Joined: Oct. 2007
|Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 03 2009,17:20)|
|Yeah that definitely begs the question. I prefer to look at the empirical evidence to support my conclusions. In reference to the empirical evidence, what are your thoughts on where the empirical evidence leads? Can we safely say that material mechanisms are responsible for all that we observe in our universe?|
As best anybody can tell, yes. Science does a great job with phenomena that operate according to regular rules which are discoverable; heck, there have been scientific investigations of the power of intercessory prayer, okay? The main reason so many people think science cannot do anything with "supernatural" or "immaterial" phenomena, is that these "supernatural"/"immaterial" phenomena don't seem to operate according to regular, discoverable rules.
|Is there any room for some kind of mechanism that is immaterial or at least contrary to natural selection?|
That depends on what you mean by "room for". If you're asking about whether there are any aspects of the universe that we know for certain are flatly incapable of being accounted for by any conceivable concatenation of material/natural/physical mechanisms, and therefore require some sort of immaterial/supernatural/nonphysical mechanism, the answer is "no". If, on the other hand, you're asking about whether there are any aspects of the Universe that we do not yet have a decent explanation for, and for which it is therefore conceivable that some sort of immaterial/supernatural/nonphysical mechanism might be required to account for them, the answer is "yes".
|I know these are rather broad questions. Maybe give me what you (anyone in this forum) think are the best arguments for your view either way.|
In my view, the best argument against supernatural processes is that there are lots of things which have, at various times and places, been deemed the result of supernatural processes... and every time someone figures out a way to test one of these things, it's always turned out to have a boring, ordinary, mundane, non-supernatural explanation. Lightning used to be a product of Thor or Zeus; now it's a natural weather phenomenon. The season of winter used to be the fault of Hades (see also: the story of Persephone); now it's a natural consequence of Earth's axial tilt. Earthquakes used to be caused by powerful entities like the Midgard Serpent; now they're the result of natural tectonic processes occuring in the Earth's crust.
Apart from the fact that all supernatural "explanations" thus far have proved to be either wrong or untestable, I find it compelling that the word "supernatural" doesn't really mean anything -- it's a word without a well-defined referent, which (as fas as I can tell) is, in practical terms, interchangeably synonymous with the phrase "something I don't understand". If you think the word "supernatural" does have any meaning beyond "something I don't understand", great! Can you tell me what that meaning is, please?