Gregory Dawes: Religion, Science, and Explanation

Abstract: A recent legal ruling in the United States regarding ‘intelligent design’ (ID) argued that ID is not science because it invokes a supernatural agent. It therefore cannot be taught in public schools. But the important philosophical question is not whether ID invokes a supernatural agent; it is whether it meets the standards we expect of any explanation in the sciences. More generally, could any proposed theistic explanation – one that invokes the deity of classical theism – meet those standards? Could it be both scientific and religious? The present paper sets out the factors to be taken into account when answering this question.

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