Science and the Supper

In the discussion on my previous post, I ended a comment with the following statement which pretty much summarises my position:

To put it another way: science tells a coherent and compelling story about the universe. As Christians, we can either spend our lives trying to say science’s story is wrong and that those telling it are evil or deluded – or we can insist that it is not the only story that can, or needs to, be told. I prefer the latter approach.

To take another example to illustrate this: we believe that, in the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.

If the elements were subjected to scientific analysis after the words of institution had been spoken then the results would be clear: the bread would still be bread and the wine would still be wine. Every aspect of the elements could be subjected to the closest scientific scrutiny, and the result of every test would be the same: absolutely no physical change would have taken place.

Now, in broad terms there are three ways in which we can proceed from here. The first is that of the scientific rationalist: empirical observation conclusively demonstrates that no change occurs in the bread and wine in the Supper. Therefore no change does occur, and the belief that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ is obscurantist superstition. You will find no shortage of people willing to agree with that conclusion (including, sad to say, many Christians).

The second approach is that of the creation scientist or ID proponent: the only reason why scientific investigation fails to identify a physical change in the elements is because scientists are blinded by their materialist and naturalist presuppositions. What is needed is a new scientific paradigm founded on biblical principles, which will then allow the changes in the bread and wine to be demonstrated by empirical observation.

The third approach is to accept the scientific finding, but to insist that it is not the whole story. The bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ because Christ himself says so, through his minister, in the words of institution. This is invisible, undetectable, completely beyond any scientific observation; true only because Christ’s word declares it to be true, and believed by us because we believe Christ, not because our own observations back him up. The doctrine of the real presence does not contradict our observations (in contrast to a literalistic reading of Genesis 1-3), but it does insist that science is not the only story to be told about the bread and wine.

We’re left with the conclusion that this is how God works. A scientific observation of Jesus during his earthly ministry would have concluded that he was “just” human; a scientific observation of the elements in the Supper finds they are “just” bread and wine; and scientific observation of natural processes finds that they “just” operate according to scientifically-observable principles. But in each case there is something more to be said, without having to unsay the science.

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22 Responses to Science and the Supper

  1. …and a scientific analysis of the water turned into wine at Cana would have shown…what? That it was wine, presumably; so where does that leave us? (OK, it’s hypothetical, but do you see my point?)

    I was intrigued by your first post, John, and I wanted to raise the topic of the Lord’s Supper but time got away from me. Evidently someone else raised it (I haven’t gone back to read the comments yet, but I will).

    I’m still intrigued, but only to the point of saying, “Yes, but…”, not “Yes!”. I still think your thoughts need further qualification and development, and that perhaps you are granting too much epistemological power to science, so I’ll follow with interest where the discussion goes from here.

    But this is a fascinating subject…an evangelical English scientist wrote a very good little book on the relation of science to theology and the Bible not that long ago, I think it is called “Reading the Mind of God” and it was published by Apollos, but his name eludes me at present…for what it’s worth.

  2. Julian says:

    It’s almost a bit like a 2-dimensional being trying to detect a 3-dimensional being, while the 2-dimensional being could comprehend that there is a 3-dimensional being, he may not be able to ascertain the actions of the 3-dimensional being since it’s beyond the limits of his 2-dimensional existence.

    Hope that analogy worked 🙂

  3. John H says:

    Julian: indeed. I tend to work on the assumption that heaven isn’t “up there”, but is at right-angles to everything else…

    Mark: fair point about “granting too much epistemological power to science”. I’m necessarily oversimplifying in my posts and not going into the contingent nature of scientific knowledge etc. But there is a difference between a healthy scepticism about “the assured results of science” (and an awareness of the gap between how science is supposed to work in theory and what actually happens in Really Existing Science, with its power-struggles, politics, commercial interests, institutionalised sexism and so on), and the sort of radical, almost nihilistic, scepticism about the human capacity for knowledge that is involved in asserting (say) a 6,000-year age for the universe.

  4. Ralph says:


    There are several problems with this position. One problem is the idea that there is a single scientific story ignores the existence of many scientific models of various aspects of reality. Some cases in which one story is presented as the scientific story are cases of the supression of other scientific stories.

