2022 Kazmaier Christmas and New Years’ Newsletter

It’s a delight for me when Christmas approaches to walk past a neighbor’s home and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and the great gift we have received.

This past year Kathy and I had our first chance to visit the Hawaiian island of Maui. After the interminable lock-downs, it was a wonderful feeling of freedom to experience Maui. It was not only a beautiful locale, but the freedom from many of the Covid strictures, and a return to normalcy was a delight. I’ve included a few pictures here of that wonderful trip. A quick search on my blog site would lead you to a more extensive collection.

The Hawaiian Island of Maui

One of the consequences of our lengthy lockdown and the closing of in-person church meetings, has been a movement away from direct contact to online contact. To me this has many shortcomings, but one unexpected blessing has been the discovery of Tim Keller’s messages on Spotify. I especially appreciate his clarity, his deep respect for the word of God, and the way he is able to connect the biblical message to many of the questions facing us today. If you have Spotify, you may wish to check his messages to see if they speak to your life as they have to mine.

Peter’s Fifth Book was Published in June 2021

My fifth book (Coventry 2091), and start of a new series, was published in June 2021. Since then the e-book, available from library service Hoopla, has  become widely available in libraries across North America.

A few months ago a book study group that I belong to, selected Coventry 2091 for review. I have been preparing questions for a study guide to accompany this study and discussion of my Coventry story. In case you’re interested, I’ve been publishing the discussion questions on my blog site should anyone else be looking for those types of materials.

Link to the first set of questions …

https://peterkazmaier.wordpress.com/2022/10/22/study-guide-for-coventry-2091-part-1-introduction-to-speculative-fiction/

Wishing You and Your Family a Joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year

Finally, since this newsletter has drifted into December, Kathy and I want to wish everyone, along with your extended family, a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year. If you have read this far into the newsletter, I hope you take a moment to re-connect with us. Even a short email, a blog comment, or Facebook post would be so appreciated.We do so love to hear from you!

A watchtower in a vineyard near ancient Nazareth

Good versus Evil-Exciting versus Boring-The Writer’s Conundrum

I listen to many of the messages of New York Pastor Tim Keller on Spotify [https://open.spotify.com/episode/4YHHWRO9zT0katOsxVrABi?si=sz-zcGhVTLCnB1pOmjXqhA&utm_source=native-share-menu] [Note: my VPN blocked opening this Spotify link. I had to disconnect my VPN to make this link work]. This past week I listened to a message he gave years ago on September 11, 2011. In it he mentioned that he has repeatedly read and heard from actors the sentiment they would much rather play an evil character than a good one, since evil characters do exciting and surprising things while good ones were bland and uninteresting. Keller goes on to quote Simone Weil to point out that it may be true in literature and movies that good characters are boring and evil characters are interesting, but exactly the opposite is true in real life. Tyrants, the world over, are the same boring entities as they inflict their cruelty, vindictiveness, oppression, and death on the people they control.

I want to discuss this topic, as a writer, using three questions:

  1. Why is it so difficult to write about interesting, good characters?
  2. What are some examples of interesting good characters in literature?
  3. How can I improve my own writing to make good characters more interesting?

 

Why is it so Difficult to Write About Interesting, Good Characters?

 

It’s difficult because it requires a degree of imagination that is not easy for us to achieve. Why is it so easy to write about evil? It’s easy for us to imagine great betrayal, cruelty, enslavement, pain, torture, and other travails. In contrast it is only easy to imagine good as the absence of evil. We are left with a scene where we are sitting in sunshine in a meadow with a good book and we extrapolate that idyllic scene to eternity. As time stretches endlessly on, it cannot help but become boring. As this scene becomes boring, so good characters often become boring as they become boring as they do fewer and fewer bad actions. They become empty shells.

What are Examples of Interesting Good Characters in Literature

For me Frodo Baggins is an interesting, good character. He grows in goodness as The Lord of the Rings unfolds. Yet especially toward the end of the book, The Return of the King, there is a bit of sadness about him. He continues to be afflicted by the wounds of blade and sting and he never received the recognition he deserved back in the shire (although he takes it with grace). At last he joins Gandalf and Galadriel as they travel west. Although he saved the shire for others, the costs meant he could not save the shire for himself.

