A Good Friday Prayer

The Pange Lingua is one of the great prayers of the Catholic Church. There are actually two hymns, one (the Vexilla regis) written by Venantius Fortunatus in honor of a relic of the Cross brought to the Merovingian court in November 569 and sung on Good Friday at the Liturgy of the Cross, the other (the Pange Lingua) written by St. Thomas Aquinas for Corpus Christi and sung on Maundy Thursday as the consecrated Host is taken to the Altar of Repose. The origins of the hymn, Father Hunwicke tells us, lie in the ribald victory songs of Roman soldiers. The lyrics link the cross to the trophy tree, a battlefield tree which victorious Greek and Roman soldiers decorated with the armor of their fallen enemies. The melody was used for the chants of ritual abuse by Caesar’s soldiers during victory processions. The hymn thus honors the full scope of human experience: it mourns the disaster of Good Friday and celebrates the triumph of Easter.

This version, from the album Illumination: Peaceful Gregorian Chants (CD, MP3 download), has become a PHD Holy Week tradition:

Leave a comment ?

76 Comments.

  1. That is a stunning video. If you don’t mind, I’m going to share it on my blog. May you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

  2. Great! A blessed Good Friday and Easter to you, Sara!

  3. Beautiful! Have a blessed Easter.

  4. Thank you Paul. This was a better post today than any nutrition advice.

  5. I love your combination of paleo and faith. It’s refreshing! Happy Easter!

  6. Thank you Paul! Im going to share this in Facebook its so beautiful!’ Have a blessed Good Friday and a Happy Easter Sunday!

  7. Beautiful video! Today I remember the greatest gift I was ever given. Have a happy Easter!

  8. They will chant this at my church today, minus the waves. Beautiful. I am attending tenebrae for the first time, too. They slowly extinguish the candles until you are in darkness, and somberly pound on the wooden pews to create a sound that recalls the earthquake when Jesus died. I think it is one of our coolest traditions.

  9. Beautiful! Have an excellent Resurrection Sunday!

  10. Thank you everyone! A joyful Easter to you all!

  11. Thank you Jesus for giving us many second chances. Please remind us of the things that truly matters and pray that we will always reside you in our hearts in our life journey.

  12. Gross. Nothing like mixing evolutionary nutrition with a book that is counter to it.

    • Nothing like learning from someone’s hard work and research only to then insult that same someone for having a different belief system than you.

  13. Hi, fairly new here, I appreciate your informative posts on nutrition.

    I am curious as to why two such logical people as yourselves believe in something as seemingly illogical as religion. Have you ever done or would you consider doing a post on your reasons, or would that be too personal?

  14. Hi 2T,

    I will eventually publish something on Christianity and reasons to believe in it, but not here. I would rather keep this site diet and health focused. This video was meditative and meditative prayer is associated with good health and long life, so I think it fits in a similar way to the “Faces Therapy” video earlier this week. You could enjoy it even if you are not Christian at all. But a long philosophical apology for Christianity would not fit.

    Best, Paul

  15. Beautiful video, it means a lot to me because my grandmother just passed away this past Thursday. Alzheimers got her, I am sad and I bit angry that I never got to try a lot of the advice and therapies I have read so much about on the internet, but hey what could you do, it wasn’t up to me to decide how she should be taken care of. I am sure, with good dietary intervention, she would have suffered less. She was close to being 90 in May. May she rest in peace.

  16. Thank you both for a lovely message. Yes, Christ is truly risen! Lent surely has been helpful I must say, in getting me going on intermittent fasting! Works like a charm to melt fat.

    Happy Easter to you, and may Our Lord bless you in the coming year.

  17. Like 2T, I’m surprised to see this here.

    Here’s one definition of science:

    “Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence.” (James Randi)

    Clearly the work that has gone into developing the Perfect Health Diet fits this definition, in contrast to the prevailing paradigm behind the government’s food pyramid, for example. For this I am very grateful.

    On the other hand, religious belief has, at its core, the claim of some kind of absolute truth, or inviolable knowledge or insight, which is very much NOT open to “correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence”.

    Thus, religous belief is inherently inconsistent with a scientific worldview. Hence my surprise.

  18. Hi PT,

    I agree that we are doing science on this blog and in our book, and that the Perfect Health Diet is a work of science.

