Kuhn vs. Popper: Kuhn’s Challenge to Popper

In my last post, I wrote somewhat glowingly of Popper’s epistemology based on Conjecture and Refutation. In a previous (older) post on Millennial Star I even went so far as to explain why I felt there were some touch points between conjecture and refutation and the Gospel. To summarize, Popper believes all knowledge of all types growths through a process of having problems, conjecturing solutions to those problems, then refuting those conjectures based on the discovery of new problems. Through this process we ‘evolve’ our explanations and they improve over time. The end result is increasing verisimilitude – i.e. closeness to reality – of our knowledge. (I note here that this produces increasing verisimilitude without use of induction.)

Now I will consider the strongest challenger to Popper’s epistemology as elucidated by Thomas S. Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Popper and Kuhn are often considered to be two dynamically opposed views of scientific growth that are in struggle for the heart and soul of science. (See, for example, this book here. I have not read it and don’t intend to.) In actuality, Kuhn and Popper have far more in common than they have different from each other. But Kuhn’s view of science does ultimately pose a threat to the very concept of Scientific Realism and proposes, in it’s place, a Positivist view of the world as our ultimate reality. [1] Continue reading

The Case for Christ: The Believing Scholar Point of View (Part 2: Other Evidences)

This is a continuation of my attempt to summarize the believing scholars interviewed in Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. In my last post I summarized the internal Biblical evidences considered. In this post I’m going to look at the outside evidences.

A few points to consider. First, I have my own concerns with this book’s approach. I’m trying to not be critical of it yet, but to save that for later posts when I have presented enough alternative points of view to be able to look at the real strengths and weakness of the believing Christian arguments.

However, my criticism are more of the nature that these ‘proofs’ aren’t really proofs at all. I do, however, think they represent a fairly good ‘narrative fallacies’ that takes many data points and makes a good plausible story out of it and I suspect that is the most that could have been realistically asked of them. In short, I like these arguments even if I am fully aware they aren’t rationally coercive. So I think believing Mormons will be interested in much of what is presented in the book. Second, I admit that Lee Strobel is not a scholar. This seems to really bother some of the commenters on my last post. However, I would like for us to keep in mind that Lee Strobel is collecting interviews from some fairly good scholars. Does anyone really doubt that, for example, Craig Blomberg isn’t a good scholar? Third,  I feel less certain about this part of the argument than I did on the internal evidences, so don’t expect me to defend any of it in the comments just because I summarized it in the post.

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The Case for Christ: The Believing Scholar Point of View (Part 1: Scripture)

Case for Christ In my last post I did a short book review of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. I mentioned that what I liked best about the book was it was a short introduction of some of the best believing Christian scholars.

In this post, I am going to try to attempt to summarize the believing Christian scholar point of view as Strobel lays it out. For this post, I’m just going to summarize the point of view laid out in the book, not comment on it. (Note: I split this post into two parts. This part will deal with the historicity of scripture internally. The next will deal with some outside evidences or issues. The split up is a bit artificial, I admit.)

For this post, I will not be in any way critical of the point of view being expressed, but rather just to try express it in its own words.

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