Unit 7: Science & Religion. Brent Royuk Sci-202 Concordia University. Science and Truth (from Unit 1). Does science find truth? Are facts true? Are laws true? Are theories true?. Science and Truth.
Unit 7: Science & Religion
Does science find truth?
Ian Barbour, Religion and Science, 1997.
Four Ways of Relating:
(Arrow symbols idea from Daniel Johnson)
Richard Bube, Putting It All Together, 1995.
Seven Patterns for Relating Science and the Christian Faith:
Richard Bube, Putting It All Together, 1995.
Seven Patterns for Relating Science and the Christian Faith:
Let’s look more closely at the five main boxes:
For the origin of the universe the current consensus in cosmology and physics is that the big bang theory accounts best for the observational data we now have and is supported by excellent and straightforward evidence, including the (approximately) 2.7 degree Kelvin cosmic background radiation. The age of the universe, although still under discussion, seems to be within the ten to twenty billion year range. Such an ancient universe is rejected by young-earth creationists on biblical grounds. On the other hand, old-earth creationists and others, as discussed earlier, feel that it is supported biblically and, in fact, that the big bang is evidence for the existence of God.For the adherent to NOMA, of course, the Bible neither supports nor refutes the big bang, or vice-versa. We are happy to accept the cosmological knowledge that the big bang offers, but we recognize that (as a scientific theory) it is subject to revision. We may find, personally, that the big bang fits well (or does not fit well) with our overall worldview, including our idea of what is aesthetically pleasing in nature. If we are Christians, we do not worry about it too much one way or the other. --Jean Pond
Sometimes people refer to this perspective as “Rossism” after Hugh Ross, Reasons to Believe
THE CURRENT STATE OF CREATION ASTRONOMY
DANNY R. FAULKNER, ICR, 1998
Among creationists there is much disagreement about the age of the earth and the age of the universe. Most opinions can be classified into one of three groups. One group is the belief that both the earth and the universe were created during the literal six-day creation week a few thousand years ago. That is the position of the Institute for Creation Research and most members of the Creation Research Society (CRS). A second opinion is that while the earth and all that is on it were created a few thousand years ago, most of the universe was created in the distant past of "in the beginning" of Genesis 1:1. A careful reading of the statement of belief of the CRS reveals that this belief is compatible with that statement. The third possibility is that both the earth and the universe are quite old, in general agreement with what most of modern science claims to be the ages. That position is difficult to reconcile with the CRS statement. The many writings of Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb have addressed this issue and have argued that the first opinion is the correct one. This author is in agreement with that position, and for the purposes of this paper, that is the definition of the creation model.
The creation was only the first of three major events that have affected the world. The second event was the fall recorded in Genesis chapter 3. The fall had very strong spiritual implications (the introduction of sin, the need for salvation), but was also accompanied by physical consequences, such as death, the cursing of the ground, and the groaning of the whole world as recorded in Romans 8:22. There is some debate among creationists as to what the full effects of this fall upon the world were. For instance, many suggest that the second law of thermodynamics may not have been operating in its fullness before the fall . The third major event was the world wide flood of Noah recorded in Genesis 6-8. Being one year in duration, the catastrophic flood must have had a profound effect not only upon life, but the shape of the earth's surface itself. There is also some discussion among creationists about how much affect that the flood had upon the rest of the universe.
What modern science has to say about the origin and history of the world has caused many to dismiss these three events. On the other hand creation scientists take the Biblical account seriously, and so accept these events as real and have attempted to reexamine the world for evidence for those events.
Christians who object to YEC reject its metaphysical assumptions (as we’ll see with ID), but they also criticize its science.
