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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Origins, Truth and Clarity

"Our analysis of the spectrum of positions on origins has indicated that clarity, despite its seductive attractions, is only to be had at the extremes. There is great clarity in the belief that God created the world in six days and then told us about it in Genesis. There is great clarity in the belief that everything is the result of mindless matter and blind chance. But how much truth lies in either of these positions? Scienorigins4.jpgce has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the world was not created in six days, but science has not established that there is no basis for believing that there might be a mind or purpose behind the universe. And surely human experience, which includes, of course, religious experience, testifies with competence that the world contains more than mindless matter and blind chance. Religion certainly cannot dispute the reality of both matter and chance, but it does suggest that the world has more in it than this.

Neither of the extreme positions at play in the origins debate is completely false in any simple sense. But, in their simplistic reductionism they surely lose much that is important...

Truth and clarity balance on the fulcrum of the mystery that lies at the heart of our existence... [T]his mystery should be embraced with humility -- not ridiculed by those with an overly optimistic view of science, nor wielded like a club by those who believe they have some sort of divine "shortcut" to the truth or privileged filters to remove error."

- Karl W. Giberson and Donald A. Yerxa, Species of Origins: America's Search for a Creation Story ( Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002), p. 240.

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