Jump to content


Photo

Part 02 - Philosophy and Reality, Truth and Science.


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:30 PM

Part 02 - Philosophy and Reality, Truth and Science.

 

Science views creation not as Gods cultural artefacts but as naturally occurring phenomena.

 

This is because Science is limited by the philosophy of naturalism which insists upon mindless unguided processes to account for the origins of Gods works. 
 
Science rejects any inference that they are observing and documenting created artefacts.
 
And as we saw in our previous examples, if one observer is looking at creation as Gods works and another observer is looking at naturally occurring phenomena. They are looking at the same event but from two completely different perspectives, consequently it is logical that the observer of phenomena will conclude that no creator was involved in the process. We would not expect science to arrive at any other conclusion. 
 
As this is a very important point to keep in mind and one that gets completely confused we will reinforce it with one final example.
 
Two homicide detectives called Jack and Jim are investigating a crime scene. A man has been found, lying on the ground with a knife in his back. Jim and Jack both examine the scene carefully. After some time Jack confidently asserts that he believes the poor man died from accidental causes. The knife, says he, fell from the third floor window of an apartment block just as the poor man was walking underneath. Jim on the other hand is convinced that the man was in fact murdered and sets about trying to investigate the scene, establish motive and find the murderer. 
 
Both men agree that they are observing a dead man, both men agree that the knife was what killed him. But Jim believes that there was a plan and purpose and that the outcome had been intelligently designed. Jack believes it was simply random chance and because of professional rivalry, both men refuse to consider the other point of view.
 
Two different world views, two completely different accounts, only one can be true.
 
So when it comes to creation, which world view is best placed to reveal with truth of what God has done? 
 
Should Gods works be viewed as artefacts which contain observable evidence of purpose, function, intelligence and design? Or should Gods works be viewed as phenomena which came into being through unguided, mindless, natural processes? 
 
Does creation contain observable evidence of intelligence and design which reveals to all Gods power and divinity in a morally accountable way?
 
Or did God bring everything into being using unguided, random natural processes which hides his presence to all except those with a prior faith in his existence?
 
Is an invisible God made plain, known and visible in and through his creative acts as Romans 1 says?
 
Or is God the hidden instigator and occasional, invisible intervener of a process which grinds away by itself?
 


#2 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:31 PM

Two opposite world views, two accounts of origins, one guided by naturalism, the other by special creation. Only one world view is an accurate reflection of what God actually did, the other has to be wrong. So how do we find out? 
 
Can science adjudicate on this particular question?
 
Well, we know that science is limited to the presumption of natural unguided causes and is unable to investigate any other possibility. So science is not in a position to adjudicate, neither can science offer an objective verdict on the matter because science is subject to naturalism. Science can only and will only present one side of the story.
 
Coming back to our Jack and Jim scenario, given that both detectives are entrenched in their respective positions, Jack believing the man with the knife in his back died and accidental death and Jim believing it was murder. Is Jack in a position to adjudicate objectively on the evidence which supports a murder? No, because he is convinced the man died an accidental death. Will Jim offer an unbiased opinion on Jacks version of the events. Of course not, this is why these issues are taken to court where an impartial judge sits outside and above both sides of the story, weighs up the evidence for and the evidence against before arriving at a verdict. Or in some cases, a jury of ordinary people are called in to objectively and without bias hear both sides of the story and come to a verdict.
 
So when deciding on the case of Creation via the agency of unguided, natural processes or intelligent design, science is not the judge or the jury because science is only presenting one side of the argument. Science is the defence lawyer arguing the case for naturalism, defending itself from religious intrusion, rejecting all assertions of intelligent design. 
 
So the answers to these questions are outside of the scope of science. To expect science to do anything other than defend its own point of view is akin to going into court with the expectation that the prosecuting lawyer will defend the accused.
 
Science only presents one side of the story, science only investigates one point of view, science does not consider the other side of the story.
 
But is there another side to the story? Surely if the combined weight of the scientific community has not found any evidence of intelligence or design in creation that means there is none and the issue is settled. The contemplation of another side is futile because there is no other side. 
 
This is a valid question, science does not devote much time considering arguments for a flat earth because such arguments are a waste of time. So are the arguments for a special creation in the same category? 
 
Is the absence of scientific evidence for design a reflection of scientific truth, or is the absence of scientific evidence for design a reflection of scientific limitation?
 
Let us run with assertion that a lack of scientific evidence to support special creation via intelligent design is confirmation that God used unguided natural processes to bring about life on earth.
 
