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A website for the book by Ian J Thompson:

"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"


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32.1 Logical formulation

32.1.1 What is the evidence for your theory? What can be measured, or at least observed, to confirm or refute it? Is it falsifiable, and hence (according to Popper) possibly scientific?
My theory is being published for the first time and needs time to grow and to make predictions. I have already stated two predictions about new physical processes that should be measurable (see Chapter 24). There is also one prediction about psychology that could refute my theory, as it predicts that no artificial intelligence machines could be built with equal rational and motivational capacities as humans. That is because only God is the source of understanding and will, and having those capacities requires the full biological details for the human functional form. If mechanical AI machines could be successfully operated, that would refute my theory.

32.1.2 Are the ideas in this book analytic or synthetic? A priori or a posteriori?
The ideas here are analytic deductions from the several Postulates of theism. All I have shown strictly a priori are the logical connections between those ideas. Later I examined how plausible consequences of these ideas begin to provide possible explanations for mental and physical phenomena. My selection of those phenomena is clearly a posteriori, as are those attempted scientific explanations.

32.1.3 You claim to know the nature of things in themselves, as love or whatever. Did Kant not show that this is impossible for us mere mortals?
In his pre-critical phase, Kant tried to find the nature of things in themselves along the lines suggested Part II: see Kant (1747) for one of his attempts. In Kant et al. (2002), however, he became conflicted concerning whether knowledge of spiritual things could be possible and (especially) could be possible with mainstream empirical rationality. In the end, he reacted against the presentation of spiritual ideas as presented by Emanuel Swedenborg, apparently in order to appear conventional. I do not react against Swedenborg’s presentations of spiritual ideas in the way Kant did.

32.1.4 You have a general scheme with ‘generation and selections’, but the details are scarce. In fact, anything from wish-fulfillment to strict epiphenomenalism could be made to fit into your framework, depending on the relative powers of generation and selections. It’s the details that matter!
Yes, I admit that is true. The formal structure of the ‘scientific theism’ does not make specific predictions about the relative influences of previous events (instrumental causes) compared with generative powers (principal causes), so many different detailed scientific theories are possible within its framework. I think of the situation in this manner: quantum mechanics in physics is not a detailed theory but rather a theory-framework in which such theories may be formulated (e.g. by defining the Hilbert space, the observables, and the Hamiltonian). Similarly, the theistic science here is not a specific theory-framework. It is rather a general ontological and philosophical structure in which such theory-frameworks may find a home. It leaves it to empirical investigation and related theorizing to determine what exactly is true within its framework.

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