Cornelius Hunter’s multiple choice

The creationist Cornelius Hunter has posed a multiple choice question. What should scientists do if methodological naturalism “doesn’t work”.  The four options are:

A. Don’t worry, methodological naturalism never fails because nature is always fully materialistic.

B. If methodological naturalism ever fails then science, constrained to methodological naturalism, will lead to the wrong answer. Don’t worry, it is fine if science is sometimes incorrect.

C. If methodological naturalism ever fails then science should back away from the problem at hand. Science should only address phenomenon that are fully naturalistic.

D. Science should not be constrained to methodological naturalism.

He also writes:

Joe Felsenstein, and most other evolutionists, tell us that science must be restricted to law-like causes and explanations. In a word, they require the scientific method to be restricted to naturalism

By identifying naturalism with law-like explanations he presumably identifies supernatural with the unpredictable and not susceptible to law.  If we also accept that the supernatural is not publicly observable in the way that experimental or field data are, then C has to be the right answer. Science should only concern itself with publically observable results and explanations that provide some kind of law or predictability (even if it is only a stochastic law).  In fact I would suggest that not only should science restrict itself to this domain but so should all reasonable enquiry.  The alternative is to look to ad hoc, invisible magic.


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