Two: Humanistic Naturalism
Humanistic Naturalists should be strongly inclined to reject Big Bang Cosmology. They should be horrified by its development, for they are committed to a philosophical outlook which appears, at least at first, to be completely refuted by Big Bang theory. Humanistic Naturalism had its heyday during the early and mid twentieth century, but the view is as old as some of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. Prominent twentieth century philosophers who are identified by themselves or others as Humanistic Naturalists were George Santayana, John Dewey, Morris Cohen, Sterling Lamprecht, Roy W. Sellars, John H. Randall, Jr., Sidney Hook, Ernest Nagel, Corliss Lamont, Bertrand Russell, Samuel Alexander, J. B. Pratt, William P. Montague, Paul Kurtz, Kai Nielsen, Daniel C. Dennett, and many others. Among recent naturalists, Nielsen mentions A. J. Ayer, C. I. Lewis, W. V. 0. Quine, Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, P. F. Strawson, Donald Davidson, David Armstrong, and J. J. C. Smart. 1 Many prominent scientists like Carl Sagan are or have been Humanistic Naturalists, and we will examine some of their positions in later chapters.
Members of this philosophical family tend to share a common metaphysical, methodological, ethical, and anthropological outlook, though they do not completely agree with or perfectly resemble one another in every respect. Humanistic Naturalists subscribe to most if not all of the following philosophical doctrines; but individual Naturalists may reject, de-emphasize, or ignore a few of these family traits. As less and less of these traits are affirmed, the legitimacy of calling a position "Naturalism" becomes more and more doubtful. Because most natural scientists regard themselves as Naturalists, David Griffin tries to reconcile science and religion with what he calls a "naturalistic theism," by dropping almost everything Naturalists have ever meant by the term. His "minimal naturalism" retains only metaphysical trait D below, and he modifies it significantly by making divine causation a regular part of all natural causation. 2 Naturalists are likely to regard this as a purely verbal victory, but Griffin also launches more fundamental and substantive attacks on Naturalism's "scientific" status. So will the following pages, even with respect to D below.
Humanistic Naturalists tend to believe:
A. Only nature exists; the supernatural does not exist.
B. Nature as a whole has no purposes, values, or traits of personality.
C. The most general features of nature like time, space, and the basic physical stuff within them exist infinitely, eternally, and necessarily.
D. All events have natural causes; there are no supernatural causes.
E. Scientific method is the only legitimate method for discovering truth.
F. A Humanistic ethics and "philosophy of man" are adequate.3
The first four of these claims are metaphysical, and the fifth is methodological. By "metaphysical" claims, I mean those pertaining to the most universal or fundamental features of reality, the traditional meaning of the term. Unlike Kai Nielsen, who calls only a priori versions of such claims "metaphysical,"4 I recognize both a priori and empirical approaches to such claims. Naturalists do not avoid metaphysics just because they profess to be empiricists. Humanistic Naturalists try to combine the fifth methodological claim with the sixth ethical and anthropological thesis. The first five of these have the most obvious importance and direct relevance to Big Bang Cosmology.
1. Family Traits of Humanistic Naturalism
Historically, the philosophical outlook of Humanistic Naturalism was developed expressly as an alternative to Theistic Supernaturalism, which takes just the opposite position on every point. Consider first how Naturalists themselves have expressed their fundamental beliefs.
A. Nature as All Existence
Humanism believes that nature or the universe makes up the totality of existence and is completely self-operating according to natural law, with no need for a God or gods to keep it functioning. Corliss Lamont5
Nature in which all interactions exist. John Dewey6
We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity. Nature may indeed be broader and deeper than we now know; any new discoveries, however, will but enlarge our knowledge of the natural. Humanist Manifesto II7
What, then, are the controlling principles of naturalism? Essentially those of science: the beliefs that nature is an all-inclusive, spatiotemporal system and that everything which exists and acts in it is a part of this system. Roy W. Sellars8
The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Carl Sagan9 This first humanist principle, the rejection of the supernatural worldview, is shared with materialism and naturalism. Paul Kurtz10
There is nothing beyond nature. There is no supernatural reality, spiritual beings, or any purely mental realities. Kai Nielsen11
The claim that "Only nature exists; the supernatural does not exist" is essential to being a Naturalist. Doubters about this may be skeptics, agnostics, or positivists; but they are not Naturalists. This claim invites the question: What is nature? Sometimes "nature" is conceived so broadly that it covers the whole of reality, in which case a real God who transcends our world would be an object in nature. "Nature" or "the universe" usually refers to our system of spacetime, but Frank J. Tipler defines "the universe"as "all that exists." Without the additional premise that our system of space time is all that exists, this definition implies that an existing transcendent God belongs to the universe. Tipler, for instance, insists that God is a natural entity and that theology is a branch of physics.12 He actually wants to naturalize God and treat God as purely immanent in and ultimately produced by spacetime as we know it-in conjunction with infinitely many other spacetime universes that actualize all possibilities.
Philosophical Naturalists deliberately use "nature" in a more limited way to exclude even an immanent God, to say nothing of Heaven, Hell, Angels, and all other-worldly entities. Nature is all; nothing more exists. For atheistic Naturalists, especially in their debates with Theists, "nature" denotes this world, the visible universe in its totality; there is no other world; and no other-worldly entities are real. Nature, the cosmos, the totality of our public spatiotemporal universe, is the only reality.
The creative, transcendent, and eternal God of traditional western Theism supposedly caused nature, the totality of spacetime, to come into being. By definition, supernatural entities can only exist outside of and before our system of spacetime; but no such beings exist, Naturalists insist. We can only speak metaphorically at best, or unintelligibly at worst, they contend, of their existence, and no reliable scientific evidence supports belief in supernatural entities. "Before time" is a temporal metaphor; and "outside space" is a spatial metaphor; but these metaphors have no literal or intelligible extensional meaning or reference. Scientific method, they contend, does not and cannot verify the existence of other worlds or other-worldly entities, so nothing warrants belief in their existence.
B. Nature as Purposeless
Our world has been made by nature through the spontaneous and casual collision and the multifarious accidental, random and purposeless congregation and coalescence of atoms. Lucretius 13
[Naturalism] excludes cosmic purpose, a meaningful totality, and any variation of the Platonic form of the good. Roy W. Sellars14
This cosmos, unbounded in space and infinite in time, consists fundamentally of a constantly changing system of matter and energy, and is neutral in regard to man's well-being and values. Corliss Lamont15
To a naturalist, evidence for purpose, needs, organization, and ends in nature, is discovered in the behavior of specific things and organisms. No reference to the purpose of the whole is empirically relevant to the purposes he discovers by natural observation and experiment. Sidney Hook16
Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Humanist Manifesto I17
Nature for the humanist is blind to human purposes and indifferent to human ideals. Paul Kurtz18
Most if not all Naturalists insist that "Nature as a whole has no purposes, values, or traits of personality." They hold that no valuational, personal, or psychological attributes apply directly to nature as a whole; and nature does not indirectly express the purposes or personal will of either a God who transcends the world or a God who is immanent in the world. Impersonal nature has no values, pursues no goals, makes no judgments about good and evil or right and wrong, has no aims or intentions, does not care what happens, takes no attitudes towards anything, whether favorable or unfavorable, thinks no thoughts, knows not what it does, has no awareness or consciousness of its own, and does not consciously and purposefully try to do what it does or try to achieve anything at all. All personal, psychological, or "anthropomorphic" attributes must be excluded from our thinking about nature as a whole, no matter how appropriate these categories are for thinking about local earthly organisms within nature like animals and human beings, and no matter how impressive and powerful the creative natural forces are that bring living things into being. Cosmic-level teleology has no reality.
C. Nature as Infinite, Eternal, and Necessary
If we ask whence came matter, we say it has existed always. If we be asked whence came motion in matter, we answer that, for the same reason, it must have been in motion from all eternity .... These elements ... are sufficient to explain the formation of all the beings that we see. Mirabaud19
The law of the conservation of energy includes in its operation an unceasing transformation of one form of energy to another, so that the
basic energy, but none of its individual manifestations, is eternal. Corliss Lamont20
The ultimate elements of the body, as the Law of the Conservation of Mass implies, have always existed in some form or other and will go on existing forever. The indestructible matter that makes up our physical organism was part of the universe jive billion years ago and will still be part of it five billion years hence. The infinite past comes to a focus in our intricately structured bodies; and from them there radiates the infinite future. Corliss Lamont21
Nature stands on its own feet and explains itself. Roy W. Sellars22
Why assume an absolute beginning for reality? If change is an event in nature, may not both change and nature always have been? .... Neither science nor philosophy, then, assume any absolute beginning/or reality. Roy W. Sellars23
Nature is ontologically ultimate and self-sufficient. Roy W. Sellers24
Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Humanist Manifesto I25
Undoubtedly, our knowledge of the universe is meager, given the vast infinity of space and events. Paul Kurtz26
Naturalists believe that "The most general attributes of nature like time, space, and the basic physical stuff within them exist infinitely, eternally, and necessarily." The fundamentals of the natural order of things, whatever they are, are uncreated, everlasting, indestructible, and self-sufficient in their being. Space and time are fundamentals that every naturalistic philosophy affirms, but considerable room must be allowed for Naturalists to disagree about the constitution of the basic stuff of the world. Thales, the first philosopher, thought that it is water and that all things in the universe are composed of transformations of water. The most sophisticated Naturalistic metaphysics developed in the ancient world was that of the Greek and Roman atomists, Democritus and Leucippus, according to whom nature is composed entirely and only of uncreated and indestructible atoms swimming everlastingly in an uncreated infinite void of empty space. This atomistic view is no longer tenable because modem nuclear physics finds no uncreated and indestructible atoms or sub-atomic particles. Contemporary views of the basic stuff of nature identity it with energy as such.
