Re: Shapiro versus ID

Bill Hamilton (
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 13:54:58 -0400

At 09:16 AM 9/10/98 +0200, Inge Frette wrote:
>...Personally I don't think that
>we should proportion our belief in God with the number of gaps we find.
>But I recall a former colleague at work. He had also studied philosophy
>and had a rather positivistic view of reality. He didn't believe in God,
>but was open to the fact that God could exist. When I asked him what
>was needed for him to believe in God, he answered something like this
>"Give me some gaps. Gaps in the natural order will indicate God's existence"
>And two days ago I spoke with another working colleague and he said that
>he didn't believe in God since science had explained everything,
>implying that there was no room for God if science can explain everything.
>Some may find this view rather simplistic or naive, but the fact is that
>many people think like this. Some kind of positivism is still a popular view
>among the non-scientific people.
>Our challenge is to find good ways to answer these people - there is
>apologetic work here to be done. Apologetic in the sense of removing
>obstacles to belief in God.
Agreed. And I have met people who take this view. In apologetics our
objective is not to correct an individual's view about how nature works,
but to introduce him/her to Jesus Christ. Getting on our high horse about
how to look at the universe doesn't serve that need. I'm thinking out loud
here, but if it really seems fruitful to discuss the shortcomings of
science with an unbeliever who takes the "science explains everything"
view, it might be useful to discuss the history of science a bit: generally
each question we have answered suggests more questions, and generally the
answers we get say that phenomenon A which we can observe interacts in a
certain way with phenomenon B which we can also observe. But in science we
never get to investigate the questions of why we have any phenomena to
observe at all, or why the phenomena we study exhibit enough underlying
regularities that we can characterize them in terms of the statements we
call laws. Theology and science are not asking the same questions, so it
seems unrealistic to claim that a finding from science -- or even the
totality of scientific knowledge -- can rule out the claims of another
field that is dealing with different questions -- questions that are more
fundamental than the questions science desires to answer.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems MC 480-106-390
GM R&D Center
30500 Mound Road
Warren, MI / (home)