    But I strongly disagree with your understanding of the relation of religious belief with truth. What Christianity seeks is truth – period. Science is one path toward truth, though one must remember (as Kurt Godel and many others have pointed out) that there are many truths which cannot be proven by science.

    What we see historically is that science arose and flourished among Christian and Jewish believers. This was in part because the pursuit of truth was a sacred enterprise and labor of love – in approaching truth we approach God who is Truth; and also because Christianity implies that Reality is at bottom orderly and intelligible — the creation of divine intelligence in whose image we were made. Thus, Christian scientists knew that the universe was a suitable subject for scientific study, and that scientific labor would not be in vain.

    Contrariwise, as scientists lost faith, they increasingly placed careers, prestige, and grant money ahead of truth. Science became increasingly bureaucratic and less productive. The number of papers that have to be retracted keeps rising; the number of cures for medical conditions keeps declining; evidence-less scientific fads like anthropogenic global warming and cholesterol hysteria have become more common, as opportunistic “scientists” see ways to promote their careers by jumping on bandwagons.

    I think in the end it is the atheistic worldview that is incompatible with science.

    Best, Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      “… evidence-less scientific fads like anthropogenic global warming and cholesterol hysteria have become more common, as opportunistic “scientists” see ways to promote their careers by jumping on bandwagons.”

      Does this mean that you think human caused global warming is not supported by evidence (or good evidence)?

      I have tremendous respect for your thinking, but was surprised to see this view from you. If you have a moment to elaborate I would love to know more.

      Best, Randy

      • Hi Randy,

        Yes, I do think it’s not supported by evidence.

        The main point is that CO2 is a symmetric molecule with a dipole moment less than 1/30 that of water vapor, and the probability of interacting with infrared radiation scales as the square of the dipole moment, so it’s already down a factor of 1000 in ability to generate a greenhouse effect just from molecular structure. Then the abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.04%, compared to about 2% for water vapor, so there is another factor of 50. CO2 is just a very minor greenhouse gas, and even a doubling of CO2 levels can have no effect on temperature unless there is some unknown process capable of greatly amplifying a small perturbation in atmospheric greenhouse effect. But if there were such a process, earth’s historical temperatures would have been unstable, swinging much more wildly than they did.

        The climate models that are used to predict temperature 100 years forward have many free parameters and the only reason they predict warming is that the modelers tune the parameters until they find ones that generate warming. They could just easily choose parameters that led to cooling, or to no change in temperature. There is no evidentiary basis for the parameters they do choose.

        It is all a game, the grant money is provided by people who want to show anthropogenic warming, and the “scientists” want the grant money. The field as a whole conspires to keep the game and the tidal wave of grant money flowing. It is not really a science aimed at discovering truth, more of a propaganda campaign aimed at winning money or power.

        Best, Paul

        • Hi Paul,

          I don’t think your factor of 1000 is quite right: The earth is a black body with temperature ~300K, so most of the IR radiation occurs at wavelengths with order of magnitude 10 micrometers. Those wavelengths are just too short for probability of interaction to be a function of dipole moment.

          Rather, at that scale, the probability of a molecule interacting with radiation is generally determined by how close you are to resonance for a vibrational normal mode of the molecule in question (c.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_vibration).

          For example, H2O has three normal modes — two which absorb light around 2.7 micrometers, and one around 6.3 micrometers. So water vapor is very optically dense close to those wavelengths; relatively optically transparent elsewhere.

          For another example, CO2 has four normal modes — two which absorb around 15 micrometers, and one around 4.3 micrometers (plus a fourth whose frequency suggests it would absorb light of wavelength around 7.2 micrometers, but there’s actually no absorption peak there because absorption is forbidden by symmetry of the CO2 molecule).

          So surely there is a nontrivial window of wavelengths — probably including most of the radiation between 14 and 16 micrometers, and most of the energy between 4 and 4.5 micrometers — where total absorption from CO2 in the atmosphere exceeds total absorption from H2O, even though CO2 is 50 times less abundant than H2O.

          Thus from first principles, it seems much more reasonable to guess that CO2 absorption is a single order of magnitude lower than H2O absorption, not three.

