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

From: Walter Hicks (
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 18:56:36 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Science of the Gaps (Re: God acting in creation #4+++)"

    It is natural (no pun intended) for one to want to allow science to be
    unimpeded by thoughts of God or anything else beyond x, y, z, and t.
    However, the mysteries of quantum mechanics -- and its multiple
    "interpretations" -- allows us
    no such comfort.

    One perfectly good scientist (Eugene P. Wigner), speaking as a
    scientist, said the following:

    "The being with a consciousness must have a different role in the
    quantum mechanics than the inanimate measuring device."

    "In other words, the impression which one gains at an interaction,
    called the result of an observation, modifies the wave function of the
    system. The modified wave function is, furthermore, in general
    unpredictable before the
    impression gained at the interaction has entered our consciousness: it
    is the entering of an impression into our consciousness which alters the
    wave function because it modifies our appraisal of the probabilities for
    impressions which we expect in the future It is at this point that the
    conscious mind enters the theory unavoidably and unalterably."

    This was not offered as an alternative "interpretation", but rather as
    something which this Nobel Laureate believed to be the only valid
    physical conclusion.

    I've never heard a good rebuttal to Wigner's claim.

    John W Burgeson wrote:

    > 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.)

    Walt Hicks <>

    In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)

    You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================

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