Touching on Simone Weil’s comment on the contrast between real life and fiction, we can augment what we learned from the fictional character Frodo to what we can learn from the real person we read about in the gospels. Jesus is a captivating enigma. He’s from a poor background, with little education except what Judaism provided and in three years he forever changed the world. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed the hungry. He showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery. Almost everyone applauds these actions.

Yet everyone, including his closest friends and family, took offense at him at some point. And in the end, of course, despite his good deeds, he was shown no mercy and crucified. He rose from the dead as testified by his contemporaries and by the gospels, and Christians today believe they follow a living Christ, not a dead teacher from the past.

For me I think Frodo’s story is interesting and not boring, because Tolkien’s imagination made Frodo’s story, in a small way, like Christ’s story. His story has all the grit of real life. Sacrifice does not always lead to reward at every point. I could go on to Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia, or Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. All show the same characteristics that make them real as they are made interesting in their goodness.

How can I Improve my Writing and Make Good Characters More Interesting?

For myself, I have made note of two things. First, to make a good character more like a real person; goodness does not always give me everything I want. Not all wounds are healed in this life. There is often a penalty to pay for goodness in this world, and my characters have to pay it.

Secondly, a good character has to be offensive on some points because of his goodness. If a good character is never offensive to the reader, we have simply written back to the reader a semi-good character who, following the cultural norm, will never challenge the reader’s thinking.

A Final Note

As writers we find it much easier to write interesting, evil characters. We also find it much easier to describe dystopia than utopia. We have the same mental obstacles to describe a truly beautiful, inspiring, and wonderful future state. For me the final chapters of The Chronicles of Narnia book, The Last Battle does it best.

All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

C. S Lewis, The Last Battle. page 173.

Study Guide for COVENTRY 2091. Part 4. Chapters 8-15

Rousseau’s Plot

Genre Plot Stereotypes

I had earlier said that I write books that I wish someone else had written, but never did. For SF, one reason for this are plot stereotypes that are very common. Two common Science Fiction background assumptions are:

  1. Since all religions in general and Christianity in particular are superstitions, they will be destroyed by scientific enlightenment. Curiously, the final demise of Christianity is slated to occur a few years after the SciFi book is written.
  2. Since all religions in general and Christianity in particular are superstitions, serious religious people and Christians are anti-science and as Luddites oppose science whenever possible.

I don’t agree with the view that Christians are anti-science. Consider the following questions. Why did the age of science develop in Europe? Why not China, Egypt, India? Do you think Christians are anti-science? Why or why not?

What social developments in our Post-Modern culture might be anti-science? If you have trouble thinking of any, think about what science as an activity needs to be productive and successful.

Chapters 8-15

Being sent to Coventry was a hardship and a persecution. Can you think of any ways God turned it into a blessing?

In the Old Testament there have been instances of judgment by enslavement or captivity.

Terrible as the enslavement of the Hebrews was in Egypt, do you see any hidden blessings there?

Were there any hidden blessings in the Babylonian Captivity?

Have you ever experienced God taking a terrible or stressful time in your life and turning it into a blessing? If you’re willing, why not share with the group.

Rousseau’s Plot

What do you think is going on with Rousseau and his cronies?

Why is he recruiting newer inmates into his circle?

Any guess to what’s coming next?

Supplemental Reading for Further Thought

“It’s a lot like Nature’s [Nature is perhaps the world’s most prestigious science journal] change to the meaning of “ethics” — once meant to protect individuals from overreaching scientists, the concept has been broadened to prevent research that may hurt someone’s feelings.

Canada already lags behind many other industrialized countries when it come [sic] to health research and the creation of new drugs. The problem will only deepen if researchers have to factor social justice into their pursuit of the truth.”

Jamie Sarkonak. National Post, Sept 22, 2022.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/jamie-sarkonak-when-science-goes-woke-people-will-suffer

Study Guide for COVENTRY 2091. Part 3. Chapters 4-7

The Founding of Coventry

Special thanks to a friend for her help with the counseling content of the next chapter(s)

When I first wrote about the sessions between Giesbrecht and Jacob, I was primarily driven by a desire to fill in Kraiser’s backstory, reveal some of Jacob’s character, and, in an unobtrusive way, present some of the details of the founding of Coventry.

