Re: [asa] science playground parable

From: <>
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 07:45:30 EDT

Good morning, Greg (at least from Kansas).

I was thinking of the 'formidable structure' as a symbol for the ID goal of
scientifically demonstrating design. Since it was the issue of MN/PN I had in
mind, I used those labels; but the TE kids would be the MN kids at the edge who
are having the exchange with the ID kids.

I know we won't lay this to rest here since it has been so hashed over in prior
posts ---we'll probably just have to disagree; but I continue to maintain at
this point that an MN can avoid being a PN by believing that things exist beyond
the explanatory power of science. However, I do acknowledge the understandable
confusion generated by the (small?) but loud body of outspoken scientists who
state that MN = PN = science, and have a vested interest in promoting that view.
 Nor am I dogmatic that ID should not be recognized or given a hearing as


Quoting Gregory Arago <>:

> 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, €œThere 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.
> €œWhat do you mean we can€™t do that?! --As a matter of fact, we already
> have!€ they declare.
> €œThen 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: €œHey, 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: €œhow 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!€
> €œHuh? Where does that come from?€ ask the MNers at the edge. €œMany 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
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Received on Mon Jun 29 07:46:38 2009

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