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Among the CreationistsDispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Frontline$
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Jason Rosenhouse

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744633.001.0001

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Methodological Naturalism

Methodological Naturalism

(p.116) 20 Methodological Naturalism
Among the Creationists

Jason Rosenhouse

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author considers philosophical questions about methodological naturalism (MN). Among intelligent design (ID) supporters “science” is commonly understood to refer to the totality of all that is true about nature. That God created the world is certainly part of that truth. Philosophers of science have long discussed the “demarcation problem,” by which they refer to the attempt to draw a clear line between science and other sorts of inquiry. In this regard it has been suggested that science must adhere to the MN principle. It is claimed that although the line between science and nonscience is sometimes blurry, an invocation of supernatural entities nonetheless places you automatically on the wrong side of it. The term “methodological” indicates that naturalistic presumptions are a matter of scientific practice only. The author discusses the arguments of Robert Pennock in defense of MN. He also comments on the conflict between the empirical realities of nature and deeply held notions about God.

Keywords:   methodological naturalism, intelligent design, science, nature, God, demarcation problem, nonscience, Robert Pennock

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