Category: How should the work of science be done?

Of Science and Faith: Revelation, The Concurrence of Faith

by Jim Pemberton

Up to this point, I have made a case for faith based on reason. In this article, I want go back to a section of a previous article that talks about how reason is based on faith. This is the article where I discussed the limitations of the scientific method. The section comprises the first half of the article and is entitled Unprovable Presuppositions.

Of Science and Faith

We all rely on unprovable presuppositions. It’s unavoidable. This is why it is all too easy for one camp to level at the other the charge of circular reasoning. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Revelation, The Certainty of Faith

by Jim Pemberton

So what of the foundation for knowledge between the non-theist and the theist, particularly the Christian? (I acknowledge a difference between other theists and Christians because Christianity has a particularly compelling apologetic for revelation. I won’t discuss that here, however.) So I’ll start this article with a recap of some of the earlier material and use it to jump off into a comparison between Christian and non-theistic epistemology, or to say, “how we each know what we claim to know.”

Of Science and Faith

Faith isn’t blind, it is reasonable

It is a non-theistic charge that “faith is blind”. That is to claim that faith fills in the gaps for what we don’t know. That definition of faith is called “fideistic”. But mature Christians hold to a different definition of faith. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: The Scientific Method, Limitations

by Jim Pemberton

In the previous article I stated the scientific method in probably its simplest terms. I also stated it in probably its best light. In this article I will turn the tide and discuss some of its limitations. I’m sure I won’t be able to state them all here. However, I do want to establish two categories for understanding the epistemological limitations to the scientific method.

Of Science and Faith

Unprovable Presuppositions

The first category is spelled out by the name I gave to this section: Unprovable Presuppositions. Different philosophical systems have different criteria for epistemological demonstration. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: The Scientific Method, A Positive Look

by Jim Pemberton

We often hear about how science is based in reason, but we aren’t often taught precisely how this works. We know something of the scientific method, but we don’t know how it relates to logic. We only have some sense that it does. We have come to the part of this series on Science and Faith where I will discuss how the scientific method is based on deductive logic in general.

Of Science and Faith

There’s no need in this series to handle all the various forms that the scientific method takes, so this will only be a general discussion. It will involve the common steps and how each works together to produce a reasonable conclusion. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Deductive Logic

By Jim Pemberton

In discussing science and faith, the word “reason” is often bandied about without much to say as to what it actually is. Those with any education in philosophy know of the three laws of logic and how to construct syllogisms. That excludes most of the world. So in one short blog article, I intend to lay it out as simply as possible. The reason is that you can’t understand the scientific method without understanding how syllogisms work. Unfortunately, many scientists, while they know how to use the scientific method, don’t understand how it works logically. That’s the reason for discussing it. Hopefully by the end of the next article you will have at least an inkling on how it works and have a leg up on most scientists.

Of Science and Faith

The Three Laws of Logic

There are three important laws of logic that philosophers have discovered over the millennia. They will seem simple at first, and they are. But many simple things get overlooked if they aren’t discussed, and it’s a big deal if these simple things are important. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Revelation

By Jim Pemberton

In the first article, I talked about the idea that we need to ask how we know something that we claim to know. In the last article, I talked about how Christians believe that there is more than one kind of substance. So to combine the two, we as Christians need to answer the question how we know that this is true. I also observed that monists, particularly the naturalists today, need to be able to answer the question how they know that there is no other substance than that which we experience.

Of Science and Faith

For both of us, in order to answer the question, we need to have information from other kinds of substance. This poses a problem for naturalists since they don’t believe that there is another substance. This assumption requires two things: Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Substance

By Jim Pemberton

In this series I am discussing a few key philosophical categories. Last time, I discussed epistemology. At the end of that discussion I brought up the idea that God is of a different stuff than the created world.

Of Science and Faith

The philosophical idea of different stuff is often called substance. Substance is that of which things are made. I’m not talking about the periodic table elements… per se. All of the elements that we are familiar with are of the same substance: matter. Inasmuch as matter can be converted to energy, energy is of the same substance as matter. But we have to ask ourselves if this is the only kind of substance that exists.

Continue reading

Helping Old-Earth Creationists Face the Supernatural Question

by Ken Hamrick

Instead of arguing for or against the scientific evidence, or arguing the merits of possible exegetical ways to reconcile Scripture with a billions-of-years chronology, I propose that—for the sake of argument-–we eliminate the evidence question all together. We can do this by accepting all the scientific claims at face value, and still insisting on a recent supernatural creation out of nothing. In other words, we would not posit a young earth, but an old earth that was recently created by divine fiat. When God creates out of nothing, He is not limited to creating things “new.” God created Adam and Eve as physically mature adults and not as infants. He created mature, fruit-bearing trees for immediate food. “He made the stars also”—and made a universe with mature light-trails already existing so that the stars were already visible. All of these imply a time-consuming natural process that was well under way at the first moment of creation. God chose to create not at the beginning of these natural processes, but somewhere in the middle—as if these processes had been going on long before the moment of creation. Continue reading

Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: A Response to J.W. Wartick

by Ken Hamrick

“Young Earth” creationism (YEC), as part of the Christian faith, stands on certain presuppositions, such as the existence of God and the divine, verbal inspiration of Scripture. The kind of apologetic argument that acknowledges that such presuppositions are assumed, and does not attempt to prove them, is presuppositional apologetics. Such presuppositions cannot be proven else they would not be matters of faith but of science. Only God can prove such things to a man. No matter how well-intended, those apologists who try to prove such things to unbelievers are wasting their efforts. The proper goal of the apologist should be to establish the validity of the Christian worldview when it is given that our presuppositions are true, and not to try to prove that these presuppositions are true. Continue reading