          Best,
          -Eric

          • Hi Eric,

            Thanks for the input. I don’t have my copy of Jackson handy, and it’s been many years since I’ve looked at this, but aren’t the Einstein coefficients for the vibrational modes of vibrating molecule still proportional to the square of the dipole moment? E.g. “Now, the electromagnetic emission of a vibrating dipole is known to be proportional to the square of its electric dipole moment” (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.5506.pdf) or the top of p 7 here https://moodle2.unifr.ch/pluginfile.php/142788/mod_resource/content/1/molecular%20rotation%20script%20total.pdf or p 37-40 here http://www.mpia.de/homes/semenov/Lectures/Heidelberg_Uni_2012/Lecture2_Molecular_Properties_Spectroscopy.pdf, note the listing of vibrational modes resonant in the near infrared as electric dipole transitions on p 40. It’s the motion of the charges within the electromagnetic field of the photon that determines the interaction probability – whether the motion is vibrational or rotational. If you double the charge of each particle in a vibrating molecule, the Einstein coefficients go up by a factor of 4.

            The resonant frequencies are important, but that’s another factor I left out which may further reduce the CO2 greenhouse effect. Keeping water vapor levels constant and varying CO2 is the base-case assumption for anthropogenic warming without an amplification process. In this situation, the infrared water lines (which are highly broadened) cover most of the infrared, so that the atmosphere is largely opaque even without CO2, and the effect of adding CO2 is liking adding a drape to a window that is already blocked by blinds, i.e. minimal.

            There are good atmospheric radiative transfer models developed at JPL decades ago, so all this could be calculated exactly with modern computers.

            Best, Paul

          • Hi Paul,

            The probability of exciting any mode is proportional to the square of the change in dipole moment.

            For a rotational mode, the change in dipole moment scales like the dipole moment in the ground state times the sin of the angle between the dipole moment and the axis of rotation — so you’ll never excite rotation about the axis of the dipole moment, and the probability of exciting a rotation about a perpendicular axis goes like the square of the dipole moment in the ground state.

            For a vibrational mode, the shape of the molecule is deforming, so you can’t just read the change in dipole moment off the dipole moment in the ground state.

            The critical thing is that H2O and CO2 have different vibrational modes, and so they block different parts of the spectrum. If the vibrational modes of CO2 were at the same energies as H2O, the CO2 would be completely irrelevant. To continue your window analogy, if you have 10 drapes already blocking light from a window, then adding an 11th drape could still have a substantial effect — if the first 10 drapes are all positioned to cover the top half of the window, but the 11th drape is positioned to cover the left half of the window.

            We can get an extremely rough idea of the effect size for CO2 as follows:

            – Let’s assume that total IR radiation that escapes earth is proportional to IR radiation that escapes in the window in between the 6.3 micrometer peak for H2O, and the 15 micrometer peak for CO2. Note that this window accounts for most of the outgoing radiation — as earth is a ~300K black body, there isn’t much IR radiation too much below 6.3 micrometers; and the rotational mode of H2O is pretty effective at blocking wavelengths much longer than 15 micrometers.

            – Just by eyeballing graphs produced from (http://spectralcalc.com/calc/spectralcalc.php), plugging in our atmosphere as 10 km thick at standard temperature and pressure, it appears that:

            * The 6.3 micrometer peak for H2O should block over half the radiation up to a wavelength of 8.13 micrometers (at current H2O vapor concentration of 0.4%).

            * The 15 micrometer peak for CO2 should block over half the radiation down to a wavelength of 12.99 micrometers; if we doubled the CO2 concentration the atmosphere, that peak would widen slightly to block over half the radiation down to a wavelength of 12.74 micrometers.

            – We now integrate the Plank energy distribution from wavelengths 8.13–12.74 micrometers, and ask for what temperature that would give the same answer as integrating the Plank distribution for 300K over wavelengths 8.13–12.99 micrometers. I obtain 303K.

            In other words, without any feedback, we’d expect a doubling of current atmospheric CO2 levels to raise global temperature by about 3 degrees C (or, to be honest about how sloppy we were, between 1 and 10 degrees C). That’s at least of the same order of magnitude as obtained by more complicated models.

            Of course, none of this means the current level of hysteria is warranted. Probably the only action that is warranted is imposing a carbon tax, equal to our current best estimate of the negative externality caused by climate change — which, even if climate change models assuming feedback are taken at face value, is much smaller than most people (or at least than most people I know) realize.

