Science and Theology

From: Douglas Barber <>
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 22:28:39 EDT

Please pardon me in advance for arguing with myself in public.

In an earlier post on the topic of YEC Destroying Faith, I argued that
"The task of forming a coherent view of life from a stance of absolute
trust in God - for Christian purposes, what Paul called 'taking every
thought captive to the obedience of Christ' - will sometimes require us
to revise empirical theories, and sometimes to revise our interpretation
of what God has revealed in sacred scripture."

That argument was hasty and does not accurately reflect my belief.

I don't think that it is ever the case that theology can even tend to
discredit a valid empirical hypothesis (that is, an empirical hypothesis
which is capable of being either true or false). It may give us reason
to regard what purports to be a valid empirical hypothesis with special
suspicion, but any legitemate criticism of the empirical hypothesis will
have to be made on one of two grounds: 1) the evidence does not in fact
support this hypothesis, or, is so provisional as not to compel even
provisional assent, or 2) the purported empirical hypothesis is not
really a scientific hypothesis, but a metaphysical statement attempting
to pass as a scientific one. (Examples of the second type of have come
up in the history of science, even from an atheistic point of view, with
some formulations of Freudian Psychoanalysis, Marxism, and Darwinism).

Doug Barber
Crisfield, MD
Received on Fri Apr 30 22:29:14 2004

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