Re: [asa] science playground parable

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 03:40:36 EDT

Hi Merv, Yes, I agree that MN vs. PN is a thin veneer. The larger topic, by definition, is naturalism itself. Aren't all 'natural-physical' scientists 'naturalists' by definition or would suggest that a natural-physical scientist, e.g. a biologist, physicist or chemist, could avoid the label of being a 'naturalist'? Two questions about your sketch. You wrote: "the forbidding, tall, dangerous looking structure." What is 'the structure' called - does it have a name? Where are the T.E. kids or why are they missing - are they on the inside or outside of the playground? If one interprets MN as just a euphemism for 'doing science,' then of course the I.D. kids 'do science' too, as well as the T.E. kids. Gregory ________________________________ From: Merv Bitikofer <> To: asa <> Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:50:44 AM Subject: [asa] science playground parable As a result of recent exchanges here (and the Poythress book treatment of this), I thought of a little sketch to help "paint a picture" of the issue. Let me know what you think. Here it is; I'll call it "Science playground". On the edge of our science playground, kids stare up at the forbidding, tall, dangerous looking structure, toying with the idea of getting to the top of it somehow. The MN kids say, “There is no playground equipment available for anybody to be able to get up there. And besides, it’s not technically even on the playground.” The I.D. kids in the group take this as a challenge AND as patently false. “What do you mean we can’t do that?! --As a matter of fact, we already have!” they declare. “Then you must have used a ladder or some other non-playground equipment that you aren’t admitting to,” retort the MN kids. Meanwhile, closer to the middle of the playground, some PN kids yell to the crowd gathered at the edge: “Hey, what fantasies beyond the edge do you all think you’re looking for? --when will you become more open-minded like us and realize that this patch of playground is the only thing that exists and that nobody can ever leave it?” The crowd at the edge snickers at this and then resumes their own more thoughtful discussion. The I.Ders charge: “how come you MN kids try to keep us from exploring this? You’re just like the PN kids huddled in the middle there; in fact you’re probably no different from them. They are MN too!” “Huh? Where does that come from?” ask the MNers at the edge. “Many of us go exploring beyond this playground all the time! We’re just not trying to pretend that we’ve never left it when we do. It doesn’t go on forever, you know!” ...and off they go happily exploring together, through dell and fen. They can dicker about playground boundaries another time. (Okay, I'm a sucker for happy endings. Strike the last line if you are artistically offended.) --Merv Or this crossed my mind as another comparison that may help illustrate: We pray for safety as we prepare to drive places. But we still keep our hands on the wheel, eyes open, and attend to our driving affairs the same as anybody else who may or may not be religious. I guess you could call us MN drivers who see no conflict between praying for safety while working to secure it as best we can just the same as anybody else, seeing no conflict between our work and our prayers. Nobody charges us with: "Hey, you're really an atheist since you are driving as if God alone can't keep you on the road. --What's the matter? Don't you trust Him?" --Merv To unsubscribe, send a message to with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. __________________________________________________________________ Reclaim your name or Get your new email address now! Go to

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Received on Mon Jun 29 03:41:31 2009

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