Thursday 17 December 2009

Advent - the coming of the Lord

Rorate Caeli...

Let the heavens rain down the Just One!

The Annunciation

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum. Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour.

Isaias 45:8

This versicle appears throughout the Offices for Advent and is yet another example of how much more Scriptural the old Roman rite of the Catholic Church is compared with the new rite of Paul VI in which, sadly, it is almost never sung. Most modern Catholics do not even know that this most beautiful Advent antiphon even exists.

The full hymn is sung thus:

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est: Ierusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuac et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi; et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Vide, Domini, afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es, emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae, de Petra deserti montem filiae Sion: ut auferat ipse iugum captivatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua:. quare moerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus, tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Listen to these Spanish monks singing the Rorate in the monastic church of their conventual home, calling upon God to forgive their sins as they await with joy, once again, the great Feast of the Birth of our Most Holy Saviour:

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of Thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of Thy holiness and of Thy glory, where our fathers praised Thee.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

See, O Lord, the affliction of Thy people, and send Him whom Thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the Ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that He Himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? Why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

With this extraordinarily beautiful hymn the prayer of the Church during Advent is lifted up to the heavens in song.

Henry Tanner. The Annunciation. 1898


Further sources on the relativity scam...

I have been asked to provide some further sources on the relativity scam and to put my posts into .pdf form.

I tried the latter and failed so if anyone can give me a clue how to do it, I'd be grateful.

As to further sources, I suggest the following:

1. Dingle, Prof Herbert. Science at the Crossroads. London, 1972.
2. Anything by Pierre Duhem, the great French historian of science.
3. Anything by Christoph von Mettenheim, especially on Einstein.
4. For the technical, try Tom van Flandern's 1998 article in Physics Letters A which can be accessed here:

That should give you something to think about for a while!

There is a very useful book, in simple form, which summarises many of the modern scientific falsehoods which I cannot now find. If I find it I shall post it to the blog.

Monday 14 December 2009

John of Alexandria, the 6th century Catholic founder of modern science

John Philoponus (Ἰωάννης ὁ Φιλόπονος) lived from AD 490 to AD 570. Φιλόπονος (Philoponus) means "lover of work" and he was so called for the reason that he spent as much time as he could studying.

He was also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a theologian and scientist who challenged Aristotle’s physics.

Although suspect of heresy, his works were widely printed in Latin translations in Europe from the 15th century onwards. His work was plagiarised by Galileo, by Pico della Mirandola and by others.

He studied at the school of Alexandria and began publishing from about 510. He was a pupil and sometime amanuensis to the Neoplatonic philosopher Ammonius, who had studied at Athens under Proclus.

Philoponus became one of the earliest thinkers to reject Aristotle’s dynamics and propose the theory of impetus which is really nothing less than the theory which Sir Isaac Newton later claimed to invent, namely the law of inertia i.e. an object moves and continues to move because of an energy imparted in it by the mover, and ceases movement when that energy is dissipated by an opposite force (like gravity).


In 529 Philoponus wrote his critique Against Proclus in which he systematically defeats every argument put forward for the eternity of the world, a theory which formed the basis of pagan attack of the Christian doctrine of Creation, just as it does today in the debates between Christians and atheists over evolution.

Around 550 he wrote a theological work On the Creation of the World as a commentary on the Bible’s story of creation using the insights of Greek philosophers and St Basil the Great.

In this work he transfers his theory of impetus to the motion of the planets, whereas Aristotle had proposed as an explanation for the motion of heavenly bodies and for earthly projectiles that they were moved by angels. Philoponus, accurately, put the movement down to impetus. He had effectively discovered gravity long before Newton.

Philoponus’ view of space as homogeneity is influenced by the Hellenic teaching of Aristotle. However, Philoponus and his contemporaries, Simplicius of Cilicia and Strato developed this concept further. This concept guided the Renaissance theory of perspective, particularly that of Leon Battista Alberti, and other architectural masters.

Leon Battista Alberti

Philoponus’ theological work is recognized in the history of science as the first attempt at a unified theory of dynamics. Another of his major theological concerns was to argue that all material objects were brought into being by God (Arbiter, 52A-B). Around 553 Philoponus made some theological contributions to the Council of Constantinople concerning Christology.

In his own time and afterwards he was translated into Syriac and Arabic and many of his works continued to persevere and be studied by the Arabs. Some of his works continued to circulate in Europe in Greek or Latin versions, and influenced Bonaventure.

St Bonaventure

The theory of impetus was taken up by Friar Francesco di Marchia who taught at the Sorbonne. Marchia likened the law of impetus to the Blessed Sacrament saying that grace entered the soul through the Sacrament but was lost by sin, just as impetus was imparted to an object causing movement until an opposite force, like sin, stopped the movement.

Marchia’s teachings were taken up by Jean Buridan, another Sorbonne professor in the 14th century, who developed more fully the law of impetus. It was this theory that was later plagiarised by Newton and presented as his own theory of “inertia”.

It is this law of impetus – or inertia – that is the basis of modern physics, science and so much modern technology.

Thus we see that modern science finds its origins in a law devised by a 6th century Catholic theologian which was later revived in the great Catholic University of Sorbonne as an analogy for the Blessed Sacrament.

So much for the false accusation that the Catholic Church objects to science. On the contrary, it has been the greatest promoter of science!