Can Science Test Supernatural Worldviews?

YONATAN I. FISHMAN, PHD
Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461 USA.
email: yfishman@aecom.yu.edu

Abstract. Several prominent scientists, philosophers, and scientific institutions have argued that science cannot test supernatural worldviews on the grounds that (1) science presupposes a naturalistic worldview (Naturalism) or that (2) claims involving supernatural phenomena are inherently beyond the scope of scientific investigation. The  present paper argues that these assumptions are questionable and that indeed science can test supernatural claims. While scientific evidence may ultimately support a naturalistic worldview,  science does not presuppose Naturalism as an  a priori  commitment, and supernatural claims are  amenable to scientific evaluation. This conclusion challenges the rationale behind a recent  judicial ruling in the United States concerning the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in public schools as an alternative to evolution and the official statements of two major scientific institutions that exert a substantial influence on science educational policies in the United States. Given that science does have implications concerning the probable truth of supernatural worldviews, claims should not be excluded a priori from science education simply because they might be characterized as supernatural, paranormal, or religious. Rather, claims should be excluded from science education when the evidence does not support them, regardless of whether they are designated as ‘natural’ or ‘supernatural’.

http://www.naturalism.org/Can%20Science%20Test%20Supernatural%20Worldviews-%20Final%20Author%27s%20Copy%20%28Fishman%202007%29.pdf

About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence. Artificial Intelligence Foundation Latvia, http://www.artificialintelligence.lv Editor.
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