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Journal
2009 | 19 | 2 | 126-137
Article title

What's Wrong with Methodological Naturalism?

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The compatibility of Darwinism with religious beliefs has been the subject of vigorous debate from 1859 to the present day. Darwin himself did not think that there was any incompatibility between his theory of natural selection and the existence of God. However, he did not think that appeals to the direct or indirect activity of a Creator substantially increased our understanding of any natural phenomenon. In effect, Darwin endorsed what we would today label as "methodological naturalism,' roughly the view that the only legitimate elements of the explanation of natural phenomena must appeal only to natural processes, natural laws and natural regularities.In section 2, Darwin's commitment to methodological Darwinism is documented. Section 3 addresses the question of whether methodological naturalism does or does not rule out belief in a divine Creator. Section 4 raises the question of whether methodological naturalists are also metaphysical naturalists. Finally, section 5 assesses the warrant for expanding the scope of ‘science’ to include non-naturalistic factors.
Publisher
Journal
Year
Volume
19
Issue
2
Pages
126-137
Physical description
Dates
published
2009-06-01
online
2009-06-19
Contributors
  • Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA
References
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  • Darwin, C.On The Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing. London: John Murray, 1862.
  • Darwin, C.The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. London: John Murray, 1868.
  • Darwin, C.The Descent of Man, and selection in Relation to Sex. London: John Murray, 1871.
  • Darwin, C.The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. London: John Murray, 1872a.
  • Darwin, C.The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 6th edition. London: John Murray, 1872b.
  • Darwin, C. Letter to G. E. Mengozzi on Design in Nature. Roma Etrusca, 2, 10, 1881.
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  • Darwin, F., Seward, A. C. (Eds.).More letters of Charles Darwin. Volume 1. London: John Murray, 1903.
  • Dawkins, R.The God Delusion. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
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  • Gould, S. J. Nonoverlapping Magisteria. Natural History 106, 16-22, 1997. http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html.
  • Hitchens, C.God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Twelve Books, 2007.
  • McMullin, E. Evolution and Special Creation. In D. Hull, M. Ruse (Eds.). The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Plantinga, A. When Faith and Reason Clash. In D. Hull, M. Ruse (Eds.). The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998a.
  • Plantinga, A. Reply to McMullin. In D.Hull, M. Ruse (Eds.). The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998b.
  • Rachels, J.Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Ruse, M.Can a Darwinian be a Christian?: The Relationship between Science and Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Stauffer, R. C. (Ed.).Charles Darwin's Natural Selection; Being the Second Part of his Big Species Book written from 1836 to 1858. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_v10023-009-0028-6
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