From: bivalve (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 16:09:41 EDT
>>My claim is that the basic presumptions of most scientists concerning the scientific method would preclude belief in free will no matter what our intuitive feelings are about it. One cardinal principal of the scientific method is repeatability and with it peer review(repeatability again). But what does this demand entail. It entails that we live in a mechanistic, unfree cosmos...Whatever the case, science offers no room for freedom(in the common sense definition) for these mechanics. Even the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics is considered by most physicists as random or unguided.<<
This involves additional philosophical assumptions besides the assumption of the usefulness of the scientific method. The scientific method may be adopted either ad hoc as a method that seems to work frequently or based on philosophical considerations that it is likely to work much of the time. Neither of these imply that it therefore must apply to everything. For example, a belief that God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, but is free to work without, above, or against them, implies that things will usually but not absolutely always behave according to regular patterns.
Just what the basic presumptions of most scientists would be is rather moot, especially as many have never thought much about their presumptions.
Another question is how one regards mathematically chaotic systems, i.e., those that are theoretically deterministic according to a precise set of equations, but in practice are humanly indeterminate because they require impractically precise knowledge of the starting conditions. Is this considered determinate or indeterminate?
Finally, it may be worth noting that both apparently indeterminate and apparently determinate systems are claimed by atheists to exclude God, raising questions about the general merit of the arguments.
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
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