    This approach to the Lord’s Supper is essentially a form of fideism, in which truths of faith are considered to be independent of reason and evidence.

    In I Corinthians 11 the Apostle Paul describes the Lord’s Supper and the way the Corinthians were handling it. He warns them that because of this many were weak and ill and some have died. These are empirical assertions.

    The Lord’s Supper is part of the Gospel story, which is supported by much empirical evidence. Is there scientific evidence? Yes, if “scientific” is not defined narrowly.

    Something like your second approach is best. We must be open to reality beyond the material and natural. We cannot avoid presuppositions so they should be grounded in our foundational beliefs. There is no neutrality here.

  5. Rick Ritchie says:

    “A scientific observation of Jesus during his earthly ministry would have concluded that he was “just” human.” To me, Luke 7:22 suggests otherwise. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “scientific observation,” though.

  6. joel hunter says:

    Rick, when I read that claim I was smuggling in the synonym ‘appeared’, for a “scientific observation” occurs at the necessary interface of the human senses and the world. An observer reporting on the action in Galilee and environs might have truthfully (and informatively) said: “This Jesus appears to perform real miracles, but he just looks like an ordinary guy.” Would a doctor have concluded that Jesus was “just” human if he had given him a physical? I would think so. This is what I took John to be saying.

    Ralph, not everything is a nail. You seem to press your point about natural theology to such an extent that you miscontrue the position John has set forth as well as ordinary doctrines of the faith. For example, you say that John’s approach to the Supper in this post is a essentially a form of fideism. You need to substantiate that claim, because what John described about the nature and institution of the Supper seemed perfectly orthodox (for a Lutheran anyway ;-). He’s hardly throwing up his hands about the rational coherence of the doctrine of the Supper, nor does his position imply that “truths of faith” are independent from reason. (Perhaps a helpful distinction here would be between truth-makers and truth-bearers, but it’s too late in the evening for metaphysics. Suffice to say the “truths of faith” and “truths of reason” *both* require truth-makers, concrete states of affairs that are their ontological ground. Therefore, there is no necessary disjunction between the two “truths”–they may express different truth-bearing claims, but that which grounds their truth may be one and the same truth-maker.)

    I had asked you in the previous thread whether you advocate natural theology a la William Paley. It *seems* as if you think natural theology has a lot explanatory power. I wonder, given the (what I consider devastating) *theological* critique of natural theology post-Paley, you think that’s an important wagon for the faithful to hitch to. Given your construal of the Supper in your comment, it appears the differences between you and John are both theological and epistemological. Given your preference for the second approach in John’s post, I do not see how you and he can possibly share a common understanding of the Supper given that that approach “allows [that] the changes in the bread and wine [could] be demonstrated by empirical observation.”

    John, this seems to be helpful way of seeing not only the Supper, but the whole of reality as sacramental. As for the Supper itself, your reflections here have an ecumenical twist: it seems to me that the third approach, with some word-smithing, would be something some Calvinists could assent to, particularly in the way to demarcate what science would determine from an analysis of the consecrated elements and what the heart of faith knows (by virtue of Christ’s word).

  7. Rick Ritchie says:

    Hi Joel,

    I leave room for the idea that John’s formulation can be a valid way of speaking about this. But I also think it might bring obscurity as much as clarity. My best grasp of philosophy of science suggests that the best theory is the best explanation. To be a good theory, the observations must support it. But the theory’s primary value is as an explanation, rather than as a predictor of future observations. It ought to be able to do this. But that is not its main value. Along with this, I think the deity of Jesus is the best explanation for what was observed. But I won’t accept the idea that just looking at his body as a body is a scientific observation. A scientific observation, the way I would use the term, would be an observation that can serve to validate or falsify a scientific theory. Whether or not I wished to call the Incarnation a scientific theory, it can be seen as a theory. But as with many theories, you must test it in a wholistic fashion.

    What John is suggesting is a whole way of speaking about faith and science. I’m leery, less because one of my own sacred cows is at stake here, and more because when I’ve seen discussions of the philosophy of science, with no theology involved, a suggested way of discussing proper method might accurately describe how a scientist arrived at one theory, and explain why another silly theory is silly, yet also invalidate some other well established theory that is widely accepted as having been established through another means.

