>From: Dr. Blake Nelson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Thursday, July 04, 2002 6:28 AM
>What philosophy does point out, that science does not,
>is that epistmological and ontological presuppositions
>cannot be tested in science. Science is a VERY
>limited realm of inquiry. To limit theological truth
>to what is scientifically verifiable guts the meaning
I didn't say 'limit theological truth to what is scientifically verifiable'.
If you think I did, then quote me where I said it. Really, you keep assuming
things that I never said. Why is that???? I do weary of always having you
claim I said something I didn't say. Please get a better set of glasses.
>To limit our lives to what is
>scientifically verifiable guts our lives of meaning.
So we should make some meaning up? I prefer what ever is, not what I wish
it to be. Maybe this is because I spent so much time wishing that YEC was
correct, that I see the big error in doing that. Sure you can say I was
wrong, and I was. But why is making up another set of meanings any better?
I won't be caught dead again wishing another set of beliefs (yours in
particular--or those you wish I held) is true when it isn't.
>How does science prove my friends exist? How does
>science prove my thoughts are rational or even my own?
One must be able to clearly define rationality before one can get science to
look at it. And that is a bit difficult. It was entirely rational for the
Islamic terrorists to do what they did, given their belief system. To you
and me, it was irrational.
> How does science test whether my wife or children
Measure their oxytocin levels! see http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/
How does science tell me whether I should
>join the French resistance in Nazi occupied France or
>stay at home with my ailing mother who may die without
Why would you think science can foretell the future? This is a strange
request, lacking an understanding of what science is. Science can't tell
you what will happen in the future, unless you are speaking of astronomy and
How does science verify wether an act of
>kindndess to those less fortunate is a good or bad
I would say that philosophy and theology(broadly defined) can't do it
either. What is good to an Islamic radical is to fly airplanes into
buildings full of innocent people. Like it or not, their theology, their
ethics all say that was good. Without some sort of grounding, one has little
reason to say they are wrong other than the fact that I don't want to die at
>The only way science can even begin to say anything
>about these and a billion more questions that are of
>REAL importance to human lives is by making
>suppositions which are not scientifically testable.
>Indeed, if scientists can even feign an answer to any
>of these things, it is only by importing philosophical
>positions into the mix, almost always without
>admitting that it is doing so.
You are conflating science with non-science. Science doesn't make value
judgements. While value judgements are, er... of value, they are not
scientific. So asking science to answer them is not proper. Thus I don't
really see the point of your comments above.
>I find the idea that we judge a religion by
>scientifically testable claims naive and simply
>unworkable. Which claims are subject to scientific
Tests for which scientific tests are appropo. Obviously, it can't test the
claim that Jesus was God. That is not a scientifically testable
proposition. But, it can test the heart beat and brain waves of a person
who is dead so that if he rises, you have proof that he rose from the dead.
It can also test the existence of cities mentioned, it can test the
hypothesis that a million or more people tromped in the Sinai for many
years. It can test that a story is suited to the time it is purported to
have happened in. There are lots of things which science can test about
religion. The Cohan gene is a test of the religious claim that Moses
appointed his brother's descendants as priests. (See Thomas et al, Origins
of Old Testament priests Nature 394, 138 - 140 (1998)). Say a religion
clams that a devastating meteor struck in southern Iraq (a religious claim
recently made). It can verify or refute the claim. It can't verify
metaphysical statements but science can verify what surrounds those things.
You already agreed that whether God works in
>the world is not testable. This, according to Atkins
>and Dawkins, is victory for atheism, because God is a
>scientific claim and if it is not demonstrable, it
>does not exist.
Boy, don't know what you have been reading. If you think I said that God is
a scientific claim, then quote me and tell me where I can find it. I must
have had one too many toddies that night. God isn't a scientific claim. His
existence can't be proven. But if a religious document claims God did
something which would leave observational evidence, we most assuredly can
look for that data. Doesn't prove God did it, I agree, but it is consistent
with that statement. That you can't deny.
How do you respond to their position
>that you are right, religious claims are scientific,
>and all have been found wanting, "proving" that God
>does not exist?
I think I just did. But don't expect me to say that God can be proven. Why
is it that you constantly read into what I am saying rather than actually
reading what I am saying?
for lots of creation/evolution information
personal stories of struggle
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