Miracles and Methodological Naturalism

Science by definition denies the miraculous in connection with anything. Methodical Naturalism.

Which is wrong and philosophically indefensible. I recommend the work of Maarten Boudry.

1 Like


The full statement in my post is a little more understandable in context:

I can understand your attempt to override my sentence with the phrase: “Methodical Naturalism”.

But I don’t disagree with Methodical Naturalism. But you are missing the nuances here.

Miracles are what God does. Science can’t measure that. The I.D. position is ultimately a dead-end.

Science, as executed, follows Methodical Naturalism (or should). But this is not a position on the Virgin Birth, nor is it a position on de novo Adam/Eve. Frankly, I don’t think you will ever understand the difference.

How is it wrong? Please define human?

Science takes the position that miracles haven’t occurred, don’t occur, and never will occur. The well known miracles that you claim as having occurred is based on belief without evidence. Belief without evidence is not supported by science so any claims are considered unsubstantiated and untrue until evidence is provided.

Until factual evidence is provided, Adam is just a character in an ancient creation myth.

Two interleaved conversations. You misunderstood his response.

1 Like

That is not actually correct. Rather, it is that science does not consider miracles. The hypothesis of miracles is not allowed from the get go. It is begging the question, circular reasoning, therefore to argue it teaches or finds that there are no miracles. That is a trivially absurd argument.

As the non-theist Eugenia Scott of the NSCE correctly explains

Because creationists explain natural phenomena by saying “God performed a miracle,” we tell them that they are not doing science. This is easy to understand. The flip side, though, is that if science is limited by methodological [naturalism] because of our inability to control an omnipotent power’s interference in nature, both “God did it” and “God didn’t do it” fail as scientific statements. Properly understood, the principle of methodological [naturalism] requires neutrality towards God; we cannot say, wearing our scientist hats, whether God does or does not act.

Science is silent on God. Science is silent on miracles. Do not mistake silence, however, for denial. Silence is not absence.

1 Like

Are you sure? I’ve yet to see a science textbook or a peer-reviewed scientific journal article which states that “miracles haven’t occurred, don’t occur, and never will occur.”


You just shifted invisibly from methodological naturalism (“science doesn’t deal with…”), an investigative choice, to metaphysical naturalism (“science doesn’t countenance…”), a metaphysical choice outside science. You also personify science, as if “it” could have metaphysical beliefs, rather than the human scientists who practise it - and of whom many, and nearly all its earllier practitioners, took the position that miracles have occurred, do occur, and will occur.

Your shift reminds me how easy it is, in practice, for naturalistic methodology to merge imperceptibly into naturalistic mindsets. Happens to Christian scientists too, many of whom feel an discomfort around the subject of miracles, as if suffering cognitive dissonance - but you can’t suffer such discomfort over a mere methodology.

1 Like

Who says that was imperceptible? Don’t you know @Patrick? He was trolling you =).

I’m pretty sure we all agree:

1 Like

Agree. Science is neutral on God. I seem to fall into the same logical error as believers do but the opposite logical error.

Believer: no evidence therefore God
non-Believer: no evidence therefore no God

1 Like

@jongarvey, I hope you can see what is happening here. When an atheists says absurd things, you are getting baited into challenging the scientific method, which makes it seem you are advocating pseudoscience. It is totally predictable, and you are going to lose every time.

Don’t take the bait.
Point out the illogical circularity.
Recall that those that really understand science, know it is neutral on God.

That is how you win, not by constantly letting your buttons get pushed. If you want to win, don’t get boxed into the rhetorically and substantively weak position.

Decode this interaction, and you could really win.

1 Like

That also is a trap @Patrick.

I don’t believe in God because of a scientific argument, but science does not have a monopoly on reason and evidence. If you want public evidence, it’s there (see Peace Be With You).

The reason we are different @Patrick is not precisely about public evidence or reason, it is more about private evidence. I’ve seen something you have not yet seen. I’ve encountered a living reality of the world that you have not. If you saw it too, you might believe in God too. If I had never seen it, I might be an atheist too. The difference in us is this.

It is not that we think different about science, use different logical rules, or process evidence in a different ways. I just saw something you have yet to see.


Atheists just want to have a little fun with Christians who are accepting of science and reasoning. :grinning: Please don’t take it as Christian prosecution just a little pushback for how atheist have been treated throughout history.


I think its great.

It is totally entertaining to see how reliably you can press the stereotypical buttons. It provokes such a predictable response, every time. I’m not sure you realize it, but you provoked @auntyevology so much that she ended up permanently banned for abusive behavior in response. In this case, not your fault at all, but it exposes an insanity in the conversation that needs to be exorcized.

I’m glad you are here @Patrick. You make a great red team. I’d even say I’m coming to rely on some of your insight.

For the record, the way this works, even telling people all this, is not going to end the fun. The self-undermining reaction is driven by emotion, not understanding.

You are gonna have fun for a long time here. Can you bring friends to grow your ranks?!?

What was it? Was it an hallucination? Or perhaps someone sort of medical problem developing? :grinning: You’re a physician, you should get it checked out. :grinning: MRI perhaps? :grinning: Does it reoccur often? Does it cloud your reasoning at all? Probably nothing to worry about. Diet and exercise. Healthy living. Don’t work to hard. Be happy. It is probably nothing. Certainly nothing to worry about.

1 Like

Just the Palestinian boy. I went and talked to him.

Good. He needed medical treatment. Glad you were able to help him. You are a good person and a good doctor. The world needs more people like you.

1 Like

Seems to me I was baited into doing just that…