Is It Correct to Say There is "No" Evidence For the Supernatural Part 1

Sorry. I was little to quick to reply on that. It’s just I’ve had too many times someone linking to pop science articles that were just pretty much fiction. I see this guy is not just a journalist but an actual scientist. But what I will say is that if I understand correctly the idea of virtual particles is based on inferences of what happens when two or more energy fields interact.

So it’s not something from nothing. It’s two energy fields interacting and scientists somehow inferring virtual particles from it because they seem to be able to detect a slight gain in weight. Not very convincing especially when it’s been 80 years since they came up with this idea and there still doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to convince a consensus of scientists that it’s actually what’s going on.

And going by what we do know from empirically verified reality, there’s no basis at all for something to come from nothing. Seems way over the top compared to the idea of a supernatural creator for the universe. At least that idea is based on something that is known to exists in reality, i.e. agent causation, not just what so far can only be shown to exist in the imagination.

I don’t think this can be the case. The most science can do for providing evidence for the supernatural is to provide evidence that shows that a natural cause of an event is highly implausible. That would be a good indication that it’s highly plausible that there is no natural cause. All that would do is indicate a metaphysical cause which would be outside of the scientific purview. I don’t see how it could ever be a part of science since by definition it would be outside of the realm of science. You can’t turn something supernatural into natural just because it’s highly implausible for it to have a natural cause.

This continues to be wrong no matter how many times you preach it. If evidence shows one or even many natural cause doesn’t work it says nothing about how many other potential working natural causes may exist.

Your attempts to resurrect the stinky old God of the Gaps argument with rhetorical bafflegab is just sad.

12 posts were split to a new topic: What is “Nothing”?

Good point.

I think it’s clear enough by the way I’ve defined it, that personal visions wouldn’t qualify for direct empirical evidence. Now in order to exclude evidence that is nonscientific in nature the definition of indirect empirical evidence might need to be worded something like:

Indirect empirical evidence: empirical evidence which is scientific in nature and is used in an inductive or abductive argument to support an inference to a claim to an empirically inaccessible event or entity.

Would that adjustment to the definition of indirect empirical evidence provide that the definition of supernatural would be in a setting that provides sufficient clarity and rigor?

You are wrong. This is well-accepted by consensus of scientists. And it shows something can come from nothing. Seeing as how you had never heard of this until I referred you to it, it’s a bit glib of you to start talking like an expert. I suggest you take your own advice and post some peer-reviewed scientist to support your claims, rather than just going off on your layman’s interpretation of a pop-sci article that you initially dismissed.

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Evidence is data that is more likely on a particular hypothesis than on any competing hypothesis.

I would disagree with this definition. Evidence is any data that raises the probability of a hypothesis, even if that probability still remains very low.


You still haven’t explained how/why you infer a supernatural cause from your indirect evidence as opposed to just a natural but as yet unknown explanation.

If the whole of Nature turns out to require an explanation, then we are forced to posit something beyond Nature. On that topic, I suggest you have a look at Dr. Robert Koons’ article, A New Look at the Cosmological Argument, which highlights the contingency of the cosmos as a whole.


When I say that there is no evidence for the supernatural I mean verifiable, objective, and positive evidence.

The sheer contingency of Nature (as discussed in Koons’ article above) arguably satisfies all of the criteria you listed. The fine-tuning argument is another case in point.

Where is your god now?

(1) Why is the death of a species any more morally scandalous than the death of an individual animal? Individuals have feelings; species don’t. A species is an abstraction.
(2) Wouldn’t the end of the Permian have been the proper time to put forward this argument? Now that was an extinction! (And if it hadn’t happened, we probably wouldn’t be here.)
(3) On the subject of extinctions, I suggest you have a look at this article: Historical bird and terrestrial mammal extinction rates and causes by Dr. Craig Loehle and Willis Eschenbach. Here’s the long and the short of it: (i) the vast majority of species extinctions take place on islands (including Australia), not continents; (ii) most extinctions are caused by introduced predators and diseases; (iii) in any case, the island extinction rate is falling, not rising.
(4) Against the doomsayers, may I propose Torley’s Law of Long-Term Consequences: We should not worry ourselves about catastrophes which are projected to take place more than 100 years from now, because the long-term future is radically unforeseeable, owing to the march of technology. (Think of the Internet. And think of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, and how wrong that turned out to be.) The article you cite says that 1,000,000 species are at risk, but doesn’t say how many are projected to go extinct within the next 100 years.
(5) To date, only one mammalian species is officially recognized as having gone extinct as a result of global warming, and even that case looks a little iffy.


On the subject of something from nothing, I suggest you have a look at physicist Bruce Albert’s scathing review of Dr. Lawrence Krauss’s book, A Universe from Nothing:

On the Origin of Everything

On the question of whether the universe had a beginning, and whether this beginning requires an explanation, the following article by physicist Aron Wall may be of interest to you:
Did the Universe Begin? V: The Ordinary Second Law

Finally, re Alex Vilenkin’s views of God’s existence, it seems to me that he is still open to Platonism, judging from this interview with Robert Lawrence Kuhn:

Alex Vilenkin - Considering God’s Existence?

In any case, it is fallacious of Vilenkin to argue that the laws of physics alone can generate our cosmos. Laws, being abstractions, are incapable of acting. At the very least, some kind of quantum field is required, as an ultimate substrate which instantiates those laws.

What’s more, the beauty of the laws of nature (which is not something subjective, but rather something objective, which even atheist mathematicians are capable of appreciating) points to the existence of a Mind behind Nature, as Robin Collins argues cogently in section 6 of his online article, Multiverses, Design, and the Beauty of the Laws of Nature.



This post accidentally was moved so I’m reposting it here. :slight_smile:

Hardly. Not unlike the YEC who says that creation was ‘perfect’ before the fall, you are forgetting about man’s free will. I appreciated this the other day: good, not perfect.

I find your outlook sad and probably lonely – you must not be one of Patrick’s oxymoronic happy atheists, and you must have missed this where I’ve posted it, maybe a couple of different times at PS (note the last paragraph, in particular – the first body paragraph should seem familiar where it refers to evidence and prophecy):

Ah. So God created a very smart ape with free will who is capable of causing mass extinctions, who then goes about and causes mass extinctions.

Tell us, again, how your god is so expert at introducing at exactly the right time to maintain a “healthy ecology.”

Now you are neglecting the reason he created the universe.

Doesn’t matter. If he created the universe to so human beings could exist, then he is not concerned with maintaining a healthy ecology.

Right. And then you proceed to say why he created the universe, and you are wrong, in the most important part.

Let me amend that. You are absolutely right, in that indeed he is not ultimately concerned with maintaining a healthy ecology. But you are still woefully missing the most important part(s).

And he is ‘expert’ enough that there have been no mistakes and his plan is being executed as designed.

I don’t believe that “zero” is “nothing.” So, in this example, something would not come from nothing.

I could be wrong about this, but I don’t believe so.


0 ≠ { }, or, 0 ≠ ∅

(I could ask an ungracious insinuating question at this point. :slightly_smiling_face:)

Best to not! :slight_smile:

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I refrained. It was a terrible struggle, but I did. :slightly_smiling_face:

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