hate of the new intellectual order against the old one (read the “Enlightenment was not light” article in Harmonia Philosophica). It was about that time that another factor came in to fuel the fire even more: MONEY.

The result of the corrupting effect of money in science can easily be seen today by anyone even remotely connected to science. If you are not, let me draw you a picture: You are a scientist. You are funded to conduct research but only as long as you produce results. And results mean publications. So you need to publish, but this is not enough on its own. You need to publish more and more quickly before the other publish first! In that way you will get more money from funds and then you will publish more and then… Well, you get the meaning.

All this has resulted in a gruesome comedy of tragic proportions: We are everyday bombarded with new “scientific news” (the most important of which are debunked or analyzed philosophically here in Harmonia Philosophica every four days) which often contradict each other or which are so immature which should never see the light of publication. Newton used to keep volumes unpublished for decades before he was sure that the quality was good enough and today we see minions of science to publish new papers every a month or so.

This ridiculous situation would be funny if it wasn’t serious as well. In this parade of publications we also see medical publications about what we should eat (coffee, wine, etc), what we should not eat (coffee, wine, etc), what we should do in order not to die, what we should not do, what medicine will save us from death (even though not even clinical trials have started and they usually never do – you see, only the initial publication is usually enough to ‘prove’ that you do research) et cetera. Doctors are also of course taking part in the party (why wouldn’t they anyway? they are Scientists!). So medical companies pay their bills and give them bonus trips, they suggest to you the medicine they are paid to suggest, they may even promote some surgeries to write a paper! (remember, always get a second opinion)

Meet the Reproducibility Crisis!

At some point the problem mentioned above started to become so huge that even scientists took notice (remember, true science has a serious lag to notice obvious things). This is what is now known as the Reproducibility Crisis in science. And when we say science we mean Science! As a whole. As it turns out, the eagerness to publish resulted in scientists faking results. According to a 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported that 70% of them had failed to reproduce at least one other scientist’s experiment (50% had failed to reproduce one of their own experiments). In 2009, 2% of scientists admitted to falsifying studies at least once and 14% admitted to personally knowing someone who did. Misconducts were reported more frequently by medical researchers than others. (source)

That article you read about not having to drink coffee because you will get cancer? Forget it! Or perhaps not! Actually that is the problem now: We cannot know what is false and what is right! As long as there was money to fund the research, then the research would yield a result! How can you trust anything today when it is known that about 70% of scientists cannot replicate the experiments of others?

And yet the money is still flowing in…

The problem is so big that you can easily find articles pinpointing the problem – focusing also mainly in the medicine related research. (source) (source) (source) Karl Popper, the 20th century’s pre-eminent philospher of science, said that science without a testable hypothesis really isn’t science at all, but rather a “pseudoscience.” Much of today’s so-called science, which relies on scary projections without tests to back them up, fits this description. (source)

And yet the money is still flowing in…

Meet Epstein!

The billionaire who served time for a sexual offense involving a minor and then, afterwards, jailed for being accused of running a worldwide ring of pedophiles. Yes, so? What about him? Well, it turns out that Epstein was in love with… science! As it turns out he was a patron of many well known scientists! Scientists who took Epstein’s money or associated with the financier even after he was jailed for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. Some of them issued apologies, some failed to comment. (source) Would this sound as a surprise? Not to those who have been looking at the path science has taken for the last centuries or so…

One of the science institutes which took money from Epstein includes the famous MIT Media Lab. There has been a huge uproar for this, which resulted in the Media Lab issuing statements and promising to give the equal amount of money it had received to the victims of Epstein. Are they really sorry? Hard to distinguish the truth behind the statements made under public outrage. One of the founders of MIT Media Lab – Nicholas Negroponte – provided an answer though: In an event he said quite simply and honestly that he suggested that the Lab took the money from Epstein and that he would do it again! “Take the money!” he added emphatically. “Take it!” he repeated. (source)

Many people might object here. It is some scientists who are not moral. It is some scientists who are not good and ethical. Not science. But they would be wrong! It is exactly science which is inherently immoral today!

Science is supposed to be morally neutral [1] [2]. Today we believe that knowledge is intrinsically good [1]. But it is exactly this ethical neutrality which leads to unethical paths! It is exactly this certainty of goodness which leads to everything bad modern civilization has experienced. This is what Rousseau tried to point out in the first place – knowing what is good has nothing to do with being good.

“Take it!” said Negroponte.

And so he did. And so other will keep on doing…

And that beauty which was once science, will turn into an beautiful old whore… Looking at us with a promising look and a tear in her eyes. And as the Polar Star of Lovecraft, she has forgotten what message she has to give us. Except that she has a message to convey…


  1. Paul RootWolpe, Reasons Scientists Avoid Thinking about Ethics, Cell journal, Volume 125, Issue 6, 13 June 2006, Pages 1023-1025,
  2. Ma-Kellams C, Blascovich J, “Does ‘Science’ Make You Moral? The Effects of Priming Science on Moral Judgments and Behavior”, 2013, PLoS ONE 8(3): e57989,
Exit mobile version