Friday, December 17, 2010
Methodological Naturalism, the artificial intrusion of religion into science. Is there, indeed, No Exit?
Atheism is a religion and Darwinism is a key doctrine of atheism. I have added the youtube page of philos71 to my links list and am enlisting him via youtube to help me with this post.
I recently commnented as follows:
"Reasoning would come to see design in the organism, acknowledge it, and move ahead. The Law of Biogenesis would be accepted still as yet another testable hypothesis that had been proclaimed as law and shall remain until overturned.
The search for truth that is science must be driven by evidence and both inductive and deductive reasoning must be applied. I agree with all of that.
The trouble is that if you artificially include methodological naturalism, which is a metaphysical concept, into science it is just as inhibiting as forcing scientists to inject methodological supernaturalism into science. In that case, a way to show that God is ultimately the cause of the fall of leaves from deciduous trees in the autumn would have to be included in every paper submitted for review. Would not such a thing be absurd?
Yet that is what methodological naturalism is, an absurd metaphysical limitation placed on science! There is no better argument for imposing the supernatural or the natural on science.
Real science studies what is and tries to use logic and deduction to determine how and why and what application these findings can have in real life. Neither natural nor supernatural tags should be imposed upon science. If and when science comes to the supernatural as a First Cause for the Universe or life or information, this does not stop or inhibit scientific research in the least. It is merely distasteful to those who dislike, fear or hate God.
We know that methodological naturalism was not a part of science until Darwinism became the ruling paradigm. In fact the existence of God as Creator was fundamental to the devising of the scientific method in the first place. Believers in God expected that the Universe could be understood logically. Those who wish to exclude the supernatural from science and give credit to accidents and random forces for all life and matter and time and systems are borrowing God to get started and then casting Him aside afterwards.
A random Universe would have random processes and forces. It would be unpredictable. Darwinist thought takes us back to the thinking of those Greeks who attributed every drop of rain and every puff of wind as being part of an argument or interaction between semi-human "gods" whose names were derived from, for the most part, their own ancestry. Some pagan cultures consider the wind and the rain and, what the heck, trees to be gods requiring appeasement and yet acting in arbitrary ways.
Methodological supernaturalism requires that all forces and events be caused by supernatural agents. That is a viewpoint that is obviously wrong to my readers. We are not, as scientists, going to say there was a blizzard in Chicago because God doesn't like Rahm Emmanuel. When a recent AGW meeting was cancelled due to heavy snow and intense cold, that was ironically funny but to say that God did it is not a scientific statement. God did not cause Hurricane Katrina to be a disaster, it was a combination of atmospheric conditions and an infrastructure that was not up to standards, in part because politicians had re-routed or pocketed money meant to bolster the dikes and levees in the New Orleans area. We can see by inspection and reasoning that this is so.
Methodological naturalism requires all forces and events to be caused by natural agents. This is also obviously wrong. The long list of great scientists who helped bring the Western World from Middle-Ages superstition to 17th Century scientific examination would almost unanimously agree with me."
Now allow me to take your intellect on a trip to see a play. You have heard Philos expound upon atheism as it sees the world and how Darwinism gives blind chance the same place in their worldview as a Christian would give God. Chance is the creative, designing force by which all things came to be. This is what you have left when you dissect Darwinism to see what is within it.
Perhaps you are familiar with the existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre? He was a socialist, a philosopher who was famous for his refusal to accept a Nobel Prize in literature. You may be familiar with the famous line of his play, "No Exit", which was written in 1944 while he was supposedly involved in the French resistance against Germany; "Hell is other people."
In the play, a Valet leads three people into a room with no windows and no mirrors, one at a time, and locking the one door behind him after each entrance. The room is supposed to be Hell and the punishment turns out to be an unending existence for each of the thee people with the other two, whom they come to despise and, during the play, their obvious distaste for themselves is also on display. Four characters in all are identified in the play but most dialogue involves the three in the room. In the end, as the main character asks to be let out, the door is opened but not one of the three within the room are willing to leave to face the unknown or to in some way give satisfaction to any of the others.
Now allow that scene to represent scientific research in the 21st Century. Three people are in the room and in this case they represent the Creationist, the Intelligent Design proponent and the Darwinist. They have forgotten how they came into the room and have to deduce how they came to be there. In the room there are no mirrors or windows and the light is always on. There is one book (The Book) in the room. The Valet in the play will be referred to as The Carpenter in my version of the play.
The Creationist reads The Book that tells him that there is a door and he therefore believes in the door. He believes the door is locked but that there is a person (The Carpenter) who can open the door. This is analogous to God, who has created all things and now the Universe is obedient to the Laws of Thermodynamics, in which nothing is now being created or destroyed. The Creationist is confident that the door, having opened in the past, will open again to allow him to leave the room and accompany The Carpenter to another life outside the room. The Book he has in his possession tells him so, and since The Book is correct concerning the door, he believes it likely that the rest of the book is also true. That The Carpenter built the room and the door and put all three people into the room seems quite logical to him. His careful examination of the room confirms this belief. Everything in the room appears to have been made by someone and it is logical to give the credit to The Carpenter.