            (As an anecdote: Recently, I asked a room full of people the question: “Per pound, beef is one of the most carbon-intensive meats to raise. What do you think is the negative externality due to climate change of eating a pound of beef, according to the current consensus climate models?” Everyone gave answers that were way to high — the actual answer is 16 cents.)

            Best,
            -Eric

          • …And also, as for how results of more complicated models compare to the 3 degrees C obtained above by crude methods — this summary article (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_TS_FINAL.pdf) concludes:

            “Estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) based on
            observed climate change, climate models and feedback analysis, as
            well as paleoclimate evidence indicate that ECS is positive, likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C.”

          • Thanks Eric. It would be nice to see a true radiative transfer calculation to get an exact estimate – I haven’t seen this. Perhaps this is what underlies the technical report, I would hope so.

            I’ll add one quibble to your back-of-the-envelope estimate. Even where there are no strong lines, there is significance absorption throughout the infrared. See a transmittance plot such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmittance#/media/File:Atmospheric.transmittance.IR.jpg — there is at least 20% absorption through 1 mile of atmosphere throughout the 6 um to 15 um window. Atmospheric pressure drops by 1/e in about 3 miles of altitude, and water vapor is lighter and extends higher than O2 or N2, so 3 miles is probably a reasonable estimate for the optical depth from ground to space. That means that the transmittance ground to space will be about .8^3 or 50% at best throughout that window, and your estimate of a 3 C change from narrowing the window should be cut down by a factor of 2.

            A peak transmittance of 50% in the infrared seems inconsistent with your numbers from spectralcalc – you implied transmittance was greater than 50% between 8.13–12.74 micrometers, and approaching 100% through much of the window. If that were so, infrared astronomy wouldn’t have needed to move to 14,000 foot or higher mountains.

            Best, Paul

          • Hi Paul,

            Actually, water vapor extends less high than the other gasses, even though it is lighter — because the temperature drops off as you gain altitude, and so water vapor condenses and falls to the ground as it rises. Indeed, the atmosphere as a whole is 0.4% water vapor by mass; but the average at earth’s surface is 1.5%.

            Pressure actually falls off slower than you say — more like a factor of e every 5 miles. So the actual optical depth, accounting only for water vapor, would be about 5 * 0.4 / 1.5 = 1.33 miles.

            Also, your chart is optical density over 1 nautical mile = 1.15 miles.

            So extrapolating from your chart should give ~75% transmission, not less than 50%.

            Also, just to clarify, spectralcalc wasn’t giving virtually 100% transmission for water vapor in that window, just high transmission — about 90% transmission around 10 micrometers, for example.

            So the numbers still don’t quite line up (75% versus 90%), but I’d guess that’s explainable by variation in water vapor content. (Possible explanation: Since the chart you linked is over one nautical mile, might it be transmission measured over one nautical mile over the ocean? The concentration of water vapor is larger over the ocean.)

            But, yeah, it would be nice to see a true radiative transfer calculation to get an exact estimate…

            Best,
            -Eric

          • Hi Paul,

            …And, after some more digging, I did find a true radiative transfer calculation, done back in the 90s:

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/98GL01908/pdf

            It describes the result of running this computer program with new (well new at the time) data:

            http://opensky.ucar.edu/islandora/object/technotes%3A134/datastream/PDF/view

            The result is a warming of 1 C — so the back-of-the-envelope calculation above was off by a factor of 3.

            So in fact, the consensus claim of 3 degrees C of warming comes from 1 degree C from the direct effect of the CO2, plus 2 degrees C of feedback.

            Best,
            -Eric

          • Hi Eric,

            Good find. So we’re close now. A few last observations:
            – I don’t believe there can be positive feedback. If so variations in the earth’s orbit, the sun’s temperature, and the composition of the atmosphere would have led to a great deal more instability than we’ve actually based on ice core measurements. More likely there’s negative feedback damping the impact of carbon dioxide. There’s no physical basis that I’m aware of for assuming positive feedback; moreover the lack of warming observed from satellite data over the last 20 years also suggests negative feedback.
            – The fear of carbon dioxide’s warming effect should be balanced with respect for the benefits carbon dioxide has for plant growth and agricultural yields.