Naturalists ascribe the same metaphysical attributes to nature as a whole that traditional Theists ascribe to God. They argue that the rational ideal of
simplicity requires that we think of nature, not God, as infinite, eternal or everlasting, necessary, self-sufficient, and uncreated reality. Theists think that it is appropriate to ask: Who created the world? but it is not appropriate to ask: Who created God? Divinity, in its very conception, is the uncreated creator of all else. Metaphysically, Naturalists move to pinpoint necessary being before getting to Divinity. Nature, not God, is the infinite, everlasting, necessary, selfexisting, uncreated creator of all. So who created nature? No one, for nature exists necessarily; nature itself is everlasting, self-sufficient, and uncreated; and nothing that transcends nature is required to explain it.
D. Nature Causes Everything
Natural processes (including those of human living) do not imply anything beyond themselves and do not require for their explanation any grounds but the further stretches of natural processes, which we observe or inductively infer to be their context. William R. Dennes27
The occurrence of all qualities or events depends on the organization of a material system in space-time, and .. their emergence, development and disappearance are determined by changes in such organization. Sidney Hook28
And naturalism is the metaphysical theory which maintains that everything that exists comes into being, endures for a time, and then passes away because of the interactions of the things and forces of the natural world. Sterling Lamprecht29
The universe as a whole has no cause, since by definition, there is no thing outside it that could be its cause. Hans Reichenbach30
[Secular humanists} consider the universe to be a dynamic scene of natural forces that are most effectively understood by scientific inquiry. Paul Kurtz31
Naturalists claim that "All events have natural causes; there are no supernatural causes." With this metaphysical causal principle, Naturalists rule out the creation of the universe ex nihilo by God, for that makes God the supernatural cause of all creation. All miracles and direct acts of God upon the world are also excluded because miracles, by definition, are temporary suspensions of the laws and causal processes of nature, accompanied by causal interventions by a Divine Being who transcends nature.
The naturalistic assumption that "All events have natural causes" should not be confused with the more general causal principle that "All events have
causes." About the second, Naturalists and Theists are in complete agreement. Since supernatural causes are indeed causes, Theists wholeheartedly agree that all events have causes, including the creation of the universe, miracles, and acts of God. Naturalists insist that the general causal principle is insufficient without the qualification "natural." "All events have natural causes" means that every happening in spacetime is brought into being by some other happening or set of conditions or happenings within our spacetime system, which as a whole has no cause beyond itself. Nothing comes to be through spatiotemporally transcendent causes. No acts of God or any other realities transcend our system of spacetime.
Descartes and many later rationalists regarded the metaphysical claim that "All events have causes" as one of many self-evident truths ofreason. This truth needs no empirical confirmation, though it is confirmed in every experience. To understand it is to be certain that it is true. Most philosophers today think that Descartes confused logical certainty with psychological certitude; they reject all rationalistic synthetic or substantive axioms ofknowledge. But Naturalists need not be epistemological rationalists; they can and do advance their principle of universal natural causation as a broad generalization from experience.
Supposedly, Cartesian self-evident truths are composed entirely of clear and distinct ideas; but the idea of causation is anything but clear and distinct, whether we are Cartesian rationalists or not. The concept of "cause" greatly needs clarification. To clarify we must distinguish between conditions that are necessary and those that are sufficient for bringing about events. Necessary conditions are those in the absence of which events cannot occur, and sufficient conditions are those in the presence of which specific events must occur. Causes are either necessary or sufficient conditions, or both.
Naturalists may or may not be determinists, may or may not believe in free will, despite their conviction that all events have natural causes. "Cause" in this formula can mean necessary conditions, or it can mean sufficient conditions, or both. Determinists construe the principle of universal causation to mean that antecedent conditions are completely necessary and sufficient to explain the occurrence of all events, including human choices. Since necessary and sufficient conditions exist for absolutely everything, they believe, only those events and choices that actually come to be could ever occur; and no other events and choices were or are really possible. Destiny, like some other things, just happens! What is actual is all that could have transpired. All events are rigidly determined or necessitated. Many determinists hold that the strongest desire or set of cooperating desires is sufficient to explain every choice. Naturalists may or may not be determinists, depending on whether they interpret the principle of universal causation in the strong sense just explained or give it the weaker interpretation explained next. Deterministic Naturalists may or may not be reductive materialists who think that stupid matter causes everything. Many non-reductive alternatives are open to Naturalists, and so is belief in free will, depending in part on how seriously they take their commitment to sense experi-
ence alone as integral to and admissible by glorious scientific method, which alone yields truth, they say. If they (inconsistently?) allow a place for nonsensory modes of experience like introspection, perhaps they can avoid psychological behaviorism and mechanistic determinism.
Naturalists may hold that universal causation means that only necessary but not sufficient conditions exist for at least some choices-those that are free. They (and non-naturalists, too, who affirm free will) may claim that active or effortful choices occur only when character and motivation are still being developed, only when no desires, inclinations, or habits clearly prevail. When some desires or disposing mental states are decisively strongest, we simply act on them without making creative, effortful choices. Free choices function to create strong desires where none previously exist. Choices add the weight of effortful attention to selected alternatives when no conditions are sufficient for appetitive dominance. Of course, some conditions are necessary for every choice. We cannot consciously and effortfully choose an alternative unless we are aware of it and have some desire for it or attraction to it; but neither this desire nor its cooperating motivational determinants needs to be stronger than all others. Determinism may be avoided by subscribing to this weak interpretation of the principle that every event has a natural cause. Theists too may avoid determinism by holding that all free human choices have necessary but not sufficient causal conditions-usually natural.
The distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions will come up later in discussions of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, according to which no absolute knowledge or predictability exists at the level of atomic or subatomic particles. At the level of quantum events, we know only necessary but not sufficient conditions for what occurs. At the atomic and sub-atomic levels, no ace predictor like God could ever know everything that might happen, because conditions in nature are not sufficiently definite to ground such knowledge. Even so, total chaos does not reign in the domains of elemental physical particles, or of free moral agents; and we are not absolutely ignorant of what is going on, or absolutely incapable of predicting the future within limits. Degrees of order and disorder are found both in human complexity and in sub-atomic simplicity; about this, Naturalists and Theists can agree.
E. Scientific Method Alone
Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know. Bertrand Russell32
Naturalism ... wholeheartedly accepts scientific methods as the only reliable way of reaching truths about man, society, and nature .... Sidney Hook33
The mind of man is being habituated to a new method and ideal: There is but one sure road of access to truth-the road of patient, cooperative inquiry operating by means of observation, experiment, record and controlled reflection. ... There is but one method for ascertaining fact and truth-that conveyed by the word "scientific" in its most general and generous sense. John Dewey34
In short, Naturalism is the expression of the desire for explanation in terms of objects which can be handled and studied in accordance with scientific method Roy W. Sellars35
Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence; in our judgment, the dogmas and myths of traditional religions do not do so. Humanist Manifesto II36
There seems nothing in Humanism or human life that is inaccessible in principle to scientific methods of inquiry, either in primitive or highly elaborated forms. Stuart C. Dodd37
Naturalism is committed to certain methodological principles, primarily scientific and empirical methods, as the most effective way to arrive at reliable knowledge. Thus, to be warranted, a descriptive belief (I) must be experimentally verified; (2) must be logically consistent, internally with itself and externally with our other beliefs; and (3) may be judged convenient in part by its role in inquiry and its relation to the situations in which it arises. Paul Kurtz38
If we want the best answers to what things there are, it is to science that we should turn. ... It is science which yields our most reliable knowledge. Kai Nielsen39
There is only one way of knowing, the empirical way that is the basis of science .... From a naturalistic perspective, we should deny that there is any a priori knowledge. Michael Devitt40
Naturalists contend that "Scientific method is the only legitimate method for discovering truth." This methodological claim must be understood both for what it excludes and what it embraces. It affirms that many commonplace methods for fixing belief and bringing about social agreement are totally unreliable and unacceptable, including rationalistic appeals to a priori or self-evident truths, and religious appeals to faith and divine revelation. Competing philosophical beliefs seem self-evident to different persons in diverse times and places; and by blind faith or revelation, we can have either side of any issue that we happen
to want. Reliance on a blind faith response to religious revelation alone leaves us completely vulnerable to any and every superstition that comes along. Religious persons who appeal only to faith and revelation have no methods for resolving profound and interminable disagreements among themselves. Only scientific methods acquaint us with reality, correct their own mistakes, and can in principle resolve disagreement rationally.
Naturalists identify rationality itself with scientific method; but what is scientific method? Some contemporary philosophers like Richard Rorty41 and Paul Feyerabend42 maintain that there really is no such thing as scientific method; in doing their work and learning about the world, scientists really do an incredible variety of unpredictable, unformalizable, non-algorithmic things. According to Feyerabend, careful scrutiny of what scientists at work actually do shows that in science "anything goes," and nothing should or could replace this methodological anarchy.
