Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 10:45:34 -0500 (EST)

Several issues relating science, theology, and how we know about past
occurrences have been discussed. I think that one ought to clarify the
different subject matters involved and how a given one is related to the others.

Experimental science seeks true generalizations from historical
propositions. We should never forget that the laws of experimental science
are purely descriptive and not prescriptive. If a scientist says that the
laws of nature preclude miracles, then the scientist is treating the laws as
prescriptive, which would follow if additional philosophical assumptions are
made. However, to exclude the occurrence of miracles by using the existing
laws of science is a form of nihilism. The latter would eliminate the whole
of the Christian Faith--rooted as it is on the resurrection of Christ.

From the standpoint of the order of being one can say that without the
ontological neither the generalizations nor the historical propositions
would be possible. That is to say, the gravitational laws of Newton and
Einstein do not bring the universe into being not even our solar system. I
quote from a textbook from my undergraduate years: "It does not follow,
however, that in the order of knowing the ontological is constitutive as
evidence for generalizations. To illustrate: From the truth that God
created the world, and hence the actual order of nature from among possible
orders, there is no enlightenment as to what that order is. The latter may
be discovered whether or not one believe in God. This fact constitutes the
element of truth in the statement attributed to Laplace, that experimental
science has no need of God."

Cosmology and evolutionary theory are not very much different from
forensics. Clearly science is used in the study of the crime scene and the
investigative work of inferring what actually happened. Recall that
according to our court system the most you can do in establishing past
events is on the level of "beyond a reasonable doubt." Never certainty! The
latter is the point often brought out against the death penalty, for instance.

As an undergraduate I took a philosophy course that was based on the
textbook of my professor William Oliver Martin who influenced my thoughts on
the relation of the different kinds of knowledge. Above I quoted from his
text: "The Order and Integration of Knowledge." I believe he was a strong


p.s. I believe Bill Payne misspelled my first name. My name in Arabic,
Armenian, Persian, etc., means "wish."