Newman, Chesterton, Jaki,
and the Founding of the Ambrosian University

Peter J. Floriani, Ph.D.

Anyone who reads the title of this essay will wonder what the Ambrosian University is — which is a most intelligent question. In order to explain this very curious title, I must introduce myself. I am a computer scientist with a Ph.D. and over 30 years of experience, a Roman Catholic (at least I struggle to practice that faith) and a student of the works of G. K. Chesterton, J. H. Newman, and S. L. Jaki. In fact, I was privileged to visit Father Jaki in New Jersey several times, to have lunch with him, and to assist him in preparing new works as well as reprints of his existing works. With the aid of my discipline, and the many hours of time I spent in scanning his books, I was able to search his own texts for him on demand. We shared both intellectual and purely social conversations.

How Jaki's Writing Led to the Founding of the Ambrosian

In the pursuit of my studies of these three great authors, and in my exploration of certain arcane topics for an adventure story, I had the joy of visiting the famous Loome Theological Booksellers in Stillwater, Minnesota. There I purchased several Jaki books I did not yet possess, and texts cited by Jaki such as European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages by Curtius and Babbage's Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, about which more later. I also obtained a copy of the Roman Pontifical from the mid-1800s, in which I learned of the very remarkable rituals once performed by bishops on Christmas Eve: the blessing of swords, and the making of knights — all of which was necessary for my adventure. I will not discuss that story further, except to mention that as part of its design I needed to found several institutes of higher learning, in particular the great Ambrosian University in Milan, Pennsylvania: a 'Newman school' which 'kept to the highest possible standards by every measure.'[1] Their course catalog displays an updated version of the famous medieval 'Tree of Virtues' by which their academic system is organized, and reminds the reader of the school's fundamental aim: 'You're in this life to get to heaven, not to earn degrees. God doesn't ask to see your transcript!'[2] It sounds good, doesn't it? It sounds like a place you would want to visit, to send your children to, or (like me) at which you'd want to teach. But do not be misled. There is no such town in Pennsylvania as Milan. And at present, in this, our real cosmos, there is no such school as the Ambrosian University. (Not yet.)

Why, then, should any serious scholar care about an imaginary place? What have we to do with fiction?

And yet our master, S. L. Jaki, studied the fiction of Chesterton to grasp more of how that fat English journalist was a Seer of Science.[3] He read the stories of Charles Dickens, even locating the last will of the great 'Boz' in order to fully appreciate his remarkable review of Darwin's Origin of Species.[4] He took the time to read and study the fiction of Sigrid Undset, which is just as imaginary — or just as real — as mine.[5]

This essay is not a study of that imaginary school. Rather, it sets forth a little of the roles these three writers — Newman, Chesterton, Jaki — played in my intellectual efforts at developing such a school, efforts which could just as readily be applied to the development and founding of a real university.

Most anyone who makes even the slightest investigation into such a topic will encounter Newman's masterwork, The Idea of a University, written as a kind of 'white paper' in aid of his development of the plan to found a new Catholic university in Ireland, as ordered by Pope Pius IX. Together with it should be read his less formal work, University Sketches, which contains further insights into his thought. For me these are fundamental works, carrying into the modern era the work and plans of the great scholastics about the intellect and its importance to human life in the work of attaining eternal life. The topic is huge, and it is announced implicitly in almost every page of Jaki's writing, as well as that of Chesterton: the 'one subject' is God, the creator of heaven and earth, and His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Man, through Whom all things were made.

Those last words are, of course, a well-known clause of the Nicene Creed, attested to every Sunday by Catholics and many other Christians. Given that Jesus is the singular and comprehensive 'ablative of means,' the Purpose of the Universe, He must therefore provide the same singular Purpose for the University. When asked, He Himself cited the 'greatest law' of the Mosaic Covenant: 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength.'[6] Our entire being, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, is to be devoted to the love of God. Our intellect must therefore be used for this purpose, whether we are studying mathematics or literature, history or science or the history of science, theology or law or music or art... All subjects conform to, lead to, unite in, and further the pursuit of, the One Subject.

In arguing for the importance of the inclusion of Theology among the studies offered by a University, Newman advances a scholastic view of the Circle of Knowledge:

How can we investigate any part of any order of Knowledge, and stop short of that which enters into every order? All true principles run over with it, all phenomena converge to it; it is truly the First and the Last. In word indeed, and in idea, it is easy enough to divide knowledge into human and divine, secular and religious, and to lay down that we will address ourselves to the one without interfering with the other; but it is impossible in fact. Granting that divine truth differs in kind from human, so do human truths differ in kind one from another. If the knowledge of the Creator is in a different order from knowledge of the creature, so, in like manner, metaphysical science is in a different order from physical, physics from history, history from ethics. You will soon break up into fragments the whole circle of secular knowledge, if you begin the mutilation with divine.[7]

But he goes on to show, a fortiori, the same argument applies to any, and every discipline. Indeed:

...if you drop any science out of the circle of knowledge, you cannot keep its place vacant for it; that science is forgotten; the other sciences close up, or, in other words, they exceed their proper bounds, and intrude where they have no right. [8]

All of this was said in a similar fashion in a very early essay by Chesterton: 'You cannot evade the issue of God; whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him.'[9] And again 26 years later he says, 'I would undertake to pick up any topic at random, from pork to pyrotechnics, and show that it illustrates the truth of the only true philosophy; so realistic is the remark that all roads lead to Rome.'[10] But this comprehensive unity is most Newmanian, for Chesterton also says:

I never can really feel that there is such a thing as a different subject. There is no such thing as an irrelevant thing in the universe; for all things in the universe are at least relevant to the universe.[11]

Ah, indeed. All things are relevant to the universe, which is merely a Chestertonian paraphrase of Newman's entire argument in his Idea of a University: hence all subjects are relevant to the university.