By contrast, Humanistic Naturalists are convinced that there is such a thing as scientific method, and it alone can give us truth. In their disputes with theologians, Naturalists employ an extremely narrow understanding of scientific method to "prove" that religious belief is unscientific and unfounded. When refuting theologians, scientific method is understood to consist primarily if not entirely in empirical (sensory) verification and/or falsification of descriptive statements, in making inductive inferences, and in advancing and testing empirical explanatory hypotheses. Logical Positivists also emphasize empirical verification and falsification; but they insist that all metaphysical beliefs are meaningless. Unlike them, Naturalists regard theological beliefs as meaningful but false and their own metaphysical beliefs as meaningful, verified, and true. Naturalists may at times succumb to the allure of Positivism.
In their most polemical anti-theistic moods, Naturalists can be quite insensitive to difficulties that plague the methods of the natural sciences, such as that: (1) "factual" beliefs are inescapably theory-laden and are often constituted in part by, and/or derived from, formal mathematical and logical systems rather than from experience;43 (2) how appearances or sensory observations are connected to realities is very uncertain (as illustrated in Chapter Six by the realism/ idealism controversy); (3) scientific progress depends upon creative insights, not just upon collecting facts; (4) scientific disputes are often resolved, not by observation, but by appeals to aesthetic criteria like simplicity, harmony, beauty, symmetry, elegance, and intuition; and (5) scientific language, not just religious language, is often inescapably metaphorical.44 Let us indulge Naturalists for the moment and try to understand their contention that the methods of science exclude religious beliefs.
Naturalists contend that beliefs in God, Heaven, Hell, Angels, and otherworldly entities are groundless because scientific methods do not and cannot directly disclose or indirectly and inductively reason to their existence, and all happenings supposedly explained by other-worldly causes can be better ex-
plained by appeal to this-worldly causes. Scientific explanations are closer to experience, simpler, and more elegant than religious explanations. Religious affirmations about other-worldly entities or occurrences cannot be verified directly, cannot be inferred as inductive generalizations or inferences from experience, and cannot be justified as explanatory hypotheses, Naturalists insist.
To Naturalists, belief in God is like belief in Santa Claus. We can actually go to the North Pole and search for Santa. When we do, we find neither the residence, the workshops, the toiling elves, the flying reindeer, nor the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Likewise, we can search the world over without finding God or any other-worldly entities. Observable worldly entities have properties that are incompatible with and exclude the properties of other-worldly entities, so we cannot generalize inductively from this world to the next. Thus, we have no more reason for believing in God than for believing in Santa, invisible elves, or angels dancing on the heads of pins.
Furthermore, the phenomena that the Santa Claus hypothesis is supposed to explain-the presents under the tree, the noises in the night, the missing milk and cookies on Christmas morning, and so on, are much more plausibly, simply, and verifiably explained: Daddy and Mommy do it. Likewise, whatever happens in the world always has a more plausible, simpler and (in principle) verifiable explanation: Natural causes do it (ad infinitum). Neither Santa Claus nor God is required to account for anything that we ever experience.
When Naturalists claim that scientific method cannot be used to establish religious truths, they usually mean that objects of religious interest and belief like God and Heaven can be neither directly perceived, which is obviously true, nor inferred inductively, since induction gives us only more of the same and thus cannot justify belief in transcendent realities. They usually do not ask whether the hypothetico-deductive method, so essential to theoretical science, has any sound religious uses. This aspect of scientific method is very complex. It involves (1) creatively constructing hypotheses and theories, (2) making deductions and predictions from them about what might be observed to verify or falsify them, (3) performing experiments and making additional observations that actually confirm or disconfirm them, (4) excluding alternative hypotheses, (5) appealing to abstract rational/aesthetic criteria like consistency with other scientific beliefs, simplicity, elegance, fruitfulness for further research, practical usefulness, and coherence or conceptual interconnectedness with other scientific concepts and theories, (6) modifying hypotheses to take care of anomalies, (7) occasionally abandoning generally accepted paradigms when the anomalies are too overwhelming, and (8) making creative gestalt switches, revisions, and revolutions. Scientific methodology is not value free but involves being committed (often quite passionately) to the values of truth (empirical alone?), knowledge, honesty, scientific subject-matter, scientific methodology, and objectivity-which is not uninterestedness but is disinterested willingness to play fairly with ideas, to follow out the logic of a position, and to change our minds when warranted.
We need to extend the uses of scientific method, not renounce them, to fuse reason with compassion in order to build constructive social and moral values. Confronted by many possible futures, we must decide which to pursue. The ultimate goal should be the fulfillment of the potential for growth in each human personality-not for the favored few, but for all of humankind. Humanist Manifesto II45
What these modern ways of life have in common is a devotion to the this-worldly welfare of men. The most enlightened of them, such as Humanism, Materialism and Naturalism set up the happiness, freedom and progress of all humanity as the supreme goal. This ultimate loyalty to the ultimate interests of all mankind, including one's own finest possibilities, is, I would suggest, a thing high enough and broad enough for any man to integrate his life around. Corliss Lamont46
Most contemporary humanists have a commitment to some form of the greatest-happiness-for-the-greatest-number principle; they consider that the highest moral obligation is to humanity as a whole. This involves the view that since all men are members of the same human family, it is our obligation to further the welfare of mankind. Paul Kurtz47
Most Naturalists believe that "A humanistic ethics and philosophy of man or humanity are adequate." This book is primarily concerned with metaphysical and methodological issues, but the usual association of naturalistic metaphysics with scientific method alone and with humanistic ethics and anthropology cannot be ignored.
Not all Naturalists are Humanists. Naturalistic metaphysics and scientific methodology have no obvious logical connection with humanistic ethics. Frederick Nietzsche combined naturalistic metaphysics with a non-humanistic might-makes-right ethics, according to which strong, fit, master-race supermen are fully justified in exploiting and destroying weak human beings. The Nazis, who greatly admired Nietzsche, showed us how this thoroughly naturalistic but antihumanistic ideal works out in practice. Nothing in naturalistic metaphysics or methodology generates or logically implies Humanism. Logic permits Naturalists to be racists, nationalists, egoists, or anything but Humanists.
As a matter of brute fact, most Naturalists have been Humanists who affirm universal human rights and human equality, and who sponsor moral beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors designed to bring about a better and happier life for humankind in this world. There is no other life, they contend; belief in another world merely siphons off energies that might otherwise be devoted to human welfare here and now-the only place where moral effort ever counts.
Humanists tend to believe in a technological fix for almost everything,48 but they are not irrevocably wedded to this. They do insist that human values, moral principles, and virtues are completely human in origin and neither have nor need a Divine origin or sponsorship. Theistic religion is not essential for moral motivation; many religious persons are very immoral, and many atheists are extremely virtuous.
Naturalists also accept a Naturalistic/Humanistic anthropology according to which human beings are only products of nature, not creatures of God (as if the two were mutually exclusive). Evolution accounts entirely for our existence, they contend, and human life is continuous with all of life. They reject all radical dualisms of body and mind, flesh and spirit, human and non-human.
Yet, only human beings count in humanistic ethical theories. Humanism does not recognize moral duties directly to non-human animals, other living things, or the environment. We have duties involving these things because they are beneficial to humanity, but we have no duties to them directly since they are not human.
2. How Scientific Is Humanistic Naturalism?
Naturalists claim to derive all their beliefs, the only legitimate beliefs, from scientific method alone. That they actually do this is very doubtful. Their failure, most conspicuous at the level of humanistic values, extends as well to their metaphysical commitments.
A. Humanistic Values and Scientific Method
The trouble is, Naturalists cannot derive their humanistic values and moral principles from either their metaphysics or from their methodology. Scientific method only describes the world, they concede. If so, it cannot prescribe; it cannot derive a very powerful "ought" from an "is" or readily bridge the "fact-value gap." Humanistic Naturalists endeavor to give the impression that "Science is on our side," and that their own metaphysical and moral beliefs are derived from the only rational methodology that they accept as legitimate scientific method; but this is not so.
The recent scientific emphasis on evolutionary psychology attempts to generate some weak prescriptive statements by repudiating the absolute gap between "is" and "ought." Evolutionary ethicists like Michael Ruse49 and Neil O. Weiner50 propound a few "natural" norms and virtues. Traditional Humanistic Naturalists did not have access to evolutionary psychology, but they still endorsed very strong prescriptive statements about universal human rights and human welfare that cannot be derived from purely descriptive statements or from any elemental natural norms disclosed by evolutionary psychology.
Patricia A. Williams argues effectively that although the Christian ethical ideal of loving neighbors as self demands far more of us than our natural capacity for kin favoritism and reciprocal altruism, something within us nevertheless recognizes a more demanding saintliness and heroism as a higher ethical ideal. Williams indicates that both philosophical and religious ethical universalism extend the scope of moral obligation far beyond the provincial prescriptions of evolutionary ethics.51 We seem to have evolved to act morally toward "insiders," immorally toward "outsiders," but not to respect or love all human beings as such. Originally, outsiders were members of different hunter-gatherer clans; and this perfectly natural, powerful, clannish, anti-humanistic propensity still manifests itself today in racism, sexism, nationalism, and every other distinction that divides us and sets us at enmity with one another.
Humanists actually admit that they cannot derive their own rich universalistic humanistic ethics solely from the methods of empirical science. Paul Kurtz, for example, espouses a "naturalistic ethics" according to which "Ethical judgments are empirical or may be supported by scientific knowledge."52 Yet, he concedes, ethical Naturalism "cannot hope to derive universal values or principles that are objectively verified in the same way as descriptive hypotheses and theories are";53 and he admits that scientific method merely helps us to collect the relevant facts, including facts about causation that pertain to choosing effective means to ends. But scientific method does not give us value-ends themselves.
