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From: Josh Bembenek (jbembe@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 16:15:48 EDT

  • Next message: Josh Bembenek: "RE: pseudogenes and design"

    George: "2d - & more importantly, in response to your earlier argument.
    The question of
    what science will be able to accomplish is not in itself a scientific
    question except in the strict empirical sense that we can wait for a long
    time and see where it succeeds. But one's expectation of what science
    should be able to explain is a question for the philosophical &/or
    theological context in which one places science. & it seems to me that you
    (as well as many others sympathetic with ID) ignore the fact that many
    Christians like myself who argue that it should be able to explain the
    origin of life in terms of natural processes do so on _theological_ grounds,
    and not simply because we're in awe of science or something of the sort."

    Josh: This is a powerful observation and I would agree that I have
    science-only blinders on. I.E. I'd rather consider the rigourous details
    about biological complexity and their relationship to evolutionary
    processes, over how elegant a solution episodic creation verses FIC appears
    to be based upon theological/philosophical grounds. I do not feel compelled
    by the argument that God is somehow less if he has to "tinker," however
    these criticisms have sharpened my greater understanding of the conceptual
    framework of the creationism debate. I am no philosopher or theologian, so
    I am learning on these issues more than I am basing my analysis on them. In
    the end I have to admit that these issues inform how I think about the
    debate, but do not cause me to base my judgement on them (as I do not feel
    strongly pursuaded one way or another). If this leaves my position less
    than developed, so be it, I'm still learning.

    George: "All of these approaches speak of God acting in the world in
    connection with
    natural processes, but they don't require a commitment to any particular
    understanding of what those processes are or how they're to be explained
    scientifically. It's a theological statement to say that God makes the sun
    shine. It's the task of natural science to find out whether it shines
    because of chemical combusion, gravitational contraction, nuclear fusion, or
    in some other way. & this means also that such theological positions can be
    held even though science hasn't yet been able to explain some phenomenon,
    such as the origin of
    life. They are statements that we ought to expect that science will be
    able, in
    principle, to explain it, & do not require one to say when or how that will
    happen."

    Josh: When God acts in the world, connected to natural processes, he may
    override them, utilize them, or allow them to "go it alone" (with
    providence.) When natural science attempts to determine the natural how of
    God's action, and we come to a "in some other way" category, we must allow
    those actions of God that do not reference back directly to any action of
    any natural law or creaturely capacity. This latter category is what is
    being categorically dismissed wrt origins, and what I have disgreement with
    specifically. When you end the statement saying "that we expect science
    will be able, in principle, to explain.." you are narrowing the field of "in
    some other way(s)" and I do not presume to make such distinctions in the
    realm of possibilities, and find adamant predictions regarding the field of
    possibilities highly presumptuous regardless of their basis in science,
    theology or philosophy.

    George: "Of course you don't have to accept such theological approaches.
    But recognize that they are theological, & not just the sort of science
    /ueber alles/ statements that you might get from Weinberg or Dawkins."

    Josh: I would say that I do not view any views of any Christian's view
    equivalent or similar to that of Dawkins, etc. I'm simply not convinced
    that the theological/philosophical considerations limit the scope of
    possibility for God's actions. The episodic verses FIC distinction appears
    to be based upon aesthetics; how appealing does it seem that God intervenes
    or not according to your personal bias?

    Josh

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