I usually despair when I read these threads. They ultimately end up as a mud-slinging match.
I offer two pieces of information and a qualification, to hopefully round out the debate from the entrenched sides:
- I hold down a job as a Mental Health Manager - hardly Joe Quack and his fishing net. I regularly have to write reports that use empirical evidence in a scientific manner.
- I've also experienced what I would describe as the so-called supernatural.
- I would qualify that by asking that the term "god" is defined, rather than assuming that everyone here believes in a JW-esque bible-god. Personally my beliefs of the Divine are completely at variance of what I once held true. Given that we are discussing the nature of cherished beliefs, a little extra tolerance goes a long way before slam-dunking folks into the next orbit. More often than not our positions are remarkable similar, whether we realise it or not.
That having been said, there is no empirical evidence for the supernatural as it seems to resist replication, therefore the scientific model is wholly unsuitable for recording it, and Randi will continue to hold onto his million. That neither confirms or denies the actuality of heretofore unmeasurable entities. However the foundation of good science is the imagination to push the boundaries of what is measurable. As this occurs the god-of-the-gaps diminishes.
Meanwhile questioning the intelligence of your opponent, regardless of which side of the debate, is an unimaginative thought-stopper and counterproductive. As the old adage goes, the more you learn, the more you realise how little you know. Maybe that explains why so few dedicated scientists involve themselves in such a debate...
~pokes at stale popcorn~