Naturalistic Humanists have a much broader understanding of what passes for reasonable belief when universalistic humanistic ethical norms and value-ends are at stake. Kai Nielsen explicitly repudiates the claim that empirical scientific method alone yields all legitimate knowledge, mainly because it yields no ethics.54 To scientific methodology he deliberately adds the axiological method of "wide reflective equilibrium" for rationally establishing and applying ethical, political, and social norms.55 Nielsen extends this extra-scientific methodology to all of philosophy, science, and every rational quest for human knowledge. He calls it,
a coherentist method of explanation and justification ... [that] starts with a society's or cluster of similar societies', most firmly held considered judgments (convictions), principally their considered moral judgments or convictions, and seeks to forge them into a consistent and coherent whole that squares with the other relevantly related things that are reasonably believed and generally and uncontroversially accepted in the society, or cluster of similar societies, in question. 56
Nielsen, a Naturalist, clearly repudiates some prominent family traits of Naturalism, particularly its commitment to empirical scientific method alone as the sole source of human knowledge; and we can find much that is congenial
and illuminating in his writings. I am substantially in agreement with most of Nielsen's philosophical outlook, including his fallibilism, the method of wide reflective equilibrium for questions of value, and even his denial of the existence and intelligibility of God as classically or standardly conceived. We disagree primarily in our assessment of Process Theology, to which Nielsen gives very little attention, as a plausible alternative to Naturalism.
B. Naturalistic Metaphysics and Scientific Method
Most important for present purposes, scientific methodology as usually conceived cannot justify the metaphysical beliefs of Naturalism. Naturalists insist that scientific procedures fail to justify the metaphysics of transcendent Theism; but they do not readily realize or acknowledge that natural science cannot justify their own naturalistic metaphysics.
Many well respected beliefs in science are not validated by scientific method when construed so narrowly as to exclude all theistic belief, as the concluding chapters of this book will argue. Put more positively, the beliefs of transcendent Theism are better justified by empirical methods, broadly construed, than those of Naturalism, especially with respect to many hypotheses about the origin of the universe offered by today's naturalistic cosmologists in the name of science. Scientists may not be interested in the kinds of empirical evidence that support Theism; but such evidence is abundantly available, as we will see.
Naturalists often intimate that their metaphysical beliefs are high order empirical generalizations, well supported by scientific investigation. Theistic beliefs are metaphysical, they decree; but naturalistic beliefs are scientific discoveries, conclusions proved by science. Yet, this is not so. If only beliefs verified by scientific methods are known to be true, naturalistic metaphysics cannot pass for scientific knowledge. Neither can the most theoretical parts of natural science!
Both Naturalism and Positivism emphasize verification, but Naturalism should not be confused with Positivism. Unlike Positivists, Naturalists do not deny the meaningfulness of the metaphysical and theological beliefs that they reject. They only deny their truth. Yet, Naturalists often feel the allure of Positivism and occasionally lapse into it. To understand the difference, let us consider the widely accepted positivistic Principle of Verification as a criterion for distinguishing between science and metaphysics. This principle asserts that meaningful, and thus "scientific," beliefs are those that are (or that someone believes to be), confirmed or at least confmnable (or falsifiable }-at least in principle-by sensory observation, experience, or empirical investigation. By contrast, metaphysical beliefs supposedly are matters of pure speculation, totally devoid of sensory observational import; (or at least someone believes this about them).
Karl Popper's slight variation on Positivism affirms that scientific propositions are falsifiable, at least in principle; some conceivable experience could count against them; whereas this is not so for metaphysical propositions. Verifiable or falsifiable "in principle" means that someone can imagine human sensory experiences or experiments that would count for or against them.
Meaningfulness, so understood, depends entirely on someone's powers of imagination, but whose? The class of meaningful or verifiable empirical or sensory beliefs is much more inclusive than the class of true or verified ones. What we can know to be true empirically or scientifically must be accessible directly or indirectly to human observations. Positivism claims that only empirically confirmable or falsifiable propositions are scientifically meaningful; but, Naturalists would agree, only those actually confirmed are known to be true. Many scientists and philosophers accept some variant of Positivism. They think that scientists ask questions that have empirically verifiable or falsifiable answers, whereas the questions of metaphysicians and moralists have no empirically verifiable or falsifiable answers. Scientists observe and prove; philosophers merely guess, speculate, or emote. Scientists discover hard facts, but philosophers only concoct ethereal theories that are empirically empty.
Though attracted to Positivism, Naturalists usually distinguish metaphysical from scientific propositions on the basis of their generality or particularity rather than in positivistic terms. In truth, the line between science and unverified metaphysics is not always very sharp. The history of science shows that beliefs that appear to have no empirical reference or support at one point in history are found to have such import at another. Einstein's general theory of relativity is a good example. The theory had no empirical reference or confirmation whatsoever in 1915 when Einstein first conceived of the curvature of space. Most nonscientists and scientists at the time were not able to imagine a way to confirm it, but Einstein soon showed them. The theory of the curvature of space implies that light moving through a gravitational field will be bent by that field; and this was confirmed during an eclipse of the sun on 29 May 1919 when stars in the background of the immediate border of the sun were observed to shift outward slightly from their usual positions as they were about to pass behind the darkened sun. Since then, the theory has received innumerable confirmations. By Positivistic standards, Einstein's general theory of relativity was a meaningless metaphysical theory between 1915 and 1919; but it became a meaningful and verified scientific theory thereafter.
Again, in 1929, when Paul Dirac deduced from quantum theory that antimatter exists, no one could imagine experiences or experiments to verify (or falsify) the proposition. At the time no cyclotrons were powerful enough to produce antimatter; but in 1932, Carl Anderson determined that it might be possible, by using a cloud chamber, to detect cosmic rays bearing antimatter particles.57 Was the concept of antimatter meaningless between 1930 and 1932? Surely it was by positivistic standards, but not by broader naturalistic standards.
Naturalists usually regard as unknown or false what Positivists typically brand as meaningless.
The initially attractive but excessively simplistic positivistic distinction between science and metaphysics is fraught with difficulties. For one thing, the Verification Principle is itself meaningless when applied to itself, but it can be defended against this charge by indicating that it is a methodological rule and not the sort of descriptive statement to which it is intended to apply. More seriously, observations are usually if not always theory-laden; so we tend to see what our theories tell us we should see, and within limits we are disposed not to see what does not fit our preconceptions.
The meaning of the Principle of Verification is very ambiguous. When and by whom must relevant observations be made?58 Must they be made in the present moment, or do remembered past and anticipated future observations count? If only present observations count, the very notions of past and future are meaningless; and Positivism yields a solipsism of the present moment, as it once did for Ludwig Wittgenstein. Must the observations be directly accessible to human beings; or do animals, extraterrestrials, or God count as observers? Who must the observer be to detennine the meaningfulness of"The dinosaurs had halitosis," or "Adam did not have a navel"? If only present human observations count, all statements about early humans and pre-humans are meaningless. If only direct human observations count, our ideas about the Big Bang, inflation, and the activities of dinosaurs and other creatures who lived before human beings evolved are meaningless. No human observers saw the dinosaurs at play or prey, or smelled their breath. Only a transcendent God could directly observe the Big Bang, inflation, and either the infinite duration or finitistic origin of our universe. Being directly observable "in principle" by human beings is just equivalent to being directly observable by God, an ideal omniobserver.
Beliefs and theories can be supported by scientific method through: i. Direct Observation, ii. Inductive Inference, and/or iii. Hypothesis Formation and Testing; and such support comes in many degrees. Direct observation immediately perceives some object or process. For natural science, only sensory observation counts; moral and mathematical intuitions, religious experience, and introspective awareness do not count. Inductive inference reasons from perceptually observed samples to more of the same, which is how natural laws are established and justified. The hypothetico-deductive method postulates unobserved conditions or abstractions to account for observed realities, presumably better than alternative postulates. Science, philosophy, and religion all appeal to the unobserved to explain things observed. The best postulate is one that (1) predicts new phenomena not predicted by other postulates that experience actually confirms; or it is superior to other hypothetical explanations in (2) simplicity, (3) comprehensiveness, (4) consistency with itself or other established beliefs, (5) coherence or interconnectedness with other established concepts and beliefs, (6) elegance or beauty, and/or (7) fruitfulness for future
research. These criteria are not exhaustive. Are the metaphysical beliefs of Naturalism supported by scientific methods in any of these ways?
i. Direct Observation
Science, especially astronomy, relies more heavily on sight than on other senses like touch, smell, taste, or hearing, though these senses too may be employed in scientific investigations. At the level of direct observation, seeing is believing. Many empirical beliefs like "The sun rises,'' "The moon shines," and "The stars are out tonight" are confirmed by direct observation. Even these elemental beliefs are theory laden, however; for us modems, they presuppose the Copernican heliocentric theory, theories of optics, theories about the speed of light, theories about the correspondence of perceptions with realities, neurological theories, theories of mind/body relations, and theories embodied in the conceptual categories of common sense.59
Let us agree for the sake of the discussion that if something can be seen or otherwise consciously sensed while our senses are functioning normally, then our beliefs about that something are supported by direct observation. Let us also charitably extend the scope of "direct observation" to perceptions available through sense-extending apparatuses like microscopes, telescopes, and radioscopes. Stars and galaxies that are observed directly are, in a sense, perceived only indirectly through the light, sounds, or signals that they emit and the media that transmit them to human consciousness. These signals can be amplified by optical or radio telescopes, fall upon receptive human sensory modalities, and ultimately register in the brain and consciousness of human observers. Both direct and extended perceptions are mediated; yet, for simplicity, let us agree to say that heavenly bodies are directly observed even when amplified by complex scientific instruments and modified by our own sensory modalities.
