Why Limit Science To Natural Causes? ...

Why Limit Science To Natural Causes? And Who Said It First?

There are 65 comments on the Forbes.com story from Jun 15, 2014, titled Why Limit Science To Natural Causes? And Who Said It First?. In it, Forbes.com reports that:

Over at 3 Quarks Daily , Paul Braterman has an interesting series debating the merits of a key aspect of the scientific method in light of the creationist/evolution debate.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Forbes.com.

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#43 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
<quoted text>
YHVH, is not Jewish.
YHVH appeared to the Jews.
As Zeus appeared to the Greeks.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

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#44 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
I believe that science MUST necessarily be limited to natural causes.
Limited to natural phenomena at any rate - to what is observable and verifiable and falsifiable.

The question is, why assume more than natural phenomena? We have not explained everything through science, but we keep continuing to successfully explain more and more. Until this project hits a dead end, then there is no reason to assume that there are other factors operating.

Take evolution. It logically explains the mechanism of life's development and diversification, without recourse to any higher power. Nobody can prove a higher power was not involved, but why assume something that is evidently not necessary?

Now consider something less understood. Abiogenesis, the origin of the first life. Its not understood but as of now we have found no definitive barrier to it occurring naturally. There is plenty of research to do, understanding to be gained, and nobody can claim they know how it happened. But just because we don't know, is not an argument for God Did It. The only argument for that would be if we found a reason why it could not happen naturally, and nobody has yet.

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#45 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
<quoted text>
"... in science there is no 'knowledge', in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we NEVER have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth.... This view means, furthermore, that WE HAVE NO PROOFS IN SCIENCE (EXCEPTING, of course, pure mathematics and LOGIC). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, PROOFS DO NOT OCCUR, if we mean by 'proof' an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory."
[Sir Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction, 1953]
Your mistake here is one that Popper himself did NOT make.

Knowledge - real, useful, appliable, workable knowledge, does not require Absolute Truth, just truth. Which means, consistency with known facts - observable, measurable chunks of concrete truth about the world around us, and explanations (theories) consistent with these and even better, able to predict new facts successfully. Truth in a form open to future revision on the basis of new facts or better explanations.

Popper was well aware that this was different from Absolute Truth and he was not debunking science so much as debunking the pretensions of anyone who claimed access to a higher level of truth than science could provide! Aside from self-referential logic and mathematics, which apply only to pure abstractions, knowledge in the real world is always a question of levels of confidence in theories based on the quantity and quality of the supporting data, and generalising from specifics (induction).

Pompous and controlling Shamans of one sort or another have always claimed access to higher levels of truth than can be attained empirically, but they fall flat on their faces sooner or later. The more humble servants of truth, not TRUTH!, have been on a role for 500 years now and kicked the Shaman's butts.

Hail Popper. A useful philosopher!
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#46 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
From that I gather this one thing for certain: you don not know what God means.
So you keep claiming, but so far you have presented nothing but your rampantly huge ego (which could be responsible for the Earth's axial tilt) instead of evidence. I don't accept argument from authority, especially if you're using yourself as the authority.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
I can now understand why you are being upset at that image you see in YOUR mind when you think of God; I would be upset too.
I'm not upset. I'm just waiting for you to present evidence.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
That image that YOU have in YOUR mind is no God, but a devil, and is no more worthy of respect nor acknowledgement than Zeus.
Other than perhaps personality quirks, you have not provided an explanation as to how "God" is any different from those characters.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Lets deal with God on (with) familiar terms:
What are the attributes of "God"?
Would that be deducible from what he/it is assumed to be involved with?
What happens at the point where God is Almighty?
What happens at the point where anything is Almighty?
Suppose X is almighty; how could we observe X in the world?
You tell me. It's YOUR claim.(shrug)
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#47 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
The Jewish people are "Godly" but God is not Jewish.
Well the Jews claim it's their God, as well as everyone else's, however the claims of its existence apparently have Jewish roots. But I've little interest in pedantry. Doesn't matter whether we call it Roman or Klingon. I just call it "Jewish" so that everyone else knows that we're discussing either Jehova, Yahweh, Allah, Jesus's Daddy, God of Abraham, whatever the heck anyone wants to call it, and not Zeus or Ra. After all, a name is only an arbitrary label picked to help us identify different people or things, and does NOTHING to help describe the person or object in question.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
There are some questions that even we creatards and godbots dont find worthy of asking.
Or answering.

