Re: Science and supernatural explanations (was: working in the flesh?)

Murphy (
Fri, 21 Feb 1997 12:45:21 -0500

Loren Haarsma wrote:

> ABSTRACT: Science cannot prove that some past event was "supernatural;"
> however, it can in principle establish that no known natural mechanisms
> could account for that event. In that limited sense, science can address
> the supernatural.

OK, but the qualification "known" (in "no known natural
mechanisms") is very important. We can now see, e.g., that some of the
problems that led to quantum mechanics, such as the existence of stable
atoms, were things that simply _could not_ have been explained in terms
of classical physics. Yet nobody seriously suggested that they were
supernatural, in the sense that they could not be explained in terms of
any natural laws at all. Of course a tremendous revolution in
physical thinking had to take place in order for such explanation to
be possible. Our present situation with regard to the origin of life
might be similar.
George Murphy