[asa] lock-picking tools

From: <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Wed Oct 15 2008 - 11:48:24 EDT

This comes out of a local discussion last night (led by Keith Miller), but I
thought I would submit this resulting percolation of my thoughts here for
reactions or corrections.

The question was raised about whether or not we 'cede too much to science' when
we accept or invite all of its explanatory power as it may bear on origins of
life or on the nature of human thought or human will. And this, of course, led
to discussion about the limitations of science. ...& hence my condensed
night-time ruminations below...

Imagine we are all in a room & are exploring that environ. The room has some
doors, but different groups think differently about whether the doors ought to
be opened. Historically, some groups have tried to block access from the
inside, and this provokes protest from those who would like to explore. Others
(including ECs and IDs) advocate free exploration without artificially imposed
limitations. Any stubborn doors we encounter are locked *from the outside*, and
science can legitimately try to pick the lock (and in some arenas has
historically succeeded). But here we encounter a difference between ID and
EC. IDs say: “That door may lead to evidence of a mind or ‘design’” In fact
some IDs would say the door was already opened and the new rooms give us exactly
that evidence. ECs, however, maintain that the IDs have probably never left the
ordinary room we are in and that the evidence IDs present may still have
naturalistic explanations, even if we can’t explain it *yet*. IDs, in their
turn, think that ECs are blocking a door through which science should be able to
pronounce (or at least recognize) evidence of design. ECs counter that rather
than leading to new avenues of exploration the design conclusion leads to an
impenetrable rock wall (science stopper). And IDs don’t seem to object to this
concept per se, but seem to want an acknowledgment that such a rock wall at
least exists on which naturalistic tools are no longer sufficient.

So here is the interesting question for me: Can science find or map its own
"rock wall" boundary or even conclude that such a boundary exists? IDs say, in
principle, YES. ECs say, in principle: NO. And militant atheists say: “no
such boundaries for science exist at all.” IDs and ECs (as Christians) should
at least be able to unite in their opposition to the last category and only
differ in how such a boundary can be explicated.


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Received on Wed Oct 15 11:48:56 2008

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