Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Glasses Shlasses

Ok, so I've been thinking more about Jason Lisle's presentation that I heard yesterday at the Multnomah chapel. Lisle, like almost every creation science textbook in print, makes the claim that "everyone wears mental glasses" and that "only if you wear the correct mental glasses can you interpret the data correctly." Lisle compared the glasses that secular (non-Christian) scientists wear to wearing glasses with red lenses. Everything they see is red or distorted. The implication is that non-Christians can’t do good science because they don't see nature through the right set of lenses. I call this view, "Biblicism."

Not only does biblicism not represent the historic Christian perspective, I have yet to see anyone point out the fact that biblicism seems to promote epistemological relativism. The net effect of the biblicist approach is that since all "facts" can be interpreted from a different point of view then no interpretations can be tested to see if they're truly valid. At that point, objective knowledge of the real world is at best inaccessible or unknowable and at worst, doesn't even exist.

Just some thoughts that maybe I'll develop into an article at some point. I'm not even sure this is a valid argument. Anyone have any thoughts?


havoc said...

Biblicalism *assumes* that one's reading of the text is inerrant. Any "wrinkle" in your understanding of the text is going to cause massive mis-renderings of your reading of the world. Biblicalists, like Dr. Jay Wild of Apologia, start with the assumption that they have a perfect understanding of scripture.

The nice thing about being inerrant in your reading of the text is that you're impervious to any argument -- you just make the claim that you have a "high view of scripture."

Virginia Peterson said...

Yes, I agree with you. I've had the same thoughts, but you've said it much better. It seems like the glasses argument can be used against almost any objection to YEC that can be brought up, and in the process casts doubt on the objector rather than examining the evidence to find the truth.

Rusty said...

Yes, I agree as well. The claim is that the oec view is corrupted by secular vision. I ask, just how far does that "corruption" go? E.g. Do we suspend belief in aerodynamics because it based on scientific understanding? Or what are we to make of the act of reading itself? If we can't trust science, then how do we explain the process of light reflecting off of a page which displays a contrast between ink and paper in symbols that our eyes can transmit to our brain; which then corresponds to words which have meaning?