Re: Paper-tigers

Keith B Miller (
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 09:30:37 -0600

Will Provine wrote:

>Of course I agree with you that science cannot describe or account for
>everything. Nor would I ever argue that we do not understand by science
>does not
>exist. But science is just beginning. I hesitate now to attribute what we
>now understand by science to gods or souls. Instead, to me the proper response
>is just ignorance. In what we don't know, I see no evidence whatsoever of gods
>or souls.

But many of your previous posts do not indicate that your response to
questions outside of science "is ignorance." You have been quite
straightforward in stating that science has made the existence of any
meaningful God untenable. Now you are certainly free to argue that no such
God can exist, and to attempt to persuade others of that position. But you
cannot claim that science demands such a position. You may not like the
theology of those of us who see an active personal God involved in and
directing the cause-and-effect processes of the physical universe. But
such a theology, and many others, are completely consistent with our
present understanding of nature and with the scientific method. Your
insistence that science demands that evolution be "unguided and impersonal"
is simply not warranted. As you state above: all _science_ can say when
faced with certain kinds of questions is that "we don't know."

BTW: The issue for much of my discussion is not that we should "attribute
what we cannot now understand by science to gods or souls." Quite the
contrary. I believe that we should attribute what we _do_ understand
scientifically to God. Furthermore, for the issue of the self-limitation
of science, it matters not what type of answer is given to non-scientific
questions, only that such questions exist.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506