Wednesday, April 07, 2004

J. P. Carter & Evolution...

Joe @ Evangelical Outpost has just posted a couple of spots titled Stealth Naturalism: Should Schools Be Teaching Design Theories of Evolution?, and On Methodological Naturalism and Intelligent Design (or Why Can't Brian Leiter Leave Well Enough Alone?). I'm glad Joe has jumped into the Leiter issue because his blog has a large audience base. And Joe's Stealth... post does a good job of addressing the fact that evolutionists have a pretty good handle on how to detect intelligent design... they just choose not to. J. P. Moreland in, Scaling the Secular City, highlighted some of the limits of science, to which Joe reminded me of in his post. Moreland wrote that the statement "only what can be known by science or quantified and empirically tested is rational and true" is self-refuting. How can that statement be quantified and empirically tested? Consider the FYI... post below and the statement, "Science develops explanations for the natural world by gathering evidence. Explanations that are supported by evidence stand and those that are not are discarded. Science does not include supernatural explanations that cannot be tested by scientific processes." Fine. But once again, we're left with no way to test that claim. Naturalists like Eugenie Scott will answer (and I've heard her say this) that the methodology has shown itself to work over time and that is why they rely on it. Unfortunately we're still left with assuming that our senses are telling us what's really there... in other words, even though we see the results how do we know the results are valid? Moreland states, "the aims, methodologies, and presuppositions of science cannot be validated by science." (emphasis in original) Other presuppositions listed by Moreland include: that the mind is rational; that the universe is rational in such a way that the mind can know it; that there is some uniformity in nature to justify induction (note that to justify induction is a philosophical issue); that the laws of logic are true; that numbers exist (since water is referred to as H2O, then twoness must exist); that there are certain moral, epistemic, and methodological values (e.g., honesty in experiments, theories should be predictive, procedural rules); that boundary conditions exist. Moreland also states:
The point is that science is just not a discipline that is isolated from other fields of knowledge in such a way that it fits into a neat compartment.

No comments: