Over at EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse analyzes the claim of Joshua Rosenau (don’t get these guys mixed up!) that there are many diverse non-empirical “ways of knowing” that offer truth about the universe. It’s a big “ouch” for Josh:
In short, if Josh wants us to take his comparison seriously, he needs to answer some simple questions. What do we know from religion that we do not know by other means? What lessons can we learn from the alleged insights of the world’s religious traditions that we can not learn more clearly in other ways?
I don’t think Josh, or anyone else, can give a compelling answer to those questions.
Okay, can we drop this “other ways of knowing” stuff now? As Jason says, nobody has yet provided one truth — about the divine or otherwise — that has come from non-empirical ways of knowing.
This whole discussion would be purely philosophical save for the efforts of the National Center for Science Education (Rosenau is Public Information Project Director), which promulgates the view that science and faith are nonoverlapping “ways of knowing.” This position, of course, is meant to assure the faithful that they can have their God and Darwin too. But it undercuts the very fabric of rationality.
Just in: Here’s what the religious “way of knowing” tells you: Iranian President Ahmadinejad has just pronounced that the Holocaust was “a lie.”