Jaki on Universities

Jaki's essay, 'The University and the Universe' in his Chance or Reality and Other Essays, is full of his insight, wit, and sharp, sometimes bitter, comments. His purpose was to address the place of the universe in academics, about which Newman said, 'There is but one thought greater than that of the universe, and that is the thought of its Maker.'[12] Hence, as Jaki observes, for Newman, a university could 'retain its raison d'être only if philosophical or natural theology was the basis of its program of instruction.'[13] Jaki's essay is almost too dense to characterize in brief allusions, but a little of its thrust might be found in this excerpt:

As all too often in the past, in our century too, it remained to others, usually philosophers, to articulate the deeds and words of leading scientists, and to unveil, if necessary, the tragicomedy lurking behind some of their utterances. Such a role on the part of the philosophers should not seem to be surprising as most of the time scientists speak of two heavily philosophical subjects, man and the universe. Both are vast topics even for a series of lectures, and are also very different topics. Yet they have one very important trait in common: both man and universe are invisible to physical eyes.[14]

So much of Jaki (and a fortiori Chesterton) is suggested here: the famous quote from a Father Brown story that perhaps something went unnoticed because it was too large to be seen;[15] the hint that science, like every other discipline, requires continual correction if it is not to go astray; that science, like every other discipline, can make great gains through the assistance of other experts who are not in the same field; and especially that these two topics — Man, and the Universe — are the most refractory, but also the most important, most interesting, and most compelling of topics for study in every age. But then these two, or rather three, topics (the universe, Man, and God) close the set of coursework, whether that set is computed from the famous and much-argued first chapter of Genesis, from the studies of medievals such as Hugh of St. Victor, St. Thomas Aquinas, or Henry of Langenstein, or from the splendid 'tree of virtues' exhibited as a diagram in the Cursus Theologicus of the Carmelites of the University of Salamanca.[16] But the thing which is also too large to be seen is the implied reference to Newman, that due to the omission of philosophy, the sciences go astray.[17]

Further insights are found in the chapter 'Catholic Universities,' pages 347-380 of Jaki's Apologetics as Meant by Newman, which gives a flying tour of Newman's Idea, along with observations on present-day academia. Just consider this:

To read The Idea of a University without eyes focused on the emphatic references there to sin and grace is just as mistaken as it would be to page through an album full of color illustrations as if it contained only texts of interpretations.[18]

And if this sounds like Chesterton, especially with its allusion to art,[19] the link is sound, for Jaki couples Newman, Chesterton and the Universe:

Newman would have been delighted in reading Chesterton's remark in Heretics that 'the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether, in the long run, anything else affects them.'[20]

One other insight is of critical importance to my purpose:

...[Newman] held that instruction in natural lore cannot retain its integrity without being immersed in the supernatural, according to the intention of the statutes of the College. [i.e., Oriel, at Oxford.] Not that Newman wanted to mix the natural and the supernatural, and thereby denature both in the process. Throughout the lectures [the first part of his Idea of a University] he assigned to himself the task that a century later Maritain put in the phrase, 'distinguish to unite.' The unification, if genuine, is not a fusion but a co-ordination.[21]

This last, and most orthogonal observation, is most Chestertonian, most Newmanian, most Jakian — because it is most Christian. Chesterton provides a powerful argument against fusion and for co-ordination:

Thus, the double charges of the secularists, though throwing nothing but darkness and confusion on themselves, throw a real light on the faith. It is true that the historic Church has at once emphasised celibacy and emphasised the family; has at once (if one may put it so) been fiercely for having children and fiercely for not having children. It has kept them side by side like two strong colours, red and white, like the red and white upon the shield of St. George. It has always had a healthy hatred of pink. It hates that combination of two colours which is the feeble expedient of the philosophers. It hates that evolution of black into white which is tantamount to a dirty gray. In fact, the whole theory of the Church on virginity might be symbolized in the statement that white is a colour: not merely the absence of a colour. All that I am urging here can be expressed by saying that Christianity sought in most of these cases to keep two colours coexistent but pure. It is not a mixture like russet or purple; it is rather like a shot silk, for a shot silk is always at right angles, and is in the pattern of the cross. ... Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because its exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years. In a Gothic cathedral the columns were all different, but they were all necessary.[22]

And so Chesterton's 'All the columns are different, but all of them are necessary' echoes Newman's 'Granting that divine truth differs in kind from human, so do human truths differ in kind one from another. If the knowledge of the Creator is in a different order from knowledge of the creature, so, in like manner, metaphysical science is in a different order from physical, physics from history, history from ethics.'[23] And this is echoed by Jaki, be it in a most Chestertonian key, in his essay on the universe and the university, binding them together (yes, even the hardest of sciences) into that single canticle of praise which is only the contemplation of the One Subject:

The more genuine success is claimed by science, the more specific the universe will appear. Of course, any aspect of ordinary reality is very specific, specific to the point of being queer. The queer specificity of the real world immediately surrounding us, the everyday world, has a lasting freshness only to very sensitive onlookers and extraordinary minds. But the ordinary mind cannot help being startled when it finds the entire universe described by science in a few bafflingly specific terms. Even the ordinary mind would be awakened to the fact that such a specificity is hardly an exclusive possibility. Once this is realized, Creator, religion, and meaning emerge on the mental horizon and beckon for recognition. Had Chesterton lived to learn about modern cosmology, his always voluble enthusiasm would have overflown. [sic; overflowed?] For already in 1905 when he wrote his first major book, Heretics, he fully saw that the great disease and heresy of modern culture was its refusal to consider the general, that is, the meaning. Modern culture, as Chesterton put it, was lost in details and in a state of mind in which 'everything matters — except everything,' that is, the universe. Modern culture, precisely on account of its professional agnosticism if not plain paganism was in the straitjacket of a blind dogmatism which prescribed, to quote Chesterton again, that 'Man may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe, for if he does, he will have a religion, and be lost.'[24]

Hence, we perceive a consistent unity between these three scholars, binding together (as if by a big Sigma, the summation sign) three distinct but related components: (1) all the various distinct kinds of fields of study: the subjects or departments of a university, (2) together with Jaki's pet formula, 'the totality of consistently interacting things': the Universe writ large, (3) and also (as Newman said) that single thought greater than the Universe: God, Who is the Creator of the Universe as well as those fields of study. All of which precedes in every sense our three masters, since we not only find this truth in the Creed, through Whom [Christ] all things were made, but it is also in Scripture: 'In whom [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.'[25]

The Ambrosian: All Things at the Top of Their Energy

So how, then, have these three scholars aided me in my founding of this university, be it solely an imaginary one, though one to which I have imputed nothing formally impossible to this Real cosmos?[26]

It is, as I hinted, a matter of big Sigma, or rather of Chesterton's explanation of the Church: we take both extremes together: 'we want not an amalgam or compromise, but both things at the top of their energy; love and wrath both burning.'[27] Not Science to the exclusion of Literature, Literature to the exclusion of Theology, Theology to the exclusion of History, History to the exclusion of Philosophy, Philosophy to the exclusion of Mathematics... but all of them at once, and at the top of their energy. And upon that equation of three terms I have founded the Ambrosian University, the first and greatest of the Newman schools.

Practically speaking, what does this mean? It means sifting through Jaki (like the index under that big Sigma) looking for every little suggestion about what really needs to be taught, so as not to break into fragments Newman's circle of knowledge, and preserving, as Chesterton dictates, every extreme at the top of its energy — that is, keeping each discipline true according to its own dicta without the interference from, but with the assistance of, all the others.

