Home » Intelligent Design, Multiverse, News » Methodological naturalism and evidence: A response to niwrad

Methodological naturalism and evidence: A response to niwrad

File:Multiverse - level II.svg I commend to readers niwrad’s “The oxymoron of the multi-universes,” pausing only to note his comment re the multiverse advocates,

Let’s suppose their answer is these universes are fully isolated. In this case no experimental evidence is possible. This is a big problem, especially for the “multi-cosmologists”, who are supporters of methodological naturalism, and – as such – trust only what can be experimented.

Not quite. Methodological naturalism is treated as an axiom. When it is asserted, it stands in for evidence.

That was the point of the questions I raised earlier:

1) if fertile Earth is just an average planet, why isn’t barren Mars?

2) Why is it science to speculate that ET might be hiding in our junk DNA (or on moonless planets or exoplanets’ moons) but not that Bigfoot might be hiding in the mountains?

3) Why does faith, elsewhere derided, seem to play so great a role in the speculations around life on other planets? Why is doubt, for once, the identified problem, not faith?

It is because the Copernican Principle—that Earth cannot, as a matter of axiom, be unusual—stands in for evidence. Evidence for propositions that would otherwise be dismissed for lack thereof.

And the Principle itself is a direct outcome of methodological naturalism.

So, to address one of the questions above, that is why the space alien is science and Bigfoot is non- or anti-science. The space alien is grandfathered by methodological naturalism and fathered by the Copernican Principle. Bigfoot is not.

And we haven’t even got to the multiverse yet …

Niwrad noted as a symptom of the weakness of the argument for a multiverse that the sheer numbers of such entities varies dramatically from estimate to estimate. But the reason that arbitrary speculations on the many infinities of multiverses are treated as science, not nonsense, has been spelled out quite clearly for us:

But the main reason for believing in an ensemble of universes is that it could explain why the laws governing our Universe appear to be so finely turned for our existence … This fine-tuning has two possible explanations. Either the Universe was designed specifically for us by a creator or there is a multitude of universes — a multiverse.

That is why the multiverse exists. It is grandfathered into existence by methodological naturalism, and is exempt from demands for evidence and from the need to follow any conventions whatever. I will abundantly demonstrate the latter point in my continuing series at Evolution News & Views (linked here).

– O’Leary for News

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6 Responses to Methodological naturalism and evidence: A response to niwrad

  1. I would like to point out, once again, that the atheist’s conjecture of an infinity of universes to ‘explain away’ the fine tuning of this universe also insures, through the ontological argument, the 100% probability of the existence of God:

    God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – Page 4
    The ontological argument. Anselm’s famous argument has been reformulated and defended by Alvin Plantinga, Robert Maydole, Brian Leftow, and others. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being, a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and he would exist in every logically possible world. But then we can argue:

    1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
    7. Therefore, God exists.

    Now it might be a surprise to learn that steps 2–7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then he must exist. So the whole question is: Is God’s existence possible? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. He has to say that the concept of God is incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. But the problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being which is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. And so long as God’s existence is even possible, it follows that God must exist.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=4

    Where this argument has gained purchase is in the materialist/atheist’s appeal to the multiverse (an infinity of possible worlds) in order to try to ‘explain away’ the extreme fine tuning that we find for this universe. The materialist/atheist, without realizing it, ends up conceding the necessary premise to the ontological argument and thus guarantees the success of the argument and thus insures the 100% probability of God’s existence!

    I like the concluding comment about the ontological argument from the following Dr. Plantinga video:

    “God then is the Being that couldn’t possibly not exit.”

    Ontological Argument – Dr. Plantinga (3:50 minute mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCXvVcWFrGQ

    Is God a Necessary Being? (Alvin Plantinga) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndmnIs2gMzI

    This following video deals with many of the technical objections that atheists/materialists have tried to raise against the ontological argument:

    The Ontological Argument (The Introduction) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQPRqHZRP68

    And as weird as it may sound, this following video successfully refines the Ontological argument into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, God must exist in more than one person:

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGVYXog8NUg

    i.e. without this important distinction we are stuck with the logical contradiction of the ‘great making property’ of ‘maximally great love’ being grounded within one’s own self which is, of course, the very antithesis of maximally great love.

    Verses and Music:

    John 3:35
    The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

    John 14:31
    but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.,,,

    Your Love Never Fails – Newsboys
    http://myktis.com/songs/your-love-never-fails/

  2. Thanks Denyse, you are right. (Always agree with women.. :) )

    Yes, these deniers of first principles, these haters of any axiomatic truth, these debunkers of metaphysics, have constructed their own artificial universal principle: “naturalism”. Unfortunately for them, naturalism can be neither universal (because – as I noted in my post – nature is only a negligible infinitesimal compared to the Infinite First Cause), nor principle (given nature is an effect, not a cause).

    As you rightly say, multiverse is one of the foul grandchildren of naturalism.

  3. niwrad, don’t be afraid to disagree with me. If I can’t take it, I won’t dish it out.

    I simply feel that it is easier to interpret the confusing picture around us if we see that MN is an axiom that stands in for evidence.

    We need not then wonder about the invisible aliens, ghost lineages, and even the selfish genes that cause an away-bred mare to self-abort because they(?) she(?) fears her foal will be harmed by the home stallion. Science done without God needs no evidence and need not even make sense. it just needs a number of key people to agree that it is science.

  4. It is wrong to discredit a vast majority of scientist and brand them as some kind of evil cabal. No scientists puts up hypothesis saying ‘This theory is being put up to negate existence of God’. They won’t get funding!

  5. selvaRajan, how would you account for this?:

    Discover Magazine offers the multiverse as “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator” (2008).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79601.html

    Is multiverse theory not funded?

    And who said anything about an evil cabal? A choice has been made.

    One outcome is dispensing with the need for evidence for many propositions that would not otherwise be considered science.

  6. Yes multiverse, like most Scientific endeavor are funded – not because it would lead to discrediting God but to test a scientific reason for a phenomenon or to carry out experiment to prove or disprove a hypothesis.
    About multiverse – Why don’t we stick to a few universes as postulated by sane scientists?
    Most posts about God Vs Science invoke String theory’s version of multiverse which assumes at least 10^500 universes. I have no idea why anyone would bother keeping up with String theory. It is theory which has no hope of being tested. It postulates 9 space and 1 time dimension.6 dimensions are supposed to be hidden ( by compactification). Can you check this by experiments or observations? Of course not! To probe this compatified/curled/whatever manifold, we require energy in the region of Planck Scale – about 10^18 – 10^19 GeV!
    Then there are Branes which leads to thousand different combination. The compatification features depends on whether it is compacted on torus, sphere or Branes with 2 or 3 space time stretching as membranes – Can you see the pattern here? – the entire theory is designed to evade any experiment.
    The theory postulated 5 Higgs Boson. LHC found just one at 125 GeV. The lowest energy Higgs (if 5 existed in Nature) would have been found at about 111 GeV. Only fat cats who have cushy tenures, philosophers and disillusioned post grads are clinging on to String theory.

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