    When I read the words “completely beyond any scientific observation” of the Lord’s Supper, I think I know what John probably means. You cannot put these under a microscope and find blood corpuscles. I agree with that. But does this mean there is no scientific observation possible? If someone found the bones of Jesus, for me that would be a scientific observation I could imagine that would serve to falsify the Words of Institution. I believe those words because they are the Word of God. But I know they are the Word of God because of empirical observations claimed by people at the time, and which could at least in principle be falsified. As with many complex claims, I may be hazy on exactly what it would take to count, but that something could is something I hold. So “beyond any scientific observation” is not language I’m comfortable with.

  8. joel hunter says:

    Having difficulty following you, Rick. Perhaps we’re all conceiving different things when we read the term ‘scientific observation’. When I read it in this post, I’m not thinking of the way it functions in philosophical construals of the logic of explanation. So when you say, “But I won’t accept the idea that just looking at his body as a body is a scientific observation,” I’m not sure whether my initial “Wait…what?!” reaction to that is a real point of difference between us. I used the ordinary example of a physical, so let me stick with that and try to put the question in the framework I think you’re using:

    Phenomenon: Miracles attending the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
    Hypothesis: Jesus is “more” than human; he is a deity.
    Test 1: Collect field observations of the phenomenon.
    Test 2: Conduct a thorough physical examination of Jesus to locate any extra-human anatomy or physiology.

    Now we’re agreed about results of Test 1. What I’m not sure about is whether we’re agreed about Test 2. I think that positive results of such an exam (“gee, your EEG activity broke the pen on our chart and fried the computer’s CPU…”) might be construed as validating evidence, but that negative results (just an ordinary guy) do not count as falsifying. My prediction (given my understanding of the “theory” of the Incarnation) would be a negative result. But that the theoretical explanation for a positive result is underdetermined by the data. For example, a positive result could just as well confirm a kooky notion of deity–Jesus as some sort of superhero, e.g., impervious to bullets and fire. So some theories would require a positive result to Test 2, whilst theologically sound theories would not.

    Now, would Test 2 count as a “scientific observation” in your sense of the term? I have no problem calling it that; I just think such an empiricist project is wholly inadequate for confirming, validating or falsifying belief in the deity of Jesus. Because of the nature of the subject, we would not be failing in our epistemic duty as rational agents to regard such an investigation with profound indifference. And, pace Ralph, I don’t think fideism or irrationalism is the consequence of denying that there are empirical tests for Jesus’ deity. Rather, my commitment to a particular understanding of both science (especially its limits) and Jesus means that the rationality of my faith need not be apportioned strictly to beliefs in the evidence marshalled by natural religion.

  9. John H says:

    Rick: I should have been clearer in my post (dangers of a throwaway line in the final paragraph!). I meant specifically in terms of examining Jesus on a physical, anatomical level. So (as Joel points out) when he starts telling storms to stop, walks on the water, feeds thousands with a packed lunch and so on, what’s amazing (to the observer) is that these things are being done by someone who otherwise seems “normal”: no second heart, no mysterious additional chamber in the brain; in short, no Hollywood-style “look at this, doctor!” as the intern holds up the X-ray image…

    Similarly to pick up on Ralph’s reference to members of the Corinthian congregation falling ill or dying as a result of their abuse of the Lord’s Supper. Today, the Corinthian environmental health department would quickly swoop on the scene, and might even identify the Supper as a common factor in all the deaths. But on examining the bread and wine, the health inspectors would find nothing whatever to suggest any contamination or change in the elements, and would quickly move on to seeking other explanations – tearing the air-conditioning system apart, that sort of thing. 😉

  10. Ralph says:

    If you have ever served on a jury, you would know how each side presents their evidence and argue for their case. The jury’s job is to look at all the evidence and make a decision. That could be called “holistic induction.” It is one requirement for a valid induction.

    I think we agree that if a scientist looks at the immediate physical evidence only, they would conclude there is nothing special about the Lord’s Supper. However, they would be wrong because they did not look at all the evidence.

    The point I’ve been trying to make is that the kinds of evidence that are considered plus how the evidence is considered and the kinds of conclusions one is allowed to make all affect the science “story”. A materialistic or naturalistic science reaches conclusions that will differ from those without such presuppositions.