It means teaching dull and boring topics in a Chestertonianly enthusiastic[28] manner. Making sure that the engineering students get to see three or four of Shakespeare's best plays. Not, emphatically not, read, but see, as in a theater. Making sure that history and math majors get to hear a Brahms symphony, a Bach fugue, and a choral work of Palestrina. Making sure that all students know about algebraic objects, finite state machines, quantum mechanics, the platinides and rare earths, Cepheid variables, and the vagus nerve; about Galileo's successes and failures; about Guido d'Arezzo who gave us Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la; about the Septuagint version of Holy Scripture, about the Greek letters (including Digamma) and how they represent numbers; about what is really happening inside computers and slide rules; about the work of Euclid, Buxtehude, Origen, Hermite, Celsus, Mendel, Steno, Gauss, Galen, Agnesi, Piazzi, Migne, Chaucer, Cavaille-Coll, Gödel, Cauchy, Roebling, Biringuccio... a list which is barely begun, and must continually be added to; about which saint is mentioned in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, about Catholics who founded scientific crystallography, or whose physics is used in the construction of a piano, or whose name should come to mind whenever one sees a lighthouse or an overhead projector... and so on.

But rather than just give a cross-section through some of the Ambrosian's introductory courses, buttressed as they are by texts such as Jaki's reprint of Kneller's Christianity and the Leaders of Modern Science, let us consider some more specific examples, case studies as they were, of priceless lessons which are to be taught at our school.

The Senses

Since all knowledge in the usual sense of the term, scientific, artistic, literary, or purely human common sense, begins in our sensory perceptions, we must begin with the senses. Newman reveals this in his typically catholic style:

For instance, the Newtonian philosophy requires the admission of certain metaphysical postulates, if it is to be more than a theory or an hypothesis; as, for instance, that what happened yesterday will happen to-morrow; that there is such a thing as matter, that our senses are trustworthy, there is a logic of induction, and so on.[29]

Of course the necessary corollary is that metaphysics must likewise require the admission of certain truths of physics and literature lest it become deaf, dumb, and blind — but that is why Newman demands that every field have its proper seat in the circle of knowledge. True, the senses cannot perceive the formal terms of philosophy, but they do perceive by ink on paper, or from a video display, those traditional symbols known as the 'alphabet' by which such abstractions are represented. A very early writing of Chesterton bears out the idea:

A cosmos one day being rebuked by a pessimist replied, 'How can you who revile me consent to speak by my machinery? Permit me to reduce you to nothingness and then we will discuss the matter.' Moral. You should not look a gift universe in the mouth.[30]

Three decades later Chesterton reveals the true mystery of the senses: they are now also God's senses:

The Body was no longer what it was when Plato and Porphyry and the old mystics had left it for dead. It had hung upon a gibbet. It had risen from a tomb. It was no longer possible for the soul to despise the senses, which had been the organs of something that was more than man. Plato might despise the flesh; but God had not despised it. The senses had truly become sanctified; as they are blessed one by one at a Catholic baptism. 'Seeing is believing' was no longer the platitude of a mere idiot, or common individual, as in Plato's world; it was mixed up with real conditions of real belief. Those revolving mirrors that send messages to the brain of man, that light that breaks upon the brain, these had truly revealed to God himself the path to Bethany or the light on the high rock of Jerusalem. These ears that resound with common noises had reported also to the secret knowledge of God the noise of the crowd that strewed palms and the crowd that cried for Crucifixion. ... The Thomist stands in the broad daylight of the brotherhood of men, in their common consciousness that eggs are not hens or dreams or mere practical assumptions; but things attested by the Authority of the Senses, which is from God. [31]

In his first book Jaki refers to Chesterton's appeal to Aquinas implicitly: 'Science, which had been liberated from philosophical dicta only a little over two centuries earlier by an appeal to the senses, was now subjected by Comte to what was nothing short of a tyranny of the senses.'[32] In another place he gives a classical insight:

...a remark of Galen, the famed physiologist of Antiquity, about a similar brashness of the atomists, who played a facile game with what man was told by his five senses: 'Wretched mind, do you, who get your evidence from us, yet try to overthrow us? Our overthrow will be your downfall.'[33]

In terms of the Ambrosian, at their orientation session, students are given a number of simple but interesting exercises in order to acquaint them with the powers and also the limits of their senses, including the typical ranges of vision, hearing, and so on. But its professors also recall the admonition of Dickens:

'Why do you doubt your senses?' [Marley asked.]

'Because,' said Scrooge, 'a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats.'[34]

which is the point declared by Chesterton in his excellent essay on the limits of logic:

...the power of seeing how many ears the average man, as a fact, possesses, the power of counting a gentleman's ears accurately and without mathematical confusion, is not a logical thing but a primary and direct experience, like a physical sense, like a religious vision. The power of counting ears may be limited by a blow on the head; it may be disturbed and even augmented by two bottles of champagne; but it cannot be affected by argument.[35]

Hence, this Ambrosian introductory into the power of the senses also includes a variety of visual, audible, and tactile illusions, along with a number of other practices which might be called 'lab techniques' by some, but are nothing more than basic common-sense actions requiring careful and attentive perceptions: measuring lengths, weighing objects, and so on. One must be skilled at the methods of science before one speaks of the scientific method.

On Errors That Aren't Errors.

This mention of illusions raises a fascinating question: When might an error not truly be an error? Is an error in the thousandths place just a mistake, an error in math or in technique or in precision? Or is it a sign, an indication, of some very subtle truth? What a Chestertonian idea that is! It is surely right out of his Four Faultless Felons, in which we find such amazing tales as the case where a man shoots another to save him from being killed. But unlike that clever story, this one really happened. It arose from the study of the density of gases in the mid-1890s.

