If you didn’t see it yet, you might want to go to part 1 of this post for the earlier part of the discussion.
I’m moving on to part 2 because I think I’ve got a clearer perspective now from past discussions on the point I wanted to get at. I’ll now make a case using something I touched on, but which I stopped short of more fully developing a case for in the first post.
Now to bring greater clarity to a point I brought up in the first post, I think a better way to title the topic might be “Is it correct to say that there is no case to be made from scientific evidence for the existence of the supernatural?” So with that in mind…
The following is a list of defined terms I will use instead of the ones I listed in part 1;
Abductive inference: generally where more than one plausible inference can be drawn from the evidence. In regards to this discussion, typically a plausible or probable inference, which is not verifiable by observation, drawn from relevant but incomplete evidence.
Scientific evidence: scientific fact, i.e., any objective and verifiable observation.
Supernatural: of or relating to an order of existence outside of ordinary experience that transcends physical reality.
As I understand it, abduction is a generally accepted form of reasoning in philosophy. History, criminal investigation and prosecutions, and science concerning past events and empirically unverifiable entities make use of abductive reasoning.
Some examples from science would be explanations for past events like the big bang, simpler to more complex evolution, e.g., man evolving from ape, and for empirically unverifiable entities like quantum particles and space.
Also in science, formulating hypotheses is based on abductive reasoning. If they are attempts to explain past events, or entities that are beyond human limitations of observation, as long as they have not been successfully reproduced experimentally or remain unobserved, it seems to follow that they would remain abductive inferences.
Unlike inductive inferences involving observable mechanical descriptions, as far as I can tell, abductive inferences don’t seem to be falsifiable by predictions. Predictions would only serve as evidence to strengthen or weaken an abductive inference. What occurs to me is that abductive inferences can be “falsified” only by being shown to be logically or metaphysically impossible.
So now, on to an abductive case from scientific evidence for the existence of the supernatural. I understand that both Alexander Vilenkin and Steven Hawking have made statements in the past to the effect that all scientific evidence to date points to the conclusion that there was a first physical event from which all proceeding physical events originated.
And as far as I know, all scientific evidence to date shows that physical events require a cause. So based on what this evidence points to, it certainly seems within reason to infer that there is a cause for the first physical event, and that it could not have been physical. And therefore, as defined above, a supernatural entity as the cause for what the evidence in question points to would be among the few available logically possible explanations.
If that’s the case, then it seems unless it can be shown that making an abductive case using the aforementioned scientific evidence is somehow logically invalid, I think it’s fair to say that a case can be made from scientific evidence for the existence of the supernatural. In other words, besides other types of evidence, there specifically is scientific evidence from which to abductively infer the existence of the supernatural.