From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 20:16:25 EDT
It looks like I just dumped out a whole gunny sack full of snakes
[interesting but difficult theological questions] onto the ground and
they're slithering off in every direction faster than I can keep track of
them. To be candid, I don't have carefully crafted answers to all of these
good questions, and that's OK with me. It means that my spiritual odyssey
will continue to be a challenging and adventurous journey of discovery.
Let me begin with a brief response to Ted Davis.
I had said:
> I am not asking for anyone on this list to agree with my choice. The limited
> point is that my choice is one that goes far beyond science. To tie in with
> my opening question, SCIENCE does not deserve either the credit or blame
> for my choice.
> My comment is, speaking as an historian of religion and science, that it is
> almost always a larger human story, not directly involving science, that
> provides the reasons why individual scientists change their religious
> beliefs--and I mean "change" to include (1) conversion to religion, (2) loss
> of religious faith, or (3) redefinition of one's religious understanding
> without necessarily loss of faith. The historical stereotype, according to
> which science leads people to lose faith, does hold in some cases. But it
> usually doesn't. Science is typically a rather minor factor. Darwin, e.g.,
> probably lost his theism following the deaths of his father and favorite
> daughter, not following his visit to the Galapagos or his reading of Thomas
Thanks, Ted. That was the original point of my post.
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