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← Teaching science in public schools without stepping around religion

Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Alan4discussion

Comment 23 by Nordic11

Also, I use the definition of naturalism to be the belief that nothing outside the natural world exists and not just the study of the natural world. Perhaps that will help make the discussion more clear.

I see you are still asking for refutation of negatives rather than accepting the onus of responsibility to provide positive evidence for your claims, and then combining this with question begging theist definitions.

Naturalism in a scientific sense is the study of the nature of reality - all of it.

This is a site that values reason so please evaluate my arguments with reason and not inflamatory rhetoric. Convince me that the belief that nothing outside the natural world exists is actually a scientific theory and not mere philosophy.

This is a site that values reason so please evaluate my arguments with reason and not inflammatory rhetoric. Convince me that the belief that no tooth-fairies exist is actually a scientific theory and not mere philosophy.

The onus responsibility for evidence is on those making assertions. Does my parallel example help you spot the irrationality of asking for negative theories?

Comment 22 by Nordic11

Alan and Steve, your reasoning is circular. You believe we should deny all supernatural claims because science cannot detect or study them, but science cannot study them because they are super-natural- apart from the natural world.

You would need to define the natural world/universe/reality, and the provide evidence of a boundary with a "supernatural" -beyond this. The assertion of an undefined "beyond" is just a "get-out-of-evidence-card" - a dodge. It is you unevidenced presumption of its existence which provides a circular argument.

Science is only equipped to study the natural world of matter and energy You believe there is no evidence for anything supernatural,

This is not strictly true. The sciences of psychology and neurology, give good evidence of the source of claims of the supernatural, which is well known to exist in fiction and in the imagination of individuals.

"No evidence" is usually taken as very probable non-existence. (For example there is no evidence of green Martians, or invisible dragons living on Earth, or Kryptonite giving Earth like aliens super powers. - Can you disprove Superman?)

but the only evidence you will except is based on the scientific method, which again is ill equipped to study anything outside of matter and energy, the natural world.

Evidence refuting or supporting the existence of nothing, is a paradox, because there is no evidence of nothing! (Only an absence of evidence for something.) You appear to be suggesting some other form of "evidence", and I think we know what that is, its shortcomings, and its paradoxical claims. (Theists know because it is impossible to know - so disprove our/historical wild speculations.)

If you want to infer that nothing exists outside of the natural world, that is your perogative, but their are no observations, measurement or series of experiments to back up your claim so it is not based on science.

So you have no observations measurement or series of experiments to back up your claim of an existing supernatiral, so it is not based on science, observation or any other tangible factor.

Clearly you have no basis for claiming knowledge of this "supernatural" which usually at some point morphs into a "god" - and usually a biblical god, with quite specific properties, - rather than one of the numerous other gods - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deities -but that is a further set mental gymnastics.

Your claim is based on philosophy.

It could be, but that philosophy is scientifically and rationally based on an absence of evidence and the failure of theists to substantiate their claims over many centuries.

In reality it is your claim which is philosophically based in unevidenced mythology rather than science.

There is no scientific or logical basis, for claiming the existence of the paradoxical supernatural, or that any such imagined entities could be connected to influence the material universe/world.

I'm surprised I need to explain the difference between how something works and why it works.

You may ask "Why?" something works, but science will always tell you "How" at a series of different levels of understanding. Theistic anthropomorphism will tell you "why", but that will always be, "god-did-it" (because I can't think of a better answer)! - See Tyler @25.

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:47:37 UTC | #949422