Tag naturalism


Most religions are based on stories of miracles. Those miracles are always performed by a supernatural deity. The Bible is absolutely chock-full of miracles, from the immaculate conception and resurrection, to the water-into-wine trick. But the clincher is that huge bunch of miracles listed in the book of Genesis…about the creation of Heaven and Earth and all the living things on it. I can’t even count all the miracles in Genesis. I haven’t checked Guinness, but it must be a world record.

Some notes on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology, part 1

This will definitely be TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read), but…

In discussing some thing on a private thread with a fellow Tippling Philosopher, I have written quite a bit on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology which I would hat to go to waste and would love to keep for reference and posterity. None is ground-breaking or anything you wouldn’t know, but there are some good links to refer to in future conversations.

Quote for the Day: D Rizdek on naturalism

Over on another post and thread, D Rizdek is doing a fantastically erudite job of mounting a solid case for naturalism. Here are two of his quotes from that thread which are well worth replicating – indented quotes belong to whom he is debating:

Unfortunately the debate is asking “Does science embrace all in the universe?” In other words what is the status of scientism?


I certainly don’t consider all of what I am to be “in science”

These tell me two things.

In defence of Methodological Naturalism

I am having a debate elsewhere with a fellow Tippling Philosopher and just rushed out this response. Might as well double it up here. He is arguing that science might not have the answer, that a supernatural explanation should not be ruled out. He stated:

Philosophy 101: Qualia

As part of my introductory series which has looked at different philosophers and the philosophical questions from the 2009 philpapers survey, I am going to look at qualia, as asked by a friend on facebook.

Steve Novella on consciousness: dualism is the new evolution for theists (Part 1)

I was listening to a Reasonable Doubts podcast from a few years ago, and it was, as ever, cracking. This one was about consciousness, its hard problem, dualism, and how it, and neuroscience, are being co-opted as a philosophical area to argue for the “God of the Gaps” style argument in the same vein as evolution in the creationist and intelligent design movements.

Meaning is an Illusion

The “meaning” of life comes purely from emotional experience, which is chemically based. We know that emotion, and even spiritual experiences, are chemical in nature. It is already possible, using current science, to use drugs and/or direct manipulation of the brain in order to induce “spiritual” experiences.

Can Science Test Supernatural Worldviews?

Yonatan Fishman, PhD, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, wrote a really interesting paper contesting the idea that science and the supernatural do not overlap, and that there is no way to test the supernatural. The paper can be found here and is well worth a read. I hope to give it a greater commentary in the near, not-so-mentally busy future!

Creationists – how do you explain this?

I am going to copy and paste a very normal article from Science Daily here. Nothing special. Just your bog-standard scientific journal publication press release. This one is about a fossilised horse which has had its genome mapped.

What I want people like JohnM, a regular commenter here, to do is to explain all of the aspects of this articles in terms of their Creationist framework. What I mean by this, is they (he) needs to take every claim in this article (most aren’t claims, but are simply givens) and produce a non ad hoc explanation which explains this evidence BETTER than evolution and naturalism. In order to be true, the explanation must have that explanatory power.

First interview with a dead man

New Scientist has started a new feature series on people with bizarre and rare mind / brain disorders and predicaments. This article looks at Cotard’s syndrome. What is fascinating about this article and syndrome is the interplay between brain, consciousness and self-awareness. That these conscious states arise from brian patterns:
“When I was in hospital I kept on telling them that the tablets weren’t going to do me any good ’cause my brain was dead. I lost my sense of smell and taste. I didn’t need to eat, or speak, or do anything. I ended up spending time in the graveyard because that was the closest I could get to death.”

Interview with Tom Clark of the Center For Naturalism

Tom Clark is the Director for the Center for Naturalism (CFN), an organisation which harbours the excellent resource Naturalism.Org. The Mission for CFN is stated as follows:

The Center for Naturalism (CFN) is an educational and advocacy organization devoted to increasing public awareness of naturalism and its implications for social and personal well-being. The CFN seeks to foster the understanding that human beings and their behavior are fully caused, entirely natural phenomena, and that human flourishing is best achieved in the light of such understanding.

Heads You Win, Tails I Lose #1

When thinking about subjects like the fine-tuning argument it becomes apparent that the theist loves to have their cake and eat it. They thrive off a “heads I win, tails you lose” scenario.

What I mean by this can be exemplified as follows:

In the fine-tuning argument when a skeptic argues:

The universe is more fine-tuned for death than life. The size of the universe is so unbelievably and unnecessarily massive that it appears that it is not designed for human life.