Re: [asa] ID and Methodological Naturalism

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 17:19:54 EDT

>> Although an advocate of non-overlapping magisteria might agree with me
>> up to this point, I would point out that these other sources of
>> information such as philosophy and religion have implications for
>> science.  Science is a sub-magesterium, not an independent one.
>
> Is this statement -- that science is a sub-magisterium of philosophy or
> religion, not an independent one -- itself a scientific statement?  If not,
> what sort of statement is it?  And how do we know that it is true?

It is not scientific; neither are most other statements about the
scope or applicability of science. It is a philosophical or
metaphysical or religious statement-these categories are extensively
overlapping.

I hold it to be true on theological grounds, though I find it hard to
envision any credible argument that science is not affected by
metaphysical considerations. The practice of science is possible
without bothering to think about the underlying assumptions, or while
holding metaphysical assumptions that are contradicted by the practice
of science; there are also multiple different philosophical positions
that are compatible with the practice of science. However, any
consideration of the assumptions that guide science will be almost
inherently metaphysical. (Even "it works" makes the assumption that
practical functioning is a meaningful and desirable criterion; it also
immediately raises the question of "why?").

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Jun 1 17:20:29 2009

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