This is the most brilliant exchange on Pharyngula so far:
Phil #306 wrote:
Most of the Email P.Z. received appeared to be well reasoned. I didn’t see any crazy death threats. It is what I expected to see.
Since Phil is a Catholic, he may have a valid point. You see, the substance of the letters was indeed reasonable. The parts of the letters which we could read were only the appearances, which are visible to the senses. Those may have seemed irrational, overblown, hysterical, histrionic, violent, or puerile, true — but only to the eyes of the world. And the worldly.
What they were in themselves, the underlying reality, was well reasoned.
It’s another miracle!
Written by Sastra. I wonder if that’s the same Sastra who frequents DALnet.
The myth of transubstantiation is based on an Aristotelian/Thomist view of the world, that there is some underlying substance or essence that permeates an object, and which may not or cannot be observed, and in consequence, empirically validated. The waveparticles that constitute the wafer are detectable and will continue to reveal a processed wheat product, but the essence changes into the body of Christ. You can’t demonstrate it empirically, you just have to take the Church’s word for it.
Of course, Aristotelian physics is nonsense because it can’t be validated in any reasonable way. How do you validate something that can’t be observed in principle? Evidence is the causal connection between our beliefs and reality, and we have no reason to believe something for which evidence does not or cannot exist.