Comment on Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith by Sean Pitman.
In general this is true, but it is also possible that someone presents very compelling evidence, in a youtube video or even the popular press, that is testable and potentially falsifiable and is in fact a real scientific discovery.
There’s was a popular TV show called “Myth Busters” where many of these YouTube myths were put to the test. While many of them turned out to be fabrications or myths, a few of them turned out to be valid.
Again, the hypothesis or theory should stand on its own – regardless of where it happens to be published.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
Again, even using concepts common to methodological naturalism alone, one cannot but help to discover “blindingly obvious” artefacts of intelligent design within various features of the natural world. Using the very same MN arguments SETI uses to search for artificial radio signals or anthropologists use to discover true artefacts within fragments of stone, one can discover clear artefacts of deliberate design within living things.
Therefore, it isn’t methodological naturalism that causes you to fail to recognize these artefacts for what they really are. It is the secular philosophy held by most scientists that prevents you from these discoveries – for fear that any admission of intelligent design or creative intelligence at all, even on a natural level, will lead some to suggest that God might be responsible for even low-level artefacts of design. It is also your own inability to move beyond the status quo and take on your own ideas regardless of what may or may not be popular among most scientists that limits your ability to recognize the signature of God, or even some form of “natural intelligence,” in nature. You refuse to even consider the idea that God is perfectly capable of creating artefacts that we humans could also create, thereby making them detectable as true artefacts of creative intelligence via the use of even methodological naturalism.
Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
I certainly agree. The notion that liquid water alone is all that it takes for life to simply self-assemble is nonsense and is certainly not backed up by the scientific evidence that we currently have in hand.
Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
You must be feeling quite fatigued indeed 😉
Since when is the evolution of anything beyond very low levels of functional complexity or a Noachian style Flood or the formation of the fossil record “everyday events”? And, how is your own appeal to discoveries at some unknown time in the future to explain complex biomachines, by some as yet unknown mindless mechanism, somehow rational or “scientific” by any definition of the term? You place a lot of emphasis on the ability of living things to reproduce, but fail to explain how natural selection can actually act as a creative force beyond very low levels of functional complexity – but you’re sure that it, or some other miraculous “emergent” mindless mechanism, is still responsible for all that we see in living things?
Of course the claims of the Bible go beyond what can be supported by a study of nature alone. That much should be “blindingly obvious.” However, the claims of the Bible are not inconsistent with the evidence coming from the empirical world. True science and Scripture are complementary, not contradictory. They walk hand-in-hand, shedding light upon each other as both are studied – since they both have the same primary Author. If all the details described in the Bible could be determined through a study of nature alone, the Bible wouldn’t be needed as an additional revelation of historical events, the natural world, or God’s character and how he deals with mankind. However, the discovery that the weight of empirical evidence is consistent with the claims of the Bible adds credibility to the Bible and makes it rationally believable with regard to those elements or details that cannot be directly tested and verified. After all, why else would you give the Bible more credibility than the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an? – or any other such religious text claiming to have a Divine origin?
This seems to me to be the difference between your fideistic faith, which you claim cannot be affected by the weight of empirical evidence, vs. the faith of the writers of the Bible itself who claimed that their faith stood upon the solid weight of empirical evidence.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…