Science Futures by Phillip E. Johnson

Science Futures

“Predicting is very difficult, especially when it is about the future.” I probably don’t need to tell readers of Touchstone that this weird sentence, paradoxically both wise and absurd, bears the trademark of New York Yankee sage Yogi Berra, the Buddha of baseball.

I think of the great Yogi’s maxim whenever I hear theistic evolutionists warn intelligent design theorists against committing what they call the “God of the gaps” fallacy. Their point is that it is futile to rely on “gaps” that the theory of evolution has not yet explained as places where divine acts might be necessary, because those gaps will inevitably be filled as science progresses. Eventually, God will be squeezed out of these spaces, with consequent embarrassment to the cause of religion.

To avoid committing this fallacy, they claim, we must concede that evolutionary naturalism in biology has been proved beyond doubt, since whatever proof is missing today will surely be supplied tomorrow. I see the point, but I wonder how these folks can be so sure that the future discoveries will always support naturalism. Don’t they know that predicting is difficult, especially when it is about the future?

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Phillip E. Johnson is Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Darwin on Trial, The Wedge of Truth, The Right Questions (InterVarsity Press), and other books challenging the naturalistic assumptions that dominate modern culture. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on science from the online archives

17.6—July/August 2004

Reality & Reluctant Science

Old Science Confronts a Formidable Challenge in the Scientific ID Movement by Jay W. Richards

29.4—July/August 2016

Naked Truth

on Noticing That Modern Science Has Rendered Atheism Irrational by Harry Biltz

22.7—September/October 2009

Science Fictions

on a Random Quantum Fluctuation by Marilyn Prever


more from the online archives

32.5—September/October 2019

Make Men Pious Again

2018 Conference Talk by C. R. Wiley

30.6—Nov/Dec 2017

Odious & Deplorable

on C. S. Lewis, Brideshead Revisited & the Middle Things by Ben Reinhard

32.4—July/August 2019

The Two Faces of Modern Misandry

2018 Conference Talk by S. M. Hutchens

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00