Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor

On Battson and Clark

David J. Krause

839 Country Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

From: PSCF 47 (March 1995): 66

For me, neither Battson's article nor Clark's (Perspectives, December 1994) does much to illuminate the science-Christianity interface. Clark misapplies Kuhn's analysis of paradigm shifts within science to the founding assumptions on which science itself is based, and Battson (yet one more time) misidentifies evolutionary theory generally with Darwinian mechanisms. It is, however, the conclusion reached by them both that concerns me. They insist (I would agree absolutely correctly) that by utilizing only explanations cast in naturalistic terms, scientists are restricting or limiting themselves. What they fail to see is that it is precisely this restriction that makes science possible at all; and this restriction has turned science into the most successful and culturally-transcendent intellectual enterprise in human history.

Under the guise of increased openness, they propose a return to a god-of-the-gaps methodology which, they are convinced, will produce a science more compatible with Christian theism. Let us hope their advice is not taken, because the result instead will be much to their dismay a so-called science that, now freed from the "restraints" of naturalism, will have those gaps filled by every wind of doctrine that blowsóbe it religious, political, nationalistic, irrational, mystical, or you-name-it, and against which they will be powerless to argue consistently. In my opinion, the abandonment of the assumptions that both make a scientific view of the world possible and restrict it to its proper domain will produce a very dubious short-term gain and a very serious long-term loss, and should not be regarded as a viable way out of perceived present dilemmas.