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

From: Austerberry, Charles <>
Date: Fri Aug 24 2007 - 11:10:27 EDT

Peter, you have a point. I agree with Catholic and other philosophers
who hold that the logical and rational includes, but is not limited to,
the scientific. However, scientific explanations not only must be
rational and logical, but also testable. Thus, scientific explanations
must be natural explanations. The Catholic Church's "Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith" (the bureaucracy that determines the teaching
of the Catholic church - used to be called the "Inquisition" - they
don't use that term so much any more, because of some bad history in
past centuries!) produced a great document when the current pope was
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and he led the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith (he was the "Prefect"). That "Congregation" has a few
"Commissions", and the International Theological Commission produced
this document:

See paragraph 69, especially. Here are two sentences from that

"In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic
variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of
evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be
demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process
that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is
contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided
evolutionary process - one that falls outside the bounds of divine
providence - simply cannot exist because "the causality of God, Who is
the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent
principles of species, but also as to the individualizing
principles....It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they
participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence"
(Summa theologiae I, 22, 2)."

Charles (Chuck) F. Austerberry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Hixson-Lied Room 438
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: 402-280-2154
Fax: 402-280-5595
Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 23:12:13 +0100
From: "Peter Loose" <>
Subject: RE: [asa] FYI: Arrogance, dogma and why science - not faith -
is the new enemy of
May I ask what is so meritorious about a 'scientific explanation of P'?
what point would those who are proposing the need for such cease their
searching for a scientific explanation had they been at the Wedding in
Canaan when the feast ran out of wine.?
I sense that your problem, not to say thinly disguised ridicule of
Plantinga, is not on the merits of his case (which is part of a
very long paper) but because of the way you define science. You don't
mean a
rational, logical explanation - you mean an explanation in terms of
something natural, judged to be more fundamental which will lead to the
for a further explanation of something(s) natural but more fundamental
and so on ad infinitum. Isn't this naturalism dressed up as science?
I'm still waiting for someone to come back with a clear and succinct
statement of what is meant by science. I don't mean a treatise - I mean
or two sentences.

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Received on Fri Aug 24 11:10:58 2007

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