Friday, August 19, 2011

Logic Works By Barbara

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle): Ary, watch this video clip from the show Curious: Did God Create the Universe?

[Mat shows a clip of the show, when it gets to about 3m 30sec Mat says]: Pay close attention to this part.

[I have provided a link to the video but not knowing how long it will be available I have also provided the below quote from Stephen Hawkings’ book which relates the story.]

“The Greeks’ Christian successors rejected the idea that the universe is governed by indifferent natural law.  They also rejected the idea that humans do not hold a privileged place within that universe.  And though the medieval period had no single coherent philosophical system, a common theme was that the universe is God’s dollhouse, and religion a far worthier study than the phenomena of nature.  Indeed, in 1277 Bishop Tempier of Paris, acting on the instructions of Pope John XXI, published a list of 219 errors or heresies that were to be condemned.  Among the heresies was the idea that nature follows laws, because this conflicts with God’s omnipotence.  Interestingly, Pope John was killed by the effects of the law of gravity a few months later when the roof of his palace fell in on him.”

The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking, Bantam, September 7, 2010; pp.24-25.

Mat: What do you think?

Ary: It’s hard not to pity Mr. Hawking, if not for his physical challenges, then for his perspective.  Perhaps the one strongly influences the other so I am reluctant to be overly critical of him, but the egregious nature of the misinformation he provides leaves me little choice.

Mat: What misinformation? You’re deluded.

Ary: Nearly all of it about Pope John XXI and the Condemnations of 1277.

Mat: Is the video not true?

Ary:  At best the truth was stretched nearly to the breaking point; at worst, in my opinion, it’s a lie.  The impression we are left with is that Pope John XXI was a narrow minded dullard, a typical reactionary religious official afraid that science would destroy the church so he condemned scientific principles and threatened to excommunicate anyone who violated the prohibition.

Mat: Are you telling me that a world famous physicist and a nationally known broadcast network are wrong? Prove it!

Ary: That is what I mean.  As the 13th century dawned interest in learning was on the increase.  Many ancient teachings had been revived and widely distributed.  Among these were those of Aristotle.  It was soon apparent that Aristotle was wrong about many things and that his ideas were impeding progress.  Beginning in 1210, a series of investigations were undertaken to deal with the errors.  Many think that John XXI initiated one in 1277, but opinion is divided on the actual events leading up to it.

Mat: You’re rationalizing now. What, does science have to do with religion anyway?  Why excommunicate someone for a scientific teaching?

Ary: Because it contradicted what the church taught about God.  Here’s an example  related to physical science: the teaching that the universe could not be in motion was condemned along with the notion that God could not create several worlds. These and the other condemnations destroyed the foundations of Aristotle’s system and opened the way for scientific innovation.

Mat:  Bull, like what?

Ary: For example: Aristotle treated the existence of an empty space as a pure absurdity and so, the universe must be stationary since if it moved it would leave empty space behind. But belief in God’s Omnipotence implied it was possible, waiting for scientific confirmation that the universe could move.  This was a conflict and it restricted or encouraged scientific inquiry depending on which side one took. Stephen Hawking says that John XXI was responsible for outlawing the laws of nature, but in the "Articles of Paris" Richard of Middletown ca 1280 admitted that the realization of space is not, in itself, contrary to reason; thus, without any absurdity, one could argue for a vacuum and for motion in a vacuum. This resulted in the development of the science of dynamics.  In fact, the laws of nature John XXI outlawed were mainly those of Aristotle.

Mat: So what?  That’s only one example.

Ary: Most of the 219 condemnations of 1277 were similar or dealt specifically with challenges to the power of God.  They were intended to promote learning, not restrict it.  And further, the impression of John XXI is totally wrong.  Let me tell you about him:

Pope John XXI was born in Lisbon, Portugal ~ 1215. He studied in Paris and Montpelier, and ~1255 he was invited to the Chair of the Medical school of the University of Siena. He is the only Pope (besides Peter) mentioned as being in heaven in Dante's "Divine Comedy", wrote Liber de oculo-- one of the first books in the Italian language-- on the eye and its diseases and treatments; and while at Siena he also wrote Summulae Logicales, which became the textbook of logic at most of the Italian universities for the next two centuries.

In Chesterton's poem "True Sympathy or Prevention Of Cruelty To Teachers" we read:
I wore my Soul's Awakening smile
I felt it was my duty:
Lo! Logic works by Barbara
And life is ruled by Beauty.
[GKC, CW10:486-7]

Logic works by Barbara?

In fact, Chesterton borrowed the idea from Pope John XXI’s logic book where he wrote:
Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio.
Cesare, Camestres, Festino, Baroko.
Darapti, Disamis, Datisi, Felapton, Bokardo, Ferison.
Bramantip, Camenes, Dimaris, Fesapo, Fresison.

They are not the nonsense they appear to be at first; in fact they are the basis for logic.

Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio.

These words hold the key to the logic form called syllogism and ultimately Boolean Algebra.

As a matter of fact the poem is an example of "microcode".  The order of the vowels - gives the specification of the various forms of the Syllogism, and reduction to the four forms.

Barbara = aaa = "All M is S. All P is M. Therefore, All P is S."
Celarent = eae = "No M is S. All P is M. Therefore, No P is S."
Darii = aii = " All M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is S."
Ferio = eio = " No M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is not S."

See footnote

He was elected Pope on September 13, 1276, and took the name John XXI. His reign was less than a year during which he continued with his scientific work.  This interest led to his untimely death as the apartment he had added to the palace so he could study in quiet collapsed on him on May 14, 1277.  He died of his injuries on May 20, 1277.

For more information, please see; See also Walsh's Catholic Churchmen in Science, Second Series, The Popes and Science, and Shallo's Scholastic Philosophy.

And now, on the "microcode" of Barbara and the rest:

Meanings of the letters:

a = "All X is Y"
i = "Some X is Y"
e = "No X is Y"
o = "Some X is not Y"

(These are the vowels from affirmo = "I affirm, say yes", and nego = "I deny, say no".)

The initial letter of the word specifies which of the four forms of the "First Figure", which are valid syllogisms:

B (Barbara) = "All M is S. All P is M. Therefore, All P is S."
C (Celarent) = "No M is S. All P is M. Therefore, No P is S."
D (Darii) = "All M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is S."
F (Ferio) = "No M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is not S."

The other letters (in the second, third, and fourth lines) are the "instructions" which show how to convert each form into one of the First Figure.

m - transpose the premises (exchange S and P)
s - convert the preceding vowel "simply" (exchange the left side and right side of the "is" in that statement)
p - convert by "limitation"
k - apply "indirect reduction" (this means showing the trutb by assuming the contradictory, and showing that the assumption leads to absurdity)

Here's an example from Shallo:
S: All stars are self-luminous bodies.
P: No planets are self-luminous bodies.
Therefore, no planets are stars.

This is a syllogism in Camestres; it is reducible to Celarent. The first s indicates that the minor is to be simply converted; the m that this new minor is to change places with the former major; the last s that the conclusion is to be simply converted, thus:

S: No self-luminous bodies are planets.
P: All stars are self-luminous bodies.
Therefore, no stars are planets.

Ary: Does Pope John XXI seem a dullard to you?

Mat: Time to turtle up.

above information was derived from several sources especially:

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