methodological naturalism

Thu, 26 Mar 98 17:02:41 CT

Could someone more astrophysically inclined (no offense intended
to anyone related to the legal profession) please help me here:

On Thu, 26 Mar 1998 04:24:15 - 0800
Phillip E. Johnson wrote:

>The nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system is a more
>pertinent example, and I proceed cautiously here, having no recent
>occasion to study the matter. I'm afraid my answer must depend on
>the strength of the evidence, because that is what makes all the
>difference. Compare (1) "the sun condensed gravitionally billions
>of years ago" with (2) "the eye and the brain originated by
>Darwinian selection." The creative power of natural selection is
>not supported by evidence (other than at the trivial peppered-moth
>level), and the whole Darwinian scenario is contrary to the fossil
>and experimental evidence but maintained because of its importance
>to the naturalistic worldview and the absence of an acceptable
>alternative. So (2) depends almost totally on MN. Is that equally
>true of (1)? I presume not, because gravity is a well-documented
>phenomenon whose effects can be calculated reliably. Creative
>natural selection, in contrast, is a fiction.

Gravity may be a "well-documented phenomenon", but has anyone ever
observed a sun forming, from nebular gas to coalescence? Saying
that we can observe the various stages in formation all over the
visible universe is not good enough for me (it's not enough for PJ
when it comes to "snapshots" of evolution in action as evidence for
a product in process which we cannot observe to his satisfaction due
to our inherent limitation of time scale for observation).

Also, I must question PJ's basis for the statement that the "whole
Darwinian scenario is contrary to the fossil and experimental
evidence". Perhaps he has not had "recent occasion to study the
matter." I might suggest he do so (maybe a chat with Peter Grant
at Princeton, re: Darwin's finches) before making more such
ungrounded statements.

Jeff Witters

Emporia State University
Emporia, KS