In “The Role of Metaphysical Naturalism in Science” (Science & Education, 20 November 2011), Martin Mahner explains,
Abstract: This paper defends the view that metaphysical naturalism is a constitutive ontological principle of science in that the general empirical methods of science, such as observation, measurement and experiment, and thus the very production of empirical evidence, presuppose a no-supernature principle. It examines the consequences of metaphysical naturalism for the testability of supernatural claims, and it argues that explanations involving supernatural entities are pseudo-explanatory due to the many semantic and ontological problems of supernatural concepts. The paper also addresses the controversy about metaphysical versus methodological naturalism.
What metaphysical naturalism actually does is lay down the edict that only material forces are part of science. Immaterial forces like information must somehow be seen as their accidental byproducts.
It’s strange. One can’t imagine the tenure bores asking themselves, “Why are we stuck believing in a multiverse, which essentially negates science?” (To get away from evident fine-tuning) Or “How come origin of life never gets solved?” (Because the researchers are looking for something that isn’t there: An information-free zone that produces information-rich life.) “How come the ‘hard problem of consciousness’ shows zero progress.” (Because the researchers are willing to believe that it arises from stuff like chimps throwing poop.)
In their world, unrestrained curiosity is not only idle but dangerous.
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