Re: [asa] science martyrs

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 18:40:17 EST

John Walley wrote:
> I have a contrarian opinion of Behe and Steinberg. I don't think the resistance against them is necessarily due to their faith but in using their credentials in science to push an agenda that is contrary to science.
> Case in point, Behe is a professor at a private Christian schools and his own department disavows him. In contrast, Francis Collins holds a prominent and prestigious government job and no one is calling for his resignation. The difference? Behe is a special creationist and Collins is a TE. One can be falsified by science but the other can't. One is in conflict with science and the other is complementary to it but not in conflict.
> John
After speaking of "special creationist" and "TE" you said "one can be
falsified by science but the other can't. To which I ask --which one
did you mean that can't be?
I don't mean to re-open this can of worms; especially as it is highly
tangential to the topic of martyrs. So I'm just noting here in my
rhetorical query back to you that I presume you were observing "special
creation" to be non-falsifiable. No argument from me on that. But to
try calling "TE" falsifiable or non falsifiable (either one) seems
problematic to say the least, since TE is not some collection of
theories or paradigms that (from a scientific point of view) could be
distinguished from science itself. It's simply a vague label describing
a philosophy held by many that undergirds how they view science, and
its place in human inquiry, and indeed, within theology.

Back on the martyr question: okay, so let's take Marcio's
clarification (per George) that we're really speaking of "confessors",
and could only use the term "martyr" in a highly symbolic sense which
may indeed cheapen the real concept. But even so, I'm still curious if
our list of "persecuted" will grow any longer. Loss of employment seems
pretty severe, but I gather that most on this list don't accept the
persecuted status of those who were shown in the movie "Expelled" as it
is apparently debateable whether or not other merit or lack-thereof
played an unmentioned role. Even so, are there others that those here
WOULD accept as having lost their jobs or suffered persecution soley
because of an unpopular scientific idea? I think I'm inclined to
think with David C. that Behe probably gets unfair ridicule simply by
assumed association. Even if his ideas do turn out to be wrong, no one
should have a quarrel with someone pointing out a perceived deficiency
of an existing theory to explain the phenomena at hand --no matter what
his motivation is. If he goes on to promote something like ID (even
that does turn out to be a fruitless trail) the stirrings of scientific
lynch mobbery (or mockery) seems over the top to me. It has ideology
written all over it.


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Received on Sun Mar 1 18:35:34 2009

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