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This article appears in the January 25, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Life at an Atheist's Funeral

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

January 11, 2008

Sometimes, reading the New York Times is like the experience of attending funeral services for a notorious grammarian. Times writer Jim Holt's brief review of a poor piece of intellectual trash, is a case in point. The review presents the book, with some tongue in cheek, as in the tradition of a Times favorite, quirky atheist, Oxford's Richard Dawkins. The book, Irreligion, is by author John Allen Paulos, whatever his species-loyalties might be.[1]

Given both the prices and the miserable quality of much university education in the age of Fabian ideologue Mrs. Lynne Cheney's cultish tyranny, a growing number of exceptionally promising young adults, selected from among my associates, have devoted successive years to our special, tuition-free programs of serious achievements in a program of advanced work in the academic field of mathematical physics pursued in the Classical tradition. Groundwork in the work of Pythagoreans such as Archytas, and of Plato, prepared the way, so far, for a relatively very high quality of successive in-depth treatments of the leading discoveries of Johannes Kepler and Carl F. Gauss. These efforts have produced what is today's rarely met competence in those subject-matters.

On a closely related matter, one of the most amusing T-shirts I have seen, read: "Nietzsche says 'God is Dead' " and, then, the accompanying rebuttal: "God says, 'Nietzsche is dead!' " Quiddlers such as Dawkins and Paulos deserve the same kind of contempt. The point is, that the drivel spawned by either of those two authors, or their like, is premised on a fraudulent charge against religious belief, that that belief is merely an arbitrary assumption.

For example: the appropriate response to dupes who share the gist of Dawkins' and Paulos' assertion, is that the doctrines of both the Sophist Euclid and of Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica are merely the elaboration of bare assumptions; they are to be recognized, like the assertions of Dawkins, Paulos, and their like, to have been not merely arbitrary, but scientifically fraudulent, intellectual trash.

Granted, many asserted forms of religious beliefs, certain currently popular varieties of nominally Christian beliefs included, premise their arguments on nonsense. Nonetheless, despite aberrations of that sort, the definition of man and woman in the first Chapter of Genesis, is actually a statement of the implicit premise of all competent physical-scientific and related judgment. That conception of man and woman, there, a conception which the Al Gores of the world must intrinsically hate, is the key to any competent expression of religious belief.[2]

The classroom and related work by my young associates over more than a decade, from the quadrivium of the Pythagoreans, through the span of modern mathematical physics from Nicholas of Cusa through Kepler, Leibniz, and Gauss, has been conducted from my own professional standpoint in the domain of long-range physical-economic forecasting, a profession in which I have been, in my time, the most successful of the publicly known forecasters. There have been professionally qualified economists, some of great competence and skill in other aspects of economic subjects, although even they have appeared only in greatly reduced numbers during the recent four to five decades; but, the fact remains, that, simply as a matter of fact, in the matter of long-range cyclical forecasting, my record of achievement has been unique.

To understand the motives for those educated persons who have expressed public (or, perhaps also pubic) hate and fear of my earned authority in such matters, I recommend attention to the precedent of the "Wobblies" (IWW) appearing in the trials of the early Twentieth Century. The advice of the leaders of the IWW to their members going on trial was, "If you have robbed a church, and the steeple is protruding from your hip pocket, deny everything." Such is the method on which Dawkins and Paulos rely as alleged proof of their cases.

Actually, it is a source of great embarrassment to hoaxsters such as Dawkins or Poulos, that, for reasons which I have delivered in various relevant locations, what is actually known as competent physical science's bearing on the subject of religious belief, is to be traced from the roots of the ancient work of the followers of the school of Thales, the Pythagoreans, and Plato, and the modern revival of competent physical science by, chiefly Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa and such among his most notable followers in science as Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Fermat, Leibniz, and such followers of Leibniz as Carl F. Gauss and Bernhard Riemann.

