There's a very good reason for preferring naturalistic explanations of the world and every

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There's a very good reason for preferring naturalistic explanations of the world and everything in it -- such assumption leads to useful science and technology. I remind Mr. Cote that "Divine Providence" and "God's Will" were standard explanations for most natural phenomena during the first fifteen centuries of the Christian era -- so there's been a pretty good opportunity for such explanations to yield such useful results if they can. Let's compare the records: Situation Pious Response Naturalistic response ------------ ----------------- ------------------------ Infection "God has called him" Germ theory of disease Disease Prayer, last rites Antiseptics, antibiotics The death cart. Smallpox eradicated. Bubonic plague controlled. A doubling of life expectancy. Famine "God punishes our pride" Nutrition research Prayer, mass graves Vitamins Crop genetics Fertilizer Moving "The heavens must be Observation, analysis, math lights perfect, like their Newton's laws. Optics. in sky One Author" Voyager. Men walk on moon. Ptolemy's cosmology. Lightning "God punishes our pride" Franklin. Volta. Watt. Prayer, guilt and Faraday. Tesla. Maxwell. expiation Shockley. Chips. Computers. Electric motors and lights. Psychosis "Satan's demons Dissection, neuroanatomy, Epilepsy posess his spirit" neurochemistry. Surgery. Torture. Exorcism. Lithium. Prozac. Given a choice between these two records of accomplishment, I know which I prefer. Mr. Cotera is welcome to the barbarism of twelfth-century Europe if he prefers that -- it certainly was a world certain that God exists and explains all things. > Naturalistic explanations are all well and good if there is no God. Naturalistic explanations are extremely useful, whether God exists or not. They don't, however, carry moral import -- nor do they rule out God's existence. Nor _can_ they ever rule out God's existence, by definition. --- Joel Hanes


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