Lord Rayleigh had for some time been engaged in determinations of the exact densities of a number of gases. Among these was nitrogen. In his experiments Rayleigh found that the density of nitrogen obtained from the air was slightly but consistently higher than that obtained from artificial sources. [That is, nitrogen generated by chemical reactions, such as the decomposition of ammonia.] Writing to Nature in 1892 he says 'I am much puzzled by some results as to the density of nitrogen and shall be obliged if any of your chemical readers can offer suggestions as to the cause. According to two methods of preparation I obtain quite distinct values. the relative difference, amounting to 1/1000 part, is small in itself, but it lies entirely outside the errors of experiment.' The difference in the weights of one liter of the gas obtained in the one case from atmospheric air and in the other from ammonia varied by about 6 in 1200, or about 0.5 percent, but the accuracy of the method did not involve an error of more than 0.02 percent.[36]

An intrepid chemist named William Ramsay took up the challenge; after removing oxygen from the air, he absorbed the nitrogen using heated magnesium — and so found there remained another gas, an inert gas, to which he gave the name argon (from the Greek for 'inert, inactive'). Jaki noted the discovery, and it deserves our consideration:

The establishment of well-equipped physical laboratories, first in German and French and later in British universities, clearly evidenced the general recognition of the extraordinary importance precision has in physics. The rewards were at times spectacular, particularly when unknown entities, such as new elements, were discovered. The case of argon was perhaps the most characteristic, resting as it did on the worries of Ramsay and Rayleigh as to why some samples of nitrogen had a weight of 1.257 grams per liter instead of only 1.256. [37]

Thus it is just as important to know when to trust our senses as it is to know when to distrust them.

Some Classical Absurdities

Here are amazing cautionary tales for students, not just those in science. Nowadays the term 'ether' does not occur very often, except in organic chemistry for compounds such as (C2H5)2O, though one occasionally finds it used in popular (non-technical) talk about radio. In past years, 'ether' was the substance presumed to fill all space, the vibrating material for light and radio waves. Maxwell claimed that

...the ether 'is certainly the largest, and probably the most uniform body of which we have knowledge.' Such was the grand conclusion of the article Ether Maxwell wrote for the famed ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica that carried it to the four corners of the world. ... He calculated the resistivity of the ether, its coefficient of tension and the like. All those numerical data are in the article he wrote on the ether for the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.[38]

Along with Lord Kelvin's strange 'ether vortices' must be mentioned 'phlogiston,' the substance (a presumed 'element') contained in certain materials which made them flammable. However, 'It was the precision of Lavoisier's balance that led to the abandonment of the concept of phlogiston and made possible the reorganization of the study of matter on a basis that was designed to emulate the clarity of the Newtonian system.'[39]

Missing a Discovery of Planetary Proportions

Jaki's work has renewed attention to great scholars such as Pierre Duhem, Jean Buridan, and Nicole Oresme. Of lesser stature but still significant is the German astronomer who discovered the asteroids Pallas and Vesta, the man for whom the famous paradox[40] 'Why is the night sky dark?' is named: Wilhelm Olbers (1758-1840). However, Jaki also notes a case where Olbers did not follow through with his observations:

Olbers was a man whose vision ranged far and wide. Before returning to Bremen he travelled to Vienna and made two discoveries. One of them was the exquisite taste of Hungarian wine, the other a strangely moving star which he spotted around the middle of August. But Olbers had no opportunity to carry on with systematic observations. As a result, William Herschel became the official discoverer of the new planet, Uranus.[41]

This is a very sad observation, and one about which I have found a far more pungent warning, a warning which I feel certain is required reading for every student and faculty member at the Ambrosian. It appears in the important 'Observational Records' chapter of Sidgwick's book on amateur astronomy, and deserves the most careful study:

It is generally true to say that an unrecorded observation is an observation wasted. Communication of results is an essential condition of the progress of science.

When planning the form that the observational record is to take, and subsequently while making the actual notes at the telescope, the characteristics to keep constantly in mind are: clarity and unambiguity, conciseness, objectivity and comparability, orderliness, legibility. The record should be immediately intelligible to anyone familiar with the subject, without any supplementary explanation.

... In the history of astronomy can be found numerous cautionary tales which illustrate the fatal consequences of messy and muddled observational records, as well as of preconceived ideas regarding what is likely or possible, and of emotional bias — expectation, disappointment, surprise, hope. No fewer than 19 pre-discovery observations of Uranus have been identified, from 1690 (by Flamsteed) onward.[42]

This is a very important, fundamental point: 'Communication of results is an essential condition of the progress of science.' Such a warning is found in another form in a very unlikely place:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things?[43]

Glad tidings, good news: this is the work of a journalist — and it was a journalist who claimed that

'...there are only two things that really progress; and they both accept accumulations of authority. They may be progressing uphill or down; they may be growing steadily better or steadily worse; but they have steadily increased in certain definable matters; they have steadily advanced in a certain definable direction; they are the only two things, it seems, that ever can progress. The first is strictly physical science. The second is the Catholic Church.'[44]

As usual with Chesterton, there is a parallel passage (which may raise parallel objections) in his non-fiction: 'Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false.'[45] But there may be even more in the next lines of Chesterton's tale, where we see an argument between Turnbull, an atheist, and MacIan, a Catholic:

'Physical science and the Catholic Church!' said Turnbull sarcastically; 'and no doubt the first owes a great deal to the second.'

'If you pressed that point I might reply that it was very probable,' answered MacIan calmly. 'I often fancy that your historical generalizations rest frequently on random instances; I should not be surprised if your vague notions of the Church as the persecutor of science was a generalization from Galileo. I should not be at all surprised if, when you counted the scientific investigations and discoveries since the fall of Rome, you found that a great mass of them had been made by monks.'

Here we may ask: did Chesterton (whose above-quoted work was published in 1910) know of the work of Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), in particular his discoveries relating to Buridan and Oresme? It is something worth looking into, though at this moment I can only claim no more than a hint that Duhem knew of the works of Chesterton.[46]

Charles Babbage

Speaking as a computer scientist, I wish I had time to write a commentary on Jaki's second book, Brain, Mind, and Computers. It is certainly most worthy of study, and not just for those in computing, because there one finds the truth about the first and greatest of computer scientists, the man named Charles Babbage (1792-1871). In the 1830s the writing of William Paley inspired a series of studies relating science and religion, the famed 'Bridgewater Treatises.'[47] The ninth of these was not really part of the series, but Babbage's own addition to it; hence its proper title is The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: a Fragment. It is interesting because it contains Babbage's own discussion of his 'Analytical Engine' — a mechanical device which was programmable so as to solve any given problem, just like our modern electronic computers — but even more because Babbage uses his own device and its programming as an argument about miracles and God. As Jaki says, Babbage 'considered his invention a most impressive illustration of a train of thought indicating the existence of an infinite intellect, or Creator.'[48] There is very little in the past two hundred years which compares to this. No scholar who studies or uses computers can afford to ignore either book.

