Theologians Mud-Wrestle Scientists

For intelligent debate on intelligent design.

Ignore the sociopolitical bent of unscientific professors of science. Science per se is just information. What we have managed not to refute, the preponderance of evidence, suggests certain theories are more practical than others, but theories are always approximations we continue to refine. Science doesn't decide. Science doesn't take sides. Science doesn't determine. Science doesn't moralize, philosophize, or theologize. Science measures. True scientists do not presume to suggest that science could ever prove anything theological. God, being infinitely beyond nature, cannot be proved by the study of nature. Nature may be nigh-infinitely complex in its potentials, but it is always natural, and study of it cannot reveal anything supernatural, not motive, not purpose, not intelligence.

Scientist startled by SpiritThe only revelation of God in our daily experience is each other: Here we are! Scientists, philosophers, theologians, each of us, relating to one another and (at our best) studying together to understand the natural world, to appreciate and live up to the moral and the ideal, praying and striving to improve our faith in God, and our devotion to lives of love and service with God. Science does not reveal the hand of the Almighty. but as scientists we can recognize that, if we exist seeking God, it MAY BE because God made everything this way. That's the theory. We can't prove it. We may have our belief, but without proof, it's only belief, a working theory, with perhaps a preponderance of evidence but still in process of refinement.

And as fascinating as a theory can be, one could not be driven to passion by a mere good idea. The most fascinating theory will not inspire people to go out and face persecution and mortal threat. Such passion and inspiration can only come from a surety of truth, and truth we cannot have by any study of science, law, morals, philosophy, or theology, but only by a magnificent jump of personal perspective, a leap of faith, that propels us from thinking about and wondering about to living as if.

Broadly speaking, I hold with the scientists, as far as the science goes, but side with the Intelligent Designers as far as theism. I oppose the politicization of scientific culture, and abhor inappropriate applications of science whether atheistic or theistic. The fight against these things is all to the good. However, Creationists frequently remind me of Will Rogers's saying (also reflected in some psalm or proverb I'm too lazy to look up) about not arguing with a fool lest onlookers can't tell which one is the fool.

A great movie about the scientific-theologic debate is Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (2006) (links to iMDB page). It's great because of the contrast between the self-styled Scientists, mean-spirited, self-inflated, closed-minded, arrogant elitists (familiar in our modern "progressives") and their counterparts the even-tempered, sweet-spirited, self-abnegating, open-hearted believers. I'd trust those believers with my greatest treasure and I wouldn't trust the scientists to walk my dog across the street. If science were determined by the friendliness, honesty, and general good spirit of the people studying, rather than by objective measurement, then the believers win. It's sad to see the separation preventing either side from appreciating the position of the other. Neither seems to fully appreciate that, however much we may appreciate the hand of God in the wonders of nature, however much living daily in the presence of God may sustain and nourish our souls, science simply cannot speak to theology, likewise, living in faith may be proof enough for one's soul, but it still cannot speak a word about science.

Related Mindful Best of Spirits Webwork: The Question of Cosmic Personality