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

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 2009 - 00:09:23 EDT


You say that MN is neutral with respect to religion.

Let me leave that aside and ask whether you (or George) thinks that MN
is metaphysicially neutral.

Whether you think them questionable or not it appears to me that science
surely makes some metaphysical presumptions, even they may vary with time.
The kinds of explanations we permit, even MN itself, is metaphysical.
Were it not metaphysical what would it be? Surely not empirical. Is it
merely a convention? No, I think not. What we mean by a particle, or
what is a "thing." Are these metaphysical? They fit a template, perhaps
a changing one.

I guess what I am briefly suggesting is that science, whether it be MN or
something else, paints a possible picture of the world. It constrains the
world, only permitting some ill-defined possibilities, and excluding
others. There can be no discontinuities, the world is a Uni-verse; it
must obey rational law. This is certainly a more classic view, although
Nancy Cartwright suggests that the world is "messy," a different "world" I

Finally, how do we distinguish metaphysics from religion? Heidegger is
famous for saying that no one worships the causa sui. So perhaps no one,
but Hegel, sings to metaphysics. Still they touch noses, it seems.

bill powers

Thu, 2 Apr 2009, Kirk Bertsche wrote:

> David,
> I don't understand your comments about "George Murphy's views on
> methodological naturalism" being "religion."
> Based on George's comments, his view of MN seems to be pretty standard, and
> is the way that we we do science. (And I would argue that this is the way
> that we SHOULD do science.) It is METHODOLOGICAL, not METAPHYSICAL
> naturalism. It makes no religious claims at all, and keeps science neutral
> with respect to religion.
> What am I missing?
> Kirk
> On Apr 1, 2009, at 10:56 PM, David Clounch wrote:
>> This is why I oppose George Murphy's views on methodological naturalism.
>> To me it's religion and I want that religion separated from school as far
>> as the east is from the west.
>> I don't mind if George Murphy holds his view personally because he is
>> entitled to his religion. I just don't want a public school to base its
>> science curriculum on George's religion.

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Received on Fri Apr 3 00:09:42 2009

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