‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Trench Warfare?

Nick Spencer of the Theos 'Think Tank' considers that the last decade has been one of aggressive posturing and thinks those, like him, who occupy the middle ground have had a rough time. He asks Can we climb out of the trenches?

Yes – it would be lovely to have open dialogue in the middle ground, but I would gently suggest that Nick should have a look at his own writing first. He suggests for instance that his fellow believers who reject evolution are guilty of launching verbal explosives. Perhaps some are aggressive in their tone, but there are many of us who simply want an honest dialogue over the evidence. He writes.

“For the most part the explosives have been verbal [in comparison to real explosives]. On the one hand we have encountered placards telling us the Islam will dominate the world and freedom can go to hell, and Christian faith that is able to move mountains of evolutionary evidence. On the other, we have heard of how faith is a virus to be eradicated, and how the Muslim community should be subject to discrimination until it "gets its house in order".”

I would suggest that this is an offensive comparison to those many Christians who are not militant, but seek truth, value and integrity in science. Perhaps he does not understand that scientific finding are always provisional, especially in questions of origins, which are not directly testable. He seems blinded by the rhetoric of those philosopher leaders in science who want to keep the real philosophy of science hidden from the masses. So the productive units in society (you and me) are taught that science is more certain than it is and are thus kept in the dark about matters of philosophy.

Yes – let us end this endless wrangling over origins, but there seems resistance to open dialogue in this area from some leading theistic evolutionists despite many of us from the 'wicked creationist’ side appealing many times for such respectful dialogue. One can only live in hope.
Andrew S


Watcher said...

Nick's statement seems naive in the extreme. Not only in philosophical terms, but his basic theological understanding of both the doctrine of creation and the proclamation of the gospel seems to want to rest on the terms defined by those outside Christian faith!

John said...


You wrote: "Perhaps he does not understand that scientific finding are always provisional, especially in questions of origins, which are not directly testable."

I've always had problems with this line. I thought Redi(?) and Pasteur clearly demonstrated that life doesn't arise from non-life.

If evolution is true, then they should be able to provide an example of life doing just that.

In the absence of any evidence, the contrary position is the default one not the one lacking any confirming observations.

If their basic anti-science proposition is true, then all evolutionists will only eat fresh vegetables and fruit i.e. no canned stuff, just in case they poison themselves.

Surely, ex nihilo nihil fit is rock solid; for even science depends on this being true.