Re: Read what I said again (was "Stephen Jones" <>:...)

John W. Burgeson (
Tue, 2 Jun 1998 13:05:13 -0600

Stephen wrote:

"Read what I said again! ;-) My definition was of *Metaphysical*
Metaphysical naturalists don't say "even if there is a God". They deny
that there is a God.

You are getting mixed up with Metaphysical Naturalism and Methodological

Sorry -- you are right. I understand the difference quite clearly; I did
not read your post clearly and I apologize.

You went on to cite two authors:

"Why do the leading voices of official science teach that science and
naturalism are inseparable? The reason is that they assume that the
method is inherently characterized by a thoroughgoing methodological
naturalism (hereafter MN)..." (Johnson P.E., "Reason in the Balance",


"Interestingly, a significant number of Christian scholars have made
claims. For example, philosopher Paul de Vries and scientist Howard J.
Till have argued that natural science, by its very nature, presupposes
and is
constituted by methodological naturalism (hereafter MN)..." (Moreland
"The Creation Hypothesis," 1994, p42)"

I find myself in complete agreement with de Vries & Van Till on this
issue. The answer I give to Johnson's "Why... ?" is that the principle
WORKS. And I have seen no indication the Johnson's TR (Theological
Realism) works, at least not in a scientific sense.

The oldest definition of science" I've been able to find is attributed to
Aristotle -- "science is the description of causes." (sorry -- no source
here but my elderly memory). Along with this was the admonition to
"attribute nothing to the gods." This is MN, Methodological Naturalism.
Yes, I've seen people use the term "Metaphysical Naturalism == MN" but it
seems to me that using "Philosophical Naturalism == PN" is a better
choice; at least PN and MN are not going to get mixed up!


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