Intelligent Design - Science and Theology

Last updated Fri Nov 8 18:03:25 EST 2002

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. [Proverbs 25:2]

Four Models of Relationship

The Compartmental and Complementarity models hobble both Science and Theology to keep them from fighting. "Fred, you play over on that side of the room, and Barney, you play on the other side. And stop fighting!" The Conflict model makes one authoritative over the other. The Mutual Support puts them both under the authority of what is true.

Epistemic Support

"Epistemic" refers to how we know and understand things. An epistemic support is something that deepens our knowledge and understanding. This is usually thought of in terms of "entailment", where a conclusion necessarily or probably follows from a premise. Entailment always reasons from a "known" or authoritative fact to a dependent conclusion. Entailment can provide epistemic support between disciplines, such as Science and Theology, only when one or the other is considered authoritative.

However, entailment is not the only, or even the usual way we gain knowlege. Whether in scientific research, or in ordinary living, when presented with a hypothetical fact that entails a known but mysterious fact, we exclaim, "That would explain why...!" This can be called "explanatory power".

Christ the Fullness of All in All

Christian theology provides "conceptual completeness", in other words: meaning, to both Science and Theology. Dembski draw an anology with rational and real numbers. We can only ever actually compute with rational numbers. But though we can only represent real numbers such as π symbolically, our reasoning about computations cannot be precise without understanding the concept of real numbers.