08 January 2014

Can Science and Faith Co-exist? (In re No. 2)

Good evening,

I wanted to take a moment and touch on another thought that appeared in Matthew Darks' original response.  In doing so, I would stress again, as I did in my last post, that my primary objective is to compare notes.  It's a given that we're probably going to disagree about certain things, so it's now a matter of pinpointing the contours. 

I only have a few moments, but I wanted to use this as my point of reference--
The author [that's me!] states that it takes faith to make the extrapolations or inferences, but this does not mesh with even the author’s definitions in his own post. And the author makes a false correlation with the inferences based on known data and the belief that god created the universe less than 10,000 years ago.
In order to be sure I'm not taking things out of context, I defined faith (using scripture) as "...not to have a perfect knowledge of things [but rather] if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."  I defined inference as, essentially, "if A is true, then B must be true."  I actually don't remember there being a great deal of disagreement regarding that, although perhaps there were questions regarding the illustrations I used.  But the quote I have above illustrates, I think, a central theme.  

Now perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but my understanding of the statement, coupled with other elements of his response, is that you can only make inferences or extrapolations solely from the objective realm.  The allegation is that I am making a false comparison between inferences from scientific data and the account of creation (or the existence of God in the first instance).  As I understand the premise, the former is objective, the latter is spiritual or something else; but you cannot make inferences in the latter realm.  Or, in other words, things of science and things of God or spirit cannot co-exist, at least not inside the same manner of thinking.

Matthew shared with me a video the other night, so hopefully there is no objection if I share one of my own.  The speaker in this video is not any Church leader; rather, it's from a scientist whose credentials, I'm sure, far surpass mine.  Now I'm not asking the reader to agree with or adopt what I am posting, but I just think it captures my thoughts better than my own words.  For I would respectfully submit there is not an inherent conflict between science and faith if the objective is ultimately to seek the truth.  But I will not add further words, I'll simply close with the video.  


P.S. I actually have my own thoughts about the 10,000 year thing, but I will save them for later.


Unknown said...

Again I must apologize. I'm sorry if I was wrong about it but this is a good example (like I mentioned) that an inference is only as good as the information fed into them. I assumed you held the belief/position that Earth was <10,000 years old as in the literal interpretation of the Biblical record.

I did not mean to say that you can not make inferences from or in the spiritual realm but I meant to state that the conclusions that were reached were only as good as the information fed into them.

Every religion/theist alive in every religion have made 'spiritual inferences', if you will allow me to make up a phrase, that their religion is the true one based on their feelings, religious texts, and the writings/teachings of their leaders. Are we to believe that each one is correct simply because their inference is correct? A logical argument can be internally consistent yet still be ultimately false.

I have no problems with you sharing videos, I would of course extend the courtesy of watching something if I expected you to watch mine.

I would like for one thing to be cleared up. Science and god CAN coexist but not with a literal interpretation of the Bible nor most religious texts.

The man in the video (and yourself I presume now) does not hold the timeline of the Bible to be a literal history of the world. There is no reason or way to unbase the stance that a god created the rules and then created the universe accordingly.

Essentially most scientist/theist crossovers hold that god sparked creation, perhaps led it in the right direction, and then let the rules take over. They hold the scientific evidence in high regard because of its objectivity, but hold that a creator is/must be behind it all. This is just not something that can be debated, and I have no problems with anyone who holds that view but I submit to you that it would be more of a deistic stance than anything.

Unknown said...

I appreciated reading your clarification regarding your position, thanks. --Sandy