iSoul In the beginning is reality.

Undetermination and dependence

The underdetermination of scientific theory is well-known in the philosophy of science.  It comes down to the fact that if theory A implies fact B and fact B is observed that does not logically confirm theory A.  Without multiple controlled experiments to isolate causation (which can only be done some cases), there is no logical confirmation of scientific theories: other theories could also work (or seem to work).

Add to this the background assumptions that are required for any scientific explanation and modern science loses its claim to pure objectivity.  This is part of the post-modern impasse that contemporary culture is in.

In practice this has led to other criteria being used for theory selection: parsimony and naturalism in particular.  For creationists, consistency with the Bible is the other criteria.

There is no way within science to overcome underdetermination.  Science must ally itself with a philosophy or a religion.  That does not necessarily make science part of that philosophy or religion.  It means science is dependent on a philosophy or a religion, contrary to the claims for independence that are made for science.  Creationists and materialists accept that.  Others have yet to realize it.

September 2013

Post Navigation