[Vision2020] Poll on Idahostatesman.com

Tbertruss at aol.com Tbertruss at aol.com
Mon Oct 10 14:51:07 PDT 2005

Joe Campbell wrote:

This is a judgment that White has made and I think it is a very good one, for
intelligent design smuggles in propositions that proponents of the thesis
are unwilling to reject, independent of empirical evidence to the contrary
(e.g., that the universe was created by an intelligent being).

It may be impossible to gather empirical evidence that decides with certainty 
the truth value of the proposition that the universe was created by an 
intelligent being.  Even if a proponent of the proposition that the universe was 
created by an intelligent being gladly accepts the condition that if empirical 
evidence to the contrary is gathered, they will abandon the proposition, this 
does not make the proposition "scientific," especially when gathering conclusive 
empirical evidence to decide the proposition may be impossible.  

There are an infinite number of theories than can be generated to explain any 
phenomenon.  The empirically testable theories that also have mathematical or 
logical consistency are theories that can become "science."  Of course there 
are many daunting problems in philosophy of science that make this easy 
definition problematic.  But I if a theory has no practical means of being decided 
by empirical data, or presents extreme mathematical or logical inconsistencies 
or contradictions, the theory will not be accepted as a current "scientific" 
theory, with some exceptions.  Application of Occams Razor also is favored in 
the world of science to avoid the endless variety of possible complex 
speculative theories from creating, to put it simply, a big mess.

If a theory is more speculative/imaginary than based on measurable empirical 
methods of investigation, or does not result in mathematical or logical 
consistency with other accepted theories, nor with itself internally, though it may 
remain possibly true, it will often not receive much attention from the 
scientific community.  Science does have certain "biases."

Maybe God created the universe and human life.  Maybe aliens landed on Earth 
millions of years ago and genetically engineered human intelligence.  Both of 
these theories are possible.

How does a science class teach these theories decided by empirical means?  
What replicatable experiments or data gathering do we set up to scientifically 
investigate these claims?  Is there such an abundance of disagreement regarding 
what sort of God may have created the universe (while we still do not even 
understand what our universe is), with such a wide variety of possible methods, 
that there is no well established theory as to how this could have happened 
that fits our scientific understanding of how the universe operates, to enable 
reliable testable means of scientifically deciding the matter?

And consider, if speculative religious theories about the operation of the 
universe must be accepted as scientific theories in science classes, then shall 
churches teach materialistic empirical science as a religious theory?

Maybe God is a fervent believer in empirical materialistic science, having 
created the universe to function according to these sorts of laws, with no 
"miraculous" intervention on his/her/its part after the creation of the universe!  
For this God to intervene in his/her/its creation would be sacrilege against 
the very laws of the universe this God established.

I do not cease to be amazed by the hubris of human beings who imagine they 
can fathom the intentions and actions of a being (God) whom they assert created 
the entire universe, an act which implies a God-mind and capabilities beyond 
anything the human mind can conceive.

This is like saying a spider understand the intentions of a human being doing 
quantum mechanics.  The spider simply is incapable of understanding in this 
manner, as human beings, speculatively speaking, very well may be incapable of 
understanding the intentions and mind of a being that created the entire 

Ted Moffett

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