December 25, 2007

"reputable" scientists who are Christians, too

This is originally a response to comments to the "Are You There..." article.



Dear
Calilasseia [and to some extent, Elentar]:

Here is one point i would like to address quickly. i would rather have more time to say more, but as you have made clear you would appreciate any effort to directly respond as soon as possible. [Thank you for clarifying this so i can have a clearer idea of how to accommodate your request.]

Elentar said:
"Evolution is one of the crown jewels of science. You have a duty to know this."

i said:
"No. i respectfully do not believe in evolution. This does not make me any less of a scientist. And i am not the only scientist who has this view."

Calilasseia said:
"No reputable scientist holds this view. The only people who do are the assorted Discovery Institute "Fellows" and their camp followers, none of whom possess any genuine scientific credibility whatsoever."


Understandably, my first idea was to make a list of all scientists who were professing Christians, past and present. [Incidentally, they are not to be confused with adherents of the "Christian Science" religion.]

In a country like the Philippines where i live, faith in Jesus or Allah is a given for an overwhelming majority, including those who are in science. [And to answer the speculation of some posters in RDF, i do not study in a Christian university but rather in the premier national university that has a reputation for being too atheistic and/or humanistic and/or communistic.] And so i can give a list of my Christian colleagues who are involved in groundbreaking research of international caliber.

But it would be more effective to list down the internationally known scientists who were also Christians.

* "Scientists of the Christian Faith: A Presentation of the Pioneers, Practitioners and Supporters of Modern Science" is a comprehensive article found here: http://www.tektonics.org/scim/sciencemony.htm

* "50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God" are listed here: http://www.adherents.com/people/100_Nobel.html.

* "Some Famous Scientists who were Christians" are listed here: http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html#Christian.

These sites have links to many other related lists.

Particularly i would note Alister McGrath, who like Richard Dawkins is a professor in Oxford. McGrath has a PhD for research in molecular biophysics and wrote "The Dawkins Delusion" in response to Dawkins' book "The God Delusion".

Hence, saying that "no reputable scientist" believes in God and/or disbelieves in evolution is a "canard"; that is, "a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor."

Where does this leave us?

The intellectual capabilities and achievements of a person would definitely lend credence to his/her beliefs, yet said beliefs may still be incorrect or grossly wrong.

It is sometimes helpful to look at said capabilities and achievements, but the beliefs are based on truth claims that must stand on their own merit --- regardless of the abilities of or the mere number of the people who hold them.

And so we now go to the truth claims themselves. Are these valid? Are these even remotely possible? On what basis can we trust them?

Unfortunately this is where i must end for now. i hope that aside from supporting one of my claims, this response would show that i am not evading certain issues, but only attempting to answer them competently and correctly [as you doubtless would want me to do so].

Thank you and a good day to everyone.

2 comments:

  1. Calilasseia9:56 AM

    To save me the labour of typing this little lot out a second time, I direct everyone to here in order to view my detailed response.

    ReplyDelete
  2. To everyone: a proper "closure of sorts" may be found here:

    http://tecigurl.blogspot.com/2008/06/brief-history-of-timeof-evolution-ofwhy.html

    But new comments are always welcome :) It looks like i have more time to respond, but in any case again i say that i will always try my best to do so :)

    All the best and i do hope to hear and correspond with you :)

    ReplyDelete