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Not to belabor this discussion in order to beat a dead horse, but I have had more time to reflect on it and do more reading, and there are still points of significance that need to be resolved before it is set aside.

I wrote:
You would have to deny that Newton was a scientist, for example.

1poorguy wrote:
Newton was centuries ago. Some slack has to be allowed for the context of the times in which he lived.* A good scientist today does not cling to a notion that has been proven incorrect (or that describes something that is better-explained by a different notion...in the case of Newton you could point to diffraction and "corpuscles"). Scientists must be open to new ideas, new discoveries; and must be ready to abandon old ideas that either don't work, or at least don't work as well as something else. ...

*I wouldn't vilify Mark Twain for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer for the same reason. If he wrote them today he'd be called on it, I expect (some schools have banned the books anyway).


Why give slack to scientists because of the context of the times in which they live. The laws of science remain precisely the same now as they did those days centuries ago. The field of science was not as mature as it is now in terms of our understanding of it. The fact of the matter, the one that holds the most importance, is that the worldview that the early scientists enabled them to advance the understanding of science. The context is merely an issue of worldviews which scientists either agree or disagree about.

I went into a study about Sir Isaac Newton because he was in the original article by Coyne and I found some interesting and fairly recent information about him that was relevant to the discussion. Newton was recently found to have had more of his theology apply to his science than what was thought.

Now there are some points that I would like to make. There are many scientists who are christian. I do not think that there is a strong disconnect in the minds of those scientists in terms of how they perform their work and their worldview. Read pages 25 and 26 of the following link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=7Dc6r1qkAUsC&dq=kelvin+...

I think about my Father who believes that God did it. He sees order and design in nature, which he believes was designed by God. He often challenged my brothers and I to answer why features of nature cause other features to work in a way that showed how the design of nature works. He worked at Argonne National Laboratory as a Mechanical Engineer. Though I cannot tell you of any eureka moment he had, I think that his worldview had an input to his work in some way. I think this is true of many scientists who believe God did it, regardless of what has been disclosed about what inspires them to perform experiments ad draw interpretations from them.

Where there are strict discreet laws of science and the experiments are patterned from those well known laws, there may not be room for a worldview to be an influence. Other cases are different.

I have been read of several christian scientists who are considered to be good scientists, yet have a strong creationist viewpoint. Even a fundamentalist, and yes, even Biblical literalists on top of that.

I gave a taunt earlier and said that I proved a point about what Coyne said and that he was intellectually dishonest where he said:

“But over centuries of research we have learned that the idea ‘God did it’ has never advanced our understanding of nature an iota, and that is why we abandoned it.” (Jerry Coyne)

Well, that claim by Coyne is indeed false. I have a specific example that is excellent, and there are other examples, but this one best makes my point.

The example is none other than John Baumgardner who has made a very significant contribution to science because he wanted to show Biblical truth:

The Geophysics of God:
A scientist embraces plate tectonics--and Noah's flood
By: Chandler Burr
16 June 1997
U.S. News & World Report 55-58.

http://www.globalflood.org/papers/geophysicsofgod.html

John Baumgardner, is a fundamentalist Christian who believes, in accordance with the Bible, that the Earth was created by God less than 10,000 years ago. ...

the world's pre-eminent expert in the design of computer models for geophysical convection ...

In fact, Baumgardner created Terra expressly to prove that the story of Noah and the flood of Genesis 7:18 ...

Yet Hager has only respect for Baumgardner's computer program. Indeed, there is universal agreement that Terra, created to prove the Bible literally true, is one of the most useful and powerful geological tools in existence. ...

Baumgardner the scientist, however, is accepted completely among scientists, perhaps because he so easily maintains what Jacobson calls his "disconnect." He does not push his religious views on his colleagues.


More on the significance of Baumgardner's contribution to science with TERRA:

http://www.cwhonors.org/search/his_4a_detail.asp?id=4303

Of course, one of the most
important innovations by the geodynamics group and its predecessor at
the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Los Alamos National
Laboratory is the TERRA code itself, the flexible software that runs as
easily on a Cray T3E as on a cluster of PCs. TERRA is a 3-D spherical
finite-element mantle-dynamics code developed in 1983 by John
Baumgardner, of Los Alamos, and parallelized for a Cray T3D by
Hans-Peter Bunge in 1993.


JMHO

Paul
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