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

From: Keith Miller <>
Date: Wed Oct 28 2009 - 22:05:18 EDT

Merv asked:

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.)

I know what you are getting at, and it is in my view a fundamental mistake
of ID proponents. By seeking to discover God's action from "within" science
(in many cases almost demanding that God's action must be discernable in
this way), they elevate the power and role of scientific argument over that
of theology. Rather than rejecting our cultural veneration of science as
the arbiter of all truth claims, they accept that authority and bring
theological questions under its purview. By contrast, I see theology as
over and above science. It provides a context in which the scientific
vocation is carried out. It surrounds and envelopes science both "below"
and "above."

Also, science is not sealed off from other ways of knowing. This is
relevant to the ongoing discussion of NOMA. As individuals, scientists
bring their theology and philosophy to their science. Their worldviews are
often the source of not only the motivation and inspiration for doing
science, but also often provide the basis for specific theoretical
concepts. The history of science is replete with such fertilization of
scientific ideas. This is something that Gould did not seem to incorporate
into his NOMA view. In fact, several of his own paleontological views were
strongly influenced by his philosophical and political views.


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Received on Wed Oct 28 22:05:40 2009

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