Very early on in the life of this blog, I published a couple of posts on the problem with naturalism taking over science and bringing on Scientism. The plan was to bring up the ideas of the natural and the supernatural as applied to science to settle early on that real science does not hide from the direction the evidence takes it.
Once you read these two posts, you will be ready for the next article in which I hopefully explain exactly how Darwinism and Creationism are different and how they are the same. Hope you will read them, they are both quite short and to the point, thanks!
I will change the format from the old style to the new for the sake of continuity.
Friday, February 03, 2006
I can hear the cries of researchers studying the paranormal as they scramble to justify their grant monies! Creation scientists and those who fall into the Intelligent Design category will immediately disagree.
Let's look at this logically. What is the definition of science?
1. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
2. Such activities restricted to explaining a limited class of natural phenomena.
3. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.
4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.
So only item 2 mentions the necessity of confining one's studies strictly to the supernatural. And what is the supernatural?
The same source yields:
1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
3. Of or relating to a deity.
4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
5. Of or relating to the miraculous.
The first two definitions of "supernatural" do not mention a deity at all, simply some power or existence beyond what is known to be natural.
Doesn't it follow that the best scientist would not turn away from evidence that pointed in a supernatural direction? To do so makes for bad science, for in so doing the scientist is failing to make every effort to pursue all possibilities. Ignoring evidence that points to supernatural activities or powers from prejudice or religious preference is undoubtedly an everyday occurrence in the scientific community but that does not make it best practice. You can be sure that Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein never thought in that way. Great thinkers allow for all possibilities so as not to miss the truth.
My conclusion is as follows: One looks to natural processes to explain all phenomena first, but one must be willing to follow evidence into the realm of the supernatural if that is where the evidence leads. Those who are unwilling to do so are allowing their prejudices to diminish their effectiveness as researchers.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
There is a faction of scientists who exclude the supernatural from their possibilites not on the basis of science, but philosophy. Let's hear from some of them:
"Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually- fulfilled atheist." - Richard Dawkins, Darwinian apologist.
"I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption ... For myself, as no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneous liberation from a certain political and economic system, and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom." - Aldous Huxley, philosopher, author, lecturer -(REPORT, June 1966. "Confession of Professed Atheist."}
"We [scientists] have … a prior commitment to materialism [and] we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations… Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” -Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31.
"The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails." - H. L. Mencken
“[I suppose the reason] we all jumped at the Origin [of Species] was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” - Julian Huxley, British biologist.
View from the flipside
Last year Anthony Flew, a noted anti-creationist, atheistis philosopher who had lectured and debated on the side of Darwinism for decades, made a stir in the scientific community with this statement: "It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together...It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design."
"When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics." - Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics) Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics Of Immortality. New York, Doubleday, Preface.
Many scientists see the supernatural in their work
Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics): "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan."
"The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero." - Ilya Prigogine (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry.
Fred Hoyle (British astrophysicist): "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."
Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing."
Believers are numerous in the scientific community
"I was reminded of this a few months ago when I saw a survey in the journal Nature. It revealed that 40% of American physicists, biologists and mathematicians believe in God--and not just some metaphysical abstraction, but a deity who takes an active interest in our affairs and hears our prayers: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." - Jim Holt. 1997. Science Resurrects God. The Wall Street Journal (December 24, 1997), Dow Jones & Co., Inc.
Alexander Polyakov (Soviet mathematician): "We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it."
Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics): "It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life."
Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist): "The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine."
Believers dominate the ranks of great scientists of the past
"The wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos would only originate in the plan of an almighty omniscient being. This is and remains my greatest comprehension." - Isaac Newton
Wernher von Braun (Pioneer rocket engineer) "I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science."
"Overwhelming evidences of an intelligence and benevolent intention surround us, show us the whole of nature through the work of a free will and teach us that all alive beings depend on an eternal creator-ruler." - Lord Kelvin
"I am a Christian which means that I believe in the deity of Christ, like Tycho de Brahe, Copernicus, Descartes, Newton, Leibnitz, Pascal… like all great astronomers and mathematicians of the past." - Augustin Louis Cauchy
There is room for both believers and non-believers in the scientific community. Some, like Einstein, will come to science with a readiness to believe in God but will remain unconvinced. Others, like Tipler, find their predisposition to ignore God tossed aside in the face of the evidence they have found in their research. My personal belief is that the more we learn about life and the cosmos, the more compelling the evidence will be that God does exist and did, indeed create all things. I leave the last word to Sir Francis:
"A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back." Sir Francis Bacon
Hat tip to Judaism Online, to Rich Deem and Quodlibet.
The most famed iteration of Fleetwood Mac was probably the Mick Fleetwood/John McVie/Christine McVie/Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham group who produced "Tusk" as well as the best known FM album, "Rumors." Fleetwood Mac became known as a pop rock band with some experimental leanings. But did you know that originally the band was a blues band fronted by famed blues guitarist Peter Green? What? Who is Peter Green? Well, he was once considered a young guitarist who was capable of becoming better than Eric Clapton...until he dropped some acid at a commune. Spin the story as you like, he dropped out of Fleetwood Mac and had stays in mental wards as a schizophrenic. His life was erratic following the commune incident.
Darwinism started as a Pagan concept of the world actually creating itself, a worship of Mother Nature, if you will. Darwin proposed evolution as a slow-but-sure process by which mutations would turn one kind of animal into another over time. With the idea of a uniform geological column, very possibly an eternal and boundless Universe and so few good fossils, Darwin could hope that transitional forms would begin popping up in the fossil record to support his theory.
Then again, Peter Green thought the jamming he did at that commune was the best stuff he ever did. But Green actually was never quite the same and that is sad. So no more Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac blasting out the blues and, soon, the band was NOT a blues band at all.
Then again, there is no geological column and the rocks are catastrophic in nature, the Universe is neither boundless nor eternal and transitional forms are still not there. So Origins Science isn't what you think or have been told...
Yesterday's gone. We will seek to match science to modern findings in this series. We can succeed.
My job is to get you to see clearly the foundations of both viewpoints and then view the evidence from both viewpoints. What will you believe after you see ALL the eividence and lies change?