Author Topic: Supernatural Explained  (Read 2275 times)

Zak Roy Yoballa

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Supernatural Explained
« on: January 25, 2006, 12:36:16 PM »
Well not exactly,  will surfing I found this interesting little piece on Natural VS. Supernatural and thought you'd enjoy it as much as I did.  I pretty much agree with everything he has to say.  Let me know what you think.

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The Supernatural Explained
by Will Berry

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Supernatural -- adj. beyond powers or laws of nature; miraculous.
The concept of the supernatural has intrigued people of all cultures for millenia. Ghost stories are told around campfires. Children's cartoons and movies are riddled with witches, goblins, angels, and magical phenomena. Role playing games, mythology of ancient European countries, and religious Taoism are filled with tales of the supernatural. Spirits and phantoms are part of hundreds of belief systems worldwide. Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, and other magicians often make us wonder whether or not they do possess power over the fabric of reality. Are such things merely a figment of the imagination? Or is there some truth to be found in the realm of the supernatural?


"Scientific" World View
Most professors of the natural sciences such as biology, physics, or a neuroscience would probably say, if asked, that there was no such thing as the supernatural. One could say that most serious students of the natural sciences would answer likewise. Why? What is it about the natural sciences that leads people to deny the existence of the supernatural?

The answer to this question lies in the axiom (fundamental principle) of modern science itself. This axiom could be stated this way:


All behavior in the universe conforms to a closed set of natural laws, most of which can be expressed mathematically.
This statement basically says that there is a collection of natural laws (for example, the laws of Newtonian mechanics, chemistry, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics), which are never broken and never change. Modern science seeks to discover what these laws are and how to use them to improve the human condition.
The axiom of modern science, by specifying that ALL behavior conforms to the laws of nature, completely rules out all possibility of a supernatural event occurring in the natural world. And what would a supernatural being be if it existed but could DO absolutely nothing? The axiom of modern science also thereby suggests that supernatural beings do not exist.


Weakness of the Axiom
There exists sufficient reason to doubt the central axiom of modern science. Oddly enough, the reason one might have to doubt it is the same reason it is so widely accepted in the scientific community, in the media, and worldwide.


The only way to prove that the axiom of science is true is by observing EVERY event that has ever occurred and assimilating each and every one to a natural law.
This statement acknowledges that innumerable observations of the natural world have already been made. However, it is absolutely impossible to prove that the well-subscribed-to philosophy of science applies at all times by empirical means. The only way a proof of the axiom of science could be successfully done is by logic alone.

The reason the axiom of modern science is so widely accepted is because the more we human beings observe the happenings of our environments, read the findings of research scientists, and study the natural sciences, the less ground we see for thinking that any occurrance could escape "scientific" explanation. For example, it was once thought by the native Americans that the rivets in the rock of Devil's Tower in northeast Wyoming (the remains of the core of a volcano) were carved by the claws of a giant bear in a rather King Kong-ish legend. In reality, they are the effect of the crystal structure of the rocks themselves. Examples of the effect of science on mysticism and magic abound; eventually it is tempting to assume that ALL tales of the supernatural can be explained scientifically. The fact of the matter, however, is that it is impossible to attain such knowledge empirically. Therefore, for lack of proof otherwise, we must allow the possibility that a supernatural event could take place.


Metaphysics
We now allow the possibility that a supernatural event might occur at some time in some place. We might wonder what, if not the laws of nature, might cause a supernatural event to occur. We might wonder whether a closed set of laws exists such that in supernatural events these laws are never violated.
The problem with this idea is that, assuming such a set of "supernatural laws" exists, there is nothing that prevents the grouping together of the natural laws with the supposed supernatural laws to form a closed set of laws to which all behavior in the universe conforms. Otherwise stated, a set of "supernatural laws", if it existed, would support the central axiom of science rather than contradict it! And if such "supernatural laws" supported the axiom of science, they wouldn't be supernatural any more, would they? We must conclude, then, that any supernatural behavior would not necessarily conform to any pattern, paradigm, or presupposition of the mind whatsoever.

This does not, however, mean that supernatural events as observed in the material world cannot be caused. Such events simply cannot always be made to conform to a pattern of any kind. The Bible teaches that God (who is of course a supernatural being) always keeps His promises, so many of the miraculous things He has done through Jesus Himself and through the saints may be said to conform to a pattern in that regard. However, that does not mean that every supernatural occurrance is an "act of God", nor does it mean that every "act of God" is done according to a promise He has made.

The intricacies of metaphysics, the study of causality in the supernatural realm, are discussed in other articles under the Philsophy/Theology section.

Conclusion
Our conclusion is that the central axiom of science should be revised to read:
Almost all behavior in the universe conforms to a closed set of natural laws, most of which can be expressed mathematically.
The reason for choosing the words "almost all" is because, even though it would be a hopeless cause to try to assimilate almost every event that has ever occurred to a natural law, it serves intuition to say that the ratio of the number of events that do conform to the laws of nature to the number of events that do not is very large. It's usually not every day that a person observes a supernatural occurrance!
We furthermore conclude that there cannot exist a closed set of laws to which all supernatural occurrances conform, because if such a set did exist it would simply be another part of the set of natural laws, making the entire idea of the supernatural merely a construct of the human mind. Thus, supernatural events are essentially unpredictable.
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mike624

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Supernatural Explained
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 03:01:51 PM »
Thats interesting. I think that there is no supernatural. The article is right in my opinion.

omnipotentoculus

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Supernatural Explained
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2006, 07:41:37 PM »
The article is a bit ridiculous. His argument has a logical fallacy because it misrepresents the nature of science and the deductions it makes. Science doesn't say "all things happen according to these laws" it says "as far as we have seen, it can be assumed that all things happen according to these laws."

This is because science does not claim to know anything until it can test it. An example is cryptozoology. Many biologists neither accept nor deny the existence of some crypto's (the giant squid, for example, has been verified).

Everytime something is explained through emperical observation it is incorperated into science. Science is not a locked paradigm either. An example of this is physics. Up untill about 100 years ago, science thought the electron was the smallest of the small, and that all things moved in observance of the Newtonian Laws of physics. Then a little particle called a quark was discovered and everything went out the window. Since then science has been trying to explain quantum physics which redefined the physical nature of the universe.

If one maintains any sort of faith or belief in "spirit/energy" beings, then one believes in the supernatural, because these things operate outside the bounds of science. Also, any strongly held belief that stays unverified by science (psychic ability, vampirism, wereism, true magic, etc.) then that is a belief in the paranormal/supernatural. I maintain that certain things operate outside of these laws all together and they are based in a higher plane of existance, making them above all levels of our Natural Universe and its associated laws, thus making them, supernatural.
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Scotty

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Supernatural Explained
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2006, 08:42:42 AM »
"I maintain that certain things operate outside of these laws all together and they are based in a higher plane of existance, making them above all levels of our Natural Universe and its associated laws, thus making them, supernatural."

Vary well put.

My judgment on this is for the supernatural, purely in accordance to my experiences alone. The Laws of any of mans 'labeled' observations can't be held accountable for most of them, forcing me to believe in this 'higher plane.'
Like in the days of Noah....It shall come to pass, on a Fiery-day...