Chapter

Science and the Supernatural

Niall Shanks

in God, the Devil, and Darwin

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195161991
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835058 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195161998.003.0005
 Science and the Supernatural

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The creationist criticism of modern science that it rules out supernatural causation a priori and prejudicially, owing to a misplaced commitment to metaphysical naturalism, is discussed. It is argued that supernatural causation is not taken seriously at present because it is completely lacking in evidential support, and not because its very possibility has been dismissed prior to experiment, data, and interpretation. As a case study, a controlled, randomized, double-blind investigation by Harris et al. into the efficacy of intercessionary prayer on coronary patients, putative empirical evidence of supernatural causation, is examined and shown to be, at very best, inconclusive.

Keywords: evidence; Harris; medicine; naturalism; prayer; supernatural causation

Chapter.  9355 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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