Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claims

Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 08:45:24 EST

  • Next message: Joel Z Bandstra: "RE: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claims"

    >DF You have no room for unknown causes. In your "example" there are 10
    "possible" explanations. In practice, only the explanations that are known
    to be possible can be among the 10. You eliminate 9 as implausible or
    false. The remaining hypothesis is only a possible explanation not proven
    You just claim the remaining hypothesis is "only" a possible explanation not
    proven false, without giving a reason why and you have not explained the flaw
    in the argument that I claim logically explains why the remaining hypothesis
    is true. The two assumptions PE is based upon is that there is a correct
    theory for explaining the reality being investigated and that reality follows
    the law of no contradiction. Without these two assumptions reason could not
    determine the truth about any reality, supernatural or natural. If there is a
    correct theory that describes a certain reality and all possible hypothesis
    for explaining that certain reality are false except for one hypothesis, then
    PE implies that this one non-false hypothesis is true. If the remaining
    hypothesis was also false then there would be no correct theory which would
    contradict the premise that there is a correct theory. Thus, if the premise
    that there is a correct theory is true then the one non-false hypothesis must
    be true otherwise the premise would be contradicted. Thus, PE is derived from
    the requirement for no contradiction which is a fundamental logical
    principal. Since PE is derived from a logical concept PE is also a logical
    concept. Science attempts to use PE and other logical concepts to determine
    the truth about reality; thus, the scientific procedure has the potential to
    logically determine something true about reality.

    >DF You can't imply "true" unless you can test your hypothesis with
    experiments where you can predict the outcome and get the outcome you

    I agree observations are needed to show hypothesis false in order for one to
    possibly get to the point of proving a hypothesis true. However, just because
    there are some observations from experiments consistent with the theory does
    not prove the theory correct. There may be another theory that also makes
    predictions which are consistent with observations from experiments. To prove
    a theory you need more than just show some observations consistent with it,
    you also need to show there is no other successful explanation which means
    one needs PE to logically prove something true about reality.

    >DF Miracles are not repeatable through experimentation. Therefore, you can
    never prove that anything was the product of an act of miraculous

    Just because some phenomenon cannot be repeated does not mean it is
    impossible to scientifically verify a theory about the phenomenon. Scientific
    analysis is often applied to unrepeatable historical events such as in
    astronomy, archaeology, forensic science, etc... For example, the big bang
    occurred once within the life of our universe; however, there is plenty of
    scientific reasoning that indicates it is true by evaluating it's after
    effects. The after effects of the supernatural could also be evaluated and if
    there is definitely no natural explanation then PE implies the supernatural
    intervened as explained in

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