I have no expertise in counseling. A friend of mine was very helpful in removing some of the obvious counseling missteps in the dialogue. However, I could not implement all of her advice, so I expect many aspects of the dialogue are likely “sub-best-practice.” These deficiencies are mine.

Chapters 4-7 The Founding of Coventry

As a writer of fiction, I’m supposed to “show not tell,” but sometimes my showing can either be too obvious or too subtle. So some of my questions have to do with my show-not-tell success.

Why do you think Jacob’s nightmares began to surface now, years after the traumatic deaths of parents and siblings?

It’s been a long while since I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I think the dystopia I’m imagining is much more along Huxley’s line than Orwell’s in 1984.

Do you agree or disagree?

One theme here: when God is working to repair us, things often get worse before they get better.

Is this generally true? Have you experienced this in your own life?

Books, especially fiction, have played a significant role in my life. Here I’m relating to George MacDonald’s Curdie children books.

Has anyone read them?

Plausibility of the events leading to the 2051 peaceful protest

It’s important to the success of the story that this peaceful protest and subsequent government reaction is plausible.

Part of the political background to this peaceful protest was the assumption that politically, governments in Canada are chosen and maintained by the votes of the urban population, while the protest was fueled by the sentiments of the essentially disenfranchised (they can vote, but their vote never makes a difference) rural population.

Is this plausible?

Even today, do you think the views of urban voters and rural voters in Canada are sufficiently different to set this kind of dichotomy? Why or why not?

What was the imaginary drug Cerebretocin-21 in the story? Why do you think some were strongly in favor of its use and others strongly opposed?

Was the government’s response reasonable to the unpopular Cerebretocin-21 protests?

Without digressing too far into the arguments in favor or against the justification of the recent Trucker’s Convoy to Ottawa, when it happened, were you surprised by the determination of the convoy participants to stay the course? Were you surprised by the government’s response? Why or why not?

Any other thoughts on the backstory plausibility leading to the founding of Coventry?

Another question relating to the story line in Coventry 2091: we have had many hours of testimony and thousands of pages of documentation released by the ongoing Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) which has shed the light on government thoughts and motivations leading up to the imposition of the Emergencies Act last February.

If you have been following some POEC revelations, have these revelations made the Coventry 2091 plot more or less plausible? Why or why not?

I think, it’s fair to say that most Christians, particularly in a democratic society that expects her citizens to participate in governance, feel a tension between obedience to the government, support of freedom, support of justice, and yet not letting political action become our substitute for building Christ’s Kingdom.

How do you resolve this tension in your life?

How do you relate to Christians who have radically different views on resolving this tension?

Study Guide for COVENTRY 2091. Part 2. Chapters 1-3

Facilitators Notes for Part 2

In our discussion, we covered Parts 1 and 2 in a single session. There was more than enough discussion to fill two hours (our planned discussion time).

One of the questions that came up during the discussion: “Was the protest that led to the founding of the Coventry Penal Colony motivated or inspired by the Freedom Convoy that took place in Canada in January and February 2022?”.

The simple answer:  The chronology of the writing of Coventry 2091 makes that connection impossible.

  • Coventry 2091 was published in June 2021, a full 6-7 months before anyone, including me, even heard of the Freedom Convoy.
  • The events in Coventry 2091, thought to occur in 2049-2051 were imagined before my previous book, The Dragons of Sheol was published in June 2019.
  • This connection is simply one of those coincidental things that happen as one does one’s best to imagine the future.

The Opening Chapters of Coventry 2091

My hope about our discussion

When paddling your kayak in a channel in a strong wind, it’s not enough to point the boat’s bow toward your destination, since the wind will blow you off course. You have to take the wind into account by paddling against it just enough to reach your goal. The assumptions made about the future in this book and others in this genre are like the wind blowing us off course (unless the wind comes directly from astern—unlikely). Let’s focus on how we change our paddling rather than thinking about changing the direction of the wind.

What is the Coventry 2091 “What if?” Question?

Most Science Fiction, particularly if it’s extrapolated from the present, begins with a “What If …” question. So does Coventry 2091.

What if, in 2051 in Canada, a politically unpalatable, peaceful protest occurred that was so extensive and enduring that the government had to take extraordinary measures?

The Coventry 2091 story is set some forty years later.

