Which comes first – science or philosopy?

Lennox once again plays with the word ‘faith’ as he handpicks some scientists who happen to use the word in explaining how they philosophically justify naturalism. I think he’s going to go into faith later on so I still won’t deal with it yet, suffice that how those couple of scientist believe they can justify naturalism is pretty much their opinion and their’s alone and doesn’t really have any bearing on the matter. But I still agree with him about how it’s not god versus science, and I do like the point that good science can come from whatever philosophical background one maintains.

However on page 37 at the conclusion of this section I get the feeling Lennox is warming the reader up for the only areas that theism really does have much of a hold in in science – the origin of the universe, the origin of life and the inner workings of the mind.

[Philosophical commitments] are not likely to figure very largely, if at all, when we are studying how things work, but they may well play a much more dominant role when we are studying how things came to exist in the first place, or when we are studying things that bear on our understanding of ourselves as human beings [emphasis Lennox].

The point I take away from this section is that when there is a gap in the science, god can be admitted. It would be an interesting exercise to research the range and depth of theistic explanations for natural phenomena in scientific writings through the ages. I wonder how much ground has been given over to science in the last 2000, 1000, 500 and 100 years? How much theism ‘does not figure very largely, if at all’ compared to what it has in the past.

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