Re: The Universe in a Single Atom

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Date: Thu Sep 22 2005 - 17:33:24 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Hamilton <>
To:; Randy Isaac <>
Cc: asa <>
Sent: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 08:56:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The Universe in a Single Atom

Iain Strachan <> wrote:

Maybe there are countless examples that you never know about or that
you have to take on faith. So if a devout scientist has a "flash" of
inspiration that solves some problem, advances science and the common
good, we can't really say if that was indeed a divine revelation that
happened at the time God deliberately intended it to happen. Same
applies even if it isn't a devout scientist - that God might work
through them. What, after all is the nature of "inspiration"?

WEH: This is a really good observation. When a researcher discovers something, it may come from intuition or a flash of inspiration. But when it gets published, all mention of intuition and/or inspiration is missing. Instead we get a description of prior work, experimental approach, and the result.
Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
586.986.1474 (work) 248.652.4148 (home) 248.303.8651 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
KVE replies:
I've been lurking for a while and more-or-less following this thread. Forgive me if I'm a little off base with this, but Nick Wolterstorff has an interesting comment in the latest issue of Pro Rege [Dordt College publication] in which he is discussing Christian learning:
" our talk about Christian learning, we rather often insist, suggest, or imply that Christian learning is different learning; we then find ourselves plunged into all those tired arguments about whether there is a Christian logic, and the like. For some among us, especially mathematicians and physical scientists, this way of talking has been oppressive. Faithful as they try to be, they don't see all that much difference within their own discipline. As a result, they are made to feel stupid or non-devoted by colleagues who are telling them that Christian learning has to be different learning. Why let difference be the criterion? Why allow ourselves to be caught in the situation of finding some non-Christian agreeing with us and then having to say, "Oops, I'll have to do it over again so that there's a difference?" Why not praise the Lord for the fact that they got it right? What element in Christian thought or Christian theology would lead to the conclusion that eve
 rybody who is not a Christian is entirely blind to reality? I suggest that fidelity, not difference, is the fundamental consideration. Christian learning is the project of fidelity within the field of learning to God in Jesus Christ and the Christian scriptures. The faithful Christian scholar lets other people worry about difference."
Curiously, this seems to undercut the Kuyperian notion of 'Christian learning' which he had defended earlier in the article. However, I find the paragraph consistent with the idea that God made a Creation with its own integrity and hence open to investigation by Christians and non-Christians alike -- etsi deus non daretur [as if God were not given]. Does it really matter if my scientific insights are brought on by direct revelation or by the nightmare resulting from eating that huge burrrito at the local Mexican restaurant? Or perhaps God is working in, with, and under the burrito...
Karl V. Evans

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Received on Thu Sep 22 17:36:25 2005

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