Re Shane’s Quote “@Ken: Science is always subject to our world …

Comment on Faith & Science Sabbath School examines LSU’s apology by ken.

Re Shane’s Quote

“@Ken: Science is always subject to our world view. The two cannot be separated. In a sense it is the world view that controls the science, or I should say controls the interpretation of the data.”

Dear Shane

Thanks for your comment.

That’s a pretty absolute statement but is it empirically correct.

What happens when science contradicts the existing worldview? Does the worldview then change? For example, once upon a time Man thought the world was flat, Man thought the sun circled the earth, Man did not understand gravity or genetics.

Doesn’t often science change the existing worldview rather than be subject to it? Was Darwin’s theory based on his religious upbringing or his empirical observations of nature? Did he not have go against the worldview he was raised within?

I know and appreciate that it is very difficult for my Adventist friends to understand that humans can be neutral to a faith or non faith bias and use science as an objective tool. But, respectfully, I think it is possible, does occur, and in fact is one of the most noble things that Man does.

I wish you a good Sabbath.
Your agnostic friend

ken Also Commented

Faith & Science Sabbath School examines LSU’s apology
Dear Prof. Kent

Thank you for your kind words.

Your agnostic friend

Faith & Science Sabbath School examines LSU’s apology
Re Eddie’s Quote

“I think we need to be humble in recognizing that science is limited in answering many of the fundamental questions about origins. If my beliefs were based purely on science I would be agnostic, like our friend Ken. But I would rather take a leap of faith and place my trust in a Creator who designed life and created it less than 10,000 years ago.”

Dear Eddie

Thank you very much for your kind comments.

I respect all of you for your faith and want to point out that it is not my goal to convert anyone to agnosticism. Rather I hope we gain an appreciation for why we think what we do.

I have gained a great appreciation for Adventism over the last four years, which has had a salutary effect on my life. Why? Because I have found an earnest group of friends that passionately care about the essence of life: why we are here? Design? Accident? Mystery? Those of faith fall into the first camp, those of non faith into the second camp, and those frustratingly inveterate questioners! – never satisfied with any approximation of reality – into the last.

I do think however, that we can challenge each other without recrimination if we are not fearful of the consequences. I appreciate and understand that there are huge doctrinal stakes at play; but this should not obviate the noble human goal to seek objective knowledge no matter what the outcome,

As always, thanks for allowing me to participate.

Your agnostic friend

Faith & Science Sabbath School examines LSU’s apology
Re Sean’s Quote

“If you will re-read my initial comment to you in this regard (the one with the illustration of the hierachical classification system), I tend to draw the line of a clear distinction between gene pools or “kinds” of animals as the level of “Order” (there are no known viable intraordinal animal hybrids).”

Dear Sean

My humble apologies, I missed your previous email with the taxonomic diagram. A picture says a thousand words!

Can I beg your indulgence to take the readers further down the classification path? What were the exact kinds or orders of animals that you consider were on the Ark? In other words orders or groups of animals that have not experienced any functional differences.

For example, I presume you do not think that humans were included in the primate order. I’d be a monkey’s uncle if you did so! But does your concept of order mean that each of the great apes are in their own separate order?, i.e. functionally different?

Respectfully, based on your criteria, I think any Adventist model of creation must include the probability that every functionally different order of land animal was included on the ark. What were they specifically?

Your agnostic friend

Recent Comments by ken

God and Granite Cubes
@ Sean

I enjoyed your article. As I’ve stated before, I think Intelligent Design is a more modern form of Deism and do not think it is irrational. However, as science on an ongoing basis shows what matters are explainable by cause and effect, less is attributable to conscious design. The question of course is what are the limits of science in this regard? For example, will it ever be able to explain First Cause/

Below is a more fulsome quote of Professor Townes, an self acknowledged Protestant Christian. Please note what he has to say about literal creation and evolution. Do you think he is being more reasonable than you on the nature of design?

“I do believe in both a creation and a continuous effect on this universe and our lives, that God has a continuing influence – certainly his laws guide how the universe was built. But the Bible’s description of creation occurring over a week’s time is just an analogy, as I see it. The Jews couldn’t know very much at that time about the lifetime of the universe or how old it was. They were visualizing it as best they could and I think they did remarkably well, but it’s just an analogy.

