Tiede ja yliluonnolliset selitykset: metodologisen naturalismin tarpeellisuus

Sulkeeko tämän tärkeän ja moninaisen inhimillisen toiminnan silkka luonne pois viittaukset yliluonnollisiin ilmiöihin? Millä tavoin kukaan voisi perustella sellaista väitettä?

-Alvin Plantinga (käännös omani)

No, kun kerran kysyitte…

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Rely on experts?

None of us knows everything. Apparently, it used to be the case that one person could master all the knowledge in their day, but since then, we’ve got so much specialised knowledge that to become an expert in even one field takes a great effort. It follows from this that we’re dependent on experts — even they might not be right, but what they think about their own subject is probably the best information we’ve got. Individuals not knowledgeable about a field may think they can just figure it out by “common sense” or something, but very often people trust what experts and especially scientists say much more. In most contexts, I agree that this is a good idea. Things have a way of turning out to be differently than they seem when you take a better look, and experts are the ones who have looked at them closely.

So, it’s reasonable to look to find out what the experts say when trying to find out the truth about a matter. Science and academia are here to give us answers, and we should take advantage of that. Right?

Yes. I do think so. However, things are not so simple. The sad truth is that you practically have to be an expert to even know what the experts are really saying. Continue reading

I might be wrong, but…

I’m very aware that anyone can be mistaken in just about any of their beliefs. That includes myself. This whole article isn’t about me specifically, of course. I’m referring to myself just as an example — though this is also something I sometimes want to tell people about the status of my own beliefs in the discussion at hand and why I may not change them. So, anyway: I could be wrong. I could be wrong even where I think something is perfectly clear and people who think otherwise are grossly misinformed. I could be wrong where I have the impression that something is firmly scientifically proven.

An important part of this is what I’ve called “information cancer”: that you’ll find lots of claims of evidence and seemingly reasonable arguments for even the false answers, because people keep creating them to defend their position and that starts a vicious cycle where even more of such material is created.

So, if I disagree with you, yes, it might be that I am wrong and you are right. Continue reading