            Best, Paul

          • If one of you guys have a second to clarify where you’ve landed on this in layman’s terms it would be great for those of us following the conversation, but that don’t understand the science. Very interesting conversation, and interesting to hear your thoughts on this Paul.

          • Briefly, Eric took me to school on the physics; the standard claims about CO2’s potential to contribute to global warming are exaggerated, but not as much as I thought they were.

            Best, Paul

          • Thanks for the update! It’s so nice to see this issue debated by people that understand the science, rather than people that have simply inherited opinions. Thanks to both of you!

  19. Hi Paul

    Thank you for your considered reply.

    You and I agree that “truth” is not purely the preserve of science. Far from it. I can also see a commonality shared by the human search for meaning and order through scientific enquiry, and the human search for meaning and order through religious belief and practice.

    I think we also agree that an amoral and purely self-interested worldview leads to the kind of imbalances you refer to when you talk about bandwagons, grant money-driven research agendas, etc. To conflate such a view with atheism, however, is another matter entirely. We can all point to amoral and self-interested Christians, and atheists of high morality and integrity, and vice versa. Even if there were an association (which I doubt), as we all know association does not equal causality!

    As to the history of the development of science, I’m not so sure. An alternative view would be that every human culture – paleo onwards – had a religious worldview because we as humans have a tendency a) to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless data, and b) to infuse such patterns with intention and agency. Such genetically-based cognitive tendencies gave us a survival advantage in avoiding danger and were thus selected for. (A discussion of the evidence for both the genetic basis and the evolutionary advantage are here http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/957-homo-religiosus-why-we-are-hardwired-for-belief-in-god.html)

    So, if historically every culture was religious because that helped us survive and make apparent sense of the world, scientific enquiry could only ever arise within a religious context. There was no other possibility.

    Thus, whilst the Enlightenment certainly took place in a Christian context, it could be that it took place a) because of, and inspired by, Christianity, b) uninfluenced of Christianity, or c) in spite of Christianity. Given the way the religious establishment vehemently resisted much scientific advancement, as is well documented, I’d say that c) is the strongest candidate. Darwin’s insights did not come to him because of his training as an Anglican clergyman and his belief in the literal truth of the Bible, but rather in spite of it.

    I do believe it’s possible to be scientific in some things and religious in others. Of course that’s possible. But at the end of the day religions all contain dogma about the way things supposedly are and the ways human beings are supposed to behave. Christianity does not simply say, “let’s search for the truth,” it says, “let’s search for the truth, and here are some truths which are absolute and beyond question.” And it is this that distinguishes it from science and which makes it, in my view, inherently and unarguably unscientific.

    What if people could be moral, open-minded and committed to making a difference in the world without signing up to rules or inflexible models of “truth”?

    Because people can be, and many, many millions are.

    Best

    PT

  20. Well written, PT! You are working for the greater good of humanity and it certainly shows.

  21. PT – You haven’t shown any conflict between Christian dogma and truth, you’ve only presupposed that one may exist. You don’t reject science even though scientists often put forward falsehoods as scientific truths, yet you reject Christianity just on the possibility that Christian dogmas might one day come into conflict with science.

    You ask, “What if people could be moral … without … rules or inflexible models of truth?” Can they? Give up rules and regard truth as flexible and contingent (indeed, do not even acknowledge the existence of truth, only “models of truth”), and morality is likely to go out the window.

    Along with morality, science itself goes out the window. Consider this (from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R12P20120328, via http://blog.sethroberts.net/2012/04/03/lack-of-repeatability-of-cancer-research-the-mystery/):

    During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development. Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated….

    Part way through his project to reproduce promising studies, Begley met for breakfast at a cancer conference with the lead scientist of one of the problematic studies. “We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,” said Begley. “I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story.

    So these top “scientists” take results they know are false and fabricate a story to put them into a journal. This is a basic lack of loyalty to truth, and it seems to be what irreligious science naturally decays to – an endless series of wild goose chases based on dishonest and fraudulent work.

    I’ve spent most of my life in or around science, and I’ve known a lot of top scientists including 7 Nobel laureates. All the best scientists I knew were Christian believers. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  22. Thanks for this discussion. For me it’s this simple: The Creator created, science discovers what the Creator has created.

    I hope no scientist in his/her right mind would ever claim to have created anything. All is here before us – but to discover, explain, and wonder over.