“DWISE1” has a website where he argues that:
“Since then, I have corresponded with several Christians who have traveled the same path as I have. One thing that is always agreed upon is the damage young-earth creationism can do to souls; how many believers they have seen fall away. We have been taught that the Bible demands a young earth interpretation and when the facts of nature become inescapable - our faith becomes shattered! My pastor was wrong, the opposite was the case. If "R" had been offered the truth from the beginning, he would never have experienced the turmoil he went through. When "R" could no longer deny that the universe was billions of years old, the only option left for him was to deny the Bible. How many others have been disheartened in like manner?” --Ed, from his site Creation, Evolution and Adam, Genesis, the Flood
Four Arguments from ID
Phillip Johnson: Excerpt from Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law & Education
Naturalism in the Academy
The domination of naturalism over intellectual life is not affected by the fact that some religious believers and active churchgoers hold prestigious academic appointments. With very few exceptions, these believers maintain their respectability by tacitly accepting the naturalistic rules that define rationality in the universities. They explicitly or implicitly concede that their theism is a matter of "faith" and agree to leave the realm of "reason" to the agnostics. This is true in every field of study, but especially so in natural science, the discipline that has the authority to describe physical reality for all the others. A biologist may believe in God on Sundays, but he or she had better not bring that belief to the laboratory on Monday with the idea that it has any bearing on the nature or origin of living organisms. For professional purposes, atheistic and theistic biologists alike must assume that nature is all there is.
Natural science is thus based on naturalism. What a science based on naturalism tells us, not surprisingly, is that naturalism is true. Because of the authority of science, the assumption that naturalism is true dominates all the disciplines of the university.
The Chicken or Egg Question
Do the scientific ideas of IDers flow from their Christian faith, or are they truly empirical?
It is… possible that some un-religious scientist might become convinced, on scientific evidence, of the existence of Intelligent Design, while remaining perfectly open minded about any of the truths of religion. When that scientist shows up, I shall begin to take Intelligent Design seriously. --John Derbyshire
Some Christians oppose ID on the grounds of MN.
Intelligent Design supposes that supernatural forces have crafted the world as we see it. Supernatural forces are simply not within the scope of science. Science necessarily only concerns itself with natural phenomena and natural causes. Supernatural causes are not testable, quantifiable, or qualifiable. They are simply not the scope of science. ID is unscience. Those proponents of ID are not simply insisting on better science. They are insisting on being antithetical to science and sitting down at the science table. Science cannot and should not concern itself with causes that it cannot empirically demonstrate or test. It should make no assertion that cannot be shown to be false by another scientist using the scientific method. --anonymous email blog post
Objections are also raised that ID is just a modern version of the God of the Gaps argument.
ID theory posits that certain features of the natural world CAN ONLY be explained by the active intervention of a designing intelligence. Since the entire history of science displays innumerable instances of hitherto inexplicable phenomena yielding to natural explanations (and, in fact, innumerable instances of "intelligent design" notions to explain natural phenomena being scrapped when more obvious natural explanations were worked out), the whole ID outlook has very little appeal to well-informed scientists. A scientist who knows his history sees the region of understanding as a gradually enlarging circle of light in a general darkness. If someone comes along and tells him: "This particular region of darkness HERE will never be illuminated by methods like yours," then he is naturally skeptical. "How can you possibly know that?" he will say, very reasonably. --John Derbyshire
Another objection is that if ID is correct, humans can be led to a belief in the existence of God through empirical means, which, in the opinion of some, is contrary to scripture.
If Luther is right, if the cross is where we really see what God is like, then we should expect that God’s actions in the world bear the mark of the cross… Just as the Son of God limited himself by taking human form and dying on a cross, God limits divine action in the world to be in accord with rational laws which God has chosen… A theology of the cross then suggests that, contrary to the belief of ID advocates, methodological naturalism is appropriate for natural science, which is not to invoke God as an explanation for phenomena… But this God does not compel the belief of skeptics by leaving puzzles in creation which science can’t solve. The mark God has placed on creation is both more stark and more subtle. “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 16:4 NRSV). --George Murphy
“Why have some of you not heard this before now?
