Search This Blog

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"the real struggle between science and the supernatural" continues

Dialogue with Creeper, with his comments italicized and mine not...

Hi Radar, and a happy new year to you and your loved ones.

I haven't been around for a while, both due to enjoying the holidays and being pretty busy before and after, but I do intend on commenting on some of your posts as soon as I can, especially the "rapid speciation" one that you are so fond of.


Good, if you have something to say concerning rapid speciation I'll be glad to hear it. Thanks for the kind wishes and the same to you and yours!

As for this post, it appears to cover well-trodden ground, and cranky and I never tire of asking you to name even a single scientific discovery in which a supernatural explanation was in any way a contribution.

I have also covered this ground before. It was a belief that a logic and wise God was the Creator that encouraged scientists to look for logic and order in the creation. They were willing to invest their entire lives seeking answers, confident that all was not random and that order could be discerned with enough research and time expended to discern them. As it happens, scientists have been so rewarded, for their is logic and order to the Universe even as we learn how much more complex and amazing it is as we go forth.

Second, supernatural explanations have to do with beginnings, with design, with first causes rather than actions that can be taken now, for as we know from the laws of thermodynamics that nothing is now being either created or destroyed. To discern that God created, and how He created, is one thing. To expect to wield supernatural forces like a sword is beyond us and not to be expected.

Third, any time a supernatural explanation is offered to humanists, they reject it out of hand no matter what the evidence, for they have a presupposition that the supernatural cannot be. There can be no change in the attitude of a naturalistic materialist towards the supernatural until there is a change in the naturalistic materialist himself.

Want some explanations? All things exist because God created them. The amazing rock records found around the world are evidences of a world-wide flood. Water has such unusual and amazing properties because it was necessary for God to design it as such for life to sustain itself on this planet. DNA is found as the blueprint for all living things because all living things had the same designer. I could go on and on, but only those who are not blind to the possibilities of the supernatural are even able to receive these explanations. Anything But God is always in operation.

You name Newton, Kelvin and others, but all of them adhered to methodological naturalism in their scientific explorations. Their individual worldviews may have been Christian or whatever, but when they got down to their work as scientists, they adhered to strict naturalism/materialism - no mention of the supernatural in their discoveries.

You are 100%, totally and remarkably WRONG!!!!! You are so wrong it is rather humorous. Newton slung references to God around like pro athletes sling cusswords. But let us examine said method to which you refer. It was designed by a believer, Francis Bacon, and it makes no mention whatever of natural or supernatural at all. None. In fact, Bacon saw that the inductive method of Aristotle was incorrect because it began with a presupposition/axiom and proceeded from there. This is the very folly of so many of today's naturalistic materialists, that they have reverted to Aristotle by beginning with the axiom that only natural causes and explanations may be accepted.

Bacon suggested a better way, commonly known as the Scientific Method, and allow me to quote from the Physics Department of the University of California:

"The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.
(Eventually a theory that is tested over and over with the same results is proclaimed to be a Law - radar)

The great advantage of the scientific method is that it is unprejudiced: one does not have to believe a given researcher, one can redo the experiment and determine whether his/her results are true or false. The conclusions will hold irrespective of the state of mind, or the religious persuasion, or the state of consciousness of the investigator and/or the subject of the investigation. Faith, defined as belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, does not determine whether a scientific theory is adopted or discarded."

Now, a naturalistic materialist brings his faith into the picture, being sure that there is no supernatural or no God, and therefore doesn't allow for any conclusions that support that point of view. The believing scientist sees all possibilities in place as he looks for answers.

And so it is today - not all scientists are atheists, and plenty of religious folk go to church on Sunday and adhere to materialism in the science lab during the week - because the supernatural is not useful in their research, and never has been. If you disagree (as you obviously do), then name an example in which it has been useful.

The idea of the supernatural is largely about beginnings, and so for the most part doesn't enter into most aspects of scientific studies. But often scientists have been in defacto agreement with the idea that God created. For instance, man now can manufacture diamonds (Oh, so millions of years under pressure are not needed?) and is working to perfect ways of converting garbage into artificial "fossil fuels" as if acknowledging a world that is thousands rather than millions of years old. Nano-Engineers may not voice the idea that God designs better machines than man, but they study and try to copy them as if they are fantastic designs rather than chance occurences. No, the supernatural is not so useful in research for what is sought out, but rather for what is understood to be useful courses of study. Thousands of scientists will waste millions of hours looking for a way in which life may have come from non-life, even though the simple and unprejudiced use of the scientific method would conclude that, yes, God did create life and life does not and will not arise from non-life. I can only hope that important discoveries take place more-or-less by mistake as these scientists waste their efforts. Waste, I say, because they reject the scientific method they claim to use and seek a philosopher's stone that does not exist!

