Saturday, September 09, 2006

What shall we ask Hans Küng?

It is with great delight that I can inform my readers that a translation of Küng’s Der Anfang aller Dinge is underway, and, Küng informs me, it shall be published via Eerdmans in Grand Rapids. Until then, I have written a review-article for English-language readers that shall hopefully be published at some stage. Thankfully, Ben Myers helped me enormously with a sharp proofreading making it a much better piece.

Also, I’m glad to say that Küng is ready to kindly answer a few questions to publish on Chrisendom! Given that he is a busy man he won’t be getting tangled up in any generated discussion, but I’m sure all will agree, it will be a pleasure to read what he has to say.

Hence my previous post. Ben Myers suggested the first of these questions, and I thought up the last three quickly - but they need some editing. Before I do, has anyone else any other suggestions or ideas, or perhaps changes to my own?

1) What were there specific situations or friendships that first prompted your interest in scientific dialogue?
2) To whom do you hope Der Anfang aller Dinge will appeal?
3) You make mention in Der Anfang (p. 111) of the Gallup Poll statistic that reveals 45% of adult Americans agree to the statement: ‘God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so’. In light of this, how do you think pastors and theologians can best respond to the widespread suspicion (and sometimes demonisation) of the scientific community and its research?
4) In section B you argue that a physical law cannot imply the existence of a factually Eternal (p. 87). I understand this as a decisive argument against Intelligent Design theories. But how would you respond to the arguments of William A. Dembski who wants to maintain ID does not ‘argue for the existence of a designer’, but rather ‘asks how positing an intelligent cause to explain such objects offers fresh scientific insights’? E.g.:

It’s at this point that intelligent design could be co-opted into doing natural theology, proclaiming that natural objects exhibiting such features establish the existence of a designer. But intelligent design resists that temptation. Instead of arguing for the existence of a designer (and thus formulating a revamped design argument), intelligent design asks how positing an intelligent cause to explain such objects offers fresh scientific insights. The designer of intelligent design is not the God of any particular religious faith and not the God of any particular philosophical reflection but merely a generic intelligent cause capable of originating certain features of the natural world. Positing such a designer to account for certain types of biological complexity is like positing quarks to account for certain properties of subatomic particles. The point is to see what a designer helps explain; the point is not to establish the existence of the designer.

(from Is Intelligent Design a Form of Natural Theology? By William A. Dembski – which can be read online here)


At 9/10/2006 11:55 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Great -- I'll really look forward to this. I like these questions too, although I wonder whether #4 is a bit too demanding! Perhaps instead a more general question about ID could be interesting (since he doesn't explicitly mention ID in the book). Just my 2 cents' worth....

At 9/11/2006 12:05 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Yes, good point - I shall mull it over.

At 9/12/2006 2:49 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

So for those who are uninitiated (and unschooled in German), do you have any english translations of his work that you recommend? It seems this guy is important.


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