Now, to get down to business, are the four metaphysical theses of Naturalism really high order empirical facts confirmed by direct human observations, broadly construed? Obviously, they are not. No direct human experience or scientific apparatus shows them to be true, or to be empirically meaningful in positivistic terms. This is most obviously so because no human being, scientist or not, and no living creature on earth, has ever directly observed the whole of reality-the subject matter of all metaphysics, including the naturalistic variety.
A. The claim that nature is the whole of reality, meaning that only nature (our system of spacetime) exists, cannot be a truth confirmed by direct human observation, for we have not directly observed all of our spacetime system, to say nothing of all of reality. God may do so, but that would be contrary to the basic suppositions of Naturalism.
B. The claim that nature as a whole is non-purposive and non-personal cannot be a truth of direct observation for a variety of reasons. Obviously, no human being ever has or ever will observe nature as a whole directly. Cosmo
logical reasoning about nature or reality as a whole is inferential, not direct. It must be analogical or inductive; it does not and cannot simply report direct observations.
How can we tell if anything, including the universe, is or is not purposive? We know ourselves to be directly purposive mainly through immediate selfawareness, not through sensory observation. To capture all we know, the notion of "observation" must be extended beyond the sensory (and thus beyond the scientific) to include first person introspective experiences of our own conscious interests, desires, purposes, valuations, thoughts, intentions, volitions, attendings, and so on. We know (with less than certainty) that other people and animals are directly purposive because their bodies are structured like our own, because they behave vocally, linguistically, and otherwise in seemingly purposive ways, and because linguistic criteria indirectly indicate the presence (or absence) of inner conscious processes, activities, and values in other persons or animals. We infer that comatose persons are no longer directly purposive because they no longer engage in purposive behavior, and because medical scanners determine that their upper brains are not working sufficiently, or at all.
Some things are only indirectly purposive, if purposive at all. Rocks and rivers are not directly purposive or personal beings because they lack brains, sense organs, and self-originated goal-directed behaviors. Yet, rocks and rivers can be indirectly or instrumentally purposive and personal if they serve the interests, values, thoughts, desires, or choices of directly personal and purposive beings like humans, animals, and God. Artifacts like houses, bridges, and airplanes are only indirectly purposive. Without minds of their own, they are made to serve our purposes.
ls the universe as a whole purposive? Naturalists insist that it is not directly purposive because it has no mind of its own; and we have no good reason to believe that it is indirectly purposive, that it expresses the purposes of a transcendent divine World-Designer. How does the Naturalist know this? Our limited human acquaintance with the universe reveals that most of spacetime is not organized or structured as brains or sensory organs, but Theist may agree completely that the Universe is not directly purposive. Theists claim that the universe is only indirectly purposive and personal, that it indirectly expresses the purposes, values, wisdom, benevolence, and other personal attributes of a God who transcends nature while interacting immanently with and within it. Naturalists deny that nature is either directly or indirectly purposive.
Whether Theists or Naturalists are right about the purposiveness ofnature will be explored in greater depth in later chapters. Both positions arrive at their conclusions by analogical or inductive reasoning, or by hypothesis, but not by direct observations. For Naturalists, the universe resembles a rock; for Theists, it resembles an artifact, a clock perhaps, made by an intelligent and benevolent manufacturer. We are never outside the universe as a whole to observe it directly; we are always inside the rock or the clock trying to figure out what
makes it click or tick; we can only reason to the whole by analogy with familiar parts that are known to click or tick.
C. Do scientist observe directly that the most general attributes of nature like time, space, and the basic stuff within them exist infinitely, eternally, and necessarily? Again, obviously not. Infinite duration can never be observed directly by finite beings like us. No nuclear physicists, astronomers, other scientists, or ordinary persons have ever experienced anything directly that exists necessarily, infinitely, and eternally. All experience is against this claim of naturalistic metaphysics, not for it.
D. Finally, does anyone directly observe that all events have natural causes, and that there are no supernatural causes? Again the answer must be negative, partly because no human observer has ever directly experienced all events, partly because some observations actually count heavily against this family trait ofNaturalism. That the Big Bang, for example, has a natural cause is doubtful. If produced by another world, that world is a supernatural cause, as Jastrow indicated. Later chapters will scrutinize naturalistic efforts to show that our universe was caused by natural processes-by other worlds regarded as natural causes; but no one claims that we human beings can observe these processes directly. Precise causal explanation breaks down at the level of singularities and/or quantum events, according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle; and some cosmologists submit that the origin of our universe had no cause at all.
Lastly, the world religions report many direct observations of unusual events that they regard as miracles, which, by definition, lack natural causes. A naturalistic explanation probably works for most of them; but at least a few alleged miracles are not readily explained solely in terms of antecedent spatiotemporal conditions and are highly resistant to naturalistic explanation. The essential point is that some human experiences count, even if not decisively, against the metaphysical dogma that all events have natural causes. Naturalists just refuse dogmatically to allow them to count. Even the most highly unyielding instances of alleged miracles can be explained naturally, they insist, precisely because all events have natural causes.
The circularity of this naturalistic reasoning is obvious, as is its metaphysical nature. Naturalists "prove" that all events have natural causes by appealing to the premise that all events have natural causes! Propositions are metaphysical, and thus meaningless by positivistic standards, say many Positivists, if they are held in such a way that no experiences are allowed to count against them. By reasoning in a circle, Naturalists rule out all anomalies a priori, while claiming that no knowledge is a priori!
Plainly, none of the metaphysical theses of Naturalism are truths of direct observation; but they may be observational truths of a more indirect sort. Perhaps they are truths of inductive inference, or perhaps they are just the best available hypotheses for understanding our universe. Perhaps not!
ii. Inductive Inference
Inductive logic permits inferences from the observed to the unobserved, from parts to wholes, from particular samples to broad classes, from given instances to more of the same. If we reach into a barrel and take out three rotten apples in succession, inductive logic permits us to conclude that most, perhaps all, of the apples in the barrel are rotten. Inductive reasoning introduces inescapable elements of uncertainty, so scientists do not claim absolute certainty for their inductively supported conclusions. Probabilities increase as more and more rotten apples are extracted. Yet, some apples in the barrel might be sound, and we might have good reasons for thinking so. Realizing that life is chancy, we are generally content to live with the uncertainties of inductive inference. Inferring more of the same from observed samples is exactly what it means to think rationally and scientifically about the unobserved parts of the world of nature. If all perceived manifestations of energy conform to Einstein's E = mc2, scientists predict that this formula fits all the energy in the entire universe. If energy is dissipating in all observed closed systems, scientists inductively infer that it is dissipating in all closed systems, whether observed or not, at least in the present expansion phase of the universe.
Can the metaphysical theses of Naturalism be transformed into scientific truths by showing that they are products of inductive reasoning from observed samples to more of the same? This is extremely doubtful.
A. Can we reason inductively that all realities belong to our objectively existing system of spacetime because all observed realities do so? This is very doubtful. Anti-realistic philosophers would question the basic premise. That all observed entities belong to an objectively existing spacetime system is philosophically controversial and depends on hotly contested theoretical or philosophical commitments. Immanuel Kant, for example, thought that space and time are mere forms of appearance, and that only appearances but no realities or things in themselves can ever exist or be observed to exist in spacetime outside our minds. We will see in Chapter Six that some versions of quantum physics are antirealistic and heavily stress the role of observers in structuring what is observed. Let us be generous again, however, and assume with realists that we perceive realities, not just appearances, and that these are located in objectively existing spacetime. Can we now infer that all realities are located in this mind-independent system of spacetime, given that all observed realities are so located? This strong presumption may be honestly doubted, if for no other reason than that the cause of the Big Bang, if it had a cause, was clearly located outside our spacetime system.
In making inductive inferences, we must be cautious not to generalize too hastily. Some apples in our barrel may be sound because they belong to a rotresistant variety. Also, energy is not really dissipating everywhere-not for example in or near black holes where gravity is strong enough to concentrate
energy. Perhaps energy can be created in a quantum vacuum in which "virtual" particles become ephemeral actual particles. To account for the Big Bang, some naturalistic cosmologies explored in later chapters postulate the existence of other worlds that are unobserved by and unobservable to us. On the basis of some (extremely inconclusive) evidence, many cosmologists now believe in the existence of many other universes beyond ours, perhaps an infinite number of them. This, we will see, is very problematic, but if true, then some realities are not located in our own system of spacetime or nature. Objectively existing nature was created by another objectively existing reality beyond and before itself. The contemporary version of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, as developed in our concluding chapter, will give good reasons for doubting that our universe exhausts reality. If all created things have causes, Big Bang Cosmology itself provides powerful evidence against the claim that our system of nature is all that really exists. Our system of nature was brought into being around fifteen billion years ago, presumably by something-perhaps God, perhaps another universe, perhaps quantum-fizzy Superspacetime-outside of itself. The naturalistic claim that nature, our system of spacetime, is infinitely old and causally uncreated and self-sufficient has been falsified decisively by modem astrophysics; but Naturalists do not concede this without a fight!
