Re: textbooks

Brian Neuschwander (bwnbcg@sjm.infi.net)
Tue, 02 Dec 1997 10:11:08 -0800

Bill Payne wrote:
>
> "When faith is involved, a hypothesis is not subjected to being proven false in a purely objective way."

> This paragraph, by definition, excludes anything which cannot be "proven
> false," which of course includes God, the supernatural creation of the
> universe, life, and your soul. Students are told to think
> naturalistically and ignore any religious beliefs they may hold.

>

Does everyone see the subtlety of the issue Bill brings up? It is all
in the rule making. Those who control the rule making of the debate,
control who wins. Lets look at the above statement with some questions
in mind:

1. What exactly IS this "faith" catagory? Does non-evidential
hypothesizing (important to initializing scientific theories and
pursuits) also fit here? How about all the "just so" stories of Dawkins
and Sagan?

2. WHO decides what goes into this "faith" catagory? Self-appointed
scientists who are not philosophers, or philosophers who are not
scientists? Text book committees? Senators? Judicial Emperors?
Pentacostal Preachers? Citizens?

3. Why does the "faith" catagory get short shrift on the credibility
scale, when it is "science" that gave us so much whacko stuff of the
last century (Road to Wellville stuff was science in its day), as well
as more recently eugenics, cold fusion, and the DNA forensics that put
OJ in jail. (Pardon the cynicism, but there is a valid point somehwere
here.) Science is not above embarrassing itself at times.

IMO science, like any endeavor, needs to continually examine its
boundaries of authority, understand its limitations, and be honest with
itself and the public about them. Science helps greatly, but by itself
cannot tell the metanarrative. The theology of the God of the Bible has
an irreplacable position here. Herein lies the battleground. The
Christian story must not be given reduced authority simply because
self-appointed detractors conveniently drop it into the catagory of
"faith" which they previously have ruled as non-truth.

Great caution must be taken by all who conduct the needed work between
Cosmos and Logos. To quote Chas. Hummel: "A theology that weds the
science of one generation is likely to find itself a widow in the next."
(p260 _The Galileo Connection_, IVP, 1986)

-- 
Brian W. Neuschwander