Friday, November 24, 2006

Christian Biology Professor Responds to Scientific American

Normally I do not take up bandwidth on this blog by discussing the debates over origins. However, the latest claim by one Michael Shermer in the current Scientific American makes a badly overstated claim for science. Shermer calls ideas which cannot be tested and falsified -- such as creation -- not simply wrong, but "wronger than wrong." Shermer's overstated claim -- than any knowledge not subject to independent testing is not only false but not even allowed a place at the table -- is destructive to far more things than his likely intended target of religion. Philosophy, history, literature, art, and even unique personal experience would likewise find a place in the "wronger than wrong" boat according to whether they can be empirically tested. A biology professor at a Lutheran college replies:

In 'Wronger than Wrong' (November, 2006) Michael Shermer is correct in the prescriptive sense that ideas that cannot be falsified (string theory) are outside of science. Furthermore, then creation is also outside of science. Even though some think otherwise, the ultimate character of our origin, supernatural or natural, cannot be scientifically tested.

However, creation ought not be placed into a sinking reality boat labeled 'wronger than wrong.' If mathematical elegance interestingly causes some to hold on to string theory, I would suggest that the heart and the mind also cause many to seek a Creator. The truth scale needs to be expanded in the other direction. We have to remain open to ideas that lie beyond our limited science, that may be righter than right.

Paul Boehlke
Life Science Dept, WLC

Professor Boehlke's letter wasreprinted with his permission.

No comments: