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On naturalism and science

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  • Todd Greene
    Naturalism is Today An Essential Part of Science by Steven D. Schafersman (A paper presented at the Conference on Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 28 6:04 PM
      Naturalism is Today An Essential Part of Science
      by Steven D. Schafersman
      (A paper presented at the Conference on Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific Enterprise by Prof. Steven D. Schafersman, Department of Geology Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056.)
      http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/schafersman_nat.html


      --- In Maury_and_Baty, Todd Greene wrote (post #24108):
      [snip]
      > More to the point of Butt's thesis however is how he
      > misrepresents "naturalism" in science. "Solely natural
      > explanations" looks damning unless you realize the fact
      > that,
      >
      > | The naturalism that science adopts is methodological
      > | naturalism. It does not assume that nature is all there
      > | is; it merely notes that nature is the only objective
      > | standard we have. The supernatural is not ruled out a
      > | priori; when it claims observable results that can be
      > | studied scientifically, the supernatural is studied
      > | scientifically (e.g., Astin et al. 2000; Enright 1999).
      > | It gets little attention because it has never been
      > | reliably observed. Still, there are many scientists who
      > | use naturalism but who believe in more than nature.
      >
      > http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA301.html
      >
      > Note, not so incidentally, that Martinez Hewlett and Ted
      > Peters are CHRISTIANS. Hewlett is a retired molecular
      > biologist and now apparently teaches philosophy/theology
      > at a Catholic school, and Peters is a THEOLOGIAN at
      > Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
      >
      > Martinez Hewlett
      > http://www.mcb.arizona.edu/hewlett/biog.html
      > http://taos.unm.edu/faculty/uploads/mjhcv.pdf
      >
      > Ted Peters
      > http://www.plts.edu/peters.html
      >
      > Obviously Hewlett and Peters - not just theists, but
      > traditional Christian theists in particular - are
      > specifically referring to "naturalism" in the specific
      > sense of what has been termed "methodological
      > naturalism".
      >
      > See, for example:
      > Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism,
      > Creationism, and Intelligent Design
      > by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett
      > http://www.counterbalance.org/evo-brf/index-frame.html
      >
      > For a good discussion about "methodological naturalism"
      > and science, I suggest the following, which is certainly
      > much more nuanced and thus superior to anything by Hewlett
      > and Peters:
      >
      > Methodological Naturalism
      > by Jason Rosenhouse
      > (Blog: EvolutionBlog, 6/9/2009)
      > http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2009/06/methdological_naturalism.php
      >
      > The important principle involved here is: TESTING ideas
      > against the EVIDENCE. This is a core principle of science.
      > If you can't TEST ideas against relevant EVIDENCE (i.e.,
      > if it is not falsifiable), then it just isn't science,
      > precisely because it is impossible to investigate the
      > idea(s) scientifically. There's also the second point (but
      > not a secondary point) that creationists are all the time
      > using ideas that have ALREADY been TESTED against the
      > EVIDENCE and have been FAILED THE TESTS (i.e., have been
      > falsified), which they do by ignoring already known
      > scientific results that contradict their ideas (this
      > happens both because they're typically actually ignorant
      > of the scientific information relevant to what they're
      > discussing as well as because they deliberately omit
      > relevant information they do know about). Invoking
      > unfalsifiable notions and routinely ignoring well known
      > scientific results relevant to the topic are both big
      > no-no's in professional science, and papers that do not
      > meet the basic standards of professional science should
      > not be published in professional science journals, so
      > editors and reviewers are doing their jobs CORRECTLY when
      > they properly maintain these standards.
      [snip]
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