Sep. 29th, 2009

joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
Today's Atheist Meme of the Day:

In human history, natural explanations of phenomena have replaced supernatural ones many thousands of times. Supernatural explanations have replaced natural ones exactly never. So how likely is it that any currently unexplained phenomenon is supernatural? Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get through.

So far, every single time a theistic source makes a claim about the natural world, when our technology caught up enough to investigate the claim, EVERY SINGLE TIME the theistic claim was wrong.

Across the board, for all religions and philosophies.

To be fair, sometimes the natural explanation was wrong too.  But when that has happened, the correct explanation *still* turned out to be natural in basis.  The answer or explanation has NEVER, not once, ever, turned out to be supernatural.

Every single time we have answered anything about the physical universe, the explanation has been natural in origin.

This is why I claim the label "Gnostic Atheist".  In science, we can be *reasonably certain* when we use probability to behave as though it is true.  Inference is a legitimate method of making testable claims.  And so far, every time we've had the technology to test those claims, the explanation has always, without fail, shown a natural reason, not a supernatural one.  With a 100% accuracy rating (the explanation will turn out to be natural, not supernatural), I'd say it's a pretty high probability and I feel pretty safe in making the inference that any currently unexplained phenomena will also turn out to be natural.

I'm *reasonably certain* that when I let go of a roadcase at work, it will fall towards the ground and probably injure whatever body part it hits on the way down.  I make this claim because we have a hypothesis that there is something called gravity that makes things want to move in the direction of the earth when it has nothing in its way to prevent it.  This claim is testable.  It has been tested often enough that I can be reasonably certain that it is true, certain enough that I can make predictions based on the truth of the claim, and since those predictions have a high enough probability of being true, I can behave as though it is true.

The earth is not just 6,000 years old, we did not appear out of nowhere in our present form at the same time, the sun and moon were not put here for our use, the stars are not the hearths of our ancestors, and it's not turtles all the way down.


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