B. Is the claim that "Nature as a whole is nonpurposive and nonpersonal" derived from inductive generalization? It is definitely not an inductive inference from human acquaintance with many sample universes. We observe only one universe from the inside, and only parts of that. Naturalism itself is vulnerable to David Hume's inductive objection to the Teleological Argument for the existence of God. We cannot infer that order in our universe is created by a purposive and intelligent Divinity, said Hume, because we have not seen many worlds created before our eyes and thus cannot compare the order of this world with that of other worlds known to be made by a purposive and intelligent World Designer.
Naturalists are in exactly the same position; they have not seen many purposeless worlds created by other pre-existing godless systems of spacetime. Thus, they cannot establish inductively that the order (or disorder) of our world is similar to that of other purposeless worlds known not to have been made by Divinity. We cannot reason inductively to more of the same when an entity is one of a kind; and, as far as human experience goes, our universe is one of a kind. Empirically, Charles Sanders Peirce was right: "Universes are not as plentiful as blackberries."
Naturalists may contend that the orderliness of our natural world fails to express purposive intelligence because nature as a whole compares favorably with certain parts of nature like rocks and cabbages that are known not to have, or to express, purposive intelligence. Like Theists, Naturalists must reason analogically from parts of nature to the whole; their reasoning is definitely not an inductive generalization from several observed non-purposive universes to
more of the same. Naturalists contend that nature as a whole is purposeless and dumb because it resembles certain parts of itself like purposeless and dumb rocks and electrons. Theists, by the same analogical logic, infer that nature as a whole is purposive and intelligent because it resembles human beings or animals who are directly purposive and intelligent, or, more appropriately, because of its similarity to houses, bridges, watches, and the like, that are purposefully produced by intelligent beings. The outcome of this debate turns finally upon which analogy between parts and wholes actually holds; but the conclusion is not derived by simplistic inductive inference from same-kind samples to more of the same. We will return to this topic in later discussions of the Anthropic and Biopic Principles; but we should note in advance that contemporary Anthropic Cosmologists find the universe to be exquisitely fine-tuned for the purpose of producing and sustaining life. This is decisively at odds with Naturalism's anti-teleology. Chapters Eight and Nine will examine this issue more carefully.
C. Can we know inductively that the most general attributes ofnature like time, space, and the basic stuff within them exist infinitely, eternally, everlastingly, and necessarily? Surely not! Induction just gives more of the same, but all observed natural processes and objects are spatially finite, limited or transient in duration, and contingent or dependent in mode of existence. We never observe any natural objects or processes that are spatially or temporally infinite, everlasting, necessary, self-sufficient, self-caused, and uncreated. Inductive reasoning can give us additional spatiotemporal finitude and contingency, but it cannot give us their opposites! No inductive evidence whatsoever supports the conclusion that nature as a whole exists infinitely, everlastingly, or necessarily. Nature just might be infinite, everlasting, and necessary; but we cannot know this by inductive inference.
Naturalistic critics of the traditional arguments for the existence of God deny the legitimacy of reasoning from a finite observed world to an infinite God precisely on the grounds that we cannot reason inductively from the finite to the infinite. If this is so, Naturalists themselves are in the same boat. They too cannot reason inductively from observed finite portions of the world to the world's infinity in time and/or space. Inductively, from finitude we can only infer more finitude, from contingency only more contingency. Naturalistic logic returns eventually to devastate its own metaphysics!
D. Lastly, can the causal principle, "All events have natural causes," be known inductively? Initially, this seems to be a scientific inductive generalization from experience. Granted, we have not observed all events; still, Naturalists contend, all events have natural causes because all observed events have natural causes. Unfortunately, solid evidence against this argument is provided by the Big Bang, ifnot also by rare experiences of miracles, which cannot be ruled out a priori without a vicious circularity of reasoning.
Is the principle of universal natural causation a necessary presupposition of scientific inquiry? Wouldn't it be impossible for scientists to do their work without believing that all events have natural causes? Not at all! To do their work, scientists need only the imperative: "Look for natural causes!" They do not need an a priori metaphysical guarantee that they will always find that for which they are looking.
Naturalists are on no firmer ground in trying to derive their metaphysics from induction than they are in trying to derive it from direct observation. Can the empirical truth of their metaphysical claims be salvaged by demonstrating that they are rationally justified postulates or explanatory hypotheses?
iii. Hypothesis Formation and Testing
Scientists do more than merely switch on their eyes, ears, and other senses, and more than just reason from given samples to more of the same. They also explain things by appealing to often unobserved hypothetical or theoretical constructs. They always try to find the best available explanations, but how do we know which explanations are best?
Scientists theorize about what accounts for what, what in tum explains this, what finally explains that, and so on. Scientists creatively construct and defend hypothetical unobserved and unobservable entities, processes, and principles; they postulate the reality of innumerable things unseen (like initial singularities, inflation, or laws of nature) to explain things seen. Some initially hypothetical entities might be observed later; but some, like those just mentioned, will never be humanly observed. Some postulates predict outcomes that can be observed eventually; others make predictions that are falsified by later observations. Usually, several hypotheses can account forthe same data, and the right one, the best explanation, must be identified, sought, and defended. Much scientific inquiry is just a quest for the best explanation using what Charles S. Peirce called "abductive reasoning" or what others call "the hypothetico-deductive method."60
Entities and processes that initially are nothing more than theoretical constructs may be later confirmed observationally, as was Einstein's curvature of space, and Dirac's antimatter. Hypothetical entities may be postulated because scientists hope to observe them in the future, walking by hope and faith and not by sight; but their hopes are not always fulfilled. Theoretical realities postulated by scientists like natural laws, singularities, inflation, and the Big Bang itself, are likely to remain totally unobserved, even with the aid of the most powerful instruments; still, scientists affirm them, even when more than one purely hypothetical construct explains same the facts. Why?
What distinguishes rationally justified from unjustified hypothetical explanatory constructs? Explanatory constructs tend to proliferate, so how can we tell which ones are true or best? Scientists (and philosophers) often choose
between explanatory hypotheses on purely aesthetic grounds like simplicity, symmetry, harmony, elegance, and beauty.61 Aesthetics is ultimately integrated into rationality itself; truth merges with beauty and goodness; the beautiful and the rational are ultimately identical. In these respects, no sharp distinction exists between theoretical science and speculative metaphysics; and plenty of room remains for honest disagreement about whether an explanatory hypothesis is rationally justified.
Still, some hypothetical explanations are clearly better than others. How so? Some hypotheses are much more powerful than others in pulling more loose threads together and unifying otherwise unordered disarray. Some are more fruitful than others, more suggestive of agendas for future search. Some theoretical constructs actually make predictions that come true, or that can be falsified. Some hypotheses can be tested in crucial experiments by searching for consequences that they alone, but none of the alternatives, foretell. When explanatory entities cannot be observed directly and no crucial experiments exclude alternative explanations, scientific theories shade off into sheer guesswork. But some guesses are more educated, more beautiful, more elegant, than others.
In both natural science and philosophy, the best justified hypothetical constructs are simple, symmetrical, harmonious, elegant, beautiful, powerful, fruitful, and testable in crucial experiments that exclude competing hypotheses. These criteria can be met in varying degrees, but the best explanatory hypotheses (I) make predictions not made by other hypotheses that are confirmed, not disconfirmed, by experience, and (2) are superior to other hypotheses in simplicity, comprehensiveness, coherence, consistency, elegance, beauty, and fruitfulness for further research. Some illustrations might help.
a. The Hypotheses of "Creation Science"
"Creation science," advocated by many religious conservatives, affirms two central theses: (1) our universe was created by God out of nothing at some time in the finite past, and (2) the theory of evolution is false because all earthly species of living things were created directly by God within six days after God produced the universe itself. If Big Bang Cosmology is correct, as it seems to be, "creation scientists" are right about (I), although the "by God" and "out of nothing" parts remain to be established, and the relevant "finite past" is closer to fifteen billion years than to the six thousand years favored by religious fundamentalists. But "creation scientists" are clearly mistaken about (2) for many good reasons, such as that the universe existed for over ten billion years before the simplest living things began to exist and to evolve into more complex beings on our earth. Without exploring the evolution controversy in depth, let us consider how the hypothetical-deductive method applies to the fossilized remains of innumerable extinct plants, animals, and microscopic life forms.
Both "creation science" and "real science" must explain the same observed facts. Extinct fossilized animals, plants, protozoa, and bacteria exist in geological strata. Real science hypothesizes that the fossils are best explained by evolutionary processes that transpired over at least four and a half billion years. The full course of evolution itself cannot be observed directly or repeated under laboratory conditions, but this explanatory hypothesis has testable implications. Although Naturalists are evolutionists, so are the Theists who do not insist upon a literal interpretation of the word "day" in the first chapter of Genesis. Evolution is incompatible with biblical literalism, but not with belief in God.
"Creation science" hypothesizes that either (a) God created the earth with all the fossils intact, but no such creatures ever actually lived, or (b) all the fossilized creatures once co-existed but were killed by Noah's flood, which deposited their bodies in existing geological strata as it receded. Hypothesis (a) is so egregiously ad hoc that few if any advocates of "creation science" take it seriously. It implies no additional observations by which it can be tested.
