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Grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism: the failed strategy of ruling the supernatural out of science by philosophical fiat

Maarten Boudry (UGent) , Stefaan Blancke (UGent) and Johan Braeckman (UGent)
(2012) SCIENCE & EDUCATION. 21(8). p.1151-1165
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Abstract
According to a widespread philosophical opinion, science is strictly limited to investigating natural causes and putting forth natural explanations. Lacking the tools to evaluate supernatural claims, science must remain studiously neutral on questions of metaphysics. This (self-imposed) stricture, which goes under the name of ‘methodological naturalism’, allows science to be divorced from metaphysical naturalism or atheism, which many people tend to associate with it. However, ruling the supernatural out of science by fiat is not only philosophically untenable, it actually provides grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism. The philosophical flaws in this conception of methodological naturalism have been gratefully exploited by advocates of Intelligent Design Creationism to bolster their false accusations of naturalistic bias and dogmatism on the part of modern science. We argue that it promotes a misleading view of the scientific endeavor and is at odds with the foremost arguments for evolution by natural selection. Reconciling science and religion on the basis of such methodological strictures is therefore misguided.
Keywords
Methodological Naturalism, Intelligent Design Creationism., Science and Religion, Evolutionary Theory, Public Understanding of Science, INTELLIGENT DESIGN, CREATIONISM, NATURALISM

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Chicago
Boudry, Maarten, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman. 2012. “Grist to the Mill of Anti-evolutionism: The Failed Strategy of Ruling the Supernatural Out of Science by Philosophical Fiat.” Science & Education 21 (8): 1151–1165.
APA
Boudry, M., Blancke, S., & Braeckman, J. (2012). Grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism: the failed strategy of ruling the supernatural out of science by philosophical fiat. SCIENCE & EDUCATION, 21(8), 1151–1165.
Vancouver
1.
Boudry M, Blancke S, Braeckman J. Grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism: the failed strategy of ruling the supernatural out of science by philosophical fiat. SCIENCE & EDUCATION. 2012;21(8):1151–65.
MLA
Boudry, Maarten, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman. “Grist to the Mill of Anti-evolutionism: The Failed Strategy of Ruling the Supernatural Out of Science by Philosophical Fiat.” SCIENCE & EDUCATION 21.8 (2012): 1151–1165. Print.
@article{2047589,
  abstract     = {According to a widespread philosophical opinion, science is strictly limited to investigating natural causes and putting forth natural explanations. Lacking the tools to evaluate supernatural claims, science must remain studiously neutral on questions of metaphysics. This (self-imposed) stricture, which goes under the name of {\textquoteleft}methodological naturalism{\textquoteright}, allows science to be divorced from metaphysical naturalism or atheism, which many people tend to associate with it. However, ruling the supernatural out of science by fiat is not only philosophically untenable, it actually provides grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism. The philosophical flaws in this conception of methodological naturalism have been gratefully exploited by advocates of Intelligent Design Creationism to bolster their false accusations of naturalistic bias and dogmatism on the part of modern science. We argue that it promotes a misleading view of the scientific endeavor and is at odds with the foremost arguments for evolution by natural selection. Reconciling science and religion on the basis of such methodological strictures is therefore misguided.},
  author       = {Boudry, Maarten and Blancke, Stefaan and Braeckman, Johan},
  issn         = {0926-7220},
  journal      = {SCIENCE \& EDUCATION},
  keyword      = {Methodological Naturalism,Intelligent Design Creationism.,Science and Religion,Evolutionary Theory,Public Understanding of Science,INTELLIGENT DESIGN,CREATIONISM,NATURALISM},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1151--1165},
  title        = {Grist to the mill of anti-evolutionism: the failed strategy of ruling the supernatural out of science by philosophical fiat},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11191-012-9446-8},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2012},
}

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