Re: Answer to Eugenie Scott's views

Brian D Harper (
Fri, 20 Mar 1998 20:48:39 -0500

At 04:40 PM 3/20/98 -0800, Phil wrote:
>At 09:56 PM 3/18/98 -0600, Keith B Miller wrote:
>>Methodological naturalism is a _method_, it cannot proscribe anything!
>To which I counterpose this statement (from *Reason in the Balance*, p. 211):
>"If employing methodological naturalism is the only way to reach true
>conclusions about the history of the universe, and if the attempt to
>provide a naturalistic history of the universe has gone from success to
>success, and if even theists concede that trying to do science on theistic
>premises always leads nowhere or into error (the embarrassing "God of the
>gaps"), then the likely explanation for this state of affairs is that
>naturalism is true and theism is false."
>Note that this statement says "likely explanation." It does not claim the
>status of absolute truth, and does not deny that sufficently motivated
>theists can find a refuge. They can retreat into an unfalsifiable
>position, by (for example) saying that God created the whole system, and
>constantly upholds it with his mighty (but scientifically undetectable) hand.
>Who disagrees?

Hi Phil, nice to hear from you.

Interestingly, this quote from your book just came up recently
on the evolution reflector where I noted that in my opinion,
the most likely explanation would be our inability to know
the mind of God.

As part of the discussion, I came up with the following

Based on your knowledge of God and His intentions
in designing the best of all possible worlds, which
of the following concepts of force conforms best
with His wisdom?

(a) force is proportional to mass times velocity (Descartes).

(b) force is proportional to mass times velocity squared

(c) force is proportional to mass times acceleration (Newton).

(d) force is a metaphysical concept which should be banished
from science completely (D'Alembert).

Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University

"It is not certain that all is uncertain,
to the glory of skepticism." -- Pascal