[asa] Arie

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Wed Mar 26 2008 - 15:31:19 EDT

I had the same problem with Arie. Instead of understanding PSCF to be a
forum for getting messages out he seems to want to be a roadblock.
Dick Fischer. author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 2:12 PM
To: hpoe@uu.edu; wrmethor@shaw.ca; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: [asa] Poe and ID
Arie does not want to carry on the debate in PSCF, so I'm posting this
Quacking like a Duck
Poe's response to Thorson and me, "Poe Replies," PSCF, 60: no. 1 ((2008)
41f, misses the points we attempted to make. He rebuts the antiquity of
scientific methodology by noting that "methodological naturalism" was
coined recently. Were his argument valid, we could infer that nothing
exists until it is explicitly named. His "methodological objectivity,"
if it is a neologism as I believe, thus first applied to science about
2007. Hence, the scientific method had to be something different
Poe is right that "methodological naturalism is not science." The term
belongs to philosophy of science as a descriptor of science. This
applies equally to "methodological objectivity," were it ever to find a
place in philosophy. But I note that, as a philosophy professor, I
objectively discussed Spinoza's pantheism, Aristotle's four causes,
etc., none of which can be science in the modern sense. But then neither
is Aristotle's accurate description of fertilization in a cephalopod,
which was dismissed by later biologists as fantasy until it was again
observed. Aristotle was objective, though prescientific.
Poe confuses methodological naturalism with metaphysical naturalism or
scientism when he claims that it denies God as final cause. However,
method does not dictate metaphysics. Properly, it would be better to
refer to the First or Prime Cause, for Aristotle's final cause involves
purpose, not source. But this is another change in usage that has
developed over time. The notion of a Creator as final cause (in the
contemporary sense) goes back to Hebrew antiquity, without our
terminology. Secondary causes are what scientists study.
I apparently did not express one of my earlier objections clearly. Poe
understood me to deny observation in reading data. My point was that one
does not observe mental activity qua mental by surveys, which are
essentially subjective rather than objective. This creates a rift
between those psychologists who claim to be scientific rather than
nonscientific, against those who describe the rift as between "rat
psychologists and real psychologists."
I am glad that Poe does not associate himself with ID, but the equation
of methodological naturalism with metaphysical naturalism was Johnson's
first move. Thorson and I applied the "if it looks like a duck."
principle to conclude that Poe, despite protestations, is promoting ID.
Dave (ASA)

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Received on Wed Mar 26 15:43:37 2008

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