Response to criticism of methodology for identifying supernatural interventio

Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 23:11:41 EST

  • Next message: "FREE Biotech Stock Info! 332" contains an introduction of
    the article I wrote explaining a methodology for identifying supernatural
    intervention. I do not think anybody exposed a flaw in the logic involved
    with the proof by elimination (PE) logic the article attempts to use. The
    major legitimate criticism is the point that it is very difficult to identify
    all possible natural hypothesis nonetheless rule them all out to logically
    imply supernatural intervention. I included some new sections that respond to
    this point. The main response is listed below. It does refer to the article
    so it will need to be read to understand the complete argument.

    Section 2.7 from

    Much of the criticism about supernatural claims is warranted. However, this
    article has explained how supernatural claims can be substantiated in a valid
    way. This section attempts to respond to criticism of the valid approach not
    the invalid approaches.

    Determining all possible natural hypothesis nonetheless ruling them all out
    is a big challenge and it is questionable if it has ever been accomplished.
    However, before assuming it has never been accomplished, first one should
    consider that there are certain types of phenomenon which have a finite limit
    of possible explanations. Section 2.5 explains that discrete phenomenon can
    have a finite number of explanation and even for when there is an infinite
    amount it is still possible for a finite effort to deal with them. Also,
    section 2.5 explains that a finite number of categories of hypothesis may be
    identified which could allow for a general conclusion to be made without
    determining the specific correct hypothesis.

    Another complaint made about the approach of those making supernatural claims
    is that their approach does not make any predictions; thus; is not
    falsifiable or testable. The most fundamental use of the PE approach does
    make any assumption aside from the presupposition that there is a correct
    theory for explaining the reality being investigated and that reality follows
    the law of no contradiction. If these presuppositions, proven natural
    principals and a set of observation imply through the correct application of
    appropriate rational criterion that the supernatural intervened, then the
    supernatural has been substantiated without any specific predictions. Thus,
    specific predictions about the supernatural may not be necessary to infer
    supernatural intervention. The approach proposed in this article is
    falsifiable. According to the approach proposed in this article by just
    showing there is just one plausible possible natural hypothesis a specific
    claim that there is proof for supernatural intervention is falsified. Also,
    as mentioned in Section 2.6, assumptions about the supernatural can be made
    from which specific falsifiable predictions could be developed.

    The approach proposed in the article is not erroneous, but correct because it
    is based upon PE in the same straight forward way that science attempts to
    use PE. Thus, if PE does not have the potential to imply supernatural
    intervention as proposed in this article, then PE does not apply in general
    which would means there is no logical basis for determining something true

    Some critics claim since supernatural intervention is not humanly repeatable,
    it cannot be evaluated scientifically. Ability to repeat is very helpful
    because it allows for more testing of the theory, however, 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 plausible explanation, then PE implies the supernatural

    There is a legitimate debate concerning probability calculations. However,
    the probability approach proposed in this article is conservative to ensure
    the calculated probabilities are not under estimated. Scientific evaluations
    most always involves probability calculations or estimates. Scientific
    theories are supposed to be falsifiable; thus, if an analytical tool
    involving probability is scientific, then it should have the potential to
    show a low probability for natural hypothesis implying the hypothesis is
    implausible. If all natural hypothesis are implausible, then PE implies the
    supernatural has intervened. Thus, those that claim that PE has no potential
    to substantiate claims about intelligent design or the supernatural, imply
    the scientific probability tools do not really have the potential to imply
    all natural hypothesis false. Thus, they are just making an artificial
    invincible defense to protect their naturalistic presuppositionalism just
    like many theist build artificial invincible defenses to protect their
    theistic presuppositionalism. See Section 5.4 of Ref. 1 for a description of
    presuppositionalism and their associated artificial invincible defenses.

    Just as natural scientist should be given every opportunity to find a natural
    explanation, so should those who are interested in finding a rationale for a
    meaningful explanation for humans, be given every opportunity to find the
    intervention of the supernatural. However, the search for the supernatural
    should still follow an appropriate rationale.

    Later I plan on presenting two specific examples, but first I wanted to limit
    the discussion to just the evaluation of the rules and logical basis for
    scientifically evaluating the evidence, then once there is agreement on the
    logical basis for scientifically evaluating the evidence then there is a good
    basis for discussing actual evidence. The Florida recount shows good reasons
    to first agree upon the rules before going into evaluating the evidence.
    People tend to be more objective and unbiased when the are discussing the
    rules without knowing what the evidence is because they are not aware of what
    the resulting conclusion would be from the evaluation of the evidence. There
    was an immense amount of spin doctoring coming from the public pundits of
    both parties during the recount; however, there was never any such comments
    prior to the election results in Florida being known.

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