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Author Topic:   Is science a religion?
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006

Message 1 of 2 (290673)
02-26-2006 5:44 PM

All right, I admit it. The title of my topic is deliberately provocative and, perhaps, misleading. But I have a question I've been seriously pondering for the past month or so, and I'd really like to discuss it, so I had to get your attention.
As the evolution/creationism trial in Dover progressed, I read most of the testimony from the science experts that the plaintiffs presented to show that creationism/I.D. is not scientific. Now, I've studied creos and creationism for more than 20 years, and I know full well that creationism has no scientific value, except as a teaching tool, to show what science isn't. But part of the plaintiffs' case got me to wondering.
Science, as they defined it, is the search for naturalistic explanations of the things we see in the world around us. (I'm paraphrasing here, and leaving a lot of stuff out that isn't relevant to my topic.) Because creationism/I.D. by definition invokes a supernatural creator, they concluded that I.D. is not science. My question is, why must we define science to include only naturalistic explanations?
My own personal conception of science has been that it is the process of gaining as accurate an understanding of what goes on in the real world as we possibly can. I do firmly believe that naturalistic processes can account for all our experiences. I do not believe it's necessary to conjure up supernatural causes acting in the world today for purposes of explaining our experiences. I don't believe in UFOs, psi, astrology, gods, newage (rhymes with sewage) nonsense, tarot, ghosts, etc.
But the reason I do not believe in these things is because I haven't seen evidence strong enough to convince me that such things exist. It seems that the experts in Dover would dismiss even an investigation into whether such phenomena occur, and what their causes might be, as outside the realm of science, because it would not be a "naturalistic" explanation.
Is there any compelling reason to exclude the supernatural from the scope of scientific inquiry? Is science a religion because it refuses to even consider the idea that non-naturalistic processes are at work in the world?

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Message 2 of 2 (290678)
02-26-2006 5:49 PM

Thread copied to the Is science a religion? thread in the Is It Science? forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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