Are there any other “What if” questions embedded in the extrapolation from your reading of Speculative Fiction as well as Coventry 2091?

Chapters 1-3

When writing fiction, it’s important to make the fictional invention plausible enough that the reader isn’t constantly saying “no way!” or “I can’t believe that would happen!”

How plausible do you find the back story leading up to the founding of Coventry Penal Colony and its operation? Do you think it could happen in Canada? Why or Why not?

What do you find least plausible in the back story resulting in the non-violent protests in 2050 and the founding of the Coventry Penal Colony? Why?

At the end of Chapter 3 (pages 18 and 19), Jacob, Hanna, and Zeke talk about the difference in teaching between their brief experience at Coventry and their public education.

How do you see our public education (at all levels) changing and if you were to look into your crystal ball? How will these changes affect future generations of students? How will these educational changes affect Christian students in particular?

How do we change our paddling, as it were, if we:

  • Saw changes in our educational system that we found very disturbing and deleterious?
  • Concluded that our children or grandchildren were no longer adequately prepared for life through their education?
  • That the educational system increasingly becomes more antagonistic to Christianity?

Study Guide for COVENTRY 2091. Part 1. Introduction to Speculative Fiction

Introduction to the Coventry 2091 Discussion Question Series

I was privileged to be invited to facilitate a discussion group on my most recent novel, Coventry 2091. I thought there might be readers who could benefit from the time I invested in crafting questions for the discussion. I hope this proves to be of value.

The group I facilitated was interested in discussing the implications of the world view that under-girds much of the world-building and character development. Many of the questions were designed to encourage that particular type of discussion by the group members. I was not always sure how active and far reaching the discussion would be. In practice, I covered two parts in each session. If the discussion in Part 1 by your group requires more time, it’s easy to end after one part and reserve the second part for the following session.

Introduction to Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction is a general term encompassing both Science Fiction (itself a broad term) and Fantasy. The easiest way to understand them is to look at some concrete examples:

  • DUNE by Frank Herbert is Science Fiction
    • Has anyone read it or seen the movie?
    • Any characteristics of SF you can identify?
  • THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien is Fantasy
    • Has anyone read it or seen the movie?
    • Any characteristics of Fantasy you can identify?
  • HARRY POTTER by J. K. Rowling is a subcategory of Fantasy that some call Urban Fantasy.
  • OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon is a Time Travel novel, but also a Romance and Historical novel.
  • Dystopian novels such as 1984, BRAVE NEW WORLD, and A HANDMAID’S TALE are Speculative Fiction because they are set in the future (future at the time of writing).
  • Are there any other books you have enjoyed, that, on reflection, might be Speculative Fiction?
  • Given the examples we discussed, any thoughts on a comprehensive definition of Speculative Fiction?

So, you might be reading Speculative Fiction without knowing it.

Why Do I Write Science Fiction/Fantasy?

There are a number of reasons:

  • There are books I would have liked to read, but no one has bothered to write them yet. So, I had to write them.
  • Most SF books are based are based on a Materialist world view. When I read them I don’t truly feel “at home” in them, and often wish there were books more in line with what I believe.
  • I read a lot of SF in high school and university and these books helped kindle my love of science. I would like to connect with that age group of readers, who normally don’t care what an old guy thinks, but might read a story by an old guy if it were well-written enough.
  • Did anyone else read Science Fiction and/or Fantasy in high school and university? What made you stop (if you did)?

If you were to write a novel, what would you write about?

My Science Fiction Books are on Display at Lino’s Auto Repairs Inc.

I have, for many years, had my vehicles serviced at Lino’s Auto Repairs. Dimitri, the current owner, has not only given me excellent service, but from time to time amazed me as he was able to solve troublesome, intermittent faults that occurred with my vehicles.

Vehicle Decal

One time when I brought in my vehicle in for service, Dimitri noticed a decal advertising my books. We began talking about Science Fiction and I realized he was an SF fan. He purchased The Halcyon Dislocation and then, after reading the first one, all of my other books as they came out.

Just recently Dimitri suggested that I set up a display of my books in his waiting room. What an opportunity for me! As an Indie author, the challenge amid the hundreds of thousands of titles perpetually in print, is getting noticed enough for interested readers to find your books and give them a try. We have all found ourselves in an automobile repair waiting room, tired of reading the paper or bored with checking our phones. Perhaps some will give my books a try.