    Regarding fideism: To say you believe something despite it being completely undetectable, is a form of fideism because it asserts that it is contrary to the evidence. This would completely undermine apologetics. It would put us in the same boat as irrational fringe religions that assert all kinds of things that cannot be verified.

    Concerning the hiddeness of God, I came across this explanation:

    “The Deus Absconditus is actually quite simple. It is a rejection of philosophy as the starting point for theology. Why? Because if one begins with philosophical categories for God one begins with the attributes of God: i.e., omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, impassible, etc. For Luther, it was impossible to begin there and by using syllogisms or other logical means to end up with a God who suffers on the cross on behalf of humanity. It simply does not work. The God revealed in and through the cross is not the God of philosophy but the God of revelation.”

    That says nothing about revelation being contrary to evidence. The sacramental is not something that exists in a parallel universe.

    Regarding Paley: his arguments should be updated but they are basically sound. In a limited way, the ID movement is doing this. Evolutionists are still arguing against Paley as if science could argue against God but never for God.

  11. Matt says:

    “[arguing] as if science could argue against God but never for God.”

    You might want to clarify that one. If I take it to mean science should do neither, it almost sound like you’re agreeing with John.

  12. Rick Ritchie says:

    Joel: As to Test 2, I think I’m rejecting Test 2 as being relevant. On that we are agreed. My problem is with the original framing of the test of the theory as being something of that sort. It seems we’ve been offered a dichotomy where what we have is either empirical or just the miracles and the Word alone as an account. That does not fit my reading of the situation.

    As a framework, I don’t think I quite follow:
    Test 1:
    Test 2:

    That reminds me of the account of science I was given in fifth grade, and later in junior high school. It does not fit anything I have read in the philosophy of science in recent years. It is that framework that needs to be gotten rid of first. I don’t think it’s used in any of the most interesting examples of scientific discovery I know of.

    Then I don’t know how Jesus’ miracles got put into the “phenomenon” box. When I offered the miracles above as evidence that Jesus did not appear to be merely human, I would count those as the evidence.

    The grounds of the conversation have changed, though. Before, a paradigm was being argued where scientific observations were the story but not the whole story. The observations were assumed to be in line with what we usually see in the everyday world. But the miracles are not everyday occurrences. Had the doctors examined Lazarus, they would not have said, “Oh, yes. Everyday observation. Dead cells are living again. But thankfully there’s another story to tell. Our story isn’t the only one.” To shift the view to what Jesus’ body looked like during a miracle is to miss the evidence of the miracle itself. If you were there, you would see something empirically that went beyond your everyday observations. What sense does it make to ignore this and say, “Well, the Incarnation, if you look at Jesus’ body and nothing that he appears to be doing, is just like the Lord’s Supper. Nothing we see leads us to conclude he is divine.”? We do see something. Which is why it is hasty to offer one situation like a Sacrament as an example of how science relates to another situation like the Incarnation. There are some parallels, but there are some strong differences, too.

    But I can go beyond that. When Peter said that he and the others were “eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16), and claimed this happened during the Transfiguration, I think this suggests that at at least one point in time, Jesus’ body did look different from other bodies. Unless the idea of “empirical” here means that as overwhelming amounts of light shone off Jesus’ robe such that nobody could see, someone was supposed to say, “Could you please step on a scale, Jesus?”

  13. Ralph says:

    Re: Matt on 23 Jan 2010 at 2:00 am

    “[arguing] as if science could argue against God but never for God.”

    You might want to clarify that one. If I take it to mean science should do neither, it almost sound like you’re agreeing with John.


    Some years ago, I was arguing with an atheistic biologist, and he started talking about what God would not do (e.g., God would not make a creature that was imperfect or cruel). I challenged him on how an atheist could know what God would not do.

    I turns out that evolutionists since Darwin have argued that creation is false because organisms are imperfect, cruel, etc. Even now these arguments are presented as scientific arguments. (For more on this, see Cornelius Hunter’s books, “Darwin’s God” etc.)

    But if someone dares to make an argument that supports divine creation, the arguments are instantly ruled as non-scientific because they mention God. So naturalistic science shows its true character by allowing only one side to be argued.

    Science should allow all hypotheses to be considered, whether they refer to God or not.

