The Assumption of Naturalism is Unfalsifiable
July 15, 2010
There are two ways that one would think that the “supernatural” could be proven but both of the available options are rejected outright by those who assume that there is no supernatural. The two ways are: 1) Miracles and 2) Unexplained Phenomena.
The biblical word for “miracle” is actually “wonder”. The point of a miracle, biblically speaking, is to draw attention to a certain event in history so that people can be clear as to what God is doing. Miracles would only get attention if they were infrequent. The person who walks around yelling all the time gets ignored. The person who yells once in a while and only for a good reason gets attention.
Naturalists reject miracles because they are not repeatable. They can’t be brought into a lab and “confirmed”. You have to rely on testimony. They reject the testimony by definition if it claims a miracle.
Regarding unexplained phenomena let’s look at gravity. It is interesting that when Newton defined gravity as an immaterial force, he was roundly ridiculed by most of the European intelligentsia because an “invisible force” that had no known natural cause sounded to them like God. Was Newton saying that God held the planets in line? That is one of the critiques Newton had to deal with. But Newton, who was completely at peace with the idea that God held things together, didn’t shy away….the math worked. Is gravity a supernatural force that is so common we don’t think of it as supernatural? I sort of think so but I don’t know. It is not a biblical question because the bible doesn’t say one way or the other.
Today there are many models that attempt to explain gravity naturally. For example idea posits that gravity is an emergent phenomenon of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. So, let us not mistake ‘is not explained for certain’ with ‘is not explained yet’ and ‘cannot be explained at all’. That is not what I am saying. I actually don’t have a dog in the fight on gravity. Maybe it is a natural phenomena. Maybe gravity is pure miracle all the time. I don’t really care. My point is simply to note that naturalists have a deep trust that whatever phenomenon are not currently explained by natural explanations will some day.
So naturalism is unfalsifiable:
1. Miracles are rejected
2. Current unexplained phenomenons are assumed to be natural even without evidence.