Sep 252007
 

In many discussions across the blogoshere about the existence of God or supernatural entities, the claim is often made that there’s no reason to think that such things exist because there simply is “no evidence”. Those who do think such entities exist are either “delusional” a la Richard Dawkins, or holding such beliefs “without evidence”. In either case, the theist has somehow failed in his or her epistemic duties to retain such beliefs, especially in our modern, scientific world.

But what precisely is the problem? Is it really a case of “no evidence”, meaning that no observation or phenomenon has ever or could ever provide evidence for the existence of God?
If that is what is meant, it would seem to be reasonable to ask for evidence that such a claim is true. But what that evidence would even look like isn’t at all clear. Or maybe what is meant is that there may be some observations that could be seen by some as evidence for the existence of God, but that there are no known principles that can connect that evidence to the conclusion. In its stronger forms, it is added that no one has ever or will ever know of such principles. What evidence there is for such a claim isn’t clear either. Continue reading »

Sep 182007
 

I’ve recently had the “privilege” of discussing some of the implications of so-called methodological naturalism (MN) on one or two blogs. For Darwinists, especially Darwinists who take philosophical naturalism (PN) as true, MN is an absolute necessity for scientific practice.
Thus MN becomes an extension of PN, and has the effect of making science a correlate of PN. Now, many defenders of MN would argue that isn’t the case at all and that MN is quite separate from PN and in no way implies its truth or even demands that PN be followed. But is that possible? Given what MN says and how it operates within science, is there a principled way to distinguish between it and full-blown PN?

I don’t think there is. Continue reading »

May 192007
 

Isn’t it interesting that 19th century (the great “death of God” era) Darwinian “science” made it possible for Dawkins to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist, but that late 20th century science has made faith and theism more rational and reasonable than ever before in human history (in my opinion)? It’s an interesting turn of events. The “science” in which Dawkins put his atheistic faith turned out to be bogus.

It turns out that the universe did not always exist, and that it began in a flash of light (high-frequency gamma rays, but that’s electromagnetic radiation, just like light, only much more highly energetic). And who would have expected in Darwin’s time that life was not fundamentally based on chemistry, physics, and probability, but on information, information processing, and nano-technology super-machines?

Paul had it all figured out 2,000 years ago when he pointed out in the book of Romans that we are without excuse to disbelieve, because God has made Himself evident in things that are made (i.e., designed), and these things are all around us, especially us, who are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 Posted by at 6:28 pm
Apr 132007
 

Dear Teleological Folks,

I posted the following over at UncommonDescent.com but it is undoubtedly long lost in the comments. I thought it might be of interest here. As some of you may know, I used to be a militant, Dawkins-style atheist. All that changed in 1994 after I bought my five-year-old daughter a cartoon video entitled The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Everything went downhill from there as I apostatized from my former religion of atheism. 🙂 (Yes, it is a religion!)

***

The gap between humans and all other forms of life on the planet — in so many categories that one would have to write many books on the subject — is so profound that it represents the ultimate discontinuity in nature, which is characterized not by seamlessness, but by discontinuities. This is the antithesis of Darwinian philosophy.

As a former atheist, I would suggest that the great divide is not between Catholics and Protestants, but between materialists and those who recognize the uniqueness of humankind (this includes our great capacity for good, and our great capacity for evil). It is only by recognizing our divine origin — which seems increasingly difficult to deny, in my view — that we have any hope of cultivating the good and suppressing the evil. But this requires brutal self-honesty, which is antithetical to the fallen part of our nature referenced above.

These are ultimate issues, and are ultimately the only ones that really matter, because they affect and reflect upon all areas of our lives, which is why the (ID/Darwinism) debate is so heated.

 Posted by at 6:50 pm
Apr 042007
 

Stephen Jones has a very interesting post here. 

Just one snippet that I found quite interesting:

“Let us begin with a crucial point. The laws of science are not inviolable. They represent a constantly changing logical complex, changing from decade to decade, and even from year to year. Lest this may surprise you let me remark that the world of science is not identical with the physical world itself, with the real world if you like. Science is a model of the real world that we construct inside our own heads. The model is arranged by us to work according to a set of prescribed rules. These are the laws of science. And when we speak of comparing our scientific theories with observation we mean that a comparison is being made between our model and the events that comprise the real world.” (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., “Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge,” Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.55).

