'Christian' science

Paul Arveson (arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil)
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 11:19:40 -0500

Peter Vibert said:
"This deserves expansion, for I think it points to a way (that Alvin
Plantinga might approve) of doing truly *Christian* science - namely, that
Christians will *from God's perspective* indeed do better science than
non-believers because they complete their work by offering praise and
thanks to God for what they have learned about Creation and for his hand in
making and preserving it. In this they have indeed discovered a *truth*
about the creational fact that escapes unbelievers."

Plantinga's article says a lot of helpful things, but I regret his notion
of 'Christian' science. I'm kind of glad that Mary Baker Glover Patterson
Eddy co-opted the term 'Christian science'. It has kept us away from a lot
of misunderstandings.

In light of our recent discussion about palynology, I can say that I would
rather get my science from an unbeliever who doesn't care about the
outcome, than from a Christian who desires a particular outcome.

I am not saying this as an old positivist. On the contrary, I believe that
Christ is the ultimate enabler of science; science could not exist on
non-Christian presuppositions, if they were followed consistently. But
practically anyone can do good science now, because the metaphysical
presuppositions have been, as it were, 'built-in' to the methodology (by
the founders of modern science). They are like the lower layers in a
communications network; they are real and specific, but you can ignore them
and get on with your higher-level work if you prefer (as most scientists

Paul Arveson, Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil bridges@his.com
(301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)