The Matter of Proof

The crucial issue of competent physical science, of which the science of physical economy is a special kind of branch, is the role of the creative powers of the individual human mind, in enacting, and re-enacting those experimentally validatable, universal physical principles through which knowledge, society is enabled to accomplish what no lower form of life can do. The large-scale effect of such realized modes of progress is measurable in terms of a qualitative, dynamically defined increase in the relative potential population-density of society, as measurable per capita, and per square kilometer of national territory as a whole. Those considerations bring our attention back to the definition of man and woman in Genesis 1.[3]

This remarkable, qualitative, functional distinction of man from all beasts, reposes in a quality of the individual mind absent from all beasts (and, apparently, lacking among an inferior form of human life known, alternately, as "the empiricists," or "the Liberals"). The term "creativity" is properly restricted in use, strictly so, to two complementary aspects of human mental life: the discovery of a universal physical principle, or the same quality of individual mental activity expressed only in strictly Classical artistic expressions of irony, as in poetry, music (e.g., Bach), and drama (Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Lessing, and Schiller), a quality of creativity absent from what is often classed as "popular tastes" and entertainments today.[4]

Competent modern physical science, of which neither Dawkins nor Paulos shows the slightest comprehension, was inherited by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, and his followers, from (most essentially) the Classical Greek precedents of sources such as Thales, Heracleitus, the Pythagoreans, and Plato. Cusa's own systemic insight into the foundations of the ancient Classical physical science of Thales and his followers, hinged upon Cusa's identification of a crucial fallacy in Archimedes' supposed (inductive) proof of the generation of the circle by quadrature. Cusa's discovery is an expression of the central principle of all competent modern physical science, as typified by the example of Cusa student Johannes Kepler's discovery of the role of the principle of the ontologically infinitesimal in defining the role of the principle of Solar gravitation.

A universal physical principle is never a mechanical action (such as that of Descartes and his followers de Moivre, D'Alembert, Euler, and Legendre) which connects two points of lapsed time in empty space. It is an efficient principle of action which permeates physical-space-time in such a degree that there is no distance during which that principle itself is not determining the continuing action.

Furthermore, physical science is not defined within the confines of a single principle of sense-perception, such as space or time, but is defined by the human mind's discovery of an infinitesimal principle of universal action which subsumes perceptions, but is not simply a mirror of those sensory experiences.

The great modern comprehension of the implication of this notion of the meaning of "universal physical principle," came in the form of the Riemann definition of both the Biosphere and Noösphere by Russia's Academician V.I. Vernadsky. The Biosphere represents the expression of processes which do not occur in any processes excepting those determined by a universal (i.e., ontologically infinitesimal) principle of life. The Noösphere, similarly, expresses a domain of products of the action of human individuals' cognition which does not occur outside a principle of human individual creativity.

This quality of human individual creativity, which defines the Noösphere, does not occur in the physical universe except in that form of human reason associated with analog, but never digital functions. The crucial distinction between analog and digital functions lies precisely, and uniquely in the mode of the notion of analog functions associated with the ancient Pythagorean quadrivium, the work of Plato (as in competent Christian theology), or that of Philo of Alexandria, for example, but never Aristotle or Euclid.

This quality of creativity, which never appears in lower forms of life, is the only distinction of human behavior which separates the increase of potential relative population-density of the human species (and society) from the population potentials of the higher apes.

The arguments described by Times reviewer Holt, like the arguments repeatedly deployed by Dawkins, are all premised on the assumption of a radically reductionist version of digital deductive-inductive methods, methods which have no agreement with the characteristics of the human species. However, analog methods, such as those of the ancient Pythagoreans, Plato, Nicholas of Cusa, Leonardo da Vinci, Kepler, Fermat, Leibniz, and Riemann, like those of Vernadsky and the Einstein of his maturity, correspond to the historical evidence of human progress.

The notion of man and woman presented in Genesis 1 accords with this evidence, whereas, in that sense, it were fair to describe Bertrand Russell, Professor Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, like Dawkins and now Paulos, as creatures whose adopted profession has been to make either monkeys of themselves, or perhaps apes. It is the presumptions of the empiricists, not Genesis 1, which represent the assumptions contrary to scientific truth.

[1] John Allen Paulos, Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007).

[2] So, in sophisticated political circles, pseudo-scientific beliefs are sometimes termed "al-gore-ithms."

[3] Cf. G.W. Leibniz, "Critical Thoughts on The General Part of The Principles of Descartes" (1692), and "Specimen Dynamicum" (1695). In Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Philosophical Papers and Letters (Dodrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989). Modern dynamics is the method of Bernhard Riemann, as Riemann's method is that both of Gottfried Leibniz and that which had been introduced to the practice of modern science by, chiefly, Nicholas of Cusa and Johannes Kepler, and echoed by Academician V.I. Vernadsky and Albert Einstein.

[4] Take the case of the woman who had just been raped, earlier in that day. She described the experience to the police officers as, "Classical." Her use of "Classical" was, "Well, I mean, it was exciting!"

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