No Matter What They Say, Philosophy IS the Foundation of Science!

“…The following truths about reality are not made of or completely explained by molecules, yet they comprise the foundation of science:

  • Truth exists and can be known.
  • The laws of nature are orderly and consistent.
  • Effects have causes (law of causality).
  • Causes in the past were like those in the present (principle of uniformity).
  • Our senses are giving us accurate information about the real world (realism).
  • The immaterial laws of logic and mathematics apply to the material world.
  • We have free will to make choices and to follow the evidence where it leads.
  • We can make rational inferences from the data to establish true premises and draw valid conclusions.
  • We should report our results accurately (objective moral values exist).

Scientists rely on these truths at all stages of the scientific process: before, during, and after gathering data or doing an experiment.

Before doing science: Scientists frame their own philosophical rules for doing science. For example, should scientists be open to only natural causes, or are intelligent causes possible? How about supernatural causes? Those questions can’t be answered by science; they are answered by scientists doing philosophy.

While doing science: Scientists rely on the orderly laws of nature, the law of causality, and the theory of knowledge known as realism when conducting an experiment or historical investigation.

After doing science: Scientists must decide what is good evidence. What counts as evidence is not evidence itself—a philosophical value judgment must be made. Scientists must then interpret the evidence they’ve judged to be good by relying on all the immaterial realities listed above to draw a free and rational conclusion. They must also be honest throughout the entire process.”

–– Frank Turek, “Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case


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