Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bill and Dave Debate God and Science

In “Myths of a Godless Science” (10/2) I pointed out that (1) A primary goal of the radical left is to drive God out of public places, most especially the public schools; (2) a primary polemical device of the left has been that science and religion are diametrically opposed; and I argued that (3) the belief in God the Creator is not anti-scientific; and (4) the rise of science in the West was a product of European Christian universities and, generally, religious men.

I received a vigorous rebuttal from good friend Prof. Dave Young that I will address here.

DAVE: The reason it (belief in a Creator) isn’t scientific is because it doesn’t lend itself to being disproved.

PVB: I agree, but it is nonetheless true, and it provides a rational explanation for the unexplained in evolution science (see below).

DAVE: Belief and empirical method are not the same. Science limits itself to the realm of things that can be observed and tested. There is no test with our existing technology that can test your assertion for the existence of a grand designer. He may be there, or have been there, but we can’t test for Him.

PVB: I agree with the first point. But, much of science is inferential. Take quasars and much of cosmology. We cannot do experiments with quasars but we can observe them and compare observations to theory. We call it science. In the same way we can look for evidence of “design” in nature.

DAVE: Therefore, it ain’t science and it doesn’t belong in a science classroom.

PVB: Wrong, the science of Intelligent Design studies the fundamental questions of life and the creation of species, just what evolution science should do but seems to have abandoned because 150 years of trying have been fruitless. This ID effort is analogous to the cosmology study of the birth of the universe, also best explained by Creation.

DAVE: You go on about how only the west created science, but then you criticize the west for being guilty of the very thing (rejection of God the Creator) that keeps us from being like the barbarians we are in a real fight with. I don’t see how you can have it both ways.

PVB: Wrong, belief in God does not make us like the Islamists.

DAVE: Your criticism of the Islamic world and its lack of development for the last several hundreds of years should be all the evidence you need.

PVB: I do not criticize the Islamists for their belief in Muhammad. Muslims did not create science because they followed the Greek classical model of a capricious god who does what he pleases with the universe whenever he pleases. There was no concept of a universe governed by unchangeable laws that could be derived from the study of nature. That critical concept came from Christianity.

DAVE: Affectionately, yours in Starbucks.

PVB: Thanks buddy.


Anonymous Pamela said...

WOW~ Billy, you won the debate! Then again I am partial~ giggle...And also have had the benefit of studying creation science with my kids starting 17 years ago when I first read what Phillp Johnson of U of C at Berkeley had to say about it.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You confuse similarity with congruence. Like only requires similarity. Belief in God is fundamental to both positions being discussed in this conversation. Necessary, but not sufficient. The “believing” is not the question. It is the content of the beliefs that discriminates between us and them.


2:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...


I said: belief in God does not make us like the Islamists.

You said: The “believing” is not the question. It is the content of the beliefs that discriminates between us and them.

I say: Right you are, belief in God does not make us like the Islamists.

We believe in the Judeo-Christian God and His values. This applies to more than 90% of Americans.

Islamists, but not most Muslims, believe in a radical god who orders Islamic world domination, condones terror tactics and rewards terrorist "martyrs" with 72 virgins.

I think we agree.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ernest Boyer of the Carnegie Foundation said that the core of civility is in seeing the truth in an opponent’s argument.

While we agree that we are not like the Islamists in action, I’m not sure that we agree that we are like them in that we are all believing people. I think that it is important to appreciate that we are similar in this regard.

My point, shared I believe by Prager, is that it really matters what we believe more than it matters that we believe.

I still think that what they believe is very dangerous and should be opposed with all means available to us.

I don’t believe that understanding our similarities with them will prevent them from setting off a bomb at Starbucks. Only the Marines can do that.

On that, I believe, we agree.


7:44 PM  

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