>>In fact, I do not claim any of Genesis is not
>>historical. I do claim that there is no reason to
>>reject scientific understandings of the universe
>>because of Genesis or vice-versa. We must
>>fundamentally understand the limits of our different
>>types of knowledge. Scientific knowledge, deep
>>can never disprove or prove the kind of God attested
>>to by the books of the Bible.
>No, but it can verify or falsify claims about
>particular events, which will
>leave observational remains, claimed to have been
>done in a particular order by that God.
See my discussion below re interpreting "facts" in
social scientific analyses. This is true sometimes,
but not always. I do not think that the examples you
use are necessarily always hard propositions in the
way they might be in a physics sense.
> It simply cannot go
>there. Ellis, Polkinghorne, Buber, all sorts of
>people have discussed this at length. Not all truths
>are scientific and historical.
>They are not truths but beliefs. Muslims believe
> things, which are mutually
> exclusive with your beliefs, they would claim the
> title of truth for their position.
I disagree with this. Not all "truths" are
scientifically verifiable. No moral or ethical truth
is testable. Does this make them not truths?
Perhaps, but then nothing is capable of being called
an asbolute Truth. For example, empiricism is not
scientifically (empirically) verifiable, therefore
science operates according to a belief too and has no
claim to Truth, only a claim to repeatability which
may be due to lots of things that have nothing to do
with Truth. Without getting too philosophical there
is a difference between epistemology and ontology.
Any epistemological perspective if an act of belief
which defines, in part, what is ontologically
possible. There is, in that sense, no truth that is
beyond contesting as Truth. 2+2=4 is based, as Goedel
pointed out, on things which cannot be proven, but
must be accepted as foundational. Therefore you
cannot properly say that 2+2=4 is True in an absolute
sense. I am not a postmodernist in any way shape or
form, but from a rational (and philosophical)
standpoint there is no such thing as an
unquestionable, absolute truth. Hard scientists (and
engineers) get off easy, because they have a practical
result.. the rocket works, or it blows up. There
really isn't a Truth claim, there is a practical
result that either appears to work or not. I agree
that science approximates reality and is
versimiltudinous only because I believe in a God that
undergirds reality with regularity. Cut off from that
belief, I have no grounds to be an empiricist.
And, without getting too syncretic, the number of
foundational claims between a Muslim and a Christian
may be fewer than you think. Both largely share a
particular ontological view of the universe that is in
agreement. Key particulars diverge, but the overlap
is larger than the disagreement although the
disagreement may be more significant than the
>>"England revolted against George Washington and
>>earned their freedom
>>from American tyranny," is a demonstrably false
>>statement which in no way is
>>in a system requiring precision. I simply can't
>>believe you are advocating the above view!
I misread this the first time around (trying to
respond too fast). I never advocated this view, but
there is a difference in views regarding whether
American revolted against English tyranny or whether
America had been getting off better than most of the
Empire and when England tried to "equalize" the burden
on the American colonies, the Americans overreacted,
because they were really getting a free ride for so
long. Moreover, there is a dispute among historians
whether the Americans were mad at the monarchy, which
was how it was portrayed before I went to school --
democracy vs. monarchy, or whether they were really
ticked off at parliament rather than the crown. These
things are interpretive disputes based on equivocal
data. It may be harder to support some way out ideas,
but the closer in you get to the central data, you can
come up with many pretty reasonably good hypotheses to
fit the data.
This is an area where social sciences and arts and
humanities are different than most hard sciences. It
is easier to come up with a universe of theories that
fit the data pretty well. Since a good deal of my
background is in the social sciences, I tend to see
this problem in approaching texts. Physics types
often have only one or a couple theories that fit data
well, so they tend to see things outside the hard
sciences that way. It's not that way in say sociology
or psychology or even in economics, you can have LOTS
of close to equally plausible explanatory theories
because "facts" are open to far more interpretation in
>In the Beginning God created the heavens and the
>The waters parted and the Israelites passed through
>on dry land
>The walls of Jericho fell down.
>They found the stone rolled away.
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