Re: controversies

Bill Hamilton (
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 14:13:09 -0400

Paul Arveson quoted Terry Gray:

> [TG: Whether someone is convinced depends in part, I think, on their
>plausibility threshhold. Perhaps the question should be asked (on both
>sides), is there any reason why you want evolution to be true or why
>you don't want evolution to be true. People who don't want evolution
>to be true because they think it will wreck their theism ought not be
>trusted in their plausibility threshhold. People who believe that
>evolution must be true because they are atheists ought not be trusted
>in their plausibility threshhold. Hmm... whom does that leave?]

I snipped Paul's response, which I agree with.

As a Christian, what I am sure of -- what is nonnegotiable -- is that the
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob exists, that He has revealed Himself to
those who are willing to believe Him, and that He has personally through
Jesus Christ paid for the sins of humans so that people can be saved. That
knowledge comes by revelation, not by empirical study.

On the other hand my view of the age of the earth and the workings of
nature comes by the empirical study of nature by thousands of people over
many years. This knowledge is subject to revision because the process by
which it's gained continues.

Therefore it seems reasonable to me that while empirical knowledge might
influence the way I interpret something revealed in Scripture (since human
reasoing does have a role in the interpretation of Scripture), that it can
never overrule what only God can reveal.

This is where I believe my creationist Christian brothers actually have too
much confidence in science. Their belief seems to me to imply that science
can overrule revelation. (Actually the atheists who regard science as
supporting their atheism are making a very similar error, IMO) On the
contrary, I believe revelation was given to give us knowledge we could not
gain by our own efforts.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr, Ph.D. | Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems | General Motors R&D Center | Warren, MI
810 986 1474 (voice) | 810 986 3003 (FAX) | (home email)