From The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark A. Noll
Modern creationism arose, by contrast, from the efforts of earnest Seventh-day Adventists who wanted to show that the sacred writings of Adventist-founder Ellen G. White (who made much of a recent earth and the Noachian deluge) could provide a framework for studying the history of the earth. Especially important for this purpose was the Adventist theorist George McCready Price (1870-1963), who published a string of creationist works culminating in 1923 with The New Geology. That book argued that a "simple" or "literal" reading of early Genesis showed that God had created the world six to eight thousand years ago and had used the Flood to construct the planet's geological past. Price, an armchair geologist with little formal training and almost no field experience, demonstrated how a person with such a belief could reconstruct natural history in order to question traditional understandings of the geological column and apparent indications for an ancient earth. Price's ideas were never taken seriously by practicing geologists, and they also had little impact outside of Adventist circles. One exception was the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, where a few energized critics of the modern world found Price's biblical literalism convincing, despite the fact that on almost every other religious question the Missouri Synod was about as far removed from Seventh-day Adventism as it was possible to be.
A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, 1932
We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days. We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less out of itself. Since no man was present when it pleased God to create the world, we must look for a reliable account of creation to God's own record, found in God's own book, the Bible. We accept God's own record with full confidence and confess with Luther's Catechism: "I believe that God has made me and all creatures."
Of Man and of Sin
We teach that the first man was not brutelike nor merely capable of intellectual development, but that God created man in His own image, Gen. 1:26, 27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10
1967 Convention Proceedings
Whereas, Scripture teaches and the Lutheran confessions affirm that God by the almighty power of His Word created all things in 6 days by a series of creative acts (Gen. 1; Ex. 20:11; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3; cf. Large Catechism 2, 11-16; FC Ep. I, 2,4).
Whereas, The Scriptures teach and the Lutheran Confessions affirm that Adam and Eve were real, historical human beings, the first two people in the world (Gen. 2; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:45-47; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; cf. FC Ep I, 4; SD I, 9, 27; Ap XII, 55), created in God's image with body and soul "pure, good, and holy" (FC SD, II, 27).
A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles, 1972
We believe, teach, and confess that God, by the almighty power of His Word, created all things. We also believe that man, as the principal creature of God, was specially created in the image of God, that is, in a state of righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. We affirm that Adam and Eve were real historical human beings, the first two people in the world, and that their fall was a historical occurrence which brought sin into the world so that "since the fall of Adam all men who are propagated according to nature are born in sin" (AC, II, 1).
We therefore reject the following:
The notion that man did not come into being through the direct creative action of God, but through a process of evolution from lower forms of life which in turn developed from matter that is either eternal, autonomous, or self-generating.
From The Creationists by Ronald L. Numbers
1929 survey: “Do you believe that the creation of the world occurred in the manner and time recorded in Genesis?”
Alfred M. Rehwinkel The Flood (1951)
John W. Klotz Genes, Genesis, and Evolution (1955)
Paul A. Zimmerman, ed. Darwin, Evolution, and Creation (1959)
President A. L. Barry What About Creation and Evolution (2000)
Erich A. Von Fange In Search of the Genesis World: Debunking the Evolution Myth (2006)
To Commend Preaching and Teaching Creation
Resolution 2-08A, Adopted at the 2004 Synodical Convention
WHEREAS, The Scriptures teach that God is the creator of all that exists and is therefore the author and giver of life; and
WHEREAS, The hypotheses of macro, organic, and Darwinian evolution, including theistic evolution or any other model denying special, immediate and miraculous creation, undercut this support for the honoring of life as a gift of God; and
WHEREAS, Any teaching that advocates the transition from one species to another, as opposed to maintaining the distinction of species “according to their kinds” (Genesis, Chapter 1), rejects the clear teaching of Scripture; and
WHEREAS, It is the church’s duty to produce followers of Christ who not only know the fundamentals of the Christian faith, but also are “prepared to give an answer… for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15); therefore be it
Resolved, That all educational agencies and institutions of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod including early childhood programs, elementary schools, high schools, colleges, universities and seminaries continue to teach creation from the Biblical perspective; and be it further
Resolved, That no educational agency or institution of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod tolerate any teaching that contradicts the special, immediate, and miraculous creation by God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as an explanation for the origin of the universe; and be it further
Resolved, That the Synod’s educational agencies and institutions properly distinguish between micro and macro evolution and affirm the scriptural revelation that God has created all species “according to their kinds”; and be it finally
Resolved, that The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in convention remind its pastors and teachers to increase emphasis to the doctrine of God as the creator and author of life in their preaching and teaching.