Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Feb 05 2006 - 13:19:41 EST

*This response apparently totally misinterprets the history of science.
Copernicus was not abandoned when Kepler refined the orbits and Newton
explained them. Newton wasn't lost when Einstein added a further refinement.
Fact is, Newton's equations are used in every space launch. There are
occasional goofs.*

Perhaps you hold to the "science as incremental, linear progress" theory of
the history of science. I don't. I'm more of a Kuhnian. Regardless, to
say that Einstein was a "refinement" of Newton seems absurd. Einstein was a
revolution, one which we are only just barely beginning to understand. And
of course, never mind that Copernicus to Kepler to Newton to Einstein
happened only over the past 500 years. The pace of discovery has
accelerated exponentially and likely will continue to do so. What we've
learned in the past 500 years probably will seem like child's play compared
to what we'll learn in the next 500. To scientists living 500 years from
now, I have no doubt that we will look as naive as the geocentrists who
lived before Copernicus.

*Matters have not progressed as simply with biology because the developments
are more recent and more complex.*

Exactly. And again, it's only in the past 50 years or so that we've really
begun to understand the genetic basis of life. We only began a sustained
effort to sequence the human genome 13 years ago, and the sequence has been
complete only for two years. For most of the world's organisms, we have no
comparable sequence data, and our understanding even of the human genome
remains miniscule compared to the available data. Step back from your
limited horizons for a minute and think about that: we've had only the most
basic understanding of genetics for a tiny fraction of human history, and we
still only have a speck of an understanding of quantum physics. To declare
that "[t]he one thing remaining is the origin of life" seems like the height
of hubris to me.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suggesting the neo-Darwinian synthesis
is wrong, nor am I advocating some sort of quacky YEC position. I'm only
suggesting that it's wise to remember how limited, frail, and stuck in our
times we human beings are.

On 2/5/06, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com> wrote:
>
> This response apparently totally misinterprets the history of science.
Copernicus was not abandoned when Kepler refined the orbits and Newton
explained them. Newton wasn't lost when Einstein added a further refinement.
Fact is, Newton's equations are used in every space launch. There are
occasional goofs. I think of N-rays and cold fusion. But they were quickly
spotted. On the other hand, what has been rejected in the absence of
definite evidence, e.g., continental drift, has been accepted when data
became available. I expect that there will be breakthroughs in the future,
but they will build on what we know, not wipe it out.
>
> Matters have not progressed as simply with biology because the
developments are more recent and more complex. However, the work in
sequencing, gene action, protein action, etc., all tie together to indicate
that creatures developed from an original living entity.* Matters have not
progressed as simply with biology because the developments are more recent
and more complex. the sole hope for an honest expectation of divine
intervention. Christians see providence in the whole, but this is outside of
scientific investigation. Of course, a human being can imagine almost
anything--War of the Worlds, Zeus's thunderbolts, Minotaurs, Kali, etc.
almost ad inf.
> Dave
>
> *Of course, one can always posit a Creator without much imagination, which
to me makes as much sense as creation five minutes ago. Neither can be
disproved.
>
>
>
> On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 21:34:13 -0600 "Tjalle T Vandergraaf" <ttveiv@mts.net>
writes:
>
>
> Dave Siemens wrote, "I note that none of the individuals Michael mentioned
had access to radio-dating, for radioactivity was not discovered till 1896.
I don't have a date for the discovery of the U-Pb series, but it was later.
Now we have additional series that coincide to demonstrate antiquity." And
"Since our understanding of the nature of nuclei gives a solid theoretical
foundation to the computation of the timing of the release of alpha and beta
particles and gamma rays, there's little hope that there'll be a revision
because of a brass mirror. The fuzzy image refers specifically to the
spiritual future."
>
> Yes, I know all that and the information obtained from the Oklo deposit
presents a pretty airtight argument for an old earth. There *is* probably
little chance that our current views will change but I still think that a
certain amount of humility is warranted. My tack is to present the
arguments for an old earth but also mention that our views are based on our
current understanding.
Received on Sun Feb 5 13:21:47 2006

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