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Expanding Horizons at the AM-Nat Conference

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The list and scope of presenters at the Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism conference continues to grow. The conference committee is very pleased with the response to the conference so far. Register today to be a part of it!

Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism

So far, the conference has scholars from the fields of economics, psychology, computer science, biology, philosophy, and theology, and the list continues to grow. The goal of the conference is not to throw stones at methodological naturalism, but to instead:

  • Recognize the contributions of methodological naturalism to science’s history.
  • Recognize the shortcomings of methodological naturalism for making progress in various avenues of inquiry.
  • Develop alternate methodologies which better serve the questions being asked today, and to stimulate the questions that aren’t being asked.

If you would like to submit an abstract, check out the call for abstracts. To join the conference, register here.

I am particularly excited that Philipp Bagus (associate scholar at the Mises Institute and associate professor at the University Rey Juan Carlos) will be given a talk on Mises’ methodological dualism in economics, and Dr. Sam Rakover (Professor Emeritus at the University of Haifa) will be talking about his work in methodological dualism and multi-explanatory frameworks in psychology.

Our list of speakers and attendees keeps growing, and there are several more speakers that have expressed interest but are not yet fully confirmed.

Join us for the conference – it should be both fun and enlightening! Also share this with your own mailing lists and friends.

11 Replies to “Expanding Horizons at the AM-Nat Conference

  1. 1
    GaryGaulin says:

    I still do not exactly know what needs an alternative to methodological naturalism.

    An alternative to methodological naturalism conference like this infers science needs one or another philosophy. But the modern view is that science is a prexisting reasoning method even found in babies, who of course know no philosophy at all or even what a science teacher is. Other reasons are explained in an earlier conference related topic:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-597815

    A philosophy conference like this appears to be speaking for science and scientists. In my opinion there should at least be a disclaimer on everything about philosophy is being used to explain science, but science is not based on philosophy.

  2. 2
    johnnyb says:

    Gary –

    I am very unclear about what your comments mean. For example, when you say, “science is not based on philosophy” you are gravely mistaken. Science is an outgrowth of philosophy – it used to be called the philosophy of nature.

    Take, for instance, how experiments are done. When you test to see an event, you are implementing a version of the “identity of the indiscernibles”. The conservation laws are a version of “ex nihilo, nihil fit”. Science is simply the practical outgrowth of advances in philosophy. Most people don’t see it because it takes a long time for the one to impact the other. But nonetheless, science merely copies on the rules established by philosophy. That is what makes it successful.

    You also said, “A philosophy conference like this appears to be speaking for science and scientists”

    If you think that it is possible for someone to speak on behalf of science or scientists at all, then I think you are mistaken. At no conference in the world that I know of are the participants claiming to speak for all science or all scientists. I don’t see what makes this different. You are correct that we have both scientists and philosophers (and other disciplines) at the conference, but the conference quite directly claims to be multi-disciplinary. I think that’s a huge plus, and I plaster that fact all over the website.

  3. 3
    GaryGaulin says:

    Jonathan, what “science” was once named and long ago was does not allow turning modern day science and science classrooms into a philosophical religion for promoting levitation miracles, exorcisms and all else modern day philosophers are able to deem philosophically true. For a glimpse of the tip of that iceberg see my comments in this ongoing discussion:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-598853

    For those who are making unscientific exceptions indicative of religious addiction a conference like yours becomes an AA meeting with an open bar.

    What has so far been seen at UD for “philosophy” to teach as “science” does though have a bright side: the conference at least of interest to the cognitive health related fields. No limit at all but the religious imagination makes it like a party that can easily get out of control.

    Regardless of where it came from or was called modern “science” exists apart from philosophy. The reasons why it needs to stay that way are being made more clear by what happens after the “philosophers” are done philosophizing science to death. Where you achieve ultimate success the science classrooms will have to hang up pictures of a flying saint, while KF teaches school nurses how to discretely exorcise students who feel possessed by demons.

  4. 4
    groovamos says:

    science is a prexisting reasoning method even found in babies, who of course know no philosophy at all

    So if what babies think is relevant let’s go at it:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national.....-3l3b.html

    In short, infants are natural dualists and atheism is a learned position in late childhood or adulthood.

  5. 5
    groovamos says:

    And for a metastudy coming out of Oxford showing that toddlers naturally believe in God independent of their native culture: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714103828.htm

    BTW there is no indication of the location of this conference that I can find.

  6. 6
    GaryGaulin says:

    Hi groovamos, the Theory of Intelligent Design (click my name above for .pdf) that I have predicts that what you linked to works like this:

    The combined knowledge of all three of these intelligence levels guides spawning salmon of both sexes on long perilous migrations to where they were born and may stay to defend their nests “till death do they part”. Motherly alligators and crocodiles gently carry their well guarded hatchlings to the water. If the babies are scared then they will call and she will be quick to come to their aid and let them ride on her head and body, as they learn what they need to know to succeed in life. For humans this instinctual and learned knowledge has through time guided us towards marriage ceremonies to ask for “blessing” from a conscious loving “spirit” our multicellular intelligence level may be able to sense coming from the other intelligence levels, though we cannot directly experience being a single one of our cells or the intelligent cause that created all cells, which has for billions of years been alive and a part inside us too. It is possible that one or both of the parents will later lose interest in the partnership, or they may have more offspring than they can possibly take care of, or none at all, but “for better or for worse” for such intelligence anywhere in the universe, there will nonetheless be the love we need and cherish to guide us, forever through generations of time…

  7. 7
    johnnyb says:

    groovamos – the conference is entirely online, so there isn’t a location.

  8. 8
    johnnyb says:

    Gary –

    Your criticism seems quite off the mark – you seem determined to guess at what we are doing, and then criticize us based on your presumptions. You should check out our earlier conference proceedings, Engineering and the Ultimate. If you are to criticize us, that would be a good place to start instead of empty preconceptions.

