Faith-healers have a popular reputation for being charlatans. However, faith-healers have their secular counterparts. I'm posting some correspondence I recently had about an apostate charlatan posing as a concerned Christian over at the Grace to You blog.
1. Since Ken is an apostate, he's just playing a little game when he proposes harmonistic strategies to reconcile Gen 1-3 with modern science. Clearly he doesn't think the Bible is true. So he's not persuaded by his own arguments.
He's trying to be "helpful" to Christians the way a con-man is trying to be help a retiree out of his life-savings.
2. Playing the Warfield card means nothing to me. Warfield isn't our pope.
3. Years ago, George Marsden wrote an essay in which he pointed out that Old Princeton was caught off guard by the New Geology and Darwinism. Because they were in an apologetic tradition which had always regarded science as an ally, they were ill-prepared when science seem to turn on them. So you get different 19C reactions.
4. "With regard to the literary genre of Genesis 1-3. It fits nicely with the idea of a fable or myth. The fact that it is prose and not poetry is irrelevant. A talking animal is characteristic of fables. One can certainly understand the stories of Genesis 1-3 as teaching theology not history or science. To insist that its literal history demands that one bury his head in the sand with regard to science."
Of course, that's incoherent. He's trying to ride two horses at once: take Gen 1-3 figuratively because it's a figurative genre versus take Gen 1-3 figuratively because it would be unscientific to take it literally.
But those two objections don't go together. If it's a question of genre, then that would be a question of original intent. What's the viewpoint of the original author and his target audience?
But if it's a question of what's "scientific," then that reflects the anachronistic viewpoint of a modern reader.
"Christians in England in the 18th and 19th century claimed that it was sinful for a woman to use anesthesia during child birth because it was an attempt to circumvent the curse on women with regard to experiencing pain during childbirth."
From what I've read, that's an urban legend promoted by infidels:
Back to Ken:
"The problem is that you current fundamentalists are in the same boat but you don't realize it. You think that the Answers in Genesis crowd and the ICR can rescue you but they are a laughingstock among real
scientists. Its obvious that they have predetermined that their interpretation of the Bible must be true in spite of science. Thus they will reject science to maintain their belief that Genesis is literal history--Kurt Wise is on record admitting this."
Compare that with this:
"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."
Back to Ken:
"Thus they will reject science to maintain their belief that Genesis is literal history--Kurt Wise is on record
No, that's Dawkins' polemical, garbled version of what Wise actually said.
"I guess Galileo and Copernicus were urban legends?"
Well, it's hardly incumbent on me to defend the church of Rome, but since he brings it up, to my knowledge that is something of an urban legend. Following the tradition of the Greeks, Aquinas distinguished between the natural sciences and the mathematical sciences, and he classified astronomy as a mathematical science. Mathematical sciences didn't have to be true; they only had to be consistent with the observational data. And, as I recall, Cardinal Bellarmine took the same approach when he counseled Galileo. So, on the Thomistic view, favored by Bellarmine, geocentrism wasn't the "true" theory.