Re: [asa] Where does TE differ from NOMA? (was: Re: Schools and NOMA)

From: <>
Date: Mon Oct 26 2009 - 10:29:53 EDT

Thanks for your detailed reply --and I resonate fully with the roles you see for
theology below. As you say they are not issues or questions that can be
answered from within science, but this delineation may be precisely what is at
issue in the ID question that I was attempting to ask. If those are all
"extra-scientific" issues, then the question is only answered in the sense of
how theology affects science *from without*. I am fully satisfied that those
are essential categories in which theology must play a role, but I'm guessing
that what ID folks are really fishing for is how does your theology affect
science *from within*? I imagine you see this as a attempted abuse of both
science and theology (or at least that would be my thought about it.)


Quoting Keith Miller <>:

> Merv wrote:
> > ... similarly, our understanding of
> > > reality derived from outside of science impacts how we understand and
> > > interpret our scientific conclusions.
> >
> > I lifted this one statement (re-pasted above) out of your post, Keith.
> > This is
> > what ID people seem to keep insisting they want to hear TEs explain. The
> > mantra
> > is something like "show us how a TE's faith affects their science." While
> > I
> > many not be a strong ID person myself, I'm still interested in how you
> > would
> > respond.
> >
> Sorry for the delay in responding, I have been distracted with other things
> for the last few days.
> Others have responded to this general question before, but I will try to
> state my view as clearly as I can. Firstly the proper categories would be
> theology and science, rather than faith and science.
> Theology does not dictate to science the content of it theoretical
> constructions. The scriptural revelation, and the revelation of the person
> of Christ, do not speak to us of the history and operation of the physical
> universe in scientific terms. They speak to us about these (as well as
> human history, and our individual life stories) in relational terms. What
> we can learn of the physical creation through science must be seen within
> that larger relational context. Christian theology provides a framework
> within which to understand and apply scientific knowledge. Theology also
> provides the larger theological/philosophical framework within which science
> itself is given legitimacy. As I have written previously on many occasions,
> MN is a thoroughly Christian perspective on the nature and limiations of
> science. MN is not a concession to science, but a theologically informed
> understanding of its limitations.
> I like the comments made recently by Murray on this thread. I extract one
> quote from one of Murray's posts below --
> "I would particularly affirm the idea that our rational for practicing
> science, and even our scientific method, can be readily informed by
> Christian theology, but when it comes to truth claims about the natural
> order itself, then these should be grounded in the study of the natural
> order rather than theology itself. And, note, that I think that later is NOT
> something dictated to Christian theology by science, rather I think it is
> something permitted to science by Christian theology."
> To further respond to the question Merv asked, I would state that theology
> provides a context within which to grapple with the ethical and moral
> dimensions of scientific research and application. Theology speaks to all
> of the important questions related to scientific practice. What scientific
> research should we pursue? How many resources should be devoted to these
> pursuits. How should scientific knowledge used? Are there certain research
> programs, and certain applications that are off limits. Our theology will
> have a direct impact on answers to these questions. Science is a communal
> endeavor -- and is dependent on relationships between individuals,
> institutions, and governments. As I stated above, these relational aspects
> are the very focus of theology.
> Below is a list of some questions that need to be asked with regard to
> scientific research or its application:
> Does it empower people or control them?
> Does it broaden the gap between the rich and poor, or narrow it?
> Does it meet needs or generate wants?
> Does it value life or demean it?
> Does it heal or endanger health?
> Does it respect people's dignity as God's image bearers?
> Does it appropriately use resources -- is it sustainable?
> Does it preserve and care for the creation?
> Does it restore and heal what has been broken?
> What is its potential for evil?
> (see Keith B., and Ruth Douglas Miller, 2008, "Staying on the Road Less
> Traveled: Fulfilling a Vocation in Science," PSCF vol 60, no. 2, p.115-117)
> None of these questions can be answered from within science, but theology
> has much to say.
> Keith

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Oct 26 10:30:09 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Oct 26 2009 - 10:30:09 EDT