No one has yet successfully refuted these logical propositions. -8/28/2008 SK
Academic Freedom of Inquiry. That’s the primary message of Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! It’s what ol’ Sirius has been growling about for some time and [finally] somebody is actually doing something about it! Thanks to Ben’s documentary [and the previous groundwork laid by Behe, Dembski and others, most notably the Discovery Institute] folks are standing up against dogma and for scientific/academic freedom of inquiry.
The modern scientific establishment has decided by scholastic fiat that naturalism [i.e. – atheism] shall be the basis of all science. In doing so, they have a priori excluded the possibility of the supernatural, of God. They have mandated that an entire body of possible explanation be banned from consideration. Only explanations consistent with pure naturalism will be allowed.
There are a couple of flaws to this approach:
- 1. If God exists, there exists the possibility that some problems will require a supernatural answer.
- 1a. This is not to say that all problems will require a supernatural answer [an appeal to God, if you will] or that no problems will have natural explanations.
- 1b. Given the intricacy and complexity of design observable in nature, but also the inter-relatedness of its systems, laws, ecologies and species, we should expect to see that a majority of the problems shall have natural solutions. To put it another way, since the supernatural [God] has set up [created] the natural world and its laws, processes, et cetera, and since we observe the natural world we inhabit and have limited or no access to the supernatural [here, being that which exists outside the natural] apart from God’s will and revelation, we should expect that most solutions of the natural world shall be natural.
- 1c. Since the world has a supernatural designer, a minority of data and problems shall certainly require a supernatural explanation [again, if God does indeed exist].
- 1d. Problems requiring [not possibly owing to] a supernatural explanation will be unexplainable by natural processes alone. [Note that this is not a “god of the gaps” approach or argument from ignorance. Problems requiring a supernatural explanation would not be explainable by naturalism. In other words, it would be found that naturalism was inadequate to explain the problem but that intelligent design did, not merely that naturalism could not explain it yet.] This would include things which are irreducibly complex or inconceivably improbable for natural processes to account for [as Dembski pointed out, why should naturalism get a free lunch?], such as elements of intelligent design [for example: irreducible complexity, unaccountable ascending orders of information, a “fingerprint” of homologous design elements incorporated into differing processes/entities and input of new information such as that required for the origin of the universe and life] or phenomena that may only be explained by intervention [an overruling of natural law and processes] by the supernatural.
- 2. If God exists, He exists whether He is allowed as a viable or valid explanation or not.
- 3. If God exists and the supernatural is a priori ruled out as a possible answer to any problem, science MUST needs be wrong at some point.
- 3a. If science a priori rules out the supernatural as a possibility, its methodology and bias will prevent it from coming to any conclusions, save naturalism.
- 3b. If God exists, the presumption of pure naturalism is incorrect.
- 3c. If science persists in its presumption of pure naturalism and refusal to consider supernatural explanations, it will become something other than science, something closer to dogma.
- 4. Ruling out the supernatural as a solution a priori is unscientific.
- 4a. True science follows the evidence wherever it leads, without regard for opinions, institutions or prevailing paradigms of the day.
- 4b. To state it another way, Freedom of Inquiry is a requirement of true science, since without freedom of inquiry science cannot be self-correcting.
- 4c. Ruling out a set of possible explanations a priori simply begs the question of naturalism. As such, it is a dogmatic denialism of all other possibility.
- 4d. Legitimately ruling out the supernatural as a possible set of explanation would either require omniscience on the part of scientists or the equivalent net result of omniscience, having explored all possible solutions, legitimately answered every question with naturalism and having ruled the supernatural out by default.
- 4d[i]. The first requirement would require an attribute of the supernatural which would preclude pure naturalism from being the sole answer to all questions.
- 4d[ii]. The second requirement also requires freedom of inquiry in order to succeed, but would require the final solution and therefore the culmination [end] of all scientific inquiry.
- 4d[iii]. Ruling out the supernatural as a possible set of explanation without either omniscience or the completion of all scientific inquiry is simply a leap of faith or belief of bias and cannot be said to have been accomplished through proper scientific inquiry.
- 5. Ruling out the supernatural a priori as possible is irrational.
- 5a. As has been demonstrated scientifically, the mind [consciousness/soul/sapience] is separate from the physicality of the brain or even the body. The soul [as consciousness] can be inferred from the scientific method yet the soul [being outside the realm of pure naturalism] is supernatural. [Assertions that consciousness arises naturally as the result of sufficient complexity of intelligence is mere conjecture/speculation based on assumptions of pure naturalism and must be taken by faith, as must all speculations of origins.]
- 5b. There are also problems and subjects which lie outside of natural science, which it may speculate about but could never conceivably prove or test, especially matters of origins. Naturalism may speculate about such metaphysical problems, but it makes an a priori assumption of pure naturalistic/mechanistic processes in doing so.
- 5c. The assertion that natural science will eventually attain sufficient knowledge and resources to determine all solutions as naturalistic is a statement of faith.
- 5d. The fact that neither Darwinism [limited specifically to the development of biology though not its ultimate origin] and naturalism [the assumption of purely natural solutions for all problems] is an adequate explanation for the whole of human experience [including the soul, why reason should be trusted, questions of significance, why universal morality exists and exists as it does, et cetera] should require, for the sake of intellectual honesty, an exploration of other theories and sets of possible explanation which might better account for the entire picture. The prohibition against such freedom of inquiry is irrational, as it must be pronounced based on a presumption of faith, not reason.
Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Men and women are standing up for academic freedom. Academic Freedom bills are being introduced in states all over the country. In fact, there is a move to try to secure this freedom at the national level. At a website called AcademicFreedomPetition.com, you can add your name to a petition that reads:
“We, the undersigned American citizens, urge the adoption of policies by our nation’s academic institutions to ensure teacher and student academic freedom to discuss the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. Teachers should be protected from being fired, harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against for objectively presenting the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory. Students should be protected from being harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against for expressing their views about the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory in an appropriate manner.”
It’s a step in the only direction that is consistent with true scientific inquiry.
Make your stand.