Should intelligent design be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools as religious legislators have decided in Pennsylvania and Kansas?

I think it’s very unfortunate that this kind of discussion has come up. People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view. Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Charles Townes
‘Faith is necessary for the scientist even to get started, and deep faith is necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must have confidence that there is order in the universe and that the human mind – in fact his own mind – has a good chance of understanding this order.’
-Charles Townes, writing in “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” IBM’s Think magazine, March-April 1966
Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate – it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially. Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.

They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.

People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading. “

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Yes, I am suggesting that our scientists should also be theologians to some degree. I’m also suggesting that our theologians be scientists to some degree as well. There should be no distinct dividing line between the two disciplines…”

Hello Sean

First of all, thank you Holly for your comments. You have always treated me with civility and charity for which I am most grateful.

Secondly, on reflection, I do hope I was not strident or offensive in my recent remarks. I am a guest here and should behave with the utmost respect regarding my Adventist hosts. After all I was proposing the Chair of ID at an ‘Adventist’ institution! What gall and temerity from an agnostic!

However something Dr. Kime said struck a very strange chord in me: that a Chair in ID at Harvard would be a quantum leap ( forward – my edit) while such a Chair would be a step backward at LSU. I’ m very sorry Wes, but for me to honestly investigate reality such double standard is not acceptable.

I am sad today, because I think I’m coming to the end of my Adventist journey. I really did see ID as a sort of bridge between your faith and objective inquiry about a ‘Grand’ Design. (apologies Mr. Hawkings). Oh Wes , perhaps I am ontological Don Quixote after all, comically tilting towards immovable Adventist windmills. 🙁 .

However all is not forlorn because I’ve made excellent friends of the heart here. ;). I won’t forget you.

Good luck in your pursuit of God.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Wes’s Quote

“. But for a Christian, a great devolution, a great recidivation, a tragic forfeiture, foreclosure, worse. If I were to use the vocabulary of some of our recent posters, I’d not put it as delicately.”

Hi Wes and Sean

I just read again portions on ID from Sean’s website Detecting Design. I am very confused by both of your responses. Why the heck is Sean promoting ID as a scientific theory if this is such a Christian retreat? Perhaps you two differ here? I apologize if I am missing the obvious but I see a tremendous disconnect between what Sean is saying about ID and what he is prepared to do to promote it within the subset of Adventist education.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Public association is one thing. Private association is another. While many do not feel at liberty to publicly associate themselves with our work here (for obvious reasons), most who still believe in SDA fundamentals (and who are aware of the longstanding situation at LSU and other places) feel that our work in providing enhanced transparency for what is being taught to our young people in our schools was/is necessary on some level.”

Hi Sean

The irony here is that those that are supporting institutional enhanced transparency are hiding behind cloaks of anonymity. That’s not how you, I, Wes, Bob Ryan, Wes, Bill Sorenson and many others here behave. Imagine if Jesus hid behind a cloak and didn’t proclaim his nature. What legacy of respect would he have left?

Conviction requires courage period.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Intelligent Design

Gentleman, thanks to all for your fulsome replies.

Yes Wes, I remember your cogent analysis of November 14/11. I appreciared it then and its reiteration now. indeed I was waiting to hear from others especially Sean whose site is named Detecting Design. And, here I agree with Bob, ID
does not necessarily rule out any particular design i. e. fiat
creation ot theistic evolution.

But quite frankly I am disaapointed with Sean’s response, not Sean himself for whom I have deep admiration, because I see this as a step backward. Why? Because if you burn the bridge between science and biblical faith it will not be science that suffers.

Ironically Sean makes many fine, cogent arguments for design in nature so I find his reluctance to promote it formally in Adventist education troubling. Respectfully, I don’t think serious enquiry about reality can creep around the periphery or sneak in through the back door. I’m afraid I see a double standard here.

Yes Wes, I understand why Adventists are nervous on this issue. But if one is seeking the truth about reality one can’t wall it in or burn bridges of enquiry. Wes, perhaps the Hellenic maxim should have not so much: Know thyself, but rather Think for thyself. My park bench in Pugwash is a welcome one but does not feature ontological dividers. It is well designed for truth seekers.

Your agnostic friend