RE: [NEWS] Press Release: Dembski attacks Pennock and MIT Press

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 23:09:16 EST

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    Hi Burgy,

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: John W Burgeson []
    >Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 10:02 AM
    >Subject: Re: [NEWS] Press Release: Dembski attacks Pennock and MIT Press
    >Glenn Morton took issue with me, and, among other Johnson quotations,
    >cited this one:
    >"To the extent that they go farther, and postulate a supernatural
    >directing force in evolution, they violate the rules of methodological
    >naturalism and are no more welcome in scientific discussions than
    >outright creationists." Phillip E. Johnson, "Starting a Conversation
    >about Evolution" accessed 8.31.96.
    >I'm sorry, Glenn, but that statement seems very clear to me. "TO THE
    >EXTENT THAT..." is the operative phrase. I would endorse a similar, more
    >sweeping statement myself:
    >"To the extent that anyone postulates a supernatural directing force in
    >any science, they
    >violate the rule of methodological naturalism and are no more welcome in
    >scientific discussions than outright creationists."

    But of course that is what Johnsons gang are criticizing us for. They say
    that we aren't proposing supernatural beings as the cause of events and thus
    we are ineffectual as Christians. Johnson's whole gig is that he wants a
    'theistic' science. He wrote:
    "A theistic science starts with an uncreated creator; a naturalistic science
    starts with something like particles and natural laws, and goes on from
    there. If living organisms up to and including human minds can be created
    by unintelligent material processes, then the need for a creator (at least
    after the ultimate beginning) is greatly lessened if not eliminated. But the
    "if" that begins that sentence can be satisfied only by evidence, not by
    defining "science" to exclude any other possibility." Phillip Johnson,
    'Starting a Conversation about Evolution' accessed 8-31-96

    Can you please tell me, Or better yet, get Johnson (or even Dembski who is
    copied here) to tell me, exactly how one would tell if Jehovah created the
    domestic cat using only observational data? And if one says that he doesn't
    need observational data for this, how can we then be sure that it was
    Jehovah and not Allah, Oogaboogah (for those who will remember my post years
    ago on him) or the Crocagater God or the God of the Cargo Cult--the
    airplane. Would a member of the cargo cult be able to say that science
    should not be so defined as to disallow the airplane from being the creator
    of the human mind, not to mention the cargo (for those who don't know of
    this religion see ; )

    Burgy, exactly how does one do what Johnson wants.


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