Naturalism: Its Role in Science Cover Image

Naturalizm i jego rola w nauce
Naturalism: Its Role in Science

Author(s): Leonard Brand
Subject(s): Philosophy of Science
Published by: Instytut Filozofii, Uniwersytet Zielonogórski
Keywords: philosophical naturalism; methodological naturalism; supernaturalism; experimental science; origins science; miracle; creationism; intelligent design; event; ultimate cause

Summary/Abstract: The philosophy of Naturalism dominates scientific thinking, for reasons that can be understood from review of the history of scientific thought. This article evaluates the nature and implications of Naturalism when several components are examined separately. Philosophical Naturalism rejects the possibility that God exists. It is clearly a philosophy, cannot be tested by science, and will not be discussed further in this paper. Methodological Naturalism (MN) is simply a method for doing science that does not accept any supernatural explanations. It seems, on the surface, to be harmless and a necessary part of the scientific method. However, since modern scientists working in areas of experimental, observational science do not seem to puzzle over whether they should invoke the supernatural in their explanations, it seems difficult to claim that MN is necessary in this part of science. However, in the study of history (geological or biological history, e.g.) it is important to decide what to do with MN. This article claims that when we can examine evidence for certain historical events, they are legitimate subjects for science, even if science cannot examine all the possible causes for those events. An example would be evidence for very rapid and extensive geological processes that may suggest a (divinely initiated) global flood as the cause.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 49-74
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Polish