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Author Topic:   Can science say anything about a Creator God?
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1388 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 1 of 506 (694585)
03-25-2013 10:39 PM


I was hoping to get into the evidence regarding Dr. Ross's RTB Creation Model, but it seems we have another important topic we need to debate first.

Forum: Is it Science?
Title: Can science say anything about a Creator God?

Ross writes:
“Since the birth of the scientific method, science has been defined as the pursuit of systematized knowledge and understanding about the way the universe, with its governing laws and all it contains, operates. Such a definition leaves the investigation open to consideration of the causal agent(s) that may be responsible for these operations.” P. 18

Ross reports that new definitions of science have been published which specifically exclude any investigation into the why questions humans often ask. Here are some examples:

Science is “an attempt to explain the natural world in terms of natural processes, not supernatural ones.” (italics in the original) - Eugenie Scott

“Science assumes that natural processes have natural causes.” - Lawrence Krauss

“Science is a process of seeking natural explanations for natural phenomena.” - AAAS

These redefinitions of science trouble Ross. He writes:

“Acknowledging the blatant censorship inherent in such redefinitions of science, Scott has tried to soften her stance by saying it’s not that science denies God’s existence or his possible role as Creator. It’s just that science is incapable of ever detecting it. Because it is not possible to “hold constant the actions of supernatural forces” under laboratory conditions, Scott concludes that the possibility of a supernatural cause is “outside of what science can tell us.” She claims science and scientific testing must be limited to direct observations of events occurring in nature or under controlled laboratory conditions.”

“However, many scientists realize that Scott’s definition guts much, if not most, of the scientific endeavor. It eliminates historical and theoretical science disciplines including theoretical physics, astronomy, paleontology, geophysics, theoretical chemistry, and physical anthropology, as well as mathematics.” P.19

Ross and I disagree with the view that science is incapable of detecting God and his role as creator. I know of two scientists who came to believe in God because of the Big Bang.

The first is Dr. Hugh Ross himself. He was an atheist until he was 15 years old. When he learned about the Big Bang, he realized there had to be a Big Banger. At first, he thought the creator was probably not interested in his creation (a deist view). When Ross was 17, he made a search of the holy books of the world’s major religions. He tested their statements scientifically. Ross thought that if the book was really from God, the book would get the science right. The first holy book he read said people lived on the surface of the Sun. Ross knew that wasn’t right. He put that book down and picked up another. Ultimately, Ross saw the Bible as accurate on scientific issues and he made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ. If not for the Big Bang, Ross would not have begun his search for the true God.

Another atheist who came to believe in God because of the Big Bang was Allan Sandage. In 1974, Sandage made the discovery the universe was going to expand forever. This meant the Cycle Theory, a popular view at the time that said the universe was eternal and was either in a state of expansion or contraction, was wrong. It also meant the Big Bang was a one-time event. Sandage knew nature does not do one-time events. In science, one-time events are known as miracles. This convinced Sandage that God created the universe, but like Hugh Ross, he did not know which God. After a two year long spiritual journey, Allan Sandage became a follower of Jesus Christ.

Even Richard Dawkins believes that science can tell us something on this important question. In an interview with Time magazine, Dawkins said:

“The question of whether there exists a supernatural creator, a God, is one of the most important that we have to answer. I think that it is a scientific question. My answer is no.”
Time magazine

Dawkins and Ross are on opposite sides regarding the existence of God, but they agree that science can say something important about the question.

I agree with Ross and Dawkins on this point. Science can say something significant about the existence of God. And the evidence should be followed wherever it leads.

What do you say?


Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4753
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 506 (694587)
03-26-2013 1:06 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Can science say anything about a Creator God? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1791
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 3 of 506 (694588)
03-26-2013 1:56 AM


quote:
Ross writes:
“Since the birth of the scientific method, science has been defined as the pursuit of systematized knowledge and understanding about the way the universe, with its governing laws and all it contains, operates. Such a definition leaves the investigation open to consideration of the causal agent(s) that may be responsible for these operations.” P. 18

Ross reports that new definitions of science have been published which specifically exclude any investigation into the why questions humans often ask. Here are some examples:...


That's not true that these are new definitions at all. The natural sciences have excluded the supernatural since the 16th and 17th centuries. I can refer to the expert testimony mentioned in the decision made in the famous Kitzmiller vs Dover case.

