Re: [asa] What causes students to move from faith?

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Thu Sep 07 2006 - 02:25:14 EDT

Please learn a little bit more about historical science before repeating
your previous errors on the subject

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>
To: "Ted Davis" <>; <>; "James Mahaffy"
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 1:32 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] What causes students to move from faith?

> The laws of Nature that are based on experimental science are
> generalizations of historical propositions, viz., data obtained from
> repeatable experiments. Historical sciences rely on results obtained in
> the experimental sciences, thus the use of the word science in historical
> science, but deal with a single, unique event. One is not characterizing
> one kind as being more or less legitimate than the other but the
> distinction must be made to shed light in the so-called war between
> science and religion.
> Moorad
> ________________________________
> From: Ted Davis []
> Sent: Wed 9/6/2006 5:50 PM
> To:; James Mahaffy; Alexanian, Moorad
> Subject: RE: [asa] What causes students to move from faith?
>>>> "Alexanian, Moorad" <> 09/06/06 4:07 PM >>>writes:
> Experimental science has nothing to say regarding any particular
> historical event.
> Ted responds:
> Not exactly. True, experimental science can't rule in or out something
> like the resurrection or the virgin birth. Those events, if they happened
> (as I believe they did), are forever beyond the realm of scientific
> confirmation or refutation since we can't rerun the history itself and
> subject the phenomena to scientific study.
> However--and this is a very important however--the YECs and some (perhaps
> many, I'm not yet clear on this) IDs make much hay about the very
> distinction you are using. In their view, the historical sciences (such
> as
> geology, cosmology, evolutionary biology) do not have status as legitimate
> sciences, or if they have some legitimacy it is quite small relative to
> experimental sciences. This particular move, in fact, is perhaps the most
> important way in which they keep Galileo's approach to the Bible (in
> relation to modern astronomy) out of the garden of Eden. I recently
> completed an unpublished essay with almost exactly that title (Galileo and
> the Garden of Eden).
> One could say a great deal more about this. But I'll add only this.
> Experimental science *does* have something to say about some historical
> events, perhaps even a whole lot of them. I offer the following example.
> We know experimentally/empirically (I fudge the difference here) that
> Greenland has not been completely submered under water in the past
> 100,000+
> years. We know this from evidence buried in ice cores from various parts
> of
> that continent. I call this an experimental/empirical claim, even though
> it
> has an historical component. We have a continuous record buried in the
> ice,
> and it has no evidence of a massive flood. THus, we can conclude that
> those
> who interpret Genesis to require a worldwide flood submerging all of the
> land a few thousand years ago cannot be right. That particular
> interpretation of world/biblical history is wrong.
> Ted
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Received on Thu Sep 7 04:50:45 2006

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