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Where the Conflict Really LiesScience, Religion, and Naturalism$
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Alvin Plantinga

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812097

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812097.001.0001

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(p.162) (p.163) Chapter 6 Defeaters?
Where the Conflict Really Lies

Alvin Plantinga

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 showed that some scientific theories or claims—theories or claims taken from evolutionary psychology and historical Biblical criticism—do indeed conflict with Christian (and Muslim and Jewish) belief. This chapter addresses the following question: Suppose you are a serious Christian and you come to recognize that Simonian science endorses conclusions incompatible with certain Christian beliefs; and suppose you also hold science in high regard. Do you, as a result, acquire a defeater for those beliefs? Simonian science specifies how things look from a given perspective or evidence base, a perspective characterized by methodological naturalism. It is argued that the fact that Simonian science comes to conclusions incompatible with Christian belief does not provide the believer with a defeater for her belief.

Keywords:   Christian belief, religion, Simonian science, defeater, scientific theories, methodological naturalism

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