The Enemy

One of the truly great achievements of our three masters is their acknowledgment of our Enemy, their warnings to us, and their hopeful arming of us with intellectual and mystical tools for use in spiritual warfare:

It is often remarked of uneducated persons, who have hitherto thought little of the unseen world, that, on their turning to God, looking into themselves, regulating their hearts, reforming their conduct, and meditating on death and judgment, heaven and hell, they seem to become, in point of intellect, different beings from what they were. Before, they took things as they came, and thought no more of one thing than another. But now every event has a meaning; they have their own estimate of whatever happens to them; they are mindful of times and seasons, and compare the present with the past; and the world, no longer dull, monotonous, unprofitable, and hopeless, is a various and complicated drama, with parts and an object, and an awful moral.[49]

So we must 'look into ourselves, regulate our hearts, reform our conduct, and meditate on death and judgment, heaven and hell.' Remember the Ambrosian dictum: God is not going to ask to see our transcripts.

The above passage seems to paint a miniature of Jaki, indeed, of every serious scholar in sciences or in arts, for whom 'every event has a meaning' and for whom the world 'is a various and complicated drama, with parts and an object, and an awful moral.' Hence, it is not surprising to find powerful warnings about our Enemy in Chesterton: most of all I recommend his 'If I Only Had One Sermon to Preach' in his The Common Man, which addresses pride. He also offers a useful exclamation, almost a portable miniature exorcism, in a Father Brown story: 'The Cross of Christ be between me and harm.'[50] Throughout his work Chesterton reminds us of Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Man, always hinting of that dramatic symbol, the cross, toward which all of Christ's life moved, starting from the manger in the Cave. And when asked why he converted to Catholicism, Chesterton simply replied 'To get rid of my sins.'[51]

In his remarkable And On This Rock, Jaki describes what can really be seen in the 'neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi' where Jesus called St. Peter the 'Rock.' From a spring in this actual rock arises the Jordan River, 'which provided the water for Jesus' baptism, the prototype of the rite by which the power of Satan is broken.'[52] Rather than speaking directly of the Enemy, Jaki far more frequently warns about our own weakness, railing (for example) about the loss of basic Catholic knowledge such as original sin and its effects:

Both [Gilson and Chesterton] believed in original sin, which Chesterton called the most empirical of all Catholic dogmas. A daily experience of its four secondary effects are our daily fare: our intellect darkens, our will weakens, we suffer, and we die.[53]

Far more importantly, and far grander (in that he exerts the teaching office of his priesthood) is Jaki's recommendation to prayer, which we consider next.


Chief among the weapons at our disposal against our Enemy is prayer. We have been admonished to be alert and make use of this weapon,[54] and as a priest Newman left collections of prayers which are both profound and beautiful. Chesterton's writing has very little in the way of even informal prayers, but some of his poems are certainly mystical and meditative prayers. Even more, Gilbert and his wife Frances aided their parish church of St. Thérèse, adorning it with a lovely statue of Mary with the child Jesus. Jaki reports that Newman did something similar. After relating a particularly heinous action on the part of a so-called Catholic university in our day, Jaki adds:

Newman, so keen on the coming of the Antichrist, would see in that and similar incidents ominous signs which he wanted Catholics to be fully alert and properly prepared. From his own pocket he built a Church for the new Catholic university of Dublin as one of the principal projects to be implemented there.[55]

Jaki's writings include a book Praying the Psalms and a number of fascinating commentaries on the litanies of the Sacred Heart, Mary (the Litany of Loreto), St. Joseph, and the Holy Name of Jesus; the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Apostles' Creed; the mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, along with the great Benedictus and Magnificat canticles, not only treating them academically but with priestly vigor for the sake of spiritual enrichment. Even his scholarly works such as The Theology of Priestly Celibacy and God and the Sun At Fatima contain meditative points, for it is as important to elevate the mind toward God as it is to lift up the heart.

Prayer even plays a role in my imaginary Ambrosian, since like Newman I gave that school its chapel. Also, it has 'a detachment of Cistercian monks on campus, some of whom were the most sought-after faculty on earth — and just outside of town, a team of cloistered nuns as backup.'[56] Because somebody has to do the hard jobs.

A Conclusion

Father Stanley Jaki has left us a good deal of work to do, just as Chesterton, and Duhem, and Newman, and a host of others through the centuries. We must continue to carry forward those intellectual treasures which they gained with so much effort, and by passing on their light (which is but a reflection of the One Who Is Light, and Light from Light) enlighten new students to continue the work they began.

On the very day I learned of Jaki's death, I arranged a website for a 'Duhem Society'[57] to be a starting point for advancing the work of these great scholars. Personal difficulties have made further involvement difficult for me, yet there are many projects which ought to be undertaken: a translation of Duhem's works, recognition of 2016 as the centennial of the death of Pierre Duhem and the fiftieth anniversary of the publishing of Jaki's The Relevance of Physics, and so on. And the greatest, the founding of an actual university at which their real work will be carried on, the work of teaching the Faith, which must mean teaching the complete circle of all sciences, crafts, and arts, the tree of all virtues: whether it is called the Ambrosian or some other name, it must be a 'Newman school' which means it will also be Chestertonian, Jakian, and hence Christian. May the day come soon.

I conclude this work, which perhaps may aid in the coming of that day, with Jaki's quote of Newman's own words about another sort of founding and another sort of conclusion:

Many years later the vestibule of that Church [Newman's] was embellished with a display of words taken from the concluding section of the ninth lecture in which he hinted that he might not for too long continue as Rector: 'It is enough for one man to lay only one stone of so noble and grand an edifice; it is enough, more than enough for me, if I do so much as merely begin what others may more hopefully continue. One only among the sons of men has carried out a perfect work, and satisfied and exhausted the mission on which He came. One alone has with his last breath said Consummatum est.'[58]

A Postscript on Laughter

Anyone who actually knew Father Jaki, or has read his works with attention, will know he possessed an unusual sense of humor. He often called me to read a new joke he had discovered, or sent it to me in an e-mail, and there are a number of very witty if dry comments scattered throughout his works. The question of humor may seem foreign to scholarly work but precedents may be found in journals such as Communications of the ACM, Vol. 27, No. 4, April 1984, or the concluding chapter of Traynham's Essays on the History of Organic Chemistry. Moreover, to the question 'Whether there is a sin in lack of mirth?' Aquinas responds: 'mirth is useful for the sake of the rest and pleasures it affords.'[59] Indeed, Chesterton covered the matter in an almost mystical manner with his usual sparse brushstrokes: '...a characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity. Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. ...solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.'[60] And at the conclusion of that work he speculates that the single thing Christ hid from us was His laughter.