    There is Truth. This Truth requires a response from us – an acknowledgement, and an aligning of our lives with it. There’s lots of room for science and research but only as a response to Truth. Anything else, as Paul has said above, gets us what we have today – scientism – the scientist as God.

  23. Another way to resolve this is to apply Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap. Thanks for being in the 10% Paul.

  24. This is absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

  25. The Catholic Church – Builder of Civilization, Episode 2: The Church and Science

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niIAJC24zd4

  26. What exciting news about your new book!! I must admit I was hoping for the recipe book first, but all is well. Since your deadline is close I’m wondering if you want us to send typos we find in the book. I have figured that you found them already, but I sometimes find something that I know your careful people would correct if you are aware. Please let me know and I will try to go back and find them.

    pam2

    • Hi Pam,

      I appreciate your kindness! However, much of the text is changing and I expect the new draft will get a thorough going-over by professionals (and ourselves).

      • Hello Paul,
        could you explain how you believe in Jesus and his resurrection,but don’t believe he is capable of creating the universe.Also where do you think you are going to be spending eternity if not in the NEW creation?I think it’s wonderful that at least you have heard of Jesus and i don’t think you know him.Do you read the Bible?Have you read Knowing God by J.I Packer or The Cross of Christ by John Stott?
        Happy Easter Christ is risen

  27. Paul,

    Your insight about morality and scienTISTS (and the resulting quality of their science) is new (to me) and very interesting. Thanks. A holy Sacred Triduum & blessed Eastertide to you both!

  28. I am not religious, but attending church with my family every Sunday and attending dinner parties, social events, volunteering etc. with our church friends is a part of my health regimen and the benefits are tangible.

    Please, let’s continue to keep the discussion respectful.

    Jonathan

  29. I have to say, I’m also a bit surprised to this on here. I’m curious how you are able to say that something like God is truth, when there’s zero evidence for its existence. The conflict with religion and science is that religion is based on faith and not reason. Who’s to say that this won’t have other psychological effects? Now, I’m not saying that God doesn’t exist, as there’s no way to prove a negative, but to entertain the idea is irrational.

    • Hi D,

      Religion is based on faith and reason. They are not in conflict.

      How can entertaining an idea be irrational?

      • Hi Paul,

        I didn’t know this post was still up. Faith, by definition, is belief without evidence, whereas reason is the faculty we use to perceive reality. With religion, there’s the belief that something exists other than what can be perceived. How are these two ideas not in conflict?

        Once an idea or concept has been shown to have zero evidence for being true, it is irrational to believe that it is worth pursuing further.

        With all that being said, I love your site and wish you all the best in the future.

        • Hi Daniel,

          Hardly. Faith is not belief without evidence, but belief without certainty – it is “the assurance of things hoped for.” You have faith that your loved ones will continue to love you in the future, for example, even though you can not be certain regarding future events. Faith is a virtue because it solves coordination problems and leads all of society toward love.

  30. Happy Easter celebrations everyone!

    Thank you Paul for your continued brilliant blogging and insights through the first quarter of 2013!

    Best in health,

    Kristopher

  31. Hi Paul,
    I must say that as a person of science (I am a high school science teacher – biology and chemistry for 20 years), a person who is very passionate about health and nutrition and a Christian I am finding your book incredibly helpful and your site terrific and positive and encouraging!

  32. Hi Paul,

    “I think in the end it is the atheistic worldview that is incompatible with science.”

    “You ask, “What if people could be moral … without … rules or inflexible models of truth?” Can they? Give up rules and regard truth as flexible and contingent (indeed, do not even acknowledge the existence of truth, only “models of truth”), and morality is likely to go out the window. Along with morality, science itself goes out the window.”

    “So these top “scientists” take results they know are false and fabricate a story to put them into a journal. This is a basic lack of loyalty to truth, and it seems to be what irreligious science naturally decays to – an endless series of wild goose chases based on dishonest and fraudulent work.”

    All these things you’ve said are unfounded, and rather disturbing to me to be honest. Do you really think that science and morality will be saved thanks to religion? I think good arguments can be made that the world would have been a much better place without religion.