"Again I say, the scientist who is able to consider both natural and supernatural solutions to scientific problems is the better scientist, for he is able to come to the best conclusion unfettered by the prejudices of the naturalistic materialist. Let truth win out!"

Yep, standing by that statement as supported above.

If that were true, then places like the Discovery Institute would be engaged in actual research and coming up with scientific advances that scientists using mere naturalistic methods could only dream of. Let truth win out indeed...

The Discovery Institute is probably dedicated more to ending the Dark Ages of Enquiry in which the scientific community is now chained. They fight to allow better science to be taught in schools and for research to take place free from the despots of naturalistic materialism that cut off grants, discourage peer reviews and deny tenure to those who do not adhere to the party line of humanistic and evolutionist thought. Many of you, my readers, are ignorantly wrapped in chains of such thinking and cannot GROK what I say. I will go further down this road in a subsequent post. But allow me to footnote with a short dialogue with Lava:

Just really how do you integrate the supernatural into science? Do you just come to a point where you can't explain something and say "God must have done that"? How do we alter the scientific method to account for the supernatural? This would be easier if PKE meters or Giga meters were real.

If you read above, you will see that I don't want the scientific method to be changed at all. I just want scientists to quit putting the materialistic axiom in front of it, thus directing enquiry in one direction only and certainly frustrating truth in the process.

You throw around the term "better scientist". Better in what way? Are we talking about a specific field of science? You say "the scientist who is able to consider both natural and supernatural solutions to scientific problems is the better scientist". Don't we "rank" scientists based on their contributions to their respective fields, not on their underlying beliefs? If Jonas Salk was a devout atheist(not sure what his background is, just throwing a name out there), are his discoveries diminished by his atheistic beliefs?

Well, if Newton was a Christian, do we throw out everything he learned? Should we shut down all space exploration because Von Braun believed in God? Is the study of Physics flawed because of how Theistic Lord Kelvin was in his day? In point of fact, Jonas Salk was a Jew who believed in God but also believed evolution was real. He was, in fact, one who was willing to consider both the natural and supernatural in his search for truth. That he discovered great truths only supports rather than degrades my assertions.

Stay tuned for more about the New Dark Ages! (Hint, I am referring to the here and now!)

4 comments:

lava said...

"Well, if Newton was a Christian, do we throw out everything he learned? Should we shut down all space exploration because Von Braun believed in God? Is the study of Physics flawed because of how Theistic Lord Kelvin was in his day? In point of fact, Jonas Salk was a Jew who believed in God but also believed evolution was real. He was, in fact, one who was willing to consider both the natural and supernatural in his search for truth. That he discovered great truths only supports rather than degrades my assertions."

Wow. You so completely missed the point of my post there(although I feel this may be on purpose because whay you originally said was pretty ludicrous- about "better" scientists being those who take the supernatural). The point of throwing Jonas Salk out there was just to throw a name out there- the point is I don't care about his religious beliefs as a scientists. Scientists merits are founded upon their contributions to the field whether they believe in god or not and/or whether they incorporate the supernatural into scientific experiments or not. If a person who uses the supernatural to make a great discovery that is a significant contribution to the field, then, great! (I'm just still waiting for it) If a scientist makes a discovery the regular way, then, great!

radar said...

Point not missed, Lava. You have rather missed my point. But I will go into more detail in my next post. I am all for the scientific method and what I am saying is that it is a mistake to put an axiom in front of everything that disallows a supernatural conclusion if that is where the evidence points.

lava said...

I missed the point?

Your original statement: "the scientist who is able to consider both natural and supernatural solutions to scientific problems is the better scientist"

My point: Scientists are no better or worse because of what they believe, rather they are "better" then others in their fields based upon their accomplishments and contributions.

You rebutted(in part): "Well, if Newton was a Christian, do we throw out everything he learned? Should we shut down all space exploration because Von Braun believed in God? Is the study of Physics flawed because of how Theistic Lord Kelvin was in his day?"

My new response: Again, their belief or non-belief in God is irrelevant to this discussion. Look at their accomplishments.

cranky old fart said...

"what I am saying is that it is a mistake to put an axiom in front of everything that disallows a supernatural conclusion if that is where the evidence points."

What "evidence" ever points to a supernatural explanation????

Evidence can point to, "we don't know", but it can't, by definition, point to the supernatural.