Re: "Heretics in the Laboratory"--Newsweek (9/16/96)

Neil Haave (
Mon, 7 Oct 1996 21:34:59 +0000

Mon, 7 Oct 1996 Steven Schimmrich wrote:

> That said, some scientists will still claim that science somehow
> "disproves" God since He's no longer needed if we have a completely
> naturalistic explanation for the world and how it works (I personally
> think they're naively optimistic in this regard). This attitude, which
> seems to be held by Richard Dawkins, for example, is one I would repudiate.

I agree.

> Let's be even clearer with our terms. I would argue that all Christians
> are creationists since all Christians should believe that "In the beginning,
> God created the Heavens and the Earth." I am a creationist. I am not,
> however, by any stretch of the imagination a young-earth creationist.
> Sometimes I get the feeling, reading Gould and others, that it's OK to
> believe in God (if you're not too bright) but don't believe that God
> actually did anything or interfered in any way with the physical universe
> -- a point of view I'm very uncomfortable with as a Christian.

Interesting... It is a problem. How do we reconcile our unfolding
understanding of the natural universe with the existence of supernatural God?
To separate the two realms of knowledge is artificial, but I have no
idea how to do science any other way or how to incorporate spiritual
knowledge with experiential knowledge.

> I would agree if you change creationists above to young-earth creationists.

Okay, I understand the distinction you are making..

> I would also say, in reference to the last part of the above paragraph, that
> it's not just non-scientists who have bad ideas about science. What about
> Stephen Hawking's comments in "A Brief History of Time" (1988, p. 13) where
> he says that the eventual goal of science was to provide a unified theory
> that completely describes the universe we live in? Do those quantum
> mechanical mathematical equations Hawking envisions encompass God as well?
> Many science popularizers are believers in scientism -- a philosophical
> belief about science -- and confuse this with science itself (a naturalistic
> method of investigating the physical world).

This goes back to my above point as to how to incorporate a
creating/living God into our understanding of the physical universe.

> Marxism does indeed differ in being completely naturalistic whereas young-
> earth creationism does invoke the supernatural.
> But, I think it's also true that many young-earth creationist claims are
> testable (i.e. a global flood depositing all sedimentary rocks) and, on the
> other hand, many people hold to Marxist beliefs without ever subjecting them
> to objective testing.

Yes, but the underlying assumptions of YEC's (now I understand why
this acronym pops up all the time on this list... BTY what does TE
mean?) is still untestable. I guess I would be more accepting of YEC
critiques of evolution if they were prepared to offer a natural/physical

> But, as a Christian, I'm also uncomfortable with leaving God totally out
> of the picture when attempting to explain the orgin of the universe and of life.
> I don't have an answer to the problem but I disagree with those who hold
> that science MUST be naturalistic AND then say that science can answer
> all these questions.

Yup! They want to limit God yet make science unlimited. Again, how
do we reconcile the different ways that humans are able to know and

Thanks for clarifying the issues with me.


Neil Haave, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Biology and Chemistry
4901 - 46 Avenue
Camrose, AB T4V 2R3
fax (403) 679 1129
voice (403) 679 1100