Re: [asa] Natural Agents - Cause and Effect, Non-Natural Agents

From: <>
Date: Tue Apr 14 2009 - 10:12:43 EDT

> From Nelson's quotation: "You are, if science must be naturalistic,
> engaged in an activity that science will never understand."
> This is understandable and true, as far as contemporary science
> studies goes. There *are* activities that science doesn't study. The
> limitations of 'science' qua
> "Human psychology, if it can only recognize natural causes for
> events, will be forever on the hapless task of trying to explain the
> actions of the soul without including the soul in the theory." - Paul
> Nelson

> What about this exactly do you disagree with? Is it that a person is
> 'doing science' and therefore cannot possibly be 'entirely
> objective'?

Natural science cannot investigate the action or existence of an
immaterial spiritual soul. It can investigate the mind and any
connections between neural activity and human experiences. But natural
science is unable to investigate anything that is not material (matter
and energy).

What Paul is arguing is that this state of affairs is inappropriate and
that science should include the investigation of such non-material
entities. Because he sees humans as fundamentally non-natural he
therefore argues that science can investigate the action of an
intelligent designer as a causal agent in biological history (such an
agent is clearly supernatural). ID advocates consistently appeal to
the ability of science to study human action as a validation of their
argument that science can investigate divine action. That is why their
unwillingness to distinguish natural and supernatural agents is a
critical error. (By the way I had an extended e-mail conversation with
Paul on exactly this point.)

I would strongly encourage you to read my full essay in the book "For
the Rock Record: Geologists on Intelligent Design." I lay out step by
step my whole argument. I would be happy to respond to anyone's
comments on that essay.


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Received on Tue Apr 14 10:13:55 2009

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