I recently listened to an intriguing podcast of a lecture from a Dr. John Lennox part one here and two here if you care to listen. The first quote mentioned in the lecture from Bertrand Russell, "What science cannot explain, humanity cannot know." Dr. Lennox retorts, "that statement is not of science, so if it is true it is false." I've written of the conflicts between science, philosophy, and religion before in this entry, and this one, and here about the Higgs boson, and it seems like a common theme in my life, so this lecture was right up my alley.
Authorial intention... I love Dr. Lennox's anecdote about authorial intention. He talks about meeting with a man that had written a book about the idea that there is no such thing as authorial intent. To which he replies, so, if I read your book I'll be convinced that there's no such thing as authorial intent? Then I'll pass. (**laughter from the crowd**) In case it's not obvious, if the book has no authorial intent, then there's no point to the book.
Here are the limitations of science, and they're clearly shown in science's inability to answer the questions of a child; why am I here, where do I come from, and what is the purpose of life. Scientist cannot give us morality either. There are ethical foundations of science but not the scientific foundations of ethics, and looking back in history (his not so veiled reference to Nazi eugenics ideals) we can see what ethics are like when based on science.
Dr. Lennox also references what is commonly called an argument from design or a teleological argument. His example goes like this, say you have a Ford Galaxy like this one:
|Such a beautiful place to live|