What Science Can and Cannot Say: The Problems with Methodological Naturalism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22 (Jan-Apr 2002):18-22 (2002)
This paper rejects a view of science called "methodological naturalism." According to many defenders of mainstream science and Darwinian evolution, anti-evolution critics--creationists and intelligent design proponents--are conceptually and epistemologically confusing science and religion, a supernatural view of world. These defenders of evolution contend that doing science requires adhering to a methodology that is strictly and essentially naturalistic: science is essentially committed to "methodological naturalism" and assumes that all the phenomena it investigates are entirely natural and consistent with the laws of physics. Thus encountering any unexplained phenomenon, science assumes a priori that there is some natural cause and will only test a natural hypothesis. Since by definition supernatural causes are assumed to be not subject to the constraints of physical or natural law as understood by science, supernatural hypotheses and explanations must be banned from proper science. Science simply can't say that God did, or did not do it. I argue that the success of science is directly relevant to rational belief in supernatural causes, and that in fact science can and does say in particular cases that "God didn't do it." I suggest that pro-evolution proponents can better defend science and the theory of evolution by rejecting methodological naturalism.
|Keywords||methodological naturalism creationism intelligent design science naturalism supernatural evolution anti-evolution|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Piotr Bylica & Dariusz Sagan (2008). God, Design, and Naturalism: Implications of Methodological Naturalism in Science for Science–Religion Relation. Pensamiento 64:621-38.
Christopher H. Pearson (2010). Methodological Naturalism, Intelligent Design, and Lessons From the History of Embryology. Philo 13 (1):67-79.
Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Johan Braeckman (2010). How Not to Attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical Misconceptions About Methodological Naturalism. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 15 (3):227-244.
S. Muhammad-Taqīy Mudarrisī (2011). Methodology of Augustinian Science. Methodology of Social Sciences and Humanities (69):7-39.
William Dembski, Can Functional Logic Take the Place of Intelligent Design? A Response to Walter Thorson.
Alvin Plantinga (1997). Methodological Naturalism, Part 2. Origins and Design 18 (2):22-34.
Robert T. Pennock (2003). Creationism and Intelligent Design. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 4:143-163.
Scott Tanona (2010). The Pursuit of the Natural. Philosophical Studies 148 (1):79 - 87.
Glenn Branch (2002). In Defense of Methodological Naturalism. Philo 5 (2):249-255.
Andrew Porter (2003). Naturalism, Naturalism by Other Means, and ÂAlternatives to Naturalism. Theology and Science 1 (2):221-237.
Alvin Plantinga (1997). Methodological Naturalism. Origins and Design 18 (1):18-27.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2011-10-23
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?