Copy of: NTSE #7

John W. Burgeson (
Sun, 2 Mar 1997 09:43:08 -0500

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From: John W. Burgeson, 73531,1501
TO: EVOLUTION Reflector,
DATE: 2/26/97 9:07 PM

RE: Copy of: NTSE #7

NTSE #7. A few notes from Grinnell's talk -- "In God we trust; all others
bring data."
If it can't be measured,
or counted,
or photographed,
it ain't science.

Even if it is important.
In the quest for credibility, science gives the possibility of truth away.
In the quest for truth, religion gives up the possibility of ?? (missed
the last word)
I may have misplaced my other notes on this very provocative talk. Asked
Fred to provide some of his stuff from the talk and he told me to write him
& ask. I plan to do so.
Wesley Elsberry's paper ENTERPRISING SCIENCE NEEDS NATURALISM develops a
"yes" answer to the question "Does the Scientific method exclude appeals to
supernatural causation?" He asserts that the definition of "naturalism" =
"proposing only natural mechanisms for physical phenomena," and not
"asserting that only natural mechanisms have existence." Rejection of
naturalism (as defined above) amounts to an assertion that some parts of
the universe are not comprehensible by humans, which may be a true, but
sterile stance.

Much of what Elsberry writes I can accept; one part I cannot. At one point
he asserts that ":While the subjective appreciation of a role for
supernatural causation may be important to personal fulfillment, it does
not afford a basis for objective knowledge, nor can it be counted as a
means of comprehending the universe in a scientific manner." As a Xtian,
who has had an encounter with God (not many, I grant you, but more than
one) I can agree onlyto the last part of that assertion; not the first.
The knowledge I have of God is not "about Him" so much as it is "of him."
See J. I. Packer's KNOWING GOD for a great book on this concept. That
knowledge, I assert, is objective to me, even if necessarily subjective to

End #7