Science and Its Critics (fwd)

Joel Cannon (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 09:17:54 -0600 (CST)

Jack Haas wrote:

> I would
> be pleased if you have any suggestions of items that I can put forth other
> than the methodological issues raised at the Texas U meeting last
> weekend. Send them to my Gordon College address by 3:30 eastern time.
> Thank you,
> Jack Haas

Off the top of my head, a state the usually makes my wife and friends
dive for cover, I think I would

first, emphasize the functional equivalence for scientific practice

1) a Christian who believes (in the tradition of Galileo, Augustine, etc.)
that God as created an orderly universe that can be studied,

and 2) an atheist who assumes an orderly universe without God.

In this regard, I think the term "methodological naturalism", while
accurate to much of scientific practice, obscures the real reason for
why we practice science like we do. We might instead call ourselves
something like "curious servants of an orderly creator"

Since both metaphysical positions assume an orderly world that can be
discovered through science, a successful scientific theory is
incapable of distinguishing between the two, and we should refuse to
let people think that it can be used this way.

Second, I would emphasize that evolution by natural selection poses a
challenge all people (not just Christians) who hold that humans 1) are
somehow special and 2) are free to make morally responsible decisions.
For example, If randomness in the evolutionary process makes
Christians doctrine of man created in the image of God untenable it
seems fair for them to justify humanists' belief in the value of
humans. I simply ask for consistency and a level playing field. Along
this line, We must ask what sloth of intellect lead Carl Sagan to want
to save the planet after ridiculing the idea that we humans were
somehow special with regard to the rest of the cosmos and claiming
that he only goes where the evidence leads him.

Joel W. Cannon
Dept. of Physics
Centenary College of Louisiana
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188

(318)869-5026 FAX