Jump to content


Where classical school and homeschool teachers talk.



Discussion Starts Here.

For the Children's Sake.

Learn from Others.

Add Your Voice to the Conversation.

Glad You Are Here.

Give Us Your Question.


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


rkandreasen last won the day on July 23 2018

rkandreasen had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1 Neutral

Personal Information

  • Location
    Orlando Florida
  • Interests and Hobbies
    Martial arts
  • Favorite Authors
    Dante, Tolkien, Kreeft
  • Occupation
    Upper school science teacher
  • School Name
    The Geneva School

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Sorry for the extended delay in response. I have been having trouble signing on, and we have just started the school year (CRAAAAZY). Anyway, I would start with the book Soul of Science by Pearcy and Thaxton. Some of the books they reference are also helpful. The Scientific Revolution by Steven Shapin is also very helpful. It has been a long journey for me even to understand some of the flow of history and philosophy, but I feel like I know enough to be in conversation but not to speak authoritatively. There are aspects to this conversation that are really deep and complicated, and they have been debated for a really long time e.g. Plato's realm of the forms, Aristotle's hylomorphic substances, etc. We are all pushing against the edge of mystery trying to make as much sense as possible of God's wondrous creation. The most basic question I (and my 9th grade team) are trying to help our students understand and answer is, "Does an immaterial reality called a form exist?" Both Plato and Aristotle, along with most of church tradition, would say 'yes.' There are differences about where, and what, and how, but the basic name for this position is realism. If the answer is 'no' then that position is called nominalism, which means that when we see a frog we are not recognizing it as a frog because we are recognizing the immaterial reality that shapes the material of that creature into a frog, we are merely recognizing a pattern that we have 'named' (hence nominalism) a frog. The nominalists thought the idea of form was extraneous (think Occam's razor) so they discarded it. However, form helps us with questions like, "how do non-living atoms/molecules make something that is alive?" "Given a creature is made up of so many parts, why can we consider all of these parts one thing? What is the cause of their oneness? The answer would be their formal cause. I am not sure if this helps or only muddies the waters, but there it is. Again, sorry for the late response. Robbie
  2. I am not sure if this is the right place to pose this question, but I am hoping for some wisdom from the members of this forum. If we look at creation through a Trinitarian lens, can we arrive at Aristotle's four causes? Robbie
  3. Aristotle tried to understand things in terms of four causes: Formal, final, material and efficient. All living things naturally tend towards their adult form and not towards something else. What makes the various materials (or parts) one thing e.g. one leopard or one human is the formal cause. Modern science only uses material and efficient causes. They choose to value embryological development as opposed to teleological development when it comes to taxonomy. That is a choice that modern science has made. Why so? Why value the embryological over the teleological? It is a preference. How do we understand the contents and the nature of what is happening within cells? With only material and efficient causes, then how can we speak as though these non-living molecules were moving purposefully? Given such complexity it does not make sense to say that these molecules are bouncing around randomly and thus can accomplish cell respiration, photosynthesis, or protein synthesis. What is the cause for non-living molecules to act in purposeful ways? You cannot with only material and efficient causes, but you can if you have formal and final causes. Chesterton in 'the maniac' or 'the madman"?? talks about reducing all things materially only to lose all meaning in the process. Christian metaphysics allows that there is truth we can know, but within that there will be mystery that we cannot know. Modern science seeks for truth to exclude all mystery or a theory of everything. Throughout the history of science what seemed to be small things to figure out ended up opening whole new realms of the creation to explore. This is NOT God of the gaps. This is the realization that because an infinite God has made a finite creation to show forth his glory, and that he has made his image bearers to know God through his creation, that we can know things truthfully, but not completely. There will always be mystery in the truth. I wonder what would happen to creation/evolution debates if we brought in the concept of formal and final cause? Sorry for the delay in responding. I forgot to click on the 'follow' button.
  4. I teach biology at The Geneva School and I have been working to integrate history and philosophy into my 9th grade biology class for the last several years. I have done this by sequencing my biology curriculum into a macrobiology to microbiology sequence. This allows me to tie into the historical timeline, particularly when it comes to taxonomy and the worldview shift that takes place from the scientific revolution to Darwin. What other historical and/or philosophical integration do you do in your classes?
  • Create New...