The most viable "creation science" hypothesis is (b). Predictions made from the deluge postulate are: (1) fossilized remains could be distributed randomly in areas of great aquatic turbulence; but in calmer areas the bones, shells, and other parts of the largest and heaviest animals will be in the lowest geological strata, and the remains of the lightest and smallest animals will be in the highest strata; and (2) carbon 14 and other dating techniques will show that all fossilized creatures lived at the same time, around six thousand years ago. Unfortunately, innumerable observations decisively disconfirm these predictions. Besides, if Noah carried breeding pairs of all living animals to safety on the ark, he presumably did this for all species of dinosaurs. So where are all the dinosaurs today?
"Creation scientists" claim to be doing science, but scientific methodology shows that they are wrong. The predictions about the fossils made by real science do not suffer this fate. The evolutionary hypothesis predicts that (1) fossilized bodies will be generally arranged so that the simplest (often the lightest weight) organisms will appear in the lower geological strata, and the fossils of more complex organisms will be in higher strata, and (2) carbon 14 dating techniques will show that many of them lived millions or billions of years apart, not all at the same time. These predictions are well confirmed by innumerable observations and tests. We can observe directly neither the lengthy evolutionary processes that created the fossils nor a direct divine creation of the dinosaurs and other extinct creatures; but the evolutionary hypothesis is supported by, and "creation science" is refuted by, its testable predictions.
b. Hypothetical Cosmological Entities and Processes
Turning now to cosmological hypotheses, most astronomers now believe in the existence of black holes which, almost by definition, cannot be observed di-
rectly. They did not originally generalize inductively from a few observed black holes to many others. Rather, unperceived black holes were postulated to explain other things that were visible in the heavens. Astronomers observed that stars were being pulled in certain directions by unseen celestial objects, and that various kinds of radiation were emitted by unidentified sources. The eccentric orbital movements of the star Cignus X-1 cannot be explained by the presence of any visible star, and powerful X-ray emissions discovered in the Large Magellanic Cloud of stars and elsewhere come from no visible source. Astrophysicists accounted for these phenomena by reifying hypothetical black holes that suck in almost all surrounding matter/energy. Some, like Stephen Hawking, conjecture that black holes emit some radiant energy, so not everything in their vicinity gets inhaled if he is right.
Until quite recently, black holes were purely hypothetical or theoretical constructs. The Russian astrophysicist I. L. Rozental wrote as late as 1988 that black holes were "created by the fantasy of the theoreticians," and that "Black holes are unrivaled in their popularity as theoretical objects yet to be reliably observed."62 Rozental wrote before the definitive identification of a black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy in May 1994 by astronomers using the repaired Hubble Space Telescope. In one sense, this black hole can be seen, but in another, it cannot. The core, the hole itself, presumably a singularity, emits no light, and in that technical sense it cannot be seen; but some spectacular fireworks in its close vicinity are very visible. Since 1994, the Hubble Space Telescope has located many black holes.
Black holes were thought originally to be so dense, so completely dominated by gravitational attraction, that neither light nor any other forms of energy could escape from them or their vicinity. Supposedly, their awesome density and gravitational effects would devour all nearby objects. Stephen Hawking's more recent black hole theory hypothesizes that X-rays and gamma rays escape from the outer edges of black holes, and that black holes themselves gradually decay and radiate their energy back into the observed universe. Given enough time, all black holes will eventually evaporate completely.63 As Hawking puts it, "Black holes are not completely black."64 They do "have hair" after all. Radiation emitted by black holes is now called "Hawking radiation," even by those who do not accept its existence. If Hawking is correct, black holes are not gateways to other universes; though not verified, given enough time, they just dump their stuff back into our universe. Hawking also suggests, again without verification, that black holes occasionally just explode and release their contents back into our universe.65 But no known laws of physics permit or predict these explosions.
Singularity cores of black holes cannot be seen because they allow no light to escape; but light definitely does escape from their close environment. If Hawking is right, black holes emit detectable X-rays, gamma rays, and flourescent electrons. Black holes themselves are hypothetical, invisible, imperceptible entities; but their existence predicts and explains certain visible, percep-
tible effects for which we have no other plausible explanations. At the center of the M87 galaxy, astronomers actually see a vortex of swirling gases, the innermost portions of which are disappearing into an unseen black something at the center of the vortex. Optically, black is the absence of light, so we are not "seeing" anything optically when we see black. Scientists calculate that the mass of the black hole in M87 equals two to three billion suns or solar masses, all of which it has already consumed.
Great uncertainty is involved in abductive reasoning because other hypothetical constructs might also explain observed phenomena. Scientists aspire to construct hypotheses with extensively testable consequences that are not predicted by other hypotheses; but crucial experiments that decisively rule out other hypothetical explanations are rare in the natural sciences (and in philosophy). Presently, only the black hole hypothesis explains what astronomers have found at the center of the M87 galaxy and in many other places like the center of our own Milky Way and perhaps of every other galaxy.
Scientists often postulate the existence of things that are not themselves visible or directly perceptible. Like metaphysicians, they frequently appeal to the unobservable to explain things observed. Purely hypothetical or theoretical and unobserved constructs abound in theoretical physics and cosmology-like singularities, inflation, cosmological constants, magnetic monopoles, dark matter, antecedent universes, or tiny vibrating strings within primitive particles. Consider one other example.
Big Bang Cosmologists think that matter and antimatter particles were initially created together, and that we live in a material world because, in the earliest fractions of a second of the universe, in some mysterious way matter came to prevail over antimatter. How did it happen? We can only theorize, not observe. "Baryonic Asymmetry" means that baryons (like neutrons and protons) came to prevail over their antimatter counterparts in the very early universe. The most widely accepted explanation of matter dominance, developed originally by the Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov, postulates purely hypothetical explanatory entities and processes. I will not give all the details;66 but they involve the existence in the earliest universe of never-observed, massively large, primitive particles called "X bosons." X bosons supposedly decayed into matter and antimatter particles at an irregular rate through processes that have never been observed, with matter ultimately prevailing. The observed fact that we live in a material world is explained by constructs that are purely theoretical and uninspected. But why weren't all X bosons destroyed by their own anti-particles?
One serious problem with this is that a very different hypothesis can explain the same facts. The universe just might have been divinely created with a massive matter/antimatter imbalance. Matter dominance could be an initial condition of existence as we know it, not a product of inaccessible natural processes. All existing phenomena would be explained by the God hypothesis, which scientists don't like because it appeals to unobservables! Similar consid-
erations apply to the equally unobservable inflation postulate. Perhaps God just created the world with similar or isomorphic generic properties throughout; perhaps nearly flat space (if that is indeed what we have), and few if any magnetic monopoles were just initial conditions of creation. Is selecting the most reasonable or best-justified explanation just a matter of aesthetics-or of prejudice-where the most reasonable hypothesis is the most beautiful, or the most scientifically conventional, or the most atheistically naturalistic? At this level of abstraction, scientific or philosophical truth/beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, as later explained.
So, what has become of the simplistic but appealing dogma that scientific beliefs are truths of observation? What remains of the naturalistic claim that beliefs about God, like those about Santa, are false because they cannot be confinned by observation? Theoretical science regularly postulates ultimate unobservable explanatory constructs like black holes, X boson decay, singularities, inflation, antecedent universes, Superspacetime, and infinitely many universes; but these are no more empirical than God! Physical science gradually shades off into metaphysics. Is purely theoretical science just bad science, as Eric Lerner maintains in the next chapter? Even if X bosons and inflation have predictable and testable consequences, alternative but equally invisible conceptual constructs can explain the same observed effects. The most abstract scientific theories are shot through with unobservables and uncertainty, and modesty becomes their endorsement. At some point, we know not just where, theoretical physics becomes raw conjecture, indistinguishable from speculative metaphysics at its worst; but most scientists do not openly admit it. Some spectacular examples will be discussed in coming chapters.
c. Naturalistic Metaphysical Hypotheses
Now that we understand the hypothetico-deductive method, let us ask the really crucial question. Are the four metaphysical truths of Naturalism justified explanatory hypotheses that adequately account for the world we observe?
A. "Only our system of spacetime exists" explains all that we see, but so does "In the beginning, God created our system of spacetime." These metaphysical hypotheses may be debated on their own merits, but the naturalistic hypothesis yields no testable predictions that differentiate it from the theistic alternative. The world, our system of spacetime, would be here and might look much the same as it does whether its transcendent creator is Divine or not. Claiming that our spacetime system is "in principle" all that exists, the whole of reality, adds nothing to what we can see or predict about our universe. No crucial experiments show that Naturalism can, but Theism cannot, explain any or all of the observable features of our world. Actually, cosmic teleology and contingency, considered in the concluding chapters of this book, show just the reverse.
Theism can adequately account for many observable features of our world that Naturalism cannot plausibly elucidate.
B. Perhaps the purposelessness, indifference, and stupidity of nature as a whole best explains the presence of evil and pervasive lifelessness in the world; but the purposefulness and intelligence of Deity may best explain the presence of life and goodness in the world. Whether Naturalism or Theism best explains both good and evil is an ancient and interminable debate, to be considered more carefully in Chapter Eleven. Final conclusions about the meaning of value and disvalue in the world are primarily philosophical, not scientific. With simple empirical claims, we can tell the difference between natural science and philosophy; but in the middle and at hypothetical extremes where scientific theories wax philosophical, it is often hard to tell. The presence or absence of ultimate cosmic teleology is not an obvious issue for purely descriptive science. The facts of life pose questions about both good and evil in the world, and about the pro-anthropic orderliness of the cosmos; but the answers belong more to philosophy than to empirical science. So, too, do Naturalism's metaphysical claims.
