The Fathers have a variable approach to science. Science is often respected in its own method and in the knowledge that comes from it. Medical science, for example, was recognized very early in its autonomy. A Father like St Gregory of Nyssa, in the fourth century, had no difficulty in recognizing Hippocratic-Galenic medicine despite its pagan origin. For his part, St Gregory Palamas, in the fourteenth century, does not hesitate to affirm: ‘In matters of physiology, there is no dogma’, a liberal position, but only in appearance, because there is in the background the idea that scientific knowledge is relative and should be relativized as a mode of knowledge. If some Fathers admit the possibility, up to a certain point, of the use of reason (St Maximus the Confessor) or of logical reasoning (St Gregory Palamas) in the theological field, it is however commonly accepted that science remains limited to a knowledge of appearances only. This does not contradict the conception that current science has. On one hand, it defines itself as the study of phenomena (τα φαινόμενα, that is to say what appears to the senses or to the instruments of observation and measurement) and of their laws. On the other hand, the neo-Kantian conception of modern science, considers that the scientist knows reality only as it appears to him or her and as he or she theorizes it by reason. Then, science is not able to claim that knowledge, always relative, coincides with reality as it is in itself, the essence of being remaining forever inaccessible to this type of approach. From this point of view, some Fathers stress that the true knowledge of the nature of things is that of their logoi (St Maximus the Confessor), which is only possible by the intellect (νοῦς) in its contemplative function (θεωρία), which presupposes a whole spiritual preparation (ἄσκησις). Compared to this form of superior knowledge, scientific-type knowledge is, in the eyes of some Fathers (Isaac the Syrian) only a degenerate form of knowledge, implemented by fallen man as an ersatz to true spiritual knowledge, which he has lost and cannot easily recover.