Intelligent Design - Science and Theology
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.
- Compartmental - Science and Theology look at completely different
things, and thus can never conflict. Today, Science is regarded
as superior, so the effect is "If it's not Science, it's theology."
- Complementarity - Science and Theology provide completely different
perspectives when they touch on the same subjects. Today, Science
is regarded as the more useful perspective.
- Conflict - When Science and Theology disagree, they cannot both be
right. For most people today, that means Science is right and theology
- Mutual Support - All of the above, plus Science and Theology can both
benefit from insights gained in the other camp.
"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.