C. Naturalists contend that nature and its most basic ingredients-time, space, and energy-are infinite, eternal, and necessary. How does this fare as a scientific explanatory hypothesis? This and other Naturalistic metaphysical claims about the most fundamental features of the universe cannot be confirmed by direct observation, and they cannot be inferred inductively since we observe only finite, transient, and contingent parts ofnature. Induction yields only more of the same, not diametrical opposites. As an explanatory hypothesis, the eternity and necessity of our spacetime system fares no better. Naturalistic claims about the infinity, eternity, and self-sufficient necessity of our universe are definitively falsified by modem science's massive empirical and theoretical evidence for the Big Bang.
Recall the seven converging lines of evidence that convince most scientists that our universe began in a cataclysmic explosion about fifteen billion or so years ago. In asserting that our universe is infinite, eternal, and necessary, Naturalism affirms just the opposite. The naturalistic hypothesis seems to predict that: (I) distant galaxies should exhibit no redshift, (2) the universe should not be expanding at a regular pace, (3) order and energy should not be dissipating with time, (4) Einstein's field equations should not be satisfied by an expanding universe that had a beginning in time, (5) the heavy elements should predominate over hydrogen and helium in the universe since they have had an infinite amount of time to be cooked up by stellar furnaces; indeed, there should be no hydrogen or radioactive elements left at all, (6) no relatively uniform cosmic microwave background should exist, and (7) the sky at night should be as bright as day! These empirical implications of naturalistic metaphysics have been falsified overwhelmingly.
D. That "All events have natural causes" may be hypothesized, but so may "Some events have supernatural causes." To do their work, natural scientists
require only the imperative, "Look for natural causes." They do not require a metaphysical guarantee of success. Ancient and contemporary debates over miracles proceed at the fuzzy borderline of science and metaphysics. Input data and conclusions drawn from them often just presuppose rather than establish metaphysical convictions. Natural science does not settle all such disputes, but it has established the truth of creation. Something outside of and preceding our universe presumably created it. Just what this something was-whether God, a preceding universe, a system of Superspacetime, or what have you-and whether the universe actually had a cause at all will be addressed in following chapters. Clearly, if our universe had a cause, it was supernatural, transcendent, in relation to our system of spacetime.
In sum, natural science does not side with Naturalism, the fundamental beliefs of which are not verified by, and some of which are clearly falsified by, natural science, despite all the huffing and puffing of Naturalists themselves. Its metaphysical claims have no direct observational component; and we cannot inductively infer them as more of the same. Construed as explanatory hypothesis, the metaphysical "truths" of Naturalism make no verifiable predictions that Theism fails to make. Naturalistic reasoning is often viciously circular and "proves" itself only by presupposing itself. It is often defended so dogmatically and tenaciously that no experience is allowed to count against it; but much that modem scientists have discovered about our universe counts decisively against it. Naturalists can confess their faith, and insist that their beauty, or their prejudice, is everyone's truth; but they cannot appeal to empirical science to confirm their worldview. Naturalism is a priori, unconfinned, and in some instances clearly falsified metaphysics, pure and simple. Its metaphysics is not derived from experience or "scientific method." Instead, Naturalists presuppose their metaphysical beliefs in interpreting all experience; and their ungrounded assumptions set limits to any beliefs, hypotheses, and theories that Naturalists are willing to take seriously. Some people are psychologically predisposed toward Naturalism, but no rational or scientific considerations require anyone to accept it.
1. Kai Nielsen, Naturalism without Foundations (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996), pp. 26, 29, 527.
2. David R. Griffin, Religion and Scientific Naturalism (Albany: State University ofNew York Press, 2000), pp. 11-17, 3~0.
3. See Rem B. Edwards, Reason and Religion: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972, and Lanham, Md.: The University Press of America, 1979), pp. 133-144. Cf. Holmes Rolston, III, Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (New York: Random House, 1987), p. 248.
4. Nielsen, Naturalism Without Foundations, pp. 33-34, 47, 54 n. 39, and elsewhere.
5. Corliss Lamont, "Naturalistic Humanism," in The Humanist Alternative, ed. Paul Kurtz (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1973), p. 129.
6. John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1960), p. 243.
7. Paul Kurtz, ed. Humanist Manifestos I and II (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1973),p.16.
8. Roy W. Sellars, Religion Coming of Age (New York: Macmillan, 1928), p. 141.
9. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980), p. 4.
10. Paul Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1983), p. 63.
11. Nielsen, Naturalism Without Foundations, p. 35.
12. Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality (New York: Anchor Books, 1994 ), pp. ix, 3, 116.
13. Lucretius, "The Nature of the Universe," in Theories of the Universe from Babylonian Myth to Modern Science, ed. Milton Munitz (New York: The Free Press, 1957), p. 55.
14. Roy W. Sellars, "Does Naturalism Need Ontology," Journal of Philosophy, 41: 25 (December 1944), p. 686.
15. Lamont, "Naturalistic Humanism," p. 129.
16. Sidney Hook, The Quest for Being (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1961 ), p. 237.
17. Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I and II, p. 8.
18. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism, p. 65.
19. Quoted in: Joseph Priestley, Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever, Part I (New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1983), pp. 382-383.
20. Corliss Lamont, The Illusion of Immortality (New York: Frederick Ungar Pub. Co., 1965), p. 186.
21. Ibid., p. 271.
22. Sellars, Religion Coming of Age, p. 146.
23. Ibid., p. 212.
24. Roy W. Sellers, The Philosophy of Physical Realism (New York: Russell & Russell. 1996), p. 15.
25. Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I and II, p. 8.
26. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism, p. 214.
27. William R. Dennes, "The Categories of Naturalism," in Naturalism and the Human Spirit, ed. Y. H. Krikorian (New York: Columbia University Press, 1944), p. 288.
28. Hook, The Quest for Being, pp. 185-186.
29. Sterling Lamprecht, The Metaphysics of Naturalism (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967), p. 202.
30. Hans Reichenbach, The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press, 1951 ), p. 208.
31. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism. p. 18.
32. Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science (New York: Oxford University Press, 1935), p. 243.
33. Hook, The Quest for Being, p. 78.
34. John Dewey, A Common Faith (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934), pp. 32-33.
35. Sellars, The Philosophy of Physical Realism, p. 141.
36. Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I and II, p. 16.
37. Stuart C. Dodd, "Hypotheses Defining Scientific Humanism: A Reformulation of Humanist Principles for Testing by Scientific Methods," Journal of Human Relations, 21:2 (Second Quarter 1973), p. 174.
38. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism, p. 117.
39. Nielsen, Naturalism without Foundations, p. 26.
40. Michael Devitt, Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 2, 49.
41. Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979); and Consequences of Pragmatism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982).
42. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, rev. ed. (New York: Verso, 1988).
43. See Michael Friedman, "Philosophical Naturalism," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. 74:2 (1997), pp. 7-21. 44. Arthur Peacock, "Science and God the Creator," in Evidence of Purpose:
Scientists Discover the Creator, ed. John M. Templeton (New York: Continuum Pub. Co., 1994), p. 93.
45. Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I and II, p. 14.
46. Lamont, The Illusion of Immortality, p. 262.
47. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism, pp. 68-69.
48. Cf. David Ehrenfeld, The Arrogance of Humanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978).
49. Michael Ruse, "The New Evolutionary Ethics," in Evolutionary Ethics, eds. Matthew H. Nitecki and Doris V. Nitecki (Albany: State University ofNew York Press, 1993), pp. 133-162; Michael Ruse, "Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics," Zygon, 29 (March 1994), pp. 5-24.
50. Neil 0. Weiner, The Harmony of the Soul (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993 ).
51. Patricia A. Williams, "Christianity and Evolutionary Ethics: Sketch Toward a Reconciliation," Zygon, 31 :2 (June 1996), pp. 253-268.
52. Kurtz, In Defense of Secular Humanism, p. 67.
53. Ibid., p. 110.
54. Nielsen, Naturalism without Foundations, pp. 26-27, 32, 64, and elsewhere.
55. Ibid., pp. 12-19, Part Two, and elsewhere.
56. Ibid., p. 13.
57. George Smoot and Keay Davidson. Wrinkles in Time (New York: Avon Books, 1993), pp. 95-97.
58. See Rem B. Edwards, Reason and Religion: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, pp. 347-351.
59. See Norwood Russell Hanson, Patterns of Discovery (Cambridge, England: The University Press, 1969), Ch. I.
60. See James F. Harris. Against Relativism: A Philosophical Defense of Method (La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1992), especially Ch. 7 and pp. 59--63. See also Nielsen, Naturalism without Foundations, pp. 27-29, 31-33, 64, 70, 309, 316-317.
61. See Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way (New York: William Morrow and Co .. 1988), Ch. 16 and pp. 298-299, 384-388. See also J. D. Barrow, The Artful Universe (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
62. I. L. Rozental, Big Bang Big Bounce (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1988), p. 127.
63. Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (New York: Bantam Books, 1993), Ch. 10.
64. Ibid., p. 120.
65. Ibid., pp. 110-111.
66. For details see Leon M. Lederman and David N. Schramm, From Quarks to the Cosmos: Tools of Discovery (New York: Scientific American Library, 1989), pp. 163-165; Martin Rees, Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others (Reading, Mass.: Perseus Books, 1997), pp. 155-158.