But Jaki did not hide his humor, even if his wit demands an acquired taste. His amazingly clean, scholarly, and didactic prose (for all that English was not his native tongue) abounds in it. His regular citation of references (akin to Homer's customary formulae at the mention of certain characters) like Wisdom 11:21, his pet words such as 'encomium,' his chiasmatic titles (e.g. 'The Origin of Science and the Science of Its Origin') — what some call 'Chestertonian verbal fireworks' — these are nothing more than writer's tricks to keep the reader alert. You never know if, deep in a well-researched and carefully argued exposition, he will drop something utterly unexpected into your thought. Such is the mark of a good teacher, like Stanley Jaki.

And so, here is my initial attempt at collecting some of these gems of Jakian humor:


After having spent forty years in the academe, I find it to be the chief breeding place of a subspecies, best called spineless vertebrates.[61]

Even physicists put their trousers on one leg at a time. (Some theologians give the impression, especially when spouting scientific expressions, that they can crypto-levitate and jump into their trousers with both feet in the air.) [62]

The New York Times [is] a chief quasi-sophisticated cloaca of mental slime as well as of slime of other types.[63]

The science of education resembles ever more closely a machine devised to produce illiterates in ever larger number.[64]

There is nothing rhapsodic about Planck's constant so that it may accommodate variable moods that seek solace in the total randomness which is allegedly assured by quantum mechanics.[65]

Compared with these materials, [uranium, radium, silver nitrate, etc.] almost ridiculous may be a reference to the material called beer, which, however, sparked Glaser's mind to think about the bubble chamber, a chief tool in fundamental particle research.[66]

In his later years, Newton spent much precious time on erasing from his manuscripts and notebooks the name of Descartes, lest posterity learn a thing or two.[67]

If progress is something like a voyage, its continuation does not cease to be a function of its very starting point and of the provisions acquired there. If religion is to be an ongoing progress, its very starting point should be rethought continually. That starting point is the recognition of dependence on the Creator on the part of everything which is the universe and of which we human beings are the very spokesmen. (I should not tax you with the mythology of extra-terrestrials, often assumed to have English for their native tongue.)[68]

The fact that a scientist, a chemist, can become Minister of Foreign affairs, is suggestive of some scientists who want to pontificate about everything under the sun, even about matters for which they are not trained at all. They show the sad development in which science becomes an all-purpose wrapping paper to sell effectively anything. Science then is lowered to the level of three other S's — Sport, Sex and Smile — where it stands for one of the four chief vehicles of the often unconscionable tactics of advertising. As such they amount to the modern version of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse that wreak havoc over any and all in their way.[69]

It became the dubious privilege of education in recent decades to take education for magic whereby one can prompt the student to rediscover the rules of mathematics and the rules of grammar, and even the skills needed for the various arts such as drawing. Luckily they are not encouraged to compose music. They are, however, being taught that computers can take the place of composers. So they are hardly encouraged to care about learning music, which, however, was a principal branch of classical liberal education.[70]

Of course, one can go a long way in having recourse to the interplay of purely natural forces in explaining those miracles. One should, however, refrain from taking them for purely natural events, however fortuitous. Also, the God who performs miracles should not be thought of as a supreme master of stunts. In Bible and Science I took for my guideline the verse in Psalm 76 (77) which states that, although God Himself passed through the storm that pushed back the waters of the Sea of Reeds, no one could see His footprints. God does not make a miraculous event so overwhelmingly obvious as to literally force man's free will to accept it. No one respects man's free will more than that very God who created it and creates every act of it. Only a man who worships freely can offer a service that pleases God.[71]

As to the firmament and the dry land, the products of the second day, they surely lend themselves to quantitative considerations. Rakia, or the Hebrew word for the firmament, means a hard bowl, and as such should be easy to investigate scientifically if it exists. Present-day defenders of the literal truth of Genesis 1 as a cosmography and cosmogenesis cannot complain if one asks them: Do astronauts and cosmonauts wear helmets in order to protect their heads in case they have to pass through the firmament?[72]

There is a profound moral in the facetious story about scientists who decided that they no longer need God, because, owing to quantum physics and molecular biology, they can perform anything as well as God, if not better. They thought, of course, that they would embarrass God once they had delivered their message that He might just as well leave the scene. To their great surprise God challenged them to a contest. It was about making a man from dust. The spokesman for the scientists gladly took up the challenge and scooped up a handful of dirt. But God stopped him short: you should begin with your own dirt.[73]

Turtles entered cosmology several thousand years ago. According to ancient Hindu lore, the world is resting on the back of a tiger that stands on an elephant, which in turn is supported by a turtle. In one way or another, the turtle is imagined to be self-supporting. This story must have been in the mind of that little old lady who went to hear a prominent cosmologist lecture on the stellar universe. She became legendary because her story, apparently true, has been retold many times and in the process has taken on some graphic details, such as that she wore shabby tennis shoes, perhaps a symbol of her resilience. What the cosmologist said is not recorded, but he obviously must have spoken of immense spaces, intangible nets of world-lines and the like that can easily create the impression that the universe hangs in mid-air. Something like this must have been in the mind of our legendary little lady, and she was not pleased at all. When the scientist took some questions after the lecture, she walked up to him, wagged her finger and said with a shrill voice: 'Excuse me, sir, but you've got it all wrong. The truth is that the universe is sitting on the back of a huge turtle.' 'Oh really?' the cosmologist asked. 'Well, tell me, what is the turtle standing on?' The little lady was ready with the reply: 'Oh, it's standing on another turtle.' The cosmologist asked again: 'And what is that turtle standing on?' Her reply came promptly: 'Another turtle.' The cosmologist began to repeat his former question, but she stopped him in mid-sentence: 'Save your breath, sonny,' she said. 'It's turtles all the way down.'[74]

Physics can only trace one state of material factors to another as they stand in a temporal sequence, and no such state can be absolutely ultimate or 'singular' for physics. For physics there is a 'singularity' only in the sense that the actual tools, theoretical and experimental, available for physicists cannot penetrate the details of it. Instead of bemoaning such singularities, physicists should rather congratulate themselves over the fact that they would never run out of research projects and therefore of jobs. No title is a worse misnomer than 'The End of Physics.' Of course, a book is still to be written with the title, 'The Art of Measuring the Nothing.' But who knows. When one hears a doctoral student of a prestigious physics department claim that quantum mechanics proved the nothing to be something and the something to be nothing, one may not be sure what some future Nobel Prizes might be awarded for.[75]


Some quotes of others, cited regularly by Jaki, have wit as well as deep insights:


A. N. Whitehead: 'Those who devote their lives to the purpose of proving that there is no purpose, constitute an interesting subject for study.'[76]


Henry Poincaré: 'Even a determinist argues non-deterministically.' (Jaki's translation of 'C'est librement qu'on est déterministe.'[77]


Albert Einstein: 'The man of science is a poor philosopher.'[78]


It is well for us that the Ambrosian University (and every Newman school) never fails to inculcate in its students and faculty a true delight in humor: traditionally the last lecture of every course is devoted to a review of the humorous aspects of the discipline. Humor (as Chesterton hinted at the end of Orthodoxy) ought to close every good intellectual meal, as a dessert closes a banquet. And so I close this postscript with an banquet-related excerpt from Jaki's 'intellectual autobiography' which I think says all we need.