Feb 182007
 

Sal’s recent OP about setting up a YC discussion blog got me thinking about the influence and role that philosophical presuppositions play in how one views science and scientific findings, or even in how one defines what science is. As I follow discussion after discussion on various blogsites regarding YEC v OEC v Naturalism, it becomes more and more clear that ones philosophical, theological or metaphysical presuppositions about the world play a very large and defining role is how one arrives at any conclusions about these matters, or even how one views evidence for or against these views. Unfortunately, it also seems to be the case that few will admit to these presuppositions, and try to make the case that they derive their position “purely” from the science itself. However, it doesn’t seem to me that a good case can be made for that position. Continue reading »

Feb 142007
 

In a howling funny ironic letter to the editor of the London Times our favorite foil Richard Dawkins tries to commit humility while accusing theologian Alistari McGrath of hubris and dogamtism. After picking myself up off the floor where I was rolling in laughter, I thought I’d share this little tid-bit with you all here at TB. I don’t know whether to file this under “humor” or “sarcasm”. Either will do. Here’s a little tid-bit from RD’s (humble) letter: Continue reading »

Feb 052007
 

As if we needed any more evidence of just how disingenuous Richard Dawkins is, check out this little tidbit I got from a friend of mine.

Richard Dawkins: 4 December 2006

Richard Dawkins You Ask The Questions

Question: Why have you not engaged in public debate with Alister McGrath, Mary Midgley, Michael Ruse, Keith Ward, or indeed anyone else who would present you with a serious challenge? JAMES RADFORD, By e-mail

RD: The producers of my Channel 4 documentary [Root of All Evil?] invited the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi to be interviewed by me. All declined, doubtless for good reasons. I don’t enjoy the debate format, but I once had a public debate with the then Archbishop of York, and The Observer quoted the verdict of one disconsolate clergyman as he left the hall: “That was easy to sum up – Lions 10, Christians nil.” Continue reading »

Nov 252006
 

Over at UD Francis Backwith said:

No longer can we assume that our most accomplished scholars in a particular field are truly educated, that they are able to understand and communicate in an even rudimentary way the most important questions with which their civilization has wrestled for millennia. What we have produced are intellectual barbarians, deeply knowledgeable of their subject, but unwise about the intellectual patrimony of the universities they inhabit.

You can read the whole discussion here.

Nov 212006
 

Few thoughts by Leonard R. Brand on relationship between science and religion, which I think, is quite relevant at present. I would appreciate your comments?

With Christianity there are many different attitudes toward the authority of the Scriptures, but this paper is built on a conviction that there are many lines of evidence indicating that the prophets do indeed speak for a loving and all-knowing God whom we can trust, and whose prophetic messages we can trust. Within that framework, an effective working relationship between science and revelation can result if we proceed through the following steps in our attempts to understand truth:

1. The accumulating data from scientific research suggest new ideas or hypotheses that we might not have thought of if the research had not been done.
2. If the new idea involves a subject that we think the Bible may speak about, we would examine all relevant Bible texts, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and using the Bible as its own interpreter. In doing so, it is important to make use of all the latest information that helps us to research a correct understanding of the original meaning of the words used in the biblical manuscripts. In this way, we attempt to understand exactly what the Bible does or does not say about our new idea. Is the idea compatible with the Bible or not? Do the relevant Bible statements say what we thought they said, or have we been incorrectly reading something between the lines?
3. We then make one of the following decisions, or some appropriate variation of one of these:
a. It is evident that revelation does not speak to this issue at all, and does not help us in our research.
b. We conclude that revelation does address this topic, but does not say anything against the new idea; there is no biblical reason not to accept it as a valid possibility. We then proceed with further scientific research to rigorously test it. This research may give us increased confidence in the idea, or it may lead to even better hypotheses which would also need to be compared with the Scriptures.
c. Our study indicates that revelation clearly contradicts the new idea, thus telling us to go back and do some more research because there is something wrong with our interpretation of the data.

If we follow this process, the Bible is maintained as the standard for religious doctrines, and yet science and the Bible shed light on each other. Science suggests ideas that may help us to recognize that we have been reading some preconceived idea into the Bible that really is not there. In other cases the Bible can help us to recognize incorrect scientific theories, so that we can turn our efforts toward developing more accurate interpretations of the data.

The whole article can be found here.