From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Mar 14 2003 - 09:28:03 EST
Before dealing with your question, "What must the ID folks show to convince
the world of science they are to be taken seriously?" I'd like to reflect a
bit on your characterization of science. You said:
> There appear to be at least four precepts scientists take for a priori
For starters, let's work only on the first "precept" on your list.
> 1. If there is observational data, a theory based on
> methodological naturalism must be constructed.
Your choice of the word "must" puzzles me. It cannot mean that there is some
moral rule obligating a scientist, in the presence of observational data, to
construct a theory based on natural phenomena only.
I presume it means instead that if any scientific theory is going to be
formulated to account for some collection of observational data, then that
scientific theory will, because of the character of contemporary natural
science, deal with natural causes only. This approach, often labeled
methodological naturalism (MN), maintains a stance of agnosticism regarding
the reality of non-natural causes. For example, MN does not explicitly
reject or accept divine action -- whether of the supernatural (coercive) or
the non-coercive variety -- it simply excludes divine action (and any other
form of non-natural action) from scientific theorizing.
David Ray Griffin, with whose work you are very familiar, makes a somewhat
stronger metaphysical statement when he proposes that science ought to be
done on the assumption that minimal naturalism applies (where minimal
naturalism explicitly rejects supernatural action but maintains a stance of
agnosticism relative to the possibility of non-coercive divine action).
Because it chooses to deal explicitly with non-natural causes as actual
possibilities, ID science (the topic of this thread) rejects both
methodological naturalism and minimal naturalism, right?
If I have caught the spirit of your #1, let's proceed to #2. Let me know.
Howard Van Till
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