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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.45 n.4 Cape Town Jul. 2011

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Natuurwetenskaplike kennis en die Woord van God

 

Natural science knowledge and the Word of God

 

 

P.H. Stoker

Skool vir Fisika, Potchefstroomkampus. Noordwes-Universiteit. Potchefstroom. E-mail: pieter.stoker@nwu.ac.za

 

 


OPSOMMING

Die Griekse wysgere het ontken dat ware kennis deur senso-riese waarneming verkry kan word. Ware kennis het slegs betrekking gehad op onveranderlikhede in die natuur. Vir Pitha-goras en Plato was wiskunde die primêre bron van kennis. In navolging van die Pithagoras-Plato-tradisie het wetenskaplikes wiskundige ordening van die wêreld as die mees reële en sekerste kennis aanvaar. Galileo het die natuurwetenskappe laat wegbeweeg van alledaagse waarnemings na abstrakte wiskundige beredenering. Vir Galileo was hierdie abstrakte geïdealiseerde wêreld die werklike wêreld. Stelsels in die natuur wat onbeheerbaar en ver van ewewig is, word dikwels die bron van 'n nuwe ordelikheid, kreatiwiteit en groei. So 'n oorgang kan nie in terme van lineêre tyd beskryf word nie. Nog voorbeelde van sulke oorgange is wanneer 'n groot aantal spesies uitgewis word en vervang word met 'n nuwe versameling spesies. God openbaar nie in sy Woord kennis ten opsigte van die werking van die natuur nie - dit kan bekom word deur wetenskaplike metodes. Diegene wat egter nie God se bonatuurlike skeppingshandelings aanvaar nie, moet deur hulle denke antwoorde vind omtrent die oorsprong, doel, betekenis en samehang van alles. Opeenvolgende skeppingsgegewens in Genesis 1 blyk ooreen te stem met huidige natuurwetenskaplike kennis.


ABSTRACT

The Greek philosophers denied that true knowledge could be obtained by observing the sensory world. True knowledge related only to things that were unchanging, immutable. For Pythagoras and Plato that meant, first of all, mathematics. Following the Pythagorean-Platonian tradition, many early scientists held that mathematical order represented the most real and certain aspect of the world. Galileo moved science away from ordinary observations toward mathematical reasoning. For Galileo the abstract, idealistic world was the real world. However, in the natural world, which is anarchic and far from equilibrium, energy transfer represents a source of order, creativity and growth. Also, new assemblages of species appeared after large numbers of species had gone extinct in earth's history. These surges of energy transfer cannot be described by linear time. Scripture does not reveal to us the workings of nature - we can only learn about it through scientific methods. However, those who do not acknowledge God's supernatural acts of creation are forced to search for other answers through their own thinking about the origin, purpose, meaning and interrelatedness of everything. It is shown that the successive acts of creation in Genesis 1 are reconcilable with current knowledge of the natural sciences.


 

 

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