Thank you for your great service Dimitri and for this opportunity to display my books!

THE HALCYON DISLOCATION Has Just Listed on Hoopla

Hoopla Listing at the Leeds and Thousand Island Public Library

If you’re interested in trying a new author, but don’t know if their writing is consistent with your taste, why not try a book from a library? The Halcyon Dislocation, the first book in The Halcyon Cycle, a Science Fiction story that reads like Fantasy, has just been listed by Hoopla, a major library lending service.

Here is the North America coverage map for Hoopla, https://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=661471 .

North American Library Coverage Map for Hoopla

So, if you have library privileges at the Seeley’s Bay Public Library, the Lyndhurst Public Library, or the Lansdowne Public Library, why not download The Halcyon Dislocation and give the book a try?

Library Branches and Contact Information

On Tim Keller’s Essay THE FADING OF FORGIVENESS

Tim Keller, is a writer, speaker, and a minister at a New York city Presbyterian church. He is also very ill. Yet, despite his challenges he wrote a profound essay on forgiveness on Comment.org [https://comment.org/the-fading-of-forgiveness/].

In the introduction entitled OFFENDED BY FORGIVENESS, Keller cites many examples where the younger generation has moved from forgiveness to retribution. Indeed forgiveness is seen as an enabler of injustice.

the emphasis on guilt and justice is ever more on the rise and the concept of forgiveness seems, especially to the younger generation, increasingly problematic

Tim Keller https://comment.org/the-fading-of-forgiveness/

Keller then goes on to show, in a segment entitled OUR THERAPEUTIC CULTURE, that even when “forgiveness” is tolerated, it is only tolerated in a therapeutic sense … if forgiveness is of positive benefit to the victim of the injustice.

“forgiveness is either discouraged as imposing a moral burden on the person or, at best, it is offered as a way of helping yourself acquire more peaceful inner feelings, of “healing ourselves of our hate.” “

Tim Keller https://comment.org/the-fading-of-forgiveness/

The Amish of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania

As a counterpoint to our culture’s intolerance toward forgiveness, Keller cited the example of the Amish families whose children were shot and killed by a gunman in October, 2006. The gunman then committed suicide. The families of the wounded and dead children immediately reached out to the family of the deceased gunman, as Keller put it, “expressing sympathy for their loss.”

“Within hours members of the Amish community visited both the killer’s immediate family and his parents, each time expressing sympathy for their loss. The Amish uniformly expressed forgiveness of the murderer and his family.”

Tim Keller https://comment.org/the-fading-of-forgiveness/

The Bottom Line for Me

The sacrifice of forgiveness is not optional for me. It may not always work right away, or ever, but it is the only route to healing and reconciliation. The primary purpose of forgiveness is not a way to make me feel better or to combat hate I may feel toward those who have wronged me (although it may well do that as a by-product), it is my minor participation in Christ’s reconciling work on the cross. His forgiveness is offered to all–but not all accept it. Yet the sacrifice  and offer has been made regardless of the acceptance.

In Keller’s words …

Christians in community are to never give up on one another, never give up on a relationship, never “write off” another believer and have nothing to do with them. We must never tire of forgiving (and/or repenting!) and seeking to repair our relationships.

Tim Keller https://comment.org/the-fading-of-forgiveness/

I Urge You to Read Keller’s Essay

In my personal reflection on Tim Keller’s essay, I only spoke to the high points that caught my attention. There is much I did not talk about. For example, Keller has very practical actions around forgiveness and unpacks our cancel culture in an incisive and thoughtful analysis. I urge you to read his essay in detail.

Check out Peter’s books at the Toronto Public Library

The Rise of Science, Part 2. From Aristotle to Newton

In my previous posts, I discussed two critical questions about the rise of science in Europe in the 1400 to 1700 hundreds:

  • Why there?
  • Why then?

Let me begin with a older message by The Meeting House in the Greater Toronto Area that I watched on March 1, 2022 on YouTube  (see Footnote), After describing the message, I will then show how it relates to the rise of science.

The message was part of a series entitled REASONS TO BELIEVE, and in this case was delivered by a guest speaker from Australia, Jerrod McKenna. It has nothing to do with science per se, but dealt with differences between the Greek view (the New Testament was written in Greek) and the Jewish view (most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew) in understanding and interpreting the holy writings. Here are two figures adapted from the notes I took as I watched.