  9. 9
    GaryGaulin says:

    Jonathan information like this makes me curious:

    This conference is funded by a generous grant from the Center for Evolutionary Informatics (CEI).

    http://www.am-nat.org/site/

    Ironically the “Center for Evolutionary Informatics” is run by (UD blog owner) Barry Arrington:

    CENTER FOR EVOLUTIONARY INFORMATICS
    :
    In Care of Name: BARRY K ARRINGTON 5310 WARD RD ST
    Dba Name: Arbor Ministries

    http://www.nonprofitlookup.com/profile/679604.html

    From what I myself have been saying in regards to science being for everyone the involvement of an “Arbor Ministries” should not in itself be an issue. As with any other corporation if there is no false advertising or other deception going on then there should be no problem with their product. I would like to see a scientifically useful outcome of their activities.

    The problem I see is in making it seem like without philosophy there could be no people experimenting with things in order to figure out how something works or happened. It’s common sense that a process inherent to our behavior was not invented by philosophers, it’s a part of how our brain intelligently reasons things out. But for some reason you and others need to turn what now goes by the name of the “scientific method” into something that a person needs a philosophy degree to understand the simple logic of.

    I have no evidence for “science” experiments ceasing to exist without philosophy. Scientists of all ages would just stay going on their science projects. Philosophers that philosophize over “science” would be gone, but the “science world” would go on as well or better without it. Babies will still form hypotheses leading to theories and will eventually need help with their spoon dropping experiments. You then need to give it back to them to drop enough times to be sure it will do the same thing every time. Not knowing that they are applying the “scientific method” (not misbehaving) to figure out how things fall by gravity then bounce makes even parenting (sometimes childhood) more difficult.

    With all said I have to find it misleading to say that “Science is an outgrowth of philosophy”. You are suggesting that babies would otherwise end their spoon dropping experiments and become dumb as a sponge. In the real world no philosophy at all is required to recognize the hypothesis testing theory generating “method” at work in our normal day to day behavior. That’s all the “scientific method” is.

    Overcomplicating such a simple concept is part of why students (including myself) graduated from high school having no idea what an illustration of scientific method with arrows going in circles was all about. The scientific method seems like something that requires a PhD to understand.

    For the sake of ID theory and this blog it’s best to keep science and it’s method a child simple thing. It’s best to not get stuck philosophizing in circles till dizzy. All the Atheism based philosophy is immediately made gone, as well as your philosophy but that’s the way it goes when all sources of overcomplication have to all go. The good part of that though is those in the ID movement who do not have the time or interest in what philosophers are talking about can just skip it, without my (or Bill Nye) thinking less of them for working on a science project instead.

    An ID-friendly view is that there really is a “one brand of science” but understanding the underlying cognitive systematics that explain how it works requires ID theory I’m able to defend:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....of-science

    At this moment in time there is a very serious ID theory being taught to the world via Barry’s blog that helps science teachers write lesson plans explaining all the common illustrations for the “scientific method” and even what “science” is. It’s one of those things that have a way of on their own spreading into science and culture. Regardless of what is in the end learned from having the conference Barry and others still win in regards to having been scientifically useful in their mission. Your need to account for how “science” is best defined by ID only helps show how powerful it actually is against all others even yours. With PBS having supporting information to go with it science teachers are all set to without controversy teach-on in that direction.

    From what I can see you are defining science as something other than the scientific method in action or are using a method from somewhere else. It might help for you to operationally define “science” and its “scientific method” as it relates to the resulting activity that develops theories to explain how things work or happened.

    I’m not off the mark to mention something you need to account for that makes UD look more like the new Illuminati of science. Not all revealed here is classroom safe or advisable but the rest is a teacher’s helper.

  10. 10
    johnnyb says:

    “I have no evidence for “science” experiments ceasing to exist without philosophy.”

    Well, if they are going to continue using scientific methodology, they *are* doing philosophy.

    “I would like to see a scientifically useful outcome of their activities.”

    Publications

    “Your need to account for how “science” is best defined by ID only helps show how powerful it actually is against all others even yours.”

    I have no idea what this even means, or how it relates to anything on this thread or in the conference. The conference does not presuppose ID, and I’m rather certain several of the presenters would not be friendly to ID.

  11. 11
    GaryGaulin says:

    It is wonderful to see you are staying constructively busy but at UD presupposing ID is normal and the goalposts are set at a “theory of intelligent design” that makes even you have to take notice. I’m so glad you came, really:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-599413

    What is to be resolved is how a methodology babies are born doing is “doing philosophy”.

    In adulthood it’s the same thing and all in this forum are very passionate about whether their various hypotheses test true/false as they predicted. This comment has a way of explaining more:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-599400

    We didn’t need to follow a philosophy to also behave in a way that makes for an excellent example of the adulthood “scientific method” in action. And I’m sure all concerned will attest to have been “doing science” right along so there you go, evidence that it was not a figment of our imaginations.

    The “scientific method” is now being defined as entirely inherent to human behavior, nothing else needed. This in turn explains why UD exists and we are here hypothesizing all over the place like a bunch of power mongering crazy people over issues most people do not even care about, but of course we very much do.

    Philosophy should be able to adapt to the scientific method being defined as what rules this forum 24/7. It would go on regardless of your being here to explain the conference and now something you are in the workings of by having presented such an excellent challenge. There is this way evidence that your philosophy can play a role, but without a programmable model for intelligent cause for the mad-scientists of the world to experiment with the philosophy stays bouncing around in the hypotheses testing stage. It’s there but the scientific method is something your philosophy gets stuck in, by having stepped into this forum. You might change where things go a little but we will argue on as always just the same.

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