Science can be done “by ignoring God,” but what follows? — a response to Torley
|December 6, 2013||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Science, Naturalism|
Methodological naturalism is treated as an axiom. When it is asserted, it stands in for evidence. That is why evidence for multiverses is not considered necessary.
Recently, Vince Torley responded aptly to Jerry Coyne’s rant against a sign at a California museum, the gist of which rant is that “science is done by ignoring God.” Torley highlights the seminal work of three scientists a century ago and more, Kelvin, Maxwell, and Joule—who most certainly did not ignore God.
Given the testimony of these three great scientists, Professor Coyne’s statement that “science is done by ignoring God” stands exposed for what it is: a hollow piece of dogmatism. No, Professor Coyne, science is done by following the evidence wherever it leads.
Yes, and that raises the very point I noted in A response to niwrad: Methodological naturalism (MN) enables one to dispense with evidence at key points because MN stands in for evidence.
In cosmology, MN functions as the Copernican Principle, fathering new (life-friendly) Earths, their life, their intelligent life, and the many new universes that dwarf ours—without any current evidence in the conventional sense.
Yet it is science to believe and anti-science to doubt.
And I have not even begun to catalogue, in “Science Fictions” at ENV the many more bizarre claims in fields ranging from cosmology through origin of life and human origins—just for a start. Kelvin, Maxwell, and Joule would certainly not recognize such claims as part of science, but they are regarded that way today.
Recognition of bizarre claims poorly supported by evidence may be an unavoidable outcome of science “done by ignoring God.” That could be true regardless of how one envisions God. For the early science greats, God was, among other things, a guarantor that ultimate reality makes sense and that facts and evidence matter.
The physical universe cannot play such a role. The belief that we are all, at bottom, mere flickering manifestations of that universe clearly does not give us much motivation to even value the role. And, whatever it may have done in the past, that is what methodological naturalism is doing to science today.
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.”
– O’Leary for News