  14. kieran says:


    William Paley may well have been sincere, but it’s diffcult to see modern day ID arguments as anything other than intellectually dishonest attempts to reinstate creationism by those who feel their faith is threatened by the evolution story. It is based on the setting up of a hypothesis and then adducing as positive evidence for that hypothesis anything that appears to not support an alternative hypothesis (i.e. evolution). Scientific understanding in a number of fields key to the theory of evolution, such as genetics, paleology, geology, embryology and biology has provided a good deal of evidence to support evolutionary theory since Paley’s time – no doubt there are still some gaps, but I don’t see there’s any need on a materialistic basis to try to introduce a Designer – it fails the test of Occam’s razor, which does not make it untrue, of course, it just doesn’t have any additional explanatory power.

  15. John H says:

    Ralph: as Kieran points out, evidence is key here.

    It is true that most scientists would probably not welcome strong evidence pointing towards design – not necessarily because they are anti-theistic, but because it would be seen as a boundary, a limitation, a constraint on science as currently understood. The point at which a designer is invoked is, by definition, the point at which science ends and theology (or at least philosophy) begins.

    However, if really compelling evidence of design were accumulated then in the end scientists would have to accept this (even if many would now heatedly deny that the designer could possibly be God as understood by Christians and other religions). The very fact that IDers have to resort to arguments about “worldviews” and “presuppositions” is itself a demonstration of the fact that the evidence simply isn’t there: if it were, the IDers could set aside all those other arguments and just say, “Look at the facts!”

    The infamous “Wedge Document” stated that the first phase of the ID project would be “Research, Writing and Publication”. As the document put it:

    Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade.

    Which is exactly what has happened: the “solid scholarship, research and argument” has failed to materialise, and the ID project has become “just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade”.

  16. Ralph says:


    “it’s diffcult to see modern day ID arguments as anything other than intellectually dishonest attempts to reinstate creationism”

    The word “dishonest” should always be substantiated before it is used. I know it is bandied about the blogosphere but Christians should know better. And “creationism” is another word that should be defined before it is used since there are many varieties of it — particularly because evolutionists since Darwin have been arguing against a strawman version of creationism, species fixity, which has no advocates today.

    The underdetermination of science is well known to philosophers of science but mostly ignored by others. The key to overcoming this is to find evidence that fits well with one hypothesis but goes against another. Since hypotheses and background assumptions can be modified, that is not a straightforward task. Evolution has defeated a strawman, species fixity, but has not defeated more sophisticated alternatives. In fact, contrary hypotheses have been systematically excluded from scientific consideration. This was not a coincidence: it has been part of a rationalist agenda since the so-called Enlightenment.

    Occam’s razor is an ambiguous aesthetic principle that should be dropped as a theory preference criterion. For example, which is simpler: lumping or splitting?


    “The point at which a designer is invoked is, by definition, the point at which science ends and theology (or at least philosophy) begins.”

    The “definition” is the naturalistic definition of science, which became dominant only in the 19th century. By that definition, Newton was not a scientist. I’m with Newton.

    Naturalism is “a boundary, a limitation, a constraint”. The only reason to accept naturalism would be if it were true, which it is not. Or do you suggest that truth follows from falsehood?

    There is “really compelling” evidence if the blinders are taken off. It’s precisely how the facts are looked at that is the issue. Presuppositions affect how evidence is interpreted and what seems more likely. Despite meagre funding and a fierce opponent backed by government largesse, the ID and YEC movements are growing worldwide.

    Let’s not be naive about science. For a less contentious example, consider big bang opponents: see

    “Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.”

  17. kieran says:


    Thanks for your dignified response to my provocative opening sentence! I retract the dishonest bit, but I still have no time for ID as a respectable scientific theory. I’d be grateful for a link to or a brief description of any of the “compelling evidence” to which you refer. I don’t accept that evolution has not defeated other alternatives. It has accumulated a substantial body of evidence in its support, it fits with what we know in other scientific disciplines, and it is clearly the scientific orthodoxy. As such, it’s reasonable that, for example, it should be taught in schools as our understanding of how humans developed, rather than one of several pick-the-one-you-like theories. In science, as in other fields, orthodoxy tends to crowd out alternatives, but the scientific method provides a pathway – that is to say, a robust theory and a body of evidence – that can overturn the existing orthodoxy. This happened with continental drift theory, for example, whose early proponents were ridiculed by the scientific establishment.

