President’s Laptop- April 2000

President’s Laptop- April 2000

Dear Friends,

Many of you, I am sure, saw the April 10 issue of Time presenting 25 anticipated breakthroughs in science and space for the 21 st century. What particularly grabbed my attention was the debate between physicist John Horgan, author of The End of Science (1997), and Paul Hoffman, former editor of Discover magazine and past president of Encyclopedia Britannica.

You may be amazed to learn what Horgan argues. He claims that “science in its grandest sense—the attempt to comprehend the universe and our place in it—has entered an era of diminishing returns.” He laments, “Scientists will continue making incremental advances, but they will never achieve their most ambitious goals, such as understanding the origin of the universe, of life, and of human consciousness.”

Not once in their exchange did either Horgan or Hoffman question the presuppositions of naturalism, though the scientific method demands a new hypothesis when the old one fails to produce significant results. Horgan’s gloom reflects his mind-lock on naturalistic answers to the three big questions.

In other words, what Horgan observes is not the end of science; rather, it is the end of a naturalistic model for the origin of the universe, of life, and of human consciousness. In saying this, I am not accusing either man of being a bad scientist. Like other good scientists, they resist abandoning a failed model until they find another plausible, testable model to take its place.

This clinging to a failed model among my scientist peers is one of the reasons I feel so passionate about our conference this June. I believe a key to secularists’ acknowledgement of the death of naturalism lies in the demonstration of a creation model that not only withstands all the tests science can throw at it but also successfully predicts future scientific discoveries. People need to know such a model exists. (The right kind of media attention would surely help us get the word out.)

Please pray for this and for every aspect of the conference. Pray especially that those who attend will be equipped and motivated to take what they’ve learned to those who need it.

Hugh Ross