Monday, January 23, 2006

NYT: When Cosmologies Collide

The Grey Lady has yet another article on ID, called "When Cosmologies Collide." This is an article on competing philosophies and the author, Judith Shulevitz, comes out with her main point fairly early:

The judge was echoing a position taken by scientific expert witnesses, who had testified that science is a method, not a creed - a way of finding things out about the natural world, not a refutation of anything beyond that world. On the enduring mysteries of divinity and transcendence, science remains officially agnostic. But people rarely hew to official doctrine. That science and religion belong to separate realms (they're "non-overlapping magisteria," as Stephen Jay Gould grandly put it) is a good line to stick to if you're going to argue that the creationists play unfair, but it's wishful to think that scientists always live by it.

The kicker line is the quote from science philosopher Daniel Dennett:

But there is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination."

I, nevertheless, believe that science can be reasonably practiced from a naturalistic point of view. I have no trouble believing the saving power of Jesus Christ. I also have no trouble trying to argue that the fossils we call Homo erectus in north China may be a different species than the ones in Africa and Southeast Asia. I have no idea how Homo erectus fit into God's redemptive plan, but that doesn't make Homo erectus any less real or worthy of study. Read the whole thing.

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