Lecture Series
A Lecture Series Presented at the

The Dole Institute for Politics

Map to the Dole Institute
April 19th, 7:30 PM
Barbara Forrest

Professor of Philosophy
Department of History & Political Science
Southeastern Louisiana University


The Naturalism of Science:
The Only Way that Works



Abstract



With respect to answering questions and resolving practical problems, natural science is the most successful area of inquiry humans have ever devised. The primary secret of this success is the methodological limitation under which scientists work: forgoing appeals to the supernatural, they confine their inquiries to the natural world. Science is the search for natural explanations of natural phenomena, a methodology understood in less contentious times as "scientific method." The naturalistic methodology of science is not arbitrary. It is used because it works, and nothing else does. But there are other secrets of science's success, one of which is that science is not a secret. It is the most public of all areas of human inquiry. Yet another secret is that the methodology of science was not invented by scientists. The naturalistic methodology scientists have used so profitably is an extension of time-tested practical and intellectual skills used throughout human history whenever people have wished to overcome their intellectual puzzlements and the practical challenges of existence with some hope of success. Consequently, scientific thinking is not unique to science. The rules of logic and evidence governing scientific inquiry apply not only in all areas of science but in all empirical disciplines, including those in the humanities such as history. The naturalistic methodology scientists employ is simply the systematic application of successful procedures and critical thinking skills, adjusted for their specific needs as scientists, to the study of the natural world. Far from being a shortcoming, the naturalism of science is the essential foundation of all scientific achievement.

Professor Forrest will be available after the talk to sign her book


Creationism's Trojan Horse
The Wedge of Intelligent Design

by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross


Buy the book at amazon

There will be copies available for purchase at the book signing.

A Window Media Player version of the Lecture is here