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

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 2009 - 10:56:09 EDT

The problem seems to be that MN can stand for either "Methodological
Naturalism," which I have always taken to be a cornerstone of proper
science (God does not put His finger in my test tube) and
"Metaphysical Naturalism," which is the claim that the natural world
comprises the whole of reality.

The first is benign; the second toxic.


On 4/3/09, Ted Davis <> wrote:
> I respond to this point, from David Clounch:
>>>> David Clounch <> 4/3/2009 10:14 AM >>>
> Bill,
> It doesn't matter. Public schools taught science just fine without MN. MN
> exists only to assuage the concerns of certain religionists. It belongs
> down the hall in the philosophy classroom or comparative religion
> classroom,
> not in the science classroom. Along with all questions about
> metaphysics.
> -Dave C
> ***
> I am unclear, David, on just what you mean, by saying that the schools
> teach science "without MN." Pretty much everything in standard science
> texts is a scientific conclusion that has been reached after assuming MN. I
> say this on the assumption that MN is, to quote something I wrote many years
> ago, "the belief that science should explain phenomena only in terms of
> entities and properties that fall within the category of the natural, such
> as by natural laws acting either through known causes or by chance."
> Perhaps you are using a different implicit definition of MN, or perhaps you
> are thinking of ways in which such an assumption is not really behind the
> science taught in schools. Either way, I would appreciate having more of
> your idea made explicit here.
> Thanks,
> Ted
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Received on Fri Apr 3 10:56:56 2009

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