[asa] Nature, science, & straw men

From: Merv <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Sat Sep 23 2006 - 13:12:04 EDT

I've been reflecting on attempts to pigeon-hole various camps into neat
summaries (always resulting in over-simplification, to be sure, but
hopefully still useful in provoking new insights) And it occurred to
me that the alleged commonality between the strong atheist group and the
YEC group (both of which I lumped into "elevated science") may be a
straw man argument on my part.

This has been percolating as a result of ASA posts & is a continuation
of the origins framework I tried showing in a matrix form some weeks
ago. This time I pasted it below as a space-delineated text table
since I was never successful in sending it as a jpeg file. Some email
readers might garble the spacing or lose some of the text coloring I put in.

Anyway, it occurs to me that the YEC would protest my charge that they
are "elevating science" They could correctly respond that science is
man's /attempt to understand/ creation which is philosophically
distinguished from /creation itself/. They (along with most of us I
would think) would say that God's Work (nature) and God's Word
(Scripture) are both infallible sources of information, but that is not
the same as saying science or its methodology (our observational way of
reading the "book" of nature) is infallible. What they are accused of
neglecting is that the charge of fallibility lies as much on human
theology (our way of understanding Scripture) as it does on science (our
way of understanding nature). Or at least they --& most of us-- balk at
applying this to our own views.

Perhaps what the top two categories really have in common is their
literalist approach to virtually everything. All truth must be
scientific and historical in every way, etc. No metaphorizing or
allegorizing --- the minds in the top two categories just cannot / will
not go there because they see it as a cop-out or retreat when the "real"
truth doesn't match apparent reality or a way to make the Scripture say
whatever you want it to say.

I may be just erecting a new straw man in place of the old one here, as
I've heard a fundamentalist explain that they are perfectly tuned into
figurative and metaphorical writing where it is found. But I still
think the distinction applies even if it is just in the degree of
application. So I would still maintain that the main perceived battle
line below is actually the horizontal one. I've heard it from YEC lips
that "the atheistic scientists know evolution better than the others"
because they can see it leaves no room for Christianity. (an alliance
made in .... ? )


                                                 elevated science

                         YEC |
atheistic science
                   God Created. | God doesn't
                   Science is authoritative | Science is
                   to establish this. | to
establish this.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Non
| Agnostic Christian
                       God Creates. |
                       But science isn't | God may or
may not
                       capable of supporting | exist or act
but science
                       or denying God's | will never
have any
                       role in creation. | bearing
on the question.

                                                   limited science

"origins matrix" (merv)

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Received on Sat Sep 23 13:11:25 2006

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