Wed, 12 Jan 1994 11:38:00 PST

Lieber writes:

"What is anthropologically interesting about the role of
revelation in science--and it appears most clearly when evolution vs.
creationism is debated--is the issue of how authority is distributed between
these two ways of knowing. Rarely is the matter as clear (at one level) as
it is in the creation-evolution debate where "pure" revelation is contrasted
with "pure" experience."

I see confusion here between SOURCE of "knowledge" versus VERIFICATION of
purported knowledge. How I personally obtain what I might call "knowledge"
as a mathematician/anthropologist/scientist may very well be some form of
revelation--and insofar as modern mathematics has no relationship to
"experience" per se, mathematical knowledge today has its origins in
revelation as Leiber uses the term. That scienctists may individually
have "revelation" and that this "revelation" may be similar in nature to what
is called religious revelation, is not at issue. What is at issue is what
happens with this purported knowledge AFTER the individual experiences the
revelation. In the case of mathematics, the revelation must be subjected to
proof (which may be non-trivial to do. Consider Fermat's so-called Last
Theorem --arrived at via personal "relevation", if you will--which has taken
mathematicians 200 years to prove valid.) In the case of science, the
"revelation" must be subjected to scrutiny, challenge, confirming evidence,
etc. IN the case of religion, it must be subjected to the legitimacy of the
person as having been the locus of divine revelation. What I understood
Graber to be saying in an earlier post about revelation is this difference in
what makes "revelation" legitimate as publically accepted knowledge; that is,
religious revelation does not entail the kind of scrutiny against possible
disconfirming evidence as does scientific argumentation. Sceptics may
subject the supposed religious revelation to that kind of scrutiny as a way
to challenge the legitimay of the revelation, but the reason for so doing is
quite different than is the basis for scientific argumentation.

D. Read