RE: [asa] Science proves there's no need for God?

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Wed Oct 08 2008 - 12:43:32 EDT

I think there's an enormous question-begging definitional problem here: what is meant by "universe?"

If you assume metaphysical naturalism, reject any kind of top-down causation, and agree that the "universe" must be a hermetically closed causal system, then perhaps there's no need for God as an "explanation." But why should we accept those titanic assumptions based on "science?" By definition, "science" only investigates the "natural." "Science" cannot prove or disprove whether metaphysical naturalism is true, because that is a question outside the domain of "science."

As to the "success" of "science," it hasn't come close yet to explaining all the mysteries of the universe. Most of the matter in the universe is "dark matter" or "dark energy," which "science" cannot yet explain. Nor can "science" yet explain what preceded the big bang. These, as well as other things, are huge gaps in "science's" ability to explain the universe.

Of course, "science" may one day be able to explain these things, and we would not argue that these gaps must be "God." But our belief that science might one day explain these things is simply that, a belief. That belief is not, in itself, "scientific." As Ted noted, we need to go outside "science" to explain how it is that we can develop such a "belief."

Indeed, the very notion of the "success" of "science" is not a "scientific" one. What do we mean by "success?" "Success" is a value judgment. What "scientific" principle defines "success?" The fathers of the modern scientific method -- Bacon, et al. -- based their notions of "progress" in scientific study on social and moral judgments that fall outside the realm of "science."

David W. Opderbeck
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Hi David-
You said: "Indeed, the very notion of the "success" of "science" is not a "scientific" one. What do we mean by "success?" "Success" is a value judgment"
I think the "success of science" should be obvious. Look at the leaps in technology in the last 50 years- in the computer, medical, automotive, etc. worlds. It seems to me that science and technology is growing exponentially and our lives are greatly enhanced by it. Imagine being diagnosed by your doctor today for some serious illness compared to what it would have been like 50 years ago (blood work, medical equipment, etc.).

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Received on Wed Oct 8 12:44:44 2008

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