Oh wait, that pretty much applies to ALL questions.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Look around you and tell me what you think.
What will be the logical answer to that question, whether God is real or not?
The logical answer is that it is either invisible to the human eye, or perhaps non-existent.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
And that conclusion is justifiable based on the answers to those questions?
Yup.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Furthermore, the way you keep mentioning magic and magicians, I am starting to wonder if you believe in magic.
Not really.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Are you secretly anticipating the moment you will be dazzled?
Not really.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Jehovah knows that it is reason and logic that proves, not evidence.
But I know that logic is dependent upon axioms, and those axioms can't ever be proven.

This is the fundamental problem with your position - you're relying on ancient Aristotelean logic and philosophy which was discarded in favour of empiricism, since his approach turned out to be fallacious. You can have two people take opposing positions, and both decide to take a "logical" standpoint instead of providing evidence. One guy's logic refutes the other. But the other guy provides a logical refutation to that. Then the other guy provides a logical refutation to that. And so on and so forth. But we will never really know for sure who is correct because no-one's conducting any research to back either of them up. And it may even be that (like for your position) research is not possible due to the non-falsifiable nature of the claims. So it winds up that both of them produce nothing but hot air.

In short your approach is to sit on your azz and do nothing while pretending to know everything about the world. Empiricism tells us this is not a reliable way of finding things out. We know this because your computer works. And THAT'S the difference between a couple of theologians or philosophers daydreaming about reality, and scientists.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
So I'm sorry but you wont get that from "Jehovah". Not too often anyway.
So we've noticed.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
<quoted text>
*puffs cigarette and looks at the Dude with pity*
<quoted text>
Do you know what the word YHVH means?
Don't know, don't care. So either explain how it's relevant to your point (whatever the heck your point is) or skip it and just get around to the bit you seem to be having great trouble with - explaining how one can objectively verify that your invisible wizard is more real than anyone else's invisible wizard.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#48 Jun 18, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
But I do know what YHVH means, and thats all the "God" I need.
We don't care. We need evidence. Without which there is literally no reason to take your claims seriously, because all you have is a big mouth, empty hands and a baseless claim that you have special access to the special Bible decoder ring.
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
And the fact that no respected, credible historian doubts that Jesus existed implies what for your statement?
And the fact that no respected credible historian claims Jesus really did walk on water, rise from the dead, or that donkeys and lizards can talk, or that the Earth is flat, or that Adam and Eve were real historical people, implies what for the Bible's statements?
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
I find that remark to be infinitely... dumb.
Who cares. We find you to be remarkably dumb.(shrug)
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
How can you claim that it can even be demonstrated when you dont even know whether it was meant to be taken literally or represent specific?
Well if it's literal, it's BS. Because it doesn't match with reality. But if it's allegory, it's STILL BS, because then it depends upon subjective interpretation. And your interpretation is no better than anybody else's, period.

You are not God's favourite. God does not love you best. You're not his personally appointed official mouthpiece. You're not the world's greatest Biblical scholar. You're not more holy than anybody else. You don't have access to any extra special info about God that nobody else has. You're just another fundie among a whole throng of fundies with massive egos big enough to tilt planets over. And your baseless religious opinions have been, are, and always will be, nothing but YOUR baseless opinions. There is literally NOTHING more special about you than anybody else.

Your opinions are, quite simply, NOT that important. Sorry if you don't like it.

(apologies to Lenny)
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#49 Jun 18, 2014
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Hail Popper. A useful philosopher!
That could be a miracle in and of itself!

