Before I began my classical studies, I was a Dean’s list pre-med student at Rutgers University working in a chemistry lab. I love the natural sciences, but I am unhappy with the options I see available to Catholic students. So much more is possible–and necessary.
Modern scientists and science teachers commonly abuse the natural sciences and use talk of “science” to promote unproven anti-Catholic ideas among students who have no means examining what they say. Many Christian parents react to this by running to the opposite (and equally false) extreme, neglecting modern natural science studies, or turning to shallow Protestant textbooks that commit the same errors. An option is necessary that allows Catholic students to enjoy the natural sciences while addressing the real problems in these studies. I don’t believe many modern Christian science teachers themselves have the philosophical education necessary to do this work, which is why they do what they do.
The problem with the study of the natural sciences is that secular schools have tried to make modern Math and Science classes the core of the curriculum and these studies are really not worthy of such a place. The human soul needs much more than these subjects have to offer. Modern mathematics do not take 12-16 years of schooling to master, and the modern natural sciences aren’t as useful as secular teachers pretend they are. The most important questions in human life are not within the reach of the “scientific method”, since the natural sciences are concerned only with material things in this world. Moreover, true science studies are based on experimentation and whatever cannot be demonstrated is not truly “science”.
As Pope John Paul II taught us, Christians have no need to be afraid of the investigation of the natural world. No true natural sciences are going to contradict the Catholic faith. However, Christians do need to hold scientists accountable to sticking to their proper subject: material things that can be observed. When students allow the talk of scientists to run beyond what can be observed, they are no longer being taught the natural sciences, but theories and opinions. If students are not given the opportunity to test these theories, they are not scientific theories at all.
In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, I will be teaching a complete course of high school science courses for Christian students. These courses will include Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which can be used to satisfy modern high school diploma requirements. In addition to these, I will also be teaching classical Natural Philosophy, studying Pliny’s Natural History, Aristotle’s History of Animals, Theophrastus’ History of Plants and Aristotle’s Physics. If time allows, I will lead Academy students through history’s great scientific texts as well to give them a historical understanding of the development of the sciences.
These courses will be self-paced and online, so students can work at their own pace and enjoy them all, regardless of their individual ability. I will teach through a number of quality modern Science texts for the modern sciences, and the master texts for the classical courses. The courses in Modern Biology and Aristotle’s History of Animals have already begun. A sample lesson video is linked above.
To enroll and begin studies, visit the Academy Study Center at: https://classicalliberalarts.com/study.
If you have any questions about these studies, please contact me directly.
God bless your studies,
Mr. William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy