Re: serious

From: wallyshoes <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2004 - 22:40:31 EST

Jim Armstrong wrote:

> This strikes me as a tad too glib and dismissive. .
> Ms. Certain is disposed to accept without question a particular
> version of what the Bible seems to say (including a literal seven-day
> creation). Mr. Unsure is exploring whether scripture has anything
> authoritative to say to him. Mr. Unsure is not a scientist, but holds
> a fairly standard view of science and discovery (including its present
> understandings of origins and ages and such) - as most westerners at
> least probably do.
> Mr. Unsure has encountered Ms. Certain who wishes to share meaningful
> insights into scripture and the Christ revealed therein.
> If Ms. Certain reflects a literal seven-day creation right off the
> bat, there is a strong likelihood that both Ms. Certain and the
> message offered will be dismissed posthaste. [Not a new thought -
> Augustine articulated this concern a lot more eloquently in his own
> time.]
> Alternatively, suppose that Ms. Certain remains mum on the
> science-related topics (it is not all that important!), especially
> those which are "known" to embody unorthodox science. Mr. Unsure would
> be none the wiser and things would would be hunky-dory ...until the
> subject of Genesis chronology and its accompanying perspectives are
> raised by himself or some other member of the faith community of Ms.
> Certain. Now Mr. Unsure suddenly finds he has been taken in. He is a
> stranger in a foreign land, and he is forced to reassess everything
> else that he has heard from this particular source, as well as the
> reliability of the source itself.
> That is decidedly counterproductive transaction.
> I think Augustine had it right. It's not just about fun. The
> consequences of how we conceptualize and communicate the nature and
> discoveries of the physical world are of great consequence to at least
> some. Therefore we need to get the science right to the limits of our
> ability, particularly if that's a part of our own sphere of activity
> and understanding, ...particularly if we want to have anything
> credible to say about the spiritual dimension to anyone who has an
> operational conventional science perspective. That includes a lot of
> folks that are not scientists (consider how many technically trained
> non-scientists there are in our digital electronic
> information-oriented world!).
> What underlies this seems to me to be something of an integrity issue
> (either nuance of "integrity"). I refuse to dissociate the matters of
> science from my spiritual pilgrimage. The creation is the habitat I
> occupy and am a part of. It is not without meaning and importance. I'm
> not sure it's even of subordinate importance. It all fits together and
> it is where we are assigned for duty. Likewise, what we have to say
> about Creation is not trivial. All that we have to say about creation,
> how it works, and how it might serve the Creator needs to be congruous
> with what we might feel and say about the Creator himself. It is his
> work and does it not deserve that? "Holy" is not a word that came as a
> label with the manuscripts of the Bible. We assigned that value. Are
> the matters of the physical Creation not in some sense "holy" as well
> as the very handwork of the Almighty?
> It seems to me that we ought to be well founded and congruous in all
> the disciplines we have the capacity to think about and understand in
> measure, or at least evaluate with respect to credibility and
> authority. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in the position of
> dismissively describing as "fun" something that other folks take very
> seriously indeed. Thereby we lose our opportunity to talk persuasively
> about the "really important" things.

In the true spirit of ASA posts, let me disagree wholeheartedly with
these sentiments.
First of all I am a theoretical physicist and a practicing engineer.
Insofar as I am concerned the only true science is physics. Everything
else is applied engineering.

Now physics, itself, is a fundamental as it gets. I love physics and yet
I know how fundamentally flawed the current concepts are. There are two
specific examples of these flaws.

1.) Quantum Mechanics: There is not a serious scientist on this planet
who claims to understand quantum mechanics. There are two conflicting
sets of rules for observations and for non-observations. And there is no
set of rules to define which is which. The whole thing is so unresolved
that QM has "interpretations". If you think that YEC is bizarre, then
consider those of QM

a.) Instantaneous Collapse over the entire universe (Copenhagen)
b.) Many Worlds Interpretation (infinite # of universes for each
c.) Many Minds Interpretation (same as b but only in the minds of men)
d.) Transactional Interpretation (“handshakes" with the future)
e.) Shut up and calculate (The practical man's guide)
f.) Several others

Now those are not theories, they are “interpretations” (as in biblical
interpretations) – something that QM requires! Not only are they
legion, but also they conflict with each other. (Not all can be true).
Yet QM is the most fundamental of all physical laws!!

2.) The Arrow of Time: As we all know, there is a difference between the
future and the past. However, physics has laws which show that time is
symmetrical – just like any spatial dimension. There are some
microscopic laws that show asymmetry, but nothing that exist on the
human plane. If our minds are made of atoms that obey physical laws,
then physics has no explanation for why we “know” the past and can only
“guess” at the future.

So this is your most fundamental of all the sciences. And many on this
list think that science is the truth that overrules biblical
interpretations. I say (loudly and clearly I hope) that such talk is as
*foolish* as any YEC philosophy could ever be.

When those on this list learn a little humility, then they may be
qualified to find the mote in the eyes of their brethren -- after noting
the beam in their own.

We have an amazing universe and an amazing God. I suspect that he thinks
poorly of both sides who polarize this debate.

But that is just MHO.


Walt Hicks <>

In any consistent theory, there must
exist true but not provable statements.
(Godel's Theorem)

You can only find the truth with logic
If you have already found the truth
without it. (G.K. Chesterton)
Received on Mon Jan 5 22:40:58 2004

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