Re: [asa] Anti-Creationist Psychobabble On the Web

From: wjp <>
Date: Thu Apr 02 2009 - 08:50:16 EDT


All metaphysics might be regarded as religious.
Are you saying that science ought to be metaphysically neutral?
MN is an attempt to be at least metaphysically minimalist.

If this makes sense, what do you take metaphysics to be?
Lacking metaphysics what remains? It seems that there can be no knowledge
whatsoever, not even any data.

bill powers

On Thu, 2 Apr 2009 08:23:02 -0400, "George Murphy" <> wrote:
> David -
> Since below you mention "George Murphy's views on methodological
> naturalism", I want to clarify what those views are, especially with
> regard to public education. I regard methodological naturalism simply
> as part of a definition of what science is - i.e., that it attempts to
> explain the world in terms of entities & processes within the world, so
> that appeal to entities outside the world is ruled out. ("Within" &
> "outside" of course are not simply spatial terms there.) There are good
> reasons for accepting that limitation that do not depend on religious
> beliefs. In particular:
> 1) This has been the de facto understanding of science by the scientific
> community for 300+ years and science has been very successful working
> within that limit.
> 2) A careful observance of the that limit keeps religious disputes out of
> science. (Of course there have been religious disputes connected with
> science but I would argue that they have been caused by attempts either to
> import religious explanations into science - e.g., ID - or by attempts,
> implicit or explicit, to replace methodological naturalism with
> metaphysical/ontological naturalism.)
> I think that that is all that would need to be said if the idea of MN were
> to be discussed in a science classes in public schools - though probably
> the latter point would be better made in a class dealing with religious
> influences on culture & society.
> Now I think that good Christian theology, and in particular the way I have
> argued for an understanding of God's relationship with the world that I've
> called chiasmic cosmology - provides a theological basis for MN, and for
> Christians at least gives a deeper understanding of it. & I think it's
> appropriate to argue that in public forums. But it is not needed in order
> to legitimate the teaching of MN in public schools, or for government to
> endorse it.
> There's an analogous point that may help to clarify this. It's a basic
> assumption of science that there is in some sense a real world that has
> some kind of rational order. The Christian claim is that that is the case
> because the world is the good creation of God. But a teacher can tell
> students that the rationality of a real world is a presupposition without
> which there would be no point in doing science without saying anything
> about the Christian argument for that claim.
> Shalom
> George
> ----- Original Message --

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Received on Thu Apr 2 08:50:57 2009

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