Re: Methodological naturalism

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Wed, 01 Apr 1998 14:13:42 -0500 (EST)

At 09:11 AM 3/26/98 -0800, Adrian Teo wrote:
>Phillip E. Johnson wrote:
>> Newton's law of gravity is not dependent upon MN. He provided calculations
>> which make predictions which can be verified observationally. A theist
>> should say: "however the solar system originated, and whatever is the
>> nature of that mysterious force we call 'gravity,' it can be observed to
>> operate with a law-like regularity described in Newton's calculations
>> (subject to certain famous anomalies)." Compare: "My computer is
>> intelligently designed, and it also operates according to physical laws."
>I don't get it, Phil. I know my computer is intelligently designed
>(observation), but it also operates according to physical laws
>(observation), and therefore, I can study those regularities through MN
>(method). How is that different from saying something like "The universe
>is intelligently designed (presupposition), but it also operates
>according to physical laws (observation), and THEREFORE, I can employ MN
>to study those regularities (method)"? Isn't that what Christian
>scientists are doing all along?
>I'm afraid I'm not getting the gist of your concern with MN.

One has to be careful when using the term universe. Do we mean the physical
universe or everything. The physical laws, at best, describe the physical
universe. I doubt it if they will ever describe all that there is, including
us. In the word spell of my computer I store words in Armenian but I would
not say that my computer knows the existence of two languages, English and
Armenian, in its memory bank. Therefore, an intelligently designed object
may be describable in terms of physical terms, however, there is something
that goes beyond the physical description