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Hi, wanted to know if Order & Reason are a part of Nature. or if this is simply how humans view things and try to make sense of things. Cheers

For myself, I think the traditions of philosophical skepticism have raised serious doubts about whether or not this question can be finally answered. It seems, given the apparent lessons of those traditions, that it wisest to suspend judgment on the question but nevertheless to keep inquiring and to remain open to the chance that we might figure it out. My own suspicion is that there is some independent and objective basis to our projections of order and reason, but I’m not convinced that any single formulation or projection in human thought or action can apprehend that basis in a complete or final way. That we can make projections and formulations about order and reason seems remarkable and suggestive in itself, but the problems skepticism has brought before us with those projections and formulations seem sufficient to give one serