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Nancy Pearcey  (b. 1952?)  Senior fellow at the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture  Web  Amazon  GBS  AV

We also know, from information theory, how codes work. Encoded messages are independent of the physical medium used to store and transmit them. If we knew how to translate the message in a DNA molecule, we could write it out using ink or crayon or electronic impulses from a keyboard. We could even take a stick and write it in the sand-all without affecting its meaning. In other words, the sequence of "letters" in DNA is chemically arbitrary: There is nothing intrinsic in the chemicals themselves that explains why particular sequences carry a particular message. In the words of chemist-turned-philosopher Michael Polanyi, the sequence of nucleotides is "extraneous to" the physical and chemical properties within the molecule-which is to say, the sequence is not determined by inherent physical-chemical forces. In fact, it is precisely this "physical indeterminacy" (Polanyi's phrase) that gives nucleotides the flexibility to function as letters in a message-to be arranged and rearranged in a host of unpredictable patterns, like the letters on a page. But physical indeterminacy also implies that physical forces did not originate the pattern-any more than the text on this page originated from the physical properties of the paper and ink.     DNA The Message in the Molecule   First Things  June  1996 

Science is typically defined as objective investigation (discovering and testing facts)--the means for making faster airplanes and better medicines.

But there's another definition held implicitly in the scientific establishment, and it is tantamount to the philosophy of materialism or naturalism. This is the idea that science may legitimately employ only natural causes in explaining everything we observe.

The way this definition of science operates is to outlaw any questioning of naturalistic evolution. Darwinists don't ask whether life evolved from a sea of chemicals; they only ask how it evolved. They don't ask whether complex life forms evolved from simpler forms; they only ask how it happened. The presupposition is that natural forces alone must (and therefore can) account for the development of all life on earth; the only task left is to work out the details.     We're Not in Kansas Anymore  Christianity Today  May 22 2000

Critics charge this would inject religion into the science classroom. But the idea life exhibits design is a timeless observation that has been held by religious and non-religious alike since the time of the ancient Stoics. Contemporary "design theory" relies on scientific evidence to determine whether an event is caused by natural or intelligent causes--just as a detective relies on evidence to decide whether a death was natural or murder, or an insurance company relies on evidence to decide whether a fire is an accident or arson.

In explaining, for example, the origin of life, an open-minded scientist would weigh evidence whether natural causes (chance and law) are capable of creating the vast stores of information in the DNA code. The answer scientists are finding is "no." Chance produces randomness, while physical law produces simple, repetitive order (like using a macro on your computer to print a phrase over and over). The only thing that produces complex, non-repeating, specified order is an intelligent agent.     Scopes in Reverse   The Washington Times  July 24  2000

Of course, any theory of origins will have religious implications--but that doesn't mean it should be barred from the classroom. Darwinism itself has religious implications (or rather, anti-religious ones), but the theory is still taught in public schools. Darwinism and design theory are not two different subjects; they are competing answers to the same question: How did life arise and diversify on Earth? If one viewpoint is taught, the other should be taught as well.     Scopes in Reverse 

When Egyptian hieroglyphics were discovered, no one knew how to decipher them for 1,400 years (until the Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799).et everyone knew without a doubt that the hieroglyphs were made by an intelligent agent, and were not patterns etched into the rock by some naturally occurring acid.      Total Truth  (2005)  p.191

Consider Christians who are theistic evolutionists: Though they would never agree with atheists that nature is all that exists (metaphysical naturalism), they do agree that science must be limited to natural causes (methodological naturalism). As philosopher Nancey Murphy of Fuller Theological Seminary writes: "Christians and atheists alike must pursue scientific questions in our era without invoking a Creator." Why? Well, because that's what atheists have decided: "For better or worse, we have inherited a view of science as methodologically atheistic." 

But who says that we have to ply by the rules set down by atheists? If Christianity is true, then it's not at all obvious that valid science can be done only by making the counterfactual assumption that atheism is true. Theistic evolutionists generally accept exactly the same scientific theories as atheists or naturalists; the only thing they ask is that they be allowed to propose a theological meaning behind it all -- known only by faith, and not detectable by scientific means. In essence, they allow atheists to define scientific knowledge, so long as theology is allowed to put a religious spin on whatever science comes up with. 

In that, case, however, what does this theological meaning amount to? It is reduced to a subjective gloss on the story told by naturalistic science. God's existence doesn't make any difference scientifically because He does not act in ways that can be detected. As a result, theology is no longer regarded as an independent source of knowledge; it is merely an overlay of value on otherwise value-free facts.     Total Truth (2005) p.203

Science depends on certain prior assumptions about the nature of the universe--specifically, that the universe has an intelligible structure that can be rationally known. Both logically and historically, that belief arises only from the conviction that the universe is the creation of an intelligent, rational Mind.      Christianity Is a Science-Starter  Areopagus Journal  January  2005

Today the majority of historians of science agree with this positive assessment of the impact the Christian worldview had on the rise of science. Yet even highly educated people remain ignorant of this fact. Why is that?   

The answer is that history was founded as a modern discipline by Enlightenment figures such as Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hume who had a very specific agenda: They wanted to discredit Christianity while promoting rationalism. And they did it by painting the middle ages as the "Dark Ages," a time of ignorance and superstition. They crafted a heroic saga in which modern science had to battle fierce opposition and oppression from Church authorities. Among professional historians, these early accounts are no longer considered reliable sources.     Christianity Is a Science-Starter

 

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini  (b. 1942)  Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona  Web  Amazon  GBS

Some months ago an American philosopher explained to a highly sophisticated audience in Britain what, in his opinion, was wrong, indeed fatally wrong, with the standard neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution. He made it crystal clear that his criticism was not inspired by creationism, intelligent design or any remotely religious motivation. A senior gentleman in the audience erupted, in indignation: ‘You should not say such things, you should not write such things! The creationists will treasure them and use them against science.’ The lecturer politely asked: ‘Even if they are true?’ To which the instant and vibrant retort was: ‘Especially if they are true!’ with emphasis on the ‘especially’.

This stunning exchange exemplifies the religious fervour with which some scholars and laypersons adhere to the Darwinian doctrine. It’s a secular religion, for sure, an atheistic banner under which the white knights of scientific rationality rally in their fight against the forces of darkness. There are countless manifestations of this unwholesome religious Darwinian fervour, more than can be listed here.    Spiked Online  March  2010

 

Max Planck  (1858 – 1947)  Nobel Prize for Physics  Web  GBS

Religion and science demand for their foundation faith in God. For the former (religion), God stands foremost; for the latter (science), at the end of all thought. For religion He represents a basis; for science, a crowning solution towards a world view.

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