> I think I agree with most of what both Craig Rusbult and George Murphy
> have said. I agree with the point of Craig Rusbult that (as I interpret it)
> Intelligent Design (ID) and Methodological Naturalism (MN) (at least as both
> are interpreted today) might well lead to different scientific hypotheses (or
> at least different weightings for the plausibility of different scientific
> theories) On the other hand, I agree with George Murphy that ID is not
> scientific if it just says "anything goes," since God can do anything not
> logically contradictory.
> Presumably both ID and MN should be guided by the principle of
> simplicity, trying to find the simplest hypotheses consistent with their
> presuppositions that also fit the observational and experimental data. This is
> certainly a very strong (if often merely implicitly recognized) guiding
> principle in science, and I was delighted recently to read the 1997 Aquinas
> Lecture at Marquette University, "Simplicity as Evidence of Truth," by Richard
> Swinburne (Nolloth Professor of the Christian Religion at Oxford University)
> which emphasizes this point from the perspective of a noted Christian
> philosopher. If he or she is indeed guided by this principle, an atheistic
> scientist would presumably view as most plausible hypotheses in which the
> universe itself is described most simply and yet consistently with the data,
> whereas a theistic scientist would presumably view as most plausible hypotheses
> in which the universe plus God as Creator is described most simply and yet
> consistently with the data.
OK, but the problem comes in deciding what is "simplest" from a
theistic standpoint. Unless we are very careful to stay close to
revelation, the simplicity we ascribe to God will be what we judge
simplest. This has had baneful effects on western trinitarian thought
for centuries because of course the Trinity doesn't seem "simple".
& with God's interaction with the world - it would have been
"simplest" for God to be on Pharoah's side instead of choosing a rag-tag
bunch of Hebrew slaves.
George L. Murphy