Re: ICR presentation

Garry DeWeese (deweese@ucsu.Colorado.EDU)
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 18:19:53 -0700 (MST)

On Thu, 20 Mar 1997, Michael K. Thompson wrote:

> I was quite
> suprised that rather than taking the traditional modernist approach of
> fighting me with "evidence". The speaker went for a more post-modern
> approach by insulating his view from inquiry. At the end I asked him
> how he knows his view is right over all of the other evangelical views
> that exist. He simply said, "We don't." Rather than fighting for
> "equal science" he was fighting for "equal story".
> It seems to me that this post-modern version of creation science is more
> dangerous than the first because there is no means to correction. Does
> anyone have ideas as to how to respond here?
I agree that this is a most dangerous approach, and one which I am seeing
more and more, especially as post-modernist literary critical theory is
penetrating the mainstream (in a vulgarized, simplistic form, maybe) as
more and more recent college graduates have been taught by professors who
follow the latest trend.

But I have seen virtually the same response from evolutionists who are
Christians but who find ways to put their scientific beliefs and their
biblical exegesis/theological beliefs in logic-tight compartments. (N.B.
I greatly respect Glenn Morton, Dick Fischer, George Murphey and others on
this list who reject this easy but ultimately destructive way out.) This
"two kinds of truth" teaching is often called Averroism, after the
medieval Islamic philosopher Averroes who found contradictions between his
Qur'an and his Aristotle, but held onto both, claiming one as "truths of
faith" and the other as "truths of reason."

I think the proper response is to maintain, with Augustine, Anselm,
Aquinas (who specifically opposed Averroes), etc. that there is a unity of
truth and that all truth is God's truth. Thus any scientific statement
which contradicts *properly interpreted* biblical statements, or which
contradicts statements of theology in the historical orthodox tradition,
must itself be false. It is not "another kind of truth."

Clearly God's truth is more than propositional (John 8:31-32, among other
passages, makes this clear), but it is not less than propositional. Not
only do the post-modern and the Averroistic models of truth destroy
science (read Paul Feyerabend for examples), but they also destroy
theology and, as Michael points out, leaves the Christian apologist with
nothing to say.

> I think this is another example of how dangerous this direction is. A
> post-modern approach will surely in the end kill all scientific
> discussion (not to mention theological discussion). When I pointed out
> that I would have to throw away science in order to believe that the
> laws of physics changed when Adam fell causing apparent age, he said I
> wouldn't. But he never explained why that was so.
> I also interacted with the speaker afterwards. In passing he said
> something about how God wants us to avoid philosophy to which I
> responded that God created philosophy and science and that it is good.
> He thought about that one for a while. I can only hope it puts him on
> another path.
Thanks for defending philosophy along with science!

Garry DeWeese