This would mean that God also uses the process of methodological naturalism when he makes things, which means that he created the world in a way that made it look like he did not in fact create the world. It means he removed all visible traces of his power and divinity and made himself invisible through his creative acts. It means that in reality there are no visible traces of the fingerprints of God anywhere in the things he has made which could be used to hold men morally accountable. In other words, it means an all-powerful Creator has limited himself to a creative approach which just happens to conform to the self-imposed philosophical world view of science.  


#3 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:34 PM

Now it could just be that the naturalistic world view of science has led them in completely the wrong direction and prevented them from seeing what God has made plain to all. 
 
But if science has got it right and naturalism is an accurate reflection of reality we are faced with a creation that bears no evidence of its creator which is an anomaly in itself. How does one create something that contains no evidence that it has been created? Is there any scenario anywhere where a thing which has been created bears no resemblance to a created thing.
 
Why would God choose to create in such an oxymoronic way?
 
It’s a shame really, because God could have used creation to show case his creative power to all humanity. God could have created the world in such a way as to reveal his power and creativity to everyone. In the same way an amazing building testifies to the skill and engineering ability of the architect, God could have designed creatures of such amazing sophistication that no one could deny their divine origins. In the same way a masterpiece reveals the vision and skill of the artist, God could have designed a world full of such intricate beauty that humanity would be inspired to acknowledge him. In the same way that the writings of Shakespeare testify of his creative abilities.  God could have created life with its own language and digitised code removing once and for all any excuse for not believing in him. 
 
Now some may say, well that’s exactly what God has done and the evidence is all around us. This is what Romans 1 is all about and all we need is simple, God given powers of observation, logic and common sense. In fact those same people would argue that if God did in fact intelligently designed the world, it would look identical to the world we live in now. 
 
In fact even hard core atheists like Richard Dawkins have admitted that creation looks as though it has been designed for a purpose.
 
“Biology is the study of complex things that appear to have been designed for a purpose.
 
“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve the paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design.” [1]
 
____________
[1] Richard Dawkins in his book, The Blind Watchmaker published in 1996


#4 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:40 PM

Darwinian natural selection can produce an uncanny illusion of design. An engineer would be hard put to decide whether a bird or a plane was the more aerodynamically elegant. 
 
"So powerful is the illusion of design, it took humanity until the mid-19th century to realize that it is an illusion".[2]
 
So there is another side of the story, there is a rational observable, logical, intuitive, common sense case to be made for special design.
 
When the worlds foremost Atheist, himself a Biologist, is forced to admit that the appearance of planning, purpose and design in creation is “overwhelmingly impressive”. And those who read their Bibles and see that God did actually create in a deliberate overwhelmingly impressive way so as to enable him to judge humanity for failing to acknowledge his existence. Those supporting special creation not only have a case with real observable evidence, but can be assured that their case marries more closely to how God revealed himself through creation. And the fact that people like Dawkins recognise precisely what God intended to communicate through creation thus making him morally accountable is proof that special creation is not a fairy story based on fantasies. In fact some would argue that the Bible, observable reality and common sense swings the Truth well into the camp of special creation.
 
But we still have this problem with a complete and total lack of scientific evidence to support intelligence or design in creation. But are we expecting too much? After all, Science is limited to trying to find natural unguided causes to explain the things that God has created, creative acts which they label phenomena. 
 
When it comes to identifying the origins of creation, science can never be the objective judge; it cannot be the impartial jury. Science will only and can only present one side of the story and given we are dealing with divine origins as opposed to purely natural origins, there is every chance that their perspective and therefore conclusions are wrong.
 
Let’s look at this paradoxical illusion from Gods point of view. If God wanted to deliberately create scientific evidence of intelligence and design, what would he need to do?
 
What would he need to create and how would he have to create it in order to display undeniable scientific evidence of intelligent design?
 
The translatable language of DNA is out, amazing unlearned intelligence called instinct is out, the most intelligent super computer in the universe the human brain is out, and it is not because naturalism has been proven either. So all of this begs the question, what else could God create to satisfy science that his works have divine origins? 
 
Perhaps such an objective is scientifically impossible.
 
And therein lies the problem. 
____________
[2] Richard Dawkins from an article Big ideas: Evolution in the New Scientist (2005).


#5 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 16 September 2014 - 01:31 AM

Constructive feedback (in this thread) regarding the above article - Philosophy and Reality, Truth and Science - is welcome :)






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users