Scientific Naturalism and Court Decisions
|By: Jim Virkler; ©2007|
“Let science be science, and let religion be religion.” How often have we heard similar statements? One example of this firmly established naturalistic worldview in our society is the 2005 decision by U. S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III. He ruled that the Dover, PA board of education could not allow even the mention of the existence of alternate theories of biological origins to their students. Darwinist evolution must be the sole proposal — no critical analysis, no discussion of its possible weaknesses permitted! Scientific method, which thrives on critical analysis of evidence, took a back seat to the science community’s firm commitment to philosophical naturalism. Even in the face of plentiful evidence in the fossil record that new life forms appear quite suddenly, no one in the public school setting is permitted to offer anything but a naturalistic explanation, however weak that explanation may be. To do so is “establishment of religion” according to Judge Jones.
Naturalistic scientists and many others who feel such mention of an alternative to the theory of evolution would amount to “government establishment of religion,” congratulated each other and pronounced creationism dead. But this titanic philosophical struggle may just be in its early stages. Good Christian science scholars such as Dr. Hugh Ross, astrophysicist and theologian, a frequent guest on The John Ankerberg Show, have proposed a scientific creation model matching the requirements of science – in particular, its ability to predict. Progress in this area will be slow. After all, the model of naturalism for the origin of the cosmos and its life forms has taken two centuries to become what it is today.
The philosophy of science and how science ought to operate has changed many times. Philosophies change, but we should be thankful that truth (what is really real) does not change. Our commitment to discover truth in origins history should be unswerving.