Thursday, January 03, 2013

Book review of C. John Collins' book Science and Faith: Friends or Foes

C. John Collins' book Science and Faith: Friends or Foes was a book that was a letdown in its dealing of issues regarding creation and evolution. I however have not found the time to review it, but it seems Andrew Kulikovsky has done a good review of Collins' book here. An excerpt:

This book is yet another in a long line of books that try to resolve the perceived conflict between science and faith. The author, C. John Collins, is Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary and unlike many of the writers in this area, has both theological and scientific qualifications. Thus, this work is far more comprehensive than others (it is 448 pages long including indexes), and the arguments are far more sophisticated and nuanced.

The book is divided into four sections: (1) ‘Philosophical Issues’, (2) ‘Theological Issues’, (3) ‘Science and Faith Interact’, and (4) ‘Conclusion’. There are also three appendices containing (1) additional notes and comments which attack many young-earth creationist arguments and claims, (2) a list of additional resources including websites and journals, and (3) a review of Thomas Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

It is extremely disappointing that non-YECs do not deal with the best of the creationist literature. It is one thing to reject the YEC position. It is another to reject it with bad science, bad philosophy, and almost complete ignorance of the YEC arguments. Not to mention his horrendous distortion of Thomas Kuhn's position, of which I had written a paper on it entitled Science as Paradigmatic: A Critical Analysis of Thomas S. Kuhn's View of Normal Science, in which I had written:

C. John Collins therefore is in error in decrying Kuhn as being an anti-realist and as promoting irrationalism. Nothing is further from the truth. What Kuhn denies is absolute universal truth being present in science. The contingent truths within a paradigm are objective, being available to be proven objectively right or wrong within the standards and language of that paradigm.

Kuhn's idea of science is that scientific truths are ontologically objective but epistemological subjective (being contingent upon paradigms).

Collins' book is thus extremely disappointing in a lot of ways.

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