  18. Ralph says:


    The term “scientific orthodoxy” should be an oxymoron. It leads to the question of who determines this orthodoxy. It would be sad if the revolution against scholastic orthodoxy ended in materialistic orthodoxy.

    By focusing on some evidence and explaining away contrary evidence, scientific orthodoxy maintains the appearance of empiricism. But if you step back and survey the available evidence as a whole, a different picture emerges. If you look at all dating methods, at the fossil record as a whole, etc., weaknesses in scientific orthodoxy are revealed. Add to this the genetics revolution underway, and it’s a new game for all who have eyes to see.

  19. Kieran says:


    Maybe orthodoxy is not the best word to use in this contet, but what I was talking about is not an unchallengable theory, but one that has been generally accepted by those working in the field as having been backed up by sufficient evidence as to be held to be true. This is a perfectly reasonable state of affairs as it allows new generations of scientists to build on the work of their predecessors and move forward, rather than trying to prove all existing scientific truths all over again. It doesn’t mean that new evidence and a new theory cannot supersede it, either by being a richer explanation of the world around us, or by demonstrating that the previous theory is actually false. There will often be resistance to the new theory – that’s unfortunate, but also only natural.

    Similarly, for the purposes of educating children in basic scientific concepts, it’s reaonable to focus on teaching mainstream science rather than concentrating on controversies. I think it’s also valuable to place scienece as a whole in context, so it can be understood that scientific perceptions of what is true may change over time, albeit very few of the specific theories learend at shcool level are unlikley to change in their lifetime, i.e. the periodic table is unlikley to get rearranged (though there may be additions) and basic pysical and chemical equations are unlikely to be reformulated (although as time and space dimensions are explored at scales increasingly far from human observational experience – i.e. subatomic in one direction and cosmological in another, then they are being rewritten in a way that has explanatory and predictive power at those scales).

    Let me return to my challenge of the last post – where is there any positive evidence for ID, as opposed to against evolution? You make some general comments on the latter, which leads me to infer that your position is that a priori there is a Designer, and so that ID is held to be true unless falsified by, say, evolutionary theory (indeed this seems to me to be the logic underpinning the ID movement, though I’d be happy to be provied wrong). But in the scientific method there are no such a priori truths. I know that in previous posts, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has been referred to, i.e. that you have to make some basic assumptions in order to move forward and prove other truths. I just don’t see why a Designer would be one of those necessary assumptions.

  20. Ralph says:


    Mainstream science rarely asserts truth; that is left as an implication from the stature of science in society. If science asserts truth (even approximate truth), it opens up questions about naturalism that are carefully avoided.

    Universal evolution requires naturalism. Evolutionists are skilled at playing “king of the hill” and showing how they remain standing after every critique. Because of their social position and the underdetermination of theories, this has continued a long time. But this cannot continue forever, particularly as the biases of naturalistic science are increasingly pointed out.

    The biases of mainstream science are against holistic thinking, absence of observation, qualitative evidence, and anything that can be painted as non-secular. Government backing provides its main source of power but may well prove its undoing as science becomes increasingly identified with politics.

    Yes, some basic assumptions cannot be avoided. The possibility of design is one of them but not necessarily the a priori assertion of a Designer (the ID and YEC movements part on this). Critics of evolution can point to the Cambrian explosion, non-observed macroevolution, etc., but unless the possibility of design is acknowledged, there is no real dialogue.

    I find Dembski’s basic design inference persuasive (see Others have added to this so there’s a significant literature if you’re interested.

  21. Ralph says:


    Another case for ID is made in Stephen Meyer’s book “Signature in the Cell”. For a taste of the argument, see
    This comment of his sums up my point:
    “But it needs to be noted that the principle of methodological naturalism is an arbitrary philosophical assumption, not a principle that can be established or justified by scientific observation itself. Others of us, having long ago seen the pattern in pre-biotic simulation experiments, to say nothing of the clear testimony of thousands of years of human experience, have decided to move on. We see in the information-rich structure of life a clear indicator of intelligent activity and have begun to investigate living systems accordingly.”

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