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What do we get when “science’s” view owes nothing to evidence?

Evolution News and Views

In “Methodological naturalism (MN) does far more than ‘not study the supernatural’,” I noted “To understand the role of MN, we need to see the full picture. Not only what it forbids, but what it permits and encourages. And what the evidence for the permitted and encouraged stuff is.”

The conventional picture of methodological naturalism (MN) is simply wrong. MN, far from letting evidence rule, actually discounts evidence and substitutes consensus based on its premises. The multiverse is but one example.

An instance noted last week, though it doesn’t happen to involve cosmology, was the unblinking denial that humans are smarter than animals. It is easy to mock or discount such nonsense; it is more useful to see what underlies it.

The methodological naturalist knows that humans are “just another animal.” And MN is the correct way to see things. So when evidence arises that appears to contradict MN (human intelligence, for example), it can simply be denied. And such a denial is by definition “science’s” view, even though it owes nothing to evidence.

MN not only attracts countless crackpots, in cosmology as well as elsewhere, it undermines the integrity of basic sciences. As I noted in “The multiverse: Where everything turns out to be true, except philosophy and religion,”

Multiverse cosmologists look out on a bright future, freed from the demands of evidence. Leonard Susskind writes, “I would bet that at the turn of the 22nd century philosophers and physicists will look nostalgically at the present and recall a golden age in which the narrow provincial 20th century concept of the universe gave way to a bigger better [multiverse] … of mind-boggling proportions.” Physicists Alejandro Jenkins and Gilad Perez say their computer program shows that “universes with different physical laws might still be habitable.” And reviewing theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss’s Universe From Nothing (2012), science writer Michael Brooks notes that the multiverse puts laws of physics “beyond science — for now, at least.”

Before methodological naturalism really sank in, undemonstrable universes, not the laws of physics, were beyond science. More.

See also:

What has materialism done for science?

Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train

Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

“Behold, countless Earths sail the galaxies … that is, if you would only believe …

Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!

But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?

How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

The multiverse: Where everything turns out to be true, except philosophy and religion

– O’Leary for News

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12 Responses to What do we get when “science’s” view owes nothing to evidence?

  1. In what way does a multiverse break laws of physics? The hypothesis that multiverse may have different laws of physics is just that – a hypothesis. Scientists are not going to abandon existing laws and abandon experiments. Even String theory which posits 10^500 universes is just a hypothesis and many String theory proponents have suggested changing name from String theory to String hypothesis. String theory will remain a hypothesis till it is proven by observations and experiments.

  2. Ah, but a relevant question is, how much attention would string theory get if the need to believe in the multiverse were not so apparent?

  3. How about, ‘String conjecture’? ‘Hypothesis’ cannot but suggest, however tenuously, some kind of substantive, rational, inferential plausibility.

  4. ‘Conjecture fits: ‘The moon COULD be made of cheese’,…. in a multiverse…

    My contention that the absolute speed of light, as measured by any observer, either stationary or traveling in the same direction, must predicate theism qua an omniscient and omnipotent God, is an iron-clad ‘a priori’ fact… and no one takes any notice!

  5. Atheists may insist that science must include methodological naturalism as its starting premise, but science itself says “I have no need for that hypothesis’,,,

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-482910

    In fact:

    Is Life Unique? David L. Abel – January 2012
    Concluding Statement: The scientific method itself cannot be reduced to mass and energy. Neither can language, translation, coding and decoding, mathematics, logic theory, programming, symbol systems, the integration of circuits, computation, categorizations, results tabulation, the drawing and discussion of conclusions. The prevailing Kuhnian paradigm rut of philosophic physicalism is obstructing scientific progress, biology in particular. There is more to life than chemistry. All known life is cybernetic. Control is choice-contingent and formal, not physicodynamic.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/106/

    i.e. the practice of science itself should, on a methodological naturalism view of things, be viewed as a supernatural exercise!

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.”
    per Crevo

    And, as has been pointed out a few times before on UD, methodological naturalism leads to the epistemological failure of science:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things?,, In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
    Alfred Russel Wallace – An interview by Harold Begbie printed on page four of The Daily Chronicle (London) issues of 3 November and 4 November 1910.

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth that he is purporting to give in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Proverbs 2:6
    For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

    Lindsey Stirling – Silent Night -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....OLUjCGanEs

  6. Hi bornagain77 and others,
    People keep saying supernatural power created universe so there is no need for any explanation, but what was the mechanism? Can anyone please explain what mechanism does God use to create universe and species and keep track of billions of humans activities every second of the day and sort out what is moral and immoral and depending on the tally assign him or her to hell or heaven? It may seem like an obtuse question but I really would like to know the mechanism. It can be explained only if we know the form in which God exist ( as a being or all pervading energy). I am not ridiculing anyone. I am just curious as to what you all think.

  7. SR, Far be it from me to think I can offer anything but a very superficial answer to any of those profoundly deep questions you ask, but as to your situation, it reminds me of this quote from Jastrow:

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
    Robert Jastrow

  8. SR, since you are fairly well versed in physics, I think you may appreciate this correspondence between the physical and spiritual realm:

    The Galileo Affair and Life/Consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Verse and music

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Celtic Woman: The Prayer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5WNrWGxCnE

  9. New upload: Is Atheism a religion? 7 criteria for detecting a religion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbGgskyrUI4

  10. Thanks bornagain77 for the links :-). I always want to learn new things and you seem to be able to ferret out relevant information with ease, that’s one of the reason I asked the question in this thread.

  11. From a meeting of republicans(!) in Texas(!): … blasted teaching only evolution as a form of “political correctness.” They linked it to what they described as a broader moral decline.

    “The breakup of the family in this country has started when we took God out of the classroom,” said Patrick, a radio talk show host.

    “As a Christian, certainly creationism should be taught,” said Staples, a former state legislator.

    I think I hear KF cheering.

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