Re: [asa] FW: What if YECism were self-evident?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Sep 22 2006 - 07:02:13 EDT

Thank you, Jon for your hypothetical question and probings.
  The issue of young earth seems to be much more controversial in a society where the Bible is read literally. If you don't take x word, phrase or chapter in the (English) Bible literally, then what do you do with y? Relativism is an issue too.
  You wrote: "...I don't believe this situation would eliminate the warfare between philosophical naturalism and theistic creationism."
  I'm glad you worded it this way and didn't bring in TE language. At the same time, it puts philosophy and theology on opposite sides, while making 'natural creation' an impossible thing. That is, for those in social sciences who argue from a perspective of 'it is human nature to act such and such a way,' then the act of human creation or co-creation woudld be seen as at odds with theism also.
  "I believe there is something in the current mindset of science which is inherently at war with religion, and trying to expand its own domain through naturalistic explanations." - Jon
  The problem you'll run into with this approach is that there are many scientists who are not at war with religion, and who in fact are religious themselves or just passively agnostic. Although religious scientists are apparently in the vast minority of American scientists (according to surveys posted here and elsewhere regarding), it doesn't mean they are not capable of formulating a coherent viewpoint or philosophy of (their) sciences that apologizes being a Christian in science.
  Did you know that many of those persons who post at ASA list, would gladly and without hesitation consider themselves 'naturalists'? If this is true, and from what I've read here I believe it is, then the hypothetical situation you propose would need to grapple with the existence of Christian naturalists, and deists who remove God the Creator as far as possible from 'detection of divine action' or proximity to visible or sensible 'intervention' in the world as we know and experience it. Well, but probably that is going to far!
  "Does this provide a valuable illustration that the age of the earth is not the important issue, but rather the clash between philosophies?"
  Yes, I think it does provide a valuable illustration. My suspicion is that those scientists here who are philosophically inclined will probably either defend or criticize using 'methodological naturalism is not a bad thing,' which seems to be a current gravitation point in American discussions of science and religion.
  Just an additional nod to your possibility that the age of the earth could be not in dispute. Actually, in the scientific/scholarly field I am involved in, the age of the earth is not in dispute at all; rarely discussed, practically irrelevant. That, however, is a field where geologists rarely tread, but where physicalists abound.

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Received on Fri Sep 22 07:10:33 2006

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