Re: [asa] FYI: Arrogance, dogma and why science - not faith - is the new enemy of

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Fri Aug 24 2007 - 00:19:11 EDT


I'm not sure that I actually disagree with Plantinga here, in
principle. Perhaps it's God-of-the-gaps, but not necessarily.

Let's ask the question from this perspective. Let's not even bring
God into the discussion. What if "after a great deal of study", we
can't see how life can come from non-life? What if that's really how
the world is? That there is a fundamental discontinuity between life
and non-life. Is it non-scientific to recognize that that's just the
way things are and to construct some scientific theory that admits
that? Are the presuppositions of reductionism really any more
"scientific" than IC or God-of-the-gaps?

 From a theist perspective--for example, from the philosophical
system of Herman Dooyeweerd--one's theoretical system could well
include notions that there are discontinuities (irreducible aspects)
that are maintained by God's creational will/law. From an empirical
"scientific" perspective we would do our science with a "that's just
the way things are" perspective. Aspects of biology would stand
independent of chemistry and physics.

Now for the record, I'm not sure that "after a great deal of study"
has happened, and I'm not sure that there aren't actually hints of
reducibility. (Much more needs to be said here.) That's my main
argument with Plantinga here. I have no complaint with his in
principle argument. I just happen to think that he doesn't know as
much biochemistry and molecular biology as he needs to make an
informed decision. I don't really know what Mike Behe's problem is,
because Mike is as expert as any other expert in the field, but he
doesn't see what the most of the rest of us see.

So in the end as far as I'm concerned, Plantinga's problem is that he
trusts Mike Behe's and Michael Denton's expertise more than he trusts
mine (or other experts of like mind). [Only slightly tongue-in-cheek


On Aug 23, 2007, at 2:42 PM, Michael Roberts wrote:

> An interesting quote from Plantinga in a LeaderU article on
> Methodological Naturalism
> 63. Why couldn't a scientist think as follows? God has created the
> world, and of course has created everything in it directly or
> indirectly. After a great deal of study, we can't see how he
> created some phenomenon P (life, for example) indirectly; thus
> probably he has created it directly. return to text
> This is akin to IC or is it God-of-the-Gaps.
> Michael
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Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Fri Aug 24 00:19:41 2007

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