This is intended as a continuation of an off-topic conversation in the now-closed thread "Who is Held to Higher Standards at EvC?" In that thread, Maestro232 made a strong claim that science and scientists were deliberately rejecting the spiritual aspects of the world in their attempts to understand it - hence missing out on "higher truths".
Since this is a similar claim to that of mike-the-wiz, and to a lesser extent dshortt in another thread, I feel that it is important to continue that discussion. A reprise of the relevant posts follows:
in post 304 Quetzal writes:
You are still insisting that the "spiritual realm" has relevance when discussing the natural world. Very well, please answer the following questions using whatever Scripture, Apocrypha, "spirit channeling" or whatever trips your fancy:
1. Why are there no predators on Barro Colorado?
2. Why are there tigers on Bali but not Lompok?
3. Why is the venom of Bothrops insularis 3-5 times more toxic than any other member of the Bothrops genus?
4. Why are there 23 species of tenrecs on Madagascar, but not one single species found anywhere else in the world, even in similar habitats, even as fossils?
5. Explain the disappearance of the once highly diverse orders of ammonites and trilobites. Why did they disappear at different times?
6. Bonus challenge: Explain, using spiritual or biblical referents, why Cecropia species are the first plants to regrow in degraded or edge habitat zones - even though said plants are never found in undegraded habitat. This is your opportunity to prove that an element in evolutionary theory - ecological assembly rules - is better understood using the Bible than evolution.
Please note that "God did it that way" or "God works in mysterious ways" are insufficient in and of themselves. A bit of flesh on the assertion will be required to convince me that spirituality has any relevance for science.
After some toing-and-froing, Maestro's final reply appears to deny his initial stance:
in post 312 Maestro232 writes:
If those are really the questions you wish to make your life's goal in answering, that is fair, but I think there are additional important things to discover about life as well as those thing. There is a context in which the Bible concerns itself. And, it concerns itself a great deal with creation. No, it doesn't answer those questions. But those are not the only related questions.
There indeed may be "additional important things to discover about life" as Maestro states. However, that was not the nature of the challenge. The questions I posed are totally relevant to Maestro's original contention: scientists are missing truth by rejecting the spiritual. A response to these questions will go a long way to convincing me that spirituality has some relevance. In addition, these are the types of questions that scientists - evolutionary scientists - routinely address using only the methodological naturalism of science. The challenge of course is open to any who wish to reply.
I would add that if it is NOT possible to answer my six questions using recourse to the Bible or spirit, then the contention that the supernatural has relevance to science is rendered moot.
Added by edit: Eliminated extraneous commentary, and added a few sentences to give the topic more relevance.
This message has been edited by Quetzal, 12-20-2004 03:33 PM
This is the OP from Maestro's thread on nearly the same subject as Quetzal.
quote:I would like to propose a new topic with the title: Are Biblical claims about creation relevent to the Evolution vs Creation debate?
My primary interest is in hashing out whether claims in the Bible about creation should be treated in the forum at large as equal evidence (in principle) with scientific data and held up to a high level of scrutiny concerning its accuracy and trustworthiness.
This topic stems from a recently closed thread which explored whether Creationists are held to a higher standard here than Evolutionists. My assessment there was that, because Biblical claims are largely deemed unimportant to the issue of evolution vs creation in this forum (an assertion also up for debate), creationists are forced to operate with an incomplete toolbox by not being granted an intellectual nod to explore with our evolutionary scientist friends a vital and highly relevent area of this issue.
Put more succinctly, Creationists are expected to argue only within scientists because it is largely believed that only science is relevent. I wish to explore the possibility that evolutionists should consider Biblical claims about creation and interact with those claims in an intellectual manner as creationists have interacted with relevent scientific data.
It is true that my opponents object on the grounds of there being no link between sprirituality and science. My response is the following:
The Bible does not just talk about the spiritual realm. It talks about this physical world, and I am saying that those claims are relevent to the discussion of our physical existence and origin. I am not asking evolutionists to study feelings and demons and angels, I am asking them to study the claims in the Bible about the creation of this physical world. Because, afterall, there is a question of whether or not we were created or evolved.
Thus, let us treat the related Biblical claims not as someone's bedtime valium, but as a serious documentation with claims about our origin that should be scrutinized.
This post should be considered along with Quetzal's for the topic.
My concern is that this is not a discussion about whether spirituality is relevent to science. I'm happy to say that it need not be. The title of this topic suggests that, and I fear it will lose participants as such. I think the real question is whether the creation claims in the Bible deal with the physical, and are thus relevent. It is, in fact, the notion that the Biblical claims are only spiritually relevent, and thus not relevent here as in incorrect claim. If agreed, can we keep the focus there?
I would tend to agree with Maestro. His topic is quite clearly related to the origins discussion. I would like mine to focus on the practical aspects of his original claim: that science is missing a bet when not considering the spiritual in its conclusions and methodology.
edited to add: However, AdminIRH has convinced me that consolidating the two topics may be a worthwhile endeavor. We'll see.
This message has been edited by Quetzal, 12-20-2004 04:22 PM
I'm afraid I'm still not sure. I really do think your threads are very similar, and deserve to be treated together.
Maestro, you want to discuss if the creation claims in the bible are as valid as science in the evolution and creation debate. Quetzal, you want to examine the practical application of Maetro's claim, if it is considered to be true.
It looks to me like two halves of a debate - the investigation of a claim, and the results if it is true. Granted, Quetzal includes spirituality in general, but the principle is the same.
I'd say you're on target with my intent. It is certainly the practical aspects of the question that I'd like to explore. And I'm quite willing to let the general question of "spirituality" subside in deference to Maestro's desire to discuss the Bible as it relates to the physical world. The challenge in my OP remains unchanged regardless of whether we speak of spirituality in a general sense or more narrowly in a Biblical Christian sense.
Well, my problem is that "Biblical claims on creation: irrelevent spirituality or physical relevence?" is not the area of my topic. I posited very specific cases for discussion. A general discussion of origins is NOT my intent.