    “I’ve spent most of my life in or around science, and I’ve known a lot of top scientists including 7 Nobel laureates. All the best scientists I knew were Christian believers. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”
    I don’t think that’s a coincidence either. If you’ve spent most of your life in or around science then you should have heard of sampling bias and confirmation bias.

    Atheism and Theism go to belief, not knowledge. Agnosticism and Gnosticism go to knowledge. I can’t force myself to believe, I just don’t see any evidence, but on the same hand I don’t know for sure that there isn’t and I maintain an open mind. Since I don’t believe and I don’t know, I am an Agnostic Atheist. Atheism isn’t a position on its own, but a response to the positions of others. As an intellectually honest person all I can say is “I don’t know”.

    Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein (a great scientist who was neither a Christian nor an atheist. He called himself an agnostic) :
    “To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with the natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am persuaded that such behaviour on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy
    but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress.”- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion (1941)

    And Charles Darwin:
    “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” ? Charles Darwin

    Despite of our disagreement I continue to respect you. You can delete this post if you wish to. I just assumed from your discussion with PT that you would be open to hearing others’ perspectives.

    • Hi Erik,

      Whether religion will save science or morality, or fail utterly, is unknowable. I hope it may, but human institutions including religions have failed many times in the past.

      Christianity does not depend on belief in a personal God who interferes with nature; indeed such a view would seem to conflict with Christianity, since it seems to imply that God who is the author of nature is in conflict with his own prior actions, and overrules them as it were through his own subsequent interventions. Since God cannot be at war with himself, it seems an untenable view to Christians as well as Einstein.

      I don’t agree with Darwin’s interpretation of the text.

  33. Thank you for your reply,

    I understand now. I assumed you believed in a personal god who answers prayers, or who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings, because all Christians I know seem to believe in god in such a way.

    But what does it mean to be a Christian without believing in a personal god? I have never heard of it and I didn’t even know that was possible. And what does believing in an impersonal god (a god who doesn’t punish/reward people) have to do with morality?

    I found one more interesting quote from Albert Einstein regarding religion and morality, with which I agree:
    “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
    – Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930

    Please understand that I’m not criticizing you in any way. My curiosity about your beliefs comes entirely from respect and admiration for what you do.

    • Hi Erik,

      How does what I said conflict with there being a personal God? The key trait of a personal God is that he loves us. As far as the degree of interaction we have with God in this life, that is up for debate, but God can certainly converse with us in the depths of our heart / spirit without interfering with natural events.

      Also, you seem to be neglecting that there is a world to come, a resurrected world, which we can be denied or welcomed into; so punishment and reward need not occur in this world.

      I don’t see how Einstein jumps to the conclusion that “no religious basis is necessary” for morality. It’s true that a husband should behave well toward his wife, and vice versa, out of love rather than out of fear of punishment or desire for reward; in a similar way love of God and love of our neighbors who will populate his planned communion of saints should drive moral behavior, not fear or greed.

      Christianity makes a spiritual claim: that morality is intrinsically the fruit of a spiritual union with God, who is the heart of our heart. In rejecting God spiritually, one rejects morality at the same time, so one is destined to fall into immorality. This does not mean one needs to know that that is what one is doing — one can embrace morality without knowing that in so doing one is also embracing God, or reject it without realizing that in doing so one is also rejecting God — but that is, we believe, the spiritual reality.

  34. God bless you during your Triduum fast, Paul.

  35. This is beautiful and refreshing. Thanks for posting. I’ve read your comments and love what you’ve said about seeking truth etc. Interesting observation about good scientists being Christian believers.
    God bless.

  36. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it!

  37. Thank you for this easter post 🙂
    You absolutley have to check out the “Monks of Keur Moussa” they sing incerdible.

  38. Paul

    I have a question not related to this post. How harmful is following the perfect health diet, half way?

    The reason I ask is that I have seen among friends and neighbors that most who ate a lot of mutton were either obese or at risk of heart disease. This might be a selective memory on my part.

    As far as I know, none of them avoided gluten, legumes or other things contraindicated by your diet. A half way diet would be the easiest to implement for my son, due to school and what his peers are eating, but I worry that I might damage his health by doing so.

    • Hi Arthi,

      Generally half is much better than none, but it is key to eat a balanced and nourishing diet, and if “half” doesn’t mean a balanced diet but taking one aspect to an extreme and other aspects not being implemented at all, it could be a problem.

