Re: Science of the Gaps (Re: God acting in creation #4+++)

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 11:06:45 EST

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    Walter Hicks asked: "Why is it valid for scientists to assume that all
    unknown phenomena must be explained by "God acting within the limits of
    natural causes", but invalid for anyone to suggest that perhaps God may
    have had a direct hand in it? The Bible seems to suggest that God is not
    shy about interacting with His Universe."

    My own position on this is that AS A SCIENTIST it is incumbent upon me to
    follow the foundational principle of methodological naturalism. I believe
    it was Dickinson who defined this in PERSPECTIVES some years ago as
    seeing science as a game -- a game in which we try to explain the data
    always as consequences of natural causation. AS A PHILOSOPHER, i.e. when
    not "doing science," I see no reason not to allow for the possibility of
    direct supernatural (nonnatural causation) intervention of a deity. Or --
    even for the direct (natural causation) of an external intelligence. If
    there were any reasonable evidence that an external (non-supernatural)
    intelligence existed, and SETI may someday provide this, then AS A
    SCIENTIST I would have to allow the possibility that this intelligence,
    of one similar to it, did and does intervene in the world. So far, IMHO,
    that "reasonable evidence" does not appear to exist.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

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