The ID proponent has examined the room and found no windows or opening of any kind but one possibility, what appears to be a part of the wall that was designed to serve as a door. He is unable to open that door but can, by examination, determine that it appears to be a door and seems to be the only possible explanation for how the three could have entered the room. He may at that point begin to wonder about The Book and whether The Carpenter had fashioned both the room and the door, but he is quite certain that the door is there and so there is an obvious way to see that the three had entered the room. Both he and the Creationist agree that there is certainly a door and that is how they came to be in the room. Both he and the Creationist agree that the room and its contents were made by someone. He may even decide to read The Book and believe that there was a Carpenter who made both room and door and in fact put all three people within it as well.
The Darwinist refuses to look at or consider the door. He ignores The Book. He concludes that all three of the people and every object within the room had by chance spontaneously appeared in the room. He studies the walls and furniture carefully and begins composing stories by which reflections of the light off of a decoration might have energized dust in the furniture into taking the shape and form of the people who are now there. He carefully examines everything BUT the door. He refuses to admit the possibility of a door. He spends his time writing ceaselessly in a journal a wide variety of stories concerning how each part of the room, including the people, must have popped into existence from nothing out of nowhere. Thereby he is able to satisfy himself that he doesn't have to be concerned about The Book or the door or The Carpenter, since he refuses to acknowledge that they exist.
At the end of the play, the door opens and The Carpenter appears, inviting the Creationist to come out. If the Intelligent Design proponent has come to believe what is within The Book, he will also follow and go with The Carpenter and the Creationist out the door and beyond. After the door slams shut, the Darwinist realizes that it was real, that The Book was true and that the Carpenter was the builder of the room. But he is helpless to unlock the now-sealed door and in fear he realizes that the room is getting hotter and the smell of smoke is in the air...
I am willing to assert that Darwinism is an 19th Century concept that is infantile in its view of the world. Hutton could only look at a weathered stone fence and an outcropping of rock and speculate on an Earth that has been acted upon by forces for untold millenia. We know better than that now. Our Sun would not be friendly to life for untold millions of years, the Moon's orbit would not sustain itself for untold millions of years and the sedimentary rocks were formed by catastrophic water events. The vast majority of fossils are a testament to instant anaerobic burial.
To look at the outside of organisms and speculate that they evolved from simpler organisms was fine back then. But now that we can see and analyze DNA and see how features are passed on and where on the DNA such features are located has proven to us that this is not true. The ridiculous fairy tales foisted upon the unschooled about the evolution of the eye, for instance, are ridiculous in that the trilobite eyes are among the most sophisticated of vision systems ever discovered. A look within organisms shows design and information that cannot have happened by chance. Cannot. It is impossible. Any statistician who is honest with himself and us would agree. We live in one Universe that is expanding from a beginning and is going to end in heat death if God does not first intervene. The Laws of Thermodynamics tell us that we had a cause and the only cause that is logical is a Creator God.
If you examined a 1965 Mustang, it would be apparent that it is an automobile and, at first, it might not look much different from a brand new Mustang. The styling is not dissimilar, both have four wheels and they have doors and so on. But if you popped the hood? A 1965 Mustang with a 289 engine had a Holley carburetor and that carb was adjusted by screws and operated by simple mechanical means. Levers and springs are seen. The ignition would include a separate solenoid and if the distributer cap was to be removed, the points would be revealed to be made for manual manipulation. One would set the gap with a special tool and one would use a dwell meter to check on the settings and the timing. I learned to play with those settings to get a bit more horsepower from my particular 289 when I was still a teenager. That particular model had a solenoid that would easily go bad and often you would rap it with a wrench and then try to start the car again and it would work! Cool! But if that happened I knew I would have to break down and buy and install a new solenoid before it failed completely.
Today's cars have onboard computers and the way the engines fire and the timing and the method of fuel injection has changed radically in 45 years. Little of what I learned working on my Mustang back in the day applies to modern automobiles. I've had to adjust my thinking and troubleshoot newer cars in new ways. Usually I just have to take them to my buddy who owns a repair shop where he has computer analyzers and updated internet connectivity to the latest information for every automobile on the road by which he can find and fix problems or give us the sad news that our car is on the downside of usefulness and would be best sold or traded in. If Bill Knight was still doing mechanical work on cars with 1960's knowledge and information, he would very soon be out of business.
Since I was a child radio has gone from AM to FM to online streaming. Automobiles have gone from flathead to V8 to a wide variety of computer-controlled systems. Recorded music has gone from vinyl to tape (analog) to CD and MP3 and other digital formats. Prop-engined airplanes were the majority of the fleets of commercial airlines. They are almost entirely jets now. Television was black and white and mostly performed live, broadcast from large towers and accessed by mostly rooftop antennas. Now that is all digital as well via cable or internet or satellite. I have a dish on my roof to receive my signals. I have a wireless router providing internet access within my home although a few nodes are on ethernet connections.
Yet science continues to try to teach origins with 19th Century ideas and terminology as a basis for understanding organisms. It can only be for religious reasons that this is so! How so many scientists could possibly be so STUPID is otherwise incomprehensible, if they were not trapped within a worldview that is unsustainable as knowledge of organisms and science in general advances. Why are Darwinists still mired in the past?
Is there evidence for God?
Will you abandon reason...or religion? Atheism is a religion. Darwinism is part of that religion. Darwinism is an incomprehensible mishmash of just-so stories that try desperately to fit the round peg of naturalism into the square hole of a well-designed, information-packed world of living beings and it is a sad failure as a philosophy.