      • Thank you. I would be interested in reading success stories from people on a halfway diet, describing their approach.

        Another question, supplemental melatonin is generally contraindicated for people with hypothyroidism (I have Hashimoto’s), why do you not mention it?

        Also, when I did take melatonin, I found that it messed with my and my toddler’s sleep for the next week, I breastfeed him at night. It leads me to think that melatonin supplementation is not a good idea, and using light and darkness to achieve good sleep is much, much better.

        Having said that, I have to thank you for all your informative posts. I’ve cut gluten for the last month, and made the following changes in the last 3 days:
        Oatmeal and eggs cooked in coconut oil for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is rice with sides cooked in vegetable oil (I’m taking small steps, I will start cooking dinner for myself separately in a few days). I use flux on my laptop already, and I started wearing an eye mask to bed, and from yesterday I am taking a vitamin c tablet every few hours. I found that I am too sated most of the time, I’ve had the deepest uninterrupted sleep in years, and I can function on 6 hours of sleep, sometimes even 3. The only downside is a backache due to the lack of sleep. I seemed to have cleared my diarrhea of two days just on vitamin C.
        The results are amazing, especially within three days. I’m someone who generally needs 9 hours of sleep. Thank you again for your wonderful site, your years of research and your wonderful commitment to spread the word. These changes mean the world to a low-energy person like me.

  39. Great video! Have a blessed Easter!

  40. I just learned about this diet and will be looking into it much more. My son, who has an ASD, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, small stature (has NO fat)at 55 lbs @ age 12, has been on SCD since December. He lost a few lbs, much to my disappointment.

    I am sticking with that diet for another month until his next weight check, but am wondering if this diet could help him.

    He is also hypoglycemic and needs a low carb/no sugar diet, but I think he needs more carbs (safe carbs as you refer to it) to gain some weight. Just curious if this diet could help him clear up any gut problems he may have, and put some weight on him.

    • Hi Mom,

      Yes, I do believe our diet would help. It is certainly better for lean mass gain / muscle gain due to a better balance of nutrition than SCD, which tends to be a semi-starvation diet due to carb restriction. Also, a moderate carb intake, 25-30% of energy, is less stressful and often helps with the hypoglycemia. It replenishes glycogen better and therefore helps the liver regulate blood glucose, and is less stressful to the adrenals and less prone to adrenal fatigue.

      It is also very good for gut flora. We just had a reader this very morning report that her son was cured of Asperger’s syndrome on our diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/q-a/comment-page-69/#comment-460493), and we’ve had other reports of cures for autism, ADHD, OCD and anxiety. I’ve blogged about an OCD case I believe, and some of the other reports can be found on our reader results page, which is not up to date.

      Best, Paul

      • Thank you for your reply, Paul. I do feel like he is being starved at times. He does have Adrenal Fatigue, which we help his symptoms with Adrenal Cortex Extract. He is much better with his moods after getting all of the rice, corn, potatoes, and sugar out, but I am going to add in some of your safe carbs. Thanks for the link of the testimony.
        momremb

  41. Paul,

    This debate is wonderful and it is very reassuring to know a man of such intellect is a believing Christian and that many of the best scientists you know are as well. I am an engineer and have never seen a conflict with faith and science. In fact, taking college physics 101 and learning the simple derivative/integral relationship between position, velocity and acceleration was the catalyst that pointed me towards faith. Only God could design the universe so wonderfully but simply at the same time.

  42. Grateful for future healing and the Jaminets. Blessings.

  43. Lets play this at the retreat when we wake up…… glorious and reverent….. behold love…….. grace…….. the Christ…… the transcendence …

  44. Paul, I really enjoy these religious dialogues of yours. I am neither Christian nor Atheist. My beliefs are a variety of truths about the Infinite or God cobbled together from many sources. I find your version of Christianity and spirituality very enlightened, and see many symmetries with my own beliefs. I also find the intellectual arguments on both sides stimulating, and am glad you keep posting them on your diet blog. I think they do have a place here, as the discussion of science, truth, morality, and meditation are so interwoven with what has brought the Perfect Health Diet into being. Great stuff! And I also always appreciate that you keep this blog going with infusions of energy, either answering questions, posting about Easter, or reporting results from your retreats. 🙂

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