Judge Jones:

Judge Jones writes:

Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. (9:19-22 (Haught); 5:25-29 (Pennock); 1:62 (Miller)).

http://en.wikisource.org/...Science#4._Whether_ID_is_Science

It's Hugh Ross who is trying to smuggle his favourite diety into science by redefining the word to what he wants it to be. He's being completely dishonest.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15960
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 4 of 506 (694592)
03-26-2013 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 10:39 PM


She claims science and scientific testing must be limited to direct observations of events occurring in nature or under controlled laboratory conditions.

Where does she claim this?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 10:39 PM designtheorist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by designtheorist, posted 03-26-2013 9:12 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15960
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


(1)
Message 5 of 506 (694593)
03-26-2013 3:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 10:39 PM


Another atheist who came to believe in God because of the Big Bang was Allan Sandage.

Not according to him.

quote:
Q. Do recent astronomical discoveries have theological significance?

I would say not, although the discovery of the expansion of the Universe with its consequences concerning the possibility that astronomers have identified the creation event does put astronomical cosmology close to the type of medieval natural theology that attempted to find God by identifying the first cause. Astronomers may have found the first effect, but not, thereby, necessarily the first cause sought by Anselm and Aquinas.


And this has already been pointed out to you, and pointed out to you, and pointed out to you, and pointed out to you, and pointed out to you.

Moreover, Sandage disagrees with you about the topic of this thread. He says: "Those that are content in every part of their being to live as materialistic reductionalists (as we must all do as scientists in the laboratory, which is the place of the practice of our craft) ..." It is his opinion, then, that science requires the methodological exclusion of the supernatural.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Pressie
Member
Posts: 1791
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 6 of 506 (694596)
03-26-2013 3:55 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
03-26-2013 3:03 AM


Goodness gracious me, designtheorist has been shown that he's wrong about Allan Sandage numerous times, yet he repeated his claim again.

There must be some fancy psychological name for such completely abnormal and dishonest behaviour.

As someone who's here to learn, I think I'll withdraw from this thread, as there's nothing new to be seen. Just repeated untruths. The words of John Derbyshire are in my mind. His words don't just apply to biologists.

John Derbyshire writes:

I’ll also say that I write the following with some reluctance. It’s a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again. This is why most biologists just can’t be bothered with Creationism at all, even for the fun of it. It isn’t actually any fun. Creationists just chase you round in circles. It’s boring.

http://scienceandcreation.blogspot.com/...al-review-has.html

Oh and designtheorist, please provide a source where Eugenie Scott claims that

designtheorist writes:

She claims science and scientific testing must be limited to direct observations of events occurring in nature or under controlled laboratory conditions.

Can't find that original quote from her anywhere. Just creationists 'claiming' that the said that, all referencing each other. The original source please.

I think that your not telling the truth here. Again.

Edited by Pressie, : Added the last few paragraphs on Eugenie Scott


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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GrimSqueaker
Member (Idle past 1243 days)
Posts: 137
From: Ireland
Joined: 03-15-2013


Message 7 of 506 (694599)
03-26-2013 6:07 AM


I'm really disappointed by this discussion and the RTB stuff that's been brought up in general, I was looking forward to a good slugfest but there is nothing to fight against :-( the Creationist side is really weak retoric, bad science and dishonesty.

P.s. Due to time's relationship with speed and the inevitability of probability in an infinite system an expanding universe could also be a continuum of linear universes.... Im sure there is an official theory on that, although I don't have the name of it - but if I could realise that while off my face then I'm sure a million way smarter people have already been working on it


    
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1388 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 8 of 506 (694609)
03-26-2013 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Pressie
03-26-2013 1:56 AM


Expert testimony
Thank you for your reply. Experts in a courtroom are given latitude to give their opinion. Their opinion may not be correct. It would be more helpful if you could provide some quotes from the 16th century to support your point.
This message is a reply to:
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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1388 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 9 of 506 (694611)
03-26-2013 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Dr Adequate
03-26-2013 2:59 AM


Regarding Eugenie Scott
She claims science and scientific testing must be limited to direct observations of events occurring in nature or under controlled laboratory conditions.
Where does she claim this?

Scott's explanation was "it is not possible to “hold constant the actions of supernatural forces” under laboratory conditions and so the possibility of a supernatural cause is “outside of what science can tell us.”

I think Ross is being fair to Scott's words as we have them recorded. It is likely Scott would clarify her position if asked followup questions, but has not done so as far as I know.

