Re: Carl Sagan's no evidence claim

Allan Harvey (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 16:03:21 -0600

Joel Cannon wrote:

>Indeed, the dubious logic in Sagan's ``no evidence'' claim bears an
>instructive symmetry to the Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gugarin's statement
>after returning from the first manned space flight: He knew God didn't
>exist because he had looked for and not found God while in outer
>space. The algorithm: Make an assumption of God's signature--if you
>don't find it you can safely conclude God's non-existence.

It may be obvious, but somebody has to be the one to point out that this
is exactly why some of us object to Phil Johnson (and *some* of the rest
of the Intelligent Design movement; I was pleased to see Plantinga
explicitly criticise "God of the Gaps" in his recent PSCF article).
Johnson seems to play the game by Sagan's rules -- in his case the
"signature" on which the truth of theism depends is the existence of
scientifically unexplainable gaps in the evolution of life. Whether or
not such gaps really exist, Johnson's theology on this point is as warped
as Sagan's.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
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