Re: [asa] Miracles and God of the Gaps

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 15:45:02 EST

On Fri, 23 Jan 2009 12:37:35 -0600 "Jon Tandy" <>
> Merv,
> large snip
> The areas where TE could potentially be challenged, I believe, are
> so far
> beyond our current technological ability that they are essentially
> unfalsifiable, and the theory could potentially be stretched further
> once we
> were to reach that point. Or so it seems to me. I would welcome
> any
> thoughts on this.
> Jon Tandy
You seem to be thinking that TE is a scientific theory which technology
can upset. However, it is, from the philosophical view, a metaphysical
approach which is immune to technological change as far as "theistic" is
involved. It's true that evolutionary theory may change. Indeed, I've
observed incredible change from the naive characterization of cytoplasm
down to the measurement of proteins in cells at different states and what
the proteins are doing. Genomics has strengthened the evidence for
evolution, as has the discovery of many fossils. But none of this has
produced a challenge for Luther's statement that natural laws are the
masks of God. We may formulate the claim differently, but it is
essentially the same claim for the theistic part of TE.

One of the few philosophical views that has run afoul of empirical fact
is Schopenhauer's pessimism that specified that the painful aspects of
existence mount up inexorably in memory, whereas psychologists have
demonstrated that over time the problems are remembered less than the
pleasures. Generally, the only test for metaphysical theories is
consistency. This is akin to the demonstration that Euclidean, Riemannian
and Lobachevskian geometries are all consistent if one is, but we cannot
prove absolute consistency or that one is the "true" geometry. Nothing is
changed by the substitution of Playfair's axiom for one of Euclid's, nor
the supplementation of the axiom set so that proofs become totally
logical rather than dependent on the figures.

As a philosopher, my "axiom set" is scripture as the inerrant source for
faith and behavior. This is what was explicit in the Reformation
Confessions apart from the Lutheran one, which had an emphasis more like
that of the ecumenical creeds. They simply assumed the authority of
scripture and tried to explicate it. The Lutheran catechism makes the
point on scripture clearly. Essentially all TEs agree on these points,
although on other matters denominational differences are evident. But
none of this affects the scientific aspects of TE, for they fall outside
of doctrine and ethics.
Dave (ASA)
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Received on Fri Jan 23 16:04:23 2009

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