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#50 Jun 19, 2014
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
That could be a miracle in and of itself!
Kinda partial to the british empiricists but in terms of the last couple of hundred years, you are right!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#51 Jun 19, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
<quoted text>
*takes a gigantic puff from a lit cigarette and exhales slowly*
Ok.
From that I gather this one thing for certain: you don not know what God means.
I can now understand why you are being upset at that image you see in YOUR mind when you think of God; I would be upset too.
That image that YOU have in YOUR mind is no God, but a devil, and is no more worthy of respect nor acknowledgement than Zeus.
Lets deal with God on (with) familiar terms:
What are the attributes of "God"?
Would that be deducible from what he/it is assumed to be involved with?
What happens at the point where God is Almighty?
What happens at the point where anything is Almighty?
Suppose X is almighty; how could we observe X in the world?
Those are *your* problems, not ours. You are the one making an existence claim. So you are the one that has to present the evidence for that existence. Of course, first you have to give properties that are specific enough to be meaningful. All you have done so far is use the word 'Almighty' as if it has an unambiguous meaning. But it is actually way too vague of a word to be meaningful in this context.

So, what, exactly, does it mean to be 'Almighty'? What order do you put on 'mightiness' that makes it *possible* for there to be something that is 'Almighty'? Why do you assume there *is* actually anything that is 'Almighty'? What do *you* think would be the consequences of the existence of something that is 'Almighty' and how would that be any different than a situation where nothing 'Almighty' exists?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#52 Jun 19, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
<quoted text>
Really?
I was going for the 'rogue fbi agent rounds up a band of who knows whats and interrogates them one by one' kinda look.
Ah well.
*inhales cigarette smoke and blows it in the air*
You failed then. All you did is show that you are a rude a$$.

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

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#53 Jul 2, 2014
15th Dalai Lama wrote:
<quoted text>
I'll go out on a limb here and wager all seventeen of your comments are incoherent.
lol

yeah, what he said.

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

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#54 Jul 2, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
I believe that science MUST necessarily be limited to natural causes.
Why?
Simply because if one does not look for (the) natural one will not be able to find the true source.
And if one is not seeking to find the true source, why search at all; to find lies?
And one "could" claim that simply existing inside the universe defines all things as natural. Define "natural". Completely natural things can be terribly destructive or delightful, it's all a matter of perspective.

If having belief hardwired in your dna is "natural", then how can it be free will...

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08...

...and if it's not your will, then whose is it?

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

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#55 Jul 2, 2014
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
You failed then. All you did is show that you are a rude a$$.
He's only manifesting the characteristics that a Chimney Poe is supposed to, cranky britches.

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

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#56 Jul 2, 2014
HOG_ the Hand of God wrote:
Fair enough.
But that a particular science is limited to the natural does represent a limitation.
That being said, as long as the scientific method and the faculties of reason are reliable; the only things preventing one from investigating a particular phenomena is one's own will, disposition or lack of resources.
*lights a cigarette*
Resources? Macbook and imagination.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.4526

Now all I need is some quiet time.

Level 6

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#57 Jul 3, 2014
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>He's only manifesting the characteristics that a Chimney Poe is supposed to, cranky britches.
What's a Chimney Poe?

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#58 Jul 3, 2014
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
What's a Chimney Poe?
I think Nona meant a Chimney Pot...:D

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#59 Jul 3, 2014
Nano D'oh!

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

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#60 Jul 3, 2014
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
What's a Chimney Poe?
MichiganGel.

Much like Solitaire, it's easy to beat oneself in a debate.

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#61 Jul 6, 2014
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>MichiganGel.
Much like Solitaire, it's easy to beat oneself in a debate.
I was not michigengel.

I have never come on this topix as anything other than Chimney and then Chimney1 when I had to deal with Jim Ryan faking posts from me.

Sorry if its beyond your comprehension that someone could carry on a conversation as MG and I did, where we disagreed but kept it respectful. Hell, I even respected YOU at one point.

Level 6

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#62 Jul 6, 2014
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>MichiganGel.
Much like Solitaire, it's easy to beat oneself in a debate.
Yeah, thinking back, it was a time before your only contributions degenerated into bitter sarcasm and ad hominem.

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