13 Replies to “Paul Nelson at Stanford Tonight

  1. 1
    DaveScot says:

    I wish people would stop using “supernatural” and “ID” in the same breath. That doesn’t help move past the non-science and establishment clause obstacles. What we should say is that intelligent agency, which necessarily includes but is not limited to deities, are a part of nature. We should work towareds redefining the nature of nature rather than make untestable unscientific references to things beyond nature.

    I suppose that’s really too much to ask for or expect in a free country. Enough of us have to avoid supernatural association though so there’s no question that supernatural ID is a subset of ID writ large.

  2. 2
    jboze3131 says:

    i dont understand why supernatural automatically means anti-science or devoid of science.

    the problem with the courts is- well, its a problem with the courts. theyve distorted the establishment clause beyond belief. the founders have to be looking down from heaven wondering what on earth has become of the nation and specifically the nations courts system. the superatural could be invoked and that still wouldnt be anywhere near close to establishing a natl. church.

    in the realm of science- we need to look at science in a broader view. if science can theorize wormholes, time travel, infinite parallel universes and all other sorts of quackery, then why is a creator- whether he/she/it be of nature or beyond nature be out of bounds? is not science the pursuit of knowledge wherever that knowledge leads us? if paranormal or supernatural, or whatever other terms are used yet science proclaims theyve tested such phenemenon and found them to be true- is it not science then because its beyond nature to some extent? wouldnt an intelligent designer (i would posit that the designer is God myself) be part of nature as well as beyond nature? nature would be a part of the designer if the designer is God, so what does that mean for the design and the designer himself? is he, then, natural or supernatural or both?

    science has somehow come to stand for naturalistic materialistic study, but there are reasons to believe that the universe holds more than what is naturalistic in nature, so does that mean that science can say nothing of these things? if science can say nothing of these parts of the world, then science can never really claim to disprove ghosts, spirits, etc, right? if theyre not part of nature (and id assume we can agree that these things, if they exist, arent part of nature), then they cannot, by definition, be studied by science, right?

    we need a broader view of our knowledge…too many limits are placed on what is truly science and what isnt. if knowledge leads to proof of supernatural, how can we say that we can never possibly study it in a scientific manner? if God came down and had a press conference, and we labeled Him supernatural, would science be forced to just sit in the corner and proclaim that its out of the realm of study and leave it at that? i happen to think that scientists would suddenly announce that science CAN, in this sense, allow study of the event.

    the naturalistic view is too narrow and it limits knowledge in my view. if the evidence points to something beyond nature, as most would label ‘nature’, then so be it- lets study it, and lets call it science if we use the traditonal methods of scientific inquiry to study it.

  3. 3
    Charliecrs says:

    My question is lets say if we talk about God or his nature / power…
    why must we always call it supernatural, i mean shouldn’t the works that
    God does be counted as natural ?.. There’s always human nature that humans are limited to
    but then there’s the cosmic nature where God is, but not limited to. So in a cosmic nature / ral sense shouldn’t God’s work be counted as natural because he is / works in nature ?

    Charlie

  4. 4
    Ben Z says:

    “We should work towareds redefining the nature of nature rather than make untestable unscientific references to things beyond nature.”

    Well, ID is only supposed to focus on design in nature, but it doesn’t make too much sense to equate that with nature.

  5. 5
    jboze3131 says:

    charlie-

    i agree that its a term that can be seen both ways. well, thats sort of what you were saying. why would a designer god be out if he is part of nature. nature would be part of god, and he would also be part of it…but at the same time, hes not limited by nature, so you could also label it as outside of natures bound (supernatural).

    i think we need to just look at the evidence and stop making limits on what science can and cannot deal with. if sciene cannot deal with anything but strictly natural events, then scientists cannot claim to study ghosts, spirits, possessions, etc. anything like that should be out of bounds, but of course it isnt- somehow ID is. they seem to want to define the terms on a case by case basis sometimes, which is anti-knowledge in my view.

  6. 6
    Benjii says:

    This Austin Dacey guys seems weak as far as making a case for atheism/secular humanism.

  7. 7
    DaveScot says:

    I’m trying to work within the current ideological framework. Mention “supernatural” and out goes science and in comes deities, ghosts, angels, demons, etc. in the minds of most people. Changing the perception of the nature of nature is the long term goal but to get there we need to reach some shorter term milestones. We need ID mainstreamed in public schools so that it becomes a comfortable idea within the framework of natural processes. It’s going to be a tough row to hoe if ID is successfully conflated with the supernatural by the opposition. Having our own side do it too makes our opponent’s work a lot easier.

  8. 8
    DaveScot says:

    In political battle this is called “framing the debate”. The opposition is trying to frame the debate around religion. We’re trying to frame it around science. We don’t have to be successful but the opposition must be unsuccessful. A stalemate would suffice as Justice Scalia put it (paraphrased) “teaching religion is unconstitutional, teaching bad science isn’t”. Overcome the constitutional barrier and we’re home free in any local school district that wants to teach ID and there’s a LOT of them that will.

  9. 9
    anteater says:

    “Overcome the constitutional barrier and we’re home free in any local school district that wants to teach ID and there’s a LOT of them that will.”

    A lot of conservatives don’t like Bush’s new SCOTUS nominee, Harriet Miers, but she would probably rule correctly if the case were about ID.

  10. 10
    morpheusfaith says:

    JBoze3131: “I dont understand why supernatural automatically means anti-science or devoid of science”

    Reply: I also do not understand. I have expressed my opinions on this matter in an ARN thread a while back.

    http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimat.....tml#000006

  11. 11
    Charliecrs says:

    Well Jboze3131 & morpheusfaith – The problem is that the other side’s definition of “science” only includes the “natural” world [ which is currently accepted as such ]. So when the word “super-natural” is inovked the other side will easily say that you are trying to get “God” in the classroom. Again this has to do with being a easy target. They will use your personal belief to justify that in the world of science you are a “loon”. Since “supernatural” is also likend to “mircales” and so forth [outside the realm of natural science ]; they will argue its to not “testable” therefor its not science.

    Charlie

  12. 12
    Dan says:

    How did this go?

  13. 13
    avocationist says:

    Well Charlie and others, for these reasons it would be very good to start ridding ourselves of the notion of the supernatural. It is really an old superstitious term. All it means is something occurs by some pathway we can’t see, and it is way outside our capabilities. If there is a God, that God must be the source of existence. What is unnatural about that? If there are ghosts or ESP, then those things are within nature. There simply is no other choice. If we study and find out ESP is true (and I know that it is) then we must simply realize we don’t see the mechanism, but mechanism there must be. It is very odd to me that in this present age, when we have finally discovered that there is much much more to reality than meets the eye, that we have increased skeptisim regarding such things.
    Now that we have become aware of the incredibly complex and tiny mechanisms that are necessary to make life go for us up here at our size level, we can say, why of course. How silly were Darwin and his contemporaries for thinking a blob of goo could do all the things that living things do. Why do people in each age always assume that the current level of knowledge is sufficient to made bold claims? Humanity would be much smarter if they were more aware of their ignorance.
    My point is: any ‘spiritual’ event has a mechanism, and just because we can’t do it or see how it works, does not make it unnatural. I am sure that ESP has a mechanism, and it is odd, as I already said, that in an age where we find out about invisible and subtle realities like the electromagnetic spectrum, for one example, that people throw up their hands and call it supernatural.
    I really think we should stop tolerating the term. I have. When people use it, I simply say that the word supernatural has no meaning to me and I can’t relate to it, and yes, I believe in God.

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