Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Minimalism


……..  Reductionism.



  1. Minimalism and reduction are both nice and useful viewpoints.  Minimalism is (among other things) the belief that we should let the archaeological findings tell us what happened, rather than trying to shoehorn them into pre-conceived notions of what the Bible might be trying to tell us about what happened.  Reductionism is (among other things) the belief that the Bible is just a sequence of words without an ineffable soul of its own.  Both of these beliefs capture a significant fraction of God's truth, though of course not all of it because no finite theory can.

  2. [I'm posting this on behalf of Arizona Andy, who tried to Comment and was foiled by a bug in Blogspot. Several people have had similar experiences. If you'd like to Comment and haven't managed, just email us at
    specifying what nom de plume you prefer.]

    In order to understand things of a greater magnitude than we can possibly comprehend we have to whittle them down and package them up into terms that are easier for us to grasp and relate to. When difficult concepts are expressed in terms we can relate to, we can believe things we wouldn't otherwise believe. Carl Sagan might be called a minimalist or reductionist by astrophysicists, but what he did was take these concepts that were far beyond the reach of the average person and put them into terms the average person could understand. Sure, everyone who read "Cosmos" didn't suddenly have a strong grasp of astrophysics, but hearing about astrophysics in everyday terms they could relate to made it "real" to them - and that's a start.