Re: information creation and promissory materialism

Susan Brassfield (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 14:21:02 -0600

>Stephen E. Jones wrote:
>>>>But given my belief in evolution through RM&NS, I must theorize
>>>>that macroevolution occurred here, through mechanisms we
>>>>haven't yet figured out.
>Stephen E. Jones wrote:
>>>But this is not so good a point! This is just "promissory materialism":
>>The other side of the coin is the small-minded vanity of saying,
>>'I don't understand it, therefore it is not understandable; if I can't
>>explain it, it must be supernatural.'
>How about an overblown ego which insists "If it exists, there is a
>naturalisitic explanation which I can understand."? Why can't science await
>a truly credible explanation before criticizing other people's expectations?

how on this Planet Earth would a scientist come up with a credible
explanation for anything if they did not have the gumption to assume there
is an explanation and we (or somebody) is smart enough to understand it? If
you DON'T assume such things you will never bother to investigate. Perhaps
that's your point.

> Both sides could be accused of following a God of the gaps. As naturalistic
>explanations are found, theists must revise their religion (not a bad
>system), and as naturalistic explanations reveal more complexity and
>unexplained phenomina, science must revise it's theories. (The same excellent
>system some theists use.) Only an agnostic suspects neither side will reach
>any final, ultimate truth.

I"m not sure science is hunting for "final, ultimate truth." I think that's
a religious persuit. And I want a couple of examples were theists modified
their views because a new explanation was found. (Wait! I can think of one.
The Catholic church apologized for that Gallileo thing 400 years after it
happened. Of course, I'm not sure they explicitly stated that they'd
changed their minds about the geocentered universe.)



"Life itself is the proper binge."
--Julia Child