My gaining a doctor's degree in physics was meant to provide one of the foundations on which to articulate, for over forty years now, this message, which can only irk scientists who think, thematically or not, that science alone counts. Following a lecture of mine at a big engineering university, one of the professors there stood up and said that I came to the wrong place with my message. But I was invited to another such place after a professor there read, to his great astonishment, in The Relevance of Physics Bertrand Russell's admission that what this world, being on the brink of a nuclear holocaust, really needs is Christian love.

Such invitations go usually together with a dinner where half a dozen faculty are also invited. There (I am talking of the engineering university of the Air Force in Dayton) someone at the dinner table began to extol the superiority of science over the humanities. I was able to shift the discourse to the question of whether the scientific method is capable of deciding whether Michelangelo or Renoir was greater as an artist. Suddenly all those professors of engineering and physics found themselves arguing with one another. In doing so they merely proved the fallibility of their presumed artistic competence or the lack of it. Meanwhile I could go enjoying my dinner undisturbed.[79]


* * *

[1] P. J. Floriani, Three Things Which Go Well. (Reading, PA: Penn Street Productions, 2012), p. 2. (Given the frequency with which Jaki cites himself, I have no reason to avoid the practice. Most other quotes of this paper, however, are from his works.)

[2] P. J. Floriani, Os Olhos Do Condor. (Reading, PA: Penn Street Productions, 2012), p. 2.

[3] See S. L. Jaki's Chesterton a Seer of Science (Pinckney, MI: Real View Books, 2001), and also his essays on Chesterton; he frequently cites Chesterton in other works.

[4] As he revealed in his talk, 'Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin: The Two Who Never Met' given at the meeting of the American Chesterton Society in 2006.

[5] S. L. Jaki, Sigrid Undset's Quest For Truth. (Port Huron, MI: Real View Books, 2007).

[6] Mark 12:29-30 citing Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Douay-Rheims translation.

[7] J. H. Newman, 'Discourse II. Theology A Branch of Knowledge' §3 in The Idea of a University. (Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1959).

[8] J. H. Newman, 'Discourse IV. Bearing of Other Knowledge on Theology' §2.

[9] G. K. Chesterton, Daily News, Dec. 12 1903, quoted in Maycock, The Man Who Was Orthodox. (London: Dennis Dobson, 1963), p. 89.

[10] G. K. Chesterton, The Thing in Collected Works 3. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press), p. 189. Unless otherwise stated, all G. K. Chesterton quotes are from his Collected Works, hereinafter cited CW volume:page.

[11] G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, Feb 17 1906 in CW27:126.

[12] J. H. Newman, 'VIII. Christianity and Scientific Investigation' §3.

[13] S. L. Jaki, 'The University and the Universe' in Chance or Reality and Other Essays. (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1986), p. 184.

[14] Ibid., p. 187.

[15] This famous line, '"Perhaps the weapon was too big to be noticed," said the priest, with an odd little giggle.' appears in 'The Three Tools of Death' in G. K. Chesterton's The Innocence of Father Brown, CW 12:227.

[16] For a deeper consideration of all these references see my A Twenty-first Century Tree of Virtues (Reading, PA: Penn Street Productions, 2014).

[17] It is just as easy to argue the converse, the errors philosophy makes when it eschews science, even the common science known as observation. I will not try to argue the case in a footnote, but suggest the thrust by citing S. L. Jaki: 'It should be easy to see that appreciative reflection on an absolute beginning in time for everything might have readily led to a sympathetic consideration of the possibility of much smaller beginnings. At any rate, a trust in the possibility of beginning was needed in more than one sense to achieve emancipation from the straitjacket of Aristotelian physics and from its idea of motion.' S. L. Jaki, Science and Creation, (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1986), p. 211, emphasis added.

[18] S. L. Jaki, 'Catholic Universities' in Apologetics As Meant By Newman. (Port Huron, MI: Real View Books, 2005), p. 352.

[19] Chesterton was a trained artist, illustrating his own works and those of his friend Hilaire Belloc. S. L. Jaki's own association to art may be found in his study of the artwork of Pierre Duhem, The Physicist As Artist (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1988).

[20] Ibid., p. 375, citing G. K. Chesterton's Heretics CW1:41. S. L. Jaki's concluding chapter of his Chesterton a Seer of Science declares Chesterton to be 'The Champion of the Universe.'

[21] Ibid., p. 355, citing Maritain's 1932 Distinguer pour unir.

[22] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, CW1:301-2, 303. My 'orthogonal' refers to Chesterton's 'right angles.'

[23] J. H. Newman, 'Discourse II. Theology A Branch of Knowledge' §3.

[24] S. L. Jaki, 'The University and the Universe' in Chance or Reality and Other Essays, p. 195-6, quoting G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, CW1:40.

[25] Colossians 2:3, Douay-Rheims translation.

[26] Nothing, that is, beyond its purely imagined location in the hills of a non-existent Pennsylvanian town, founded by and peopled with non-existent human beings, and having a purely fictional history. But it could exist, and perhaps one day it shall. See my A Guide to the Ambrosian University (Reading, PA: Penn Street Productions, 2015).

[27] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy CW1:296.

[28] As G. K. Chesterton said, '...I know enough Greek to know the meaning of the second syllable of "enthusiasm," and I know it to be the key to this and every other discussion.' G. K. Chesterton, The Thing, CW3:139. The second syllable comes from the Greek QeoV = God.

[29] J. H. Newman, 'Discourse III Bearing of Theology on Other Knowledge' §3.

[30] M. Ward, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1943), p. 49-50. So Technology might speak to those who use computers to criticize technology.

[31] G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, CW2:493 and 515 Cf. 'Non horruisti virginis uterum' in the Te Deum.

[32] S. L. Jaki, 'The Fate of Physics in Scientism' in The Relevance of Physics, (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1966, 1992), p. 474.

[33] S. L. Jaki, 'Myopia with Lynx Eyes about a Text of Aristotle' in A Late Awakening and Other Essays, (Port Huron, MI: Real View Books, 2006) citing H. Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, ed. W. Kranz (6th ed.; Berlin: Weidemann, 1951-52), p. 68B.