The main point is that Scott does not think science can tell us anything about God and Dawkins thinks it can.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-26-2013 2:59 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-26-2013 12:19 PM designtheorist has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 262 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


(5)
Message 10 of 506 (694612)
03-26-2013 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 10:39 PM


I agree that science can tell us something about a creator god, and I think it has. Science tells us that if there was a creator god, he used methods that are indistinguishable from natural processes and they left no evidence whatsoever that he had anything at all to do with it.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


This message is a reply to:
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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1388 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 11 of 506 (694613)
03-26-2013 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
03-26-2013 3:03 AM


Regarding Allan Sandage
I am well acquainted with Allan Sandage. What Allan is saying in the lines you quoted is that knowing a creator exists does not tell us anything about the nature of the creator (Aquinas and Anselm were trying to prove God existed and it was the God of the Bible). Allan's spiritual journey took two years. This is nothing in the Big Bang itself to tell us if the creator is the God of the Bible or the God of the Koran or some other god. That is all he is saying here.

Regarding Allan's view that you practice science as a material reductionist, I think this is mostly correct. When doing astronomy, you are looking for the natural order God created. You are not looking for angels behind every quasar. On the other hand, Allan was very much interested in the why questions. He wanted to know the purpose behind the creation. Allan did not think these were questions science can answer, but he still wanted answers. To a large extent, I think he is right. Science is not able to answer every question we may ask. But that does not mean that we should not follow the evidence where it leads as much as is possible.

You still have to deal with Dawkins. He says the existence of God is a scientific question. Is he right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-26-2013 3:03 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-26-2013 12:37 PM designtheorist has responded

  
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1388 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 12 of 506 (694615)
03-26-2013 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Pressie
03-26-2013 3:55 AM


Allan Sandage's discovery
I am being honest about the conversion of Allan Sandage. Please see the top of page five of The Conversion of Allan Sandage.

"Speaking about the fact the Big Bang only happened once, Sandage said this “comes close to saying that this universe was created. It is unique.”

A little further down Sandage says:
“Here is evidence for what can only be described as a supernatural event. There is no way to predict this in physics as we know it. It is truly supernatural, that is, outside our understanding of the natural order of things, and by this definition a miracle.”

Nature does not do one-time events. One-time events are known as miracles. That is all Sandage is saying here.

Sandage did get some criticism for becoming a Christian. Some said it would affect his ability as a scientist. There is no evidence this was true. He continued to publish a large number of papers every year. But he did say some things to attempt to silence his critics.

Edited by designtheorist, : No reason given.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29423
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 13 of 506 (694616)
03-26-2013 9:53 AM


What Science can say about a Creator God
Science can say that absolutely no evidence has ever been presented that a Creator God or anything supernatural or any miracles exist.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4753
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 14 of 506 (694618)
03-26-2013 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
03-26-2013 3:03 AM


Not so Clear?
This doesn't directly say that this science did not lead to his conversion does it? It strongly hints at it yes.
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NoNukes
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Posts: 9992
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
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Message 15 of 506 (694621)
03-26-2013 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 10:39 PM


I suppose this issue is central to your claims of censorship.

Ross reports that new definitions of science have been published which specifically exclude any investigation into the why questions humans often ask.

This is new? Haven't people been complaining about this 'limitation' since forever?

The definition of science as investigating only natural causes is not new. It would not be the definition used by the Catholic Church in the 19th century, or by those who think that science is just philosophy, but the central position of empirical evidence in the scientific method is over two thousand years old.

I agree with Ross and Dawkins on this point. Science can say something significant about the existence of God. And the evidence should be followed wherever it leads.

Why not add an instant spike to your credibility and cite some empirical evidence that points to the existence of God? I can promise that if you are successful at this, then you will win me over as a convert. I've contemplated this issue often, and my current belief is that Ross is dead wrong.

Ross and I disagree with the view that science is incapable of detecting God and his role as creator. I know of two scientists who came to believe in God because of the Big Bang.

You've used this example before. I don't doubt that what you say is true, but the anecdote is not evicence that the scientific method is capable of detecting God.

Being convinced that God started the Big Bang is not the same as identifying God via the scientific method. It is a central tenant of ID that God and his handiwork is identifiable through 'scientific' means for some definition of scientific. Small wonder that ID proponents seek to expand the definition of science. And there is little doubt that they do exactly that.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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