During the 6th to 4th centuries B.C., the Pythagoreans were a small secretive cult of ascetics who step-by-step discovered abstract mathematics. Their central metaphysical doctrine was that our natural surroundings are an incarnation of the logical arrangement of what they called “number.” This curiosity reached across the centuries to ignite the thinking of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and others. Why did science refrain from pursuing theological issues and when and why did it begin to avoid metaphysical issues as well?
Don Helm is a member of the Baltimore Ethical Society. Originally planning to major in classical Greek, Don was inspired by Pythagoras to switch his major to mathematics in his senior year of college. He holds an A.B. degree (cum laude) in mathematics from Amherst College, an M.Div. in theology from the Hartford Seminary, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from Cal in Berkeley and had a career with several institutions of scientific research and of higher learning. Further bio-information is available from Who’s Who in America.
Listen to the podcast of this platform address delivered April 10, 2011: