David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Although it is a well-established scientific fact, evolution remains a controversial subject in the United States, and especially the issue of teaching evolution or creationism in public schools. An argument that appears to be increasingly popular among creationists is based on a postmodernist notion that science is simply one among many different but equal "ways of knowing," and that its ascendancy over other methods is due to conflicts between social power structures rather than any objective superiority. Several creationist writers have argued that science's exclusive reliance on natural causes (so called "methodological naturalism") is an a priori assumption, or an arbitrary preference, and therefore that both it and religion are equally valid epistemologies. In addition, they argue that the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment prohibit government from endorsing or granting "preferences" to science over supernaturalism. This article is a response to these theories. In Part I, I argue that science is an objectively superior means of knowing, and that methodological naturalism is not an a priori assumption, but both an a posteriori preference and one that is necessary for any valid epistemology. I also reject the argument that naturalism or "humanism" are "religions" or that science requires a "leap of faith." In Part II, I address whether the First Amendment requires the government to remain "neutral" between supernatural and naturalistic worldviews. I conclude with some general observations on the conflict between science and supernaturalism.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Paul Draper (2004). On the Nature of Naturalism. Philo 7 (2):146-155.
Eric Schliesser (2005). ON THE ORIGIN OF MODERN NATURALISM: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BERKELEY's RESPONSE TO A NEWTONIAN INDISPENSIBILITY ARGUMENT. Philosophica 76:45-66.
Scott Tanona (2010). The Pursuit of the Natural. Philosophical Studies 148 (1):79 - 87.
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.
Alvin Plantinga (1997). Methodological Naturalism, Part 2. Origins and Design 18 (2):22-34.
Robert T. Pennock (2011). Can't Philosophers Tell the Difference Between Science and Religion? Demarcation Revisited. Synthese 178 (2):177-206.
Alvin Plantinga (1997). Methodological Naturalism. Origins and Design 18 (1):18-27.
Reed Richter (2002). What Science Can and Cannot Say: The Problems with Methodological Naturalism. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22 (Jan-Apr 2002):18-22.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #251,636 of 1,098,400 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #284,872 of 1,098,400 )
How can I increase my downloads?