Figures 1 and 2

Figure 1 Greek Thought: Searching for the Perfect Principle
Figure 2: Hebrew Thought: Apparent Factual Contradictions and the Mystery of God

In Figure 1, the circle with the cross-hairs in the middle and the X at the center, represents the Greek view. The Greeks, valuing perfection, were always looking for the one perfect principle that unified. This is also the goal of science. Believing that these unifying principles exist is a major impetus for the search leading to their discovery. However, what happens if the “perfect principle” is not only imperfect, but wrong? The impetus that spawned the search for the perfect principle now becomes an impediment to changing it. When the data point arrives that destroys the beautiful law, one can always say, “Let’s put that data point in the filing cabinet until we know more. I’m sure with more data and more thought, it will eventually fit. After all, all my lectures and my reputations are built on the beautiful principle. If I claimed the principle is disproved, what would I teach?”

In Figure 2, the Jewish or Hebrew view is expressed, according to McKenna. The circle has two X’s on the periphery, representing two teachings or data points which are paradoxical, hard to reconcile, and from some perspectives, contradictory. Inside the circle is an area that could he termed “The Mystery of God.” In other words, one may encounter truths which are both true, but hard to reconcile (perhaps only at the moment). One can live with that because we are not God and cannot expect to understand everything. In other words, the Jewish view allows for uncertainty in the explanations. These are theological statements. How do the apply to science?

From Aristotle to Newton

Figure 3 Aristotle’s Law of motion illustrated (see hyperlink link below)

A thorough description of Aristotle’s laws of motion has been presented:

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/aristotles-laws-of-motion/

The key one for our discussion is summarized in the figure above. Aristotle believed that natural state of terrestrial objects was no motion. In other words, to keep an object moving, one had to apply a force. This law is supported by observation a thousand times a day, by anyone who cares to look. You throw a stone, shoot an arrow, or kick a soccer ball, it moves for a while, slows down, and eventually stops.

The data that destroys the perfect theory usually comes before the new explanation comes. One has to live with knowing the theory is wrong and broken before one can describe what will replace it.

Aristotle’s laws of motion were seen to be incorrect, before the correcting explanations became apparent. Observing the four large moons of Jupiter clearly showed objects which did not come to rest. Galileo showed that some falling objects fall at the same rate independent of density. Quantitative estimates on how an object should behave were also not explained by Aristotle. But it took until the brilliance of Newton and his laws of motion, before an explanations emerged that overcame the problems.

Speaking as both a student and a tutor, I think one of the great failings in teaching science has to do with the false perception which leaves the student thinking that every question has been answered, and every science problem solved. It is much better to train the student to live with not knowing, or at least knowing that the principles we teach and talk about is likely fatally flawed, and we don’t yet know what the correct answer.

Summary and Final Comments

The philosophical climate in Europe in the 1400-1700 hundreds was precisely the climate necessary for the emergence of modern science:

  • The Greek view of the perfect principle gave the impetus for finding a unifying explanation for data.
  • When data came along that destroyed a well-established theory, the idea of The Mystery of God enabled scholars intellectually to realize the theory was wrong well before a better theory came along. Belief in The Mystery of God made it intellectually possible for them to say, “I really don’t know the correct explanation at this time. I know what we believed before was wrong. There are some things we may never know.”
  • When a scholar is in a position where a much-beloved theory is discredited, yet no explanation has yet arisen to provide the new principle, one needs a bedrock of philosophic thought that allows this uncertainty to exist.
  • The ability to say: “I don’t know” or “I no longer believe I know” is the scholar’s only sure defense against Confirmation Bias which makes it nigh impossible to dethrone a beloved, discredited explanation.
  • The vivid imagination of pagan culture, which was carried over was an aid for rethinking explanations.

This discussion began with a book review of Peter Kreeft’s BACK TO VIRTUE. I hope this example was useful in understanding Kreeft’s and Meyer’s points in answering the question about the rise of science in Europe:

Why there?

Why then?

Footnote added: The messages in the WE BELIEVE series, at the time of writing, were no longer available on YouTube. If they become available again, I will add a hyperlink for the reader’s convenience.