Re: Theism & MNS

From: Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 23:47:11 EST

Timothy wrote:

> Greetings to All.
> I am new to this list.

Welcome!

> The approach which characterises modern natural science (MNS)
> requires the assumption that there is not an active deity. MNS does
> the preclude the belief in God, but the belief in an active deity,
> a god who causes miracles (a revealed God, if you will). A God or
> god of nature, who does not do anything contrary to nature will not
> be at odds with MNS. (I will described such a god as veiled...think
> of Schleiermacher, ha, ha, ha.) One can make an ad hoc argument in
> which MNS co-exists with miracles, it has been done and is done all
> of the time, but touching the miracle(s) there will be a conflict
> and MNS is suspended as if by a devine act (yet more humor).

Science does not presuppose any kind of Creator. It simply describes
nature in terms of natural cause-and-effect processes. It is a
methodology.

The scientific enterprise is a limited way of knowing about the
natural world. Scientific research proceeds by the search for chains
of cause-and-effect, and confines itself to the investigation of
"natural" entities and forces. Science does not deny the existence of
a Creator -- it is simply silent on the existence or action of God.
Science does not, and cannot, say that material things are all that
exist, or all that matter. It is categorically NOT based on an
atheistic or materialistic philosophy. It also says nothing about
how God might interact with the natural world. Science pursues truth
within very narrow limits.

Some critics believe that the exclusion of references to divine
action from scientific description unnecessarily restricts the search
for truth. It does nothing of the sort. If God acted in creation to
bring about a particular structure in a way that broke causal chains,
then science would simply conclude that: "There is presently no known
series of cause-and-effect processes that can adequately account for
this structure, and research will continue to search for such
processes." Any statement beyond that requires the application of a
particular religious worldview. Science cannot conclude "God did
it." An appeal to a supernatural agent does not provide any insight
into HOW a particular event or process occurred. The answer "God did
it" cannot provide the cause-and-effect understandings of physical
phenomena that are the proper subject of science.

Keith

Keith B. Miller
Research Assistant Professor
Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-3201
785-532-2250
http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~kbmill/
Received on Fri Feb 17 23:49:50 2006

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