RE: God and nature; miracles (fwd)...Gap

From: Joel Cannon (jcannon@jcannon.washjeff.edu)
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 15:11:35 EDT

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    Forwarded message:
    > From asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu Thu May 15 12:54:40 2003
    > From: "Debbie Mann" <deborahjmann@insightbb.com>
    >
    > And herein is the logical gap, the gulf, the enormous chasm that is an
    > obstacle in the way of so many. Why can we JUDGE certain 'miracles' to be
    > small enough and physicsally (pertaining to physics - if there is a real
    > word, please tell me) unchallenging enough to accept while rejecting others?

    In this statement, Debbie has inadvertantly raised the real issue
    between the phrase "God of the gaps" which was first coined by
    C.A. Coulson. She is talking about miracles or "might works" reported
    in scripture; Coulson was discussing Creation and science as is
    relevant to intelligent design and Howard's fully gifted creation.

      Many people see the problem with a God of the gaps view of the world
    as the problem arising from science constantly shrinking gaps. Coulson
    felt the bigger problem was the problem of what the gaps exclude even
    if the gaps do not continue to close. The issue is the negative
    consequences of identifying God with those things that cannot be
    understood by science. To do so almost inevitably (if not inevitably)
    carries with it the implication, that God cannot be seen in and is not
    responsible for the things science cannot explain.

    Said Coulson:

    ...if God's action in nature is limited to "deft touches here and
    there" I can barely distinguish Him from the engineer who made the
    mechanism, and who leaves it to work its own passage, interfering only
    to put it right when something is going to far wrong. Either God is in
    the whole of Nature, with not gaps, or He's not there at all.
    (C.A. Coulson, Science and Christian Belief, London: Fontana Books,
    1958, p. 35)

    This quote is taken from a very nice short essay by Regent College
    Professor Loren Wilkinson, titled "Does Methodological Naturalism lead
    to Metaphysical Naturalism?" in "Darwinism Defeated: The
    Johnson-Lamoureux Debates on Biological Origins," Regent College
    Press, 1999 (p. 167), a very useful book available from Amazon or
    online through the Regent College Bookstore at
    www.regentbookstore.com.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Joel W. Cannon | (724)223-6146
    Physics Department | jcannon@washjeff.edu
    Washington and Jefferson College |
    Washington, PA 15301 |



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