[34] Dickens, 'Stave 1: Marley's Ghost' in A Christmas Carol.

[35] G. K. Chesterton, Daily News, Feb. 25 1905 quoted in A. Maycock, The Man Who Was Orthodox, p. 103.

[36] Harrow, Eminent Chemists of Our Time, (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1927), p. 48.

[37] S. L. Jaki, The Relevance of Physics, p. 254-5.

[38] S. L. Jaki, 'Giordano Bruno's Place in Science' in Numbers Decide and Other Essays, (Pinckney, MI: Real View Books, 2003), p. 235 and note 50, quoting Maxwell's Scientific Papers (Cambridge, 1890), vol. 2, p. 775.

[39] S. L. Jaki, 'The Edge of Precision' in The Relevance of Physics, p. 249.

[40] S. L. Jaki, The Paradox of Olbers' Paradox, (Pinckney, MI: Real View Books, 1969).

[41] S. L. Jaki, Olbers Studies. (Tucson, AZ: Pachart Publishing House, 1991), p. 19. (Note the reference to Hungarian wine, possibly a bit of indirect autobiography.)

[42] J. B. Sidgwick, 'Observational Records' in Amateur Astronomer’s Handbook (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1971)

[43] Romans 10:14-15, emphasis added.

[44] G. K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, CW7:118-9.

[45] G. K. Chesterton, ILN Sept 28, 1907 CW 27:558, also reprinted in 'Science and Religion' in All Things Considered. In 'Antagonist of Scientism' in Chesterton a Seer of Science, p. 44, S. L. Jaki declares this to be 'a gross overstatement' though I think the entirety of S. L. Jaki's published works tends to agree with Chesterton. Obviously a more precise statement would be 'Physical science is infallibly correct within the limits of the precision of measurement used.' — which is why the vast majority of scientists and engineers use Newtonian physics 'infallibly' (that is, applied to objects of ordinary size, moving far slower than the speed of light) without regard to the correctives revealed by Planck or Einstein. But this is not the place to treat this important topic.

[46] As suggested by S. L. Jaki's Reluctant Heroine: the Life and Word of Hélène Duhem, (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1992), p. 59: 'Duhem's attachment to Dickens around the turn of the century was not a vote for novelty. Dickens' works had been in eclipse even in his own land for several decades before Chesterton threw a powerful light on his perennial value in 1908.'

[47] See S. L. Jaki, The Purpose of it All, (Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway, 1990), p. 66, where he states (note 8) that the subtitle of the series was 'On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God as manifested in Creation.'

[48] S. L. Jaki, Brain, Mind, and Computers, (Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway, 1989), p. 43. It is worth noting here that Babbage's otherwise sound demonstration about miracles contains a mathematical error, explained in detail in my The Problem With 'Problem-Solving Skills'.

[49] J. H. Newman, 'Discourse VI. Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Learning' §4. Chesterton says much the same in his The Catholic Church and Conversion, CW3:106.

[50] G. K. Chesterton, 'The Purple Wig' in The Wisdom of Father Brown, CW12:347.

[51] G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography, CW16:319.

[52] S. L. Jaki, 'III. A Man Called Rock' in And On This Rock, (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications, 1978, 1987), p. 78.

[53] S. L. Jaki, 'Chesterton a Seer of Science' in A Late Awakening and Other Essays, p. 195. He refers to G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy CW1:217: 'Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.'

[54] See Mark 13:33, 14:38, Luke 18:1, 1 Peter 5:8.

[55] S. L. Jaki, 'Catholic Universities' in Apologetics As Meant By Newman, p. 350.

[56] Floriani, Three Things Which Go Well, p. 2.

[57] See S. L. Jaki, A Mind's Matter, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), p. 85. Also visit for further information.

[58] S. L. Jaki, 'Catholic Universities' in Apologetics As Meant By Newman, p. 351, quoting J. H. Newman's The Idea of a University, II, 'Christianity and Letters. A Lecture in the School of Philosophy and Letters' §6 which cites Jn 19:30.

[59] See Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q168 A4.

[60] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, CW1:325-6.

[61] S. L. Jaki, The Limits of a Limitless Science, (Wilmington DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000), p. 232.

[62] Ibid., p. 230.

[63] S. L. Jaki, 'Heretics and Dogmatists: or the Gist of Chesterton's Heretics' in A Late Awakening and Other Essays, p. 205

[64] S. L. Jaki, 'The Science of Education and Education in Science' in Numbers Decide and Other Essays, p. 85.

[65] S. L. Jaki, 'Pluralism in Education and Education in Pluralism' in Numbers Decide and Other Essays, p. 79.

[66] S. L. Jaki, 'The Relevance of Materials Science' in Numbers Decide and Other Essays, p. 187.

[67] S. L. Jaki, 'God and Man's Science: A View of Creation' in The Absolute Beneath the Relative and Other Essays, (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988), p. 62.

[68] S. L. Jaki, 'Address on receiving the Templeton Prize' in The Only Chaos and Other Essays, (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1990), p. 270.

[69] S. L. Jaki, 'Pierre Duhem: Uneasy Genius' in A Late Awakening and Other Essays, p. 35.

[70] S. L. Jaki, 'The Science of Education and Education in Science' in Numbers Decide and Other Essays, p. 88.

[71] S. L. Jaki, A Mind's Matter, p. 157.

[72] S. L. Jaki, Questions on Science and Religion, (Pinckney, MI: Real View Books, 2004), p. 41.

[73] Ibid., p. 45-6.

[74] S. L. Jaki, God and the Cosmologists, (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1989), 111-2. Jaki added the following note: This version is taken from R. Wright’s report, 'Did the Universe just Happen?' on the ideas of E. Fredkin, a champion of artificial intelligence, in Atlantic Monthly, April 1988, p. 41.

[75] S. L. Jaki, Questions on Science and Religion, p. 60-1.

[76] A. Whitehead, The Function of Reason, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1929), p. 12.

[77] Poincaré, 'Sur la valeur objective des théories physiques,' Revue de métaphysique et de morale 10 (1902), p. 188.

[78] A. Einstein, 'Physics and Reality' (1936) in Out of my Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 58.

[79] S. L. Jaki, A Mind's Matter, p. 26. Either in one of his American Chesterton Society Conference talks, or in private conversation, he told another version, something like this: 'Can science determine which is more beautiful: an orange or a hexagon?' (Alas, I have hunted through my notes, and cannot find the exact words. But the effect was the same: consternation on the part of some, laughter on my part. ) Ah, how I miss him! But we must stop somewhere. And so, as St. John might have put it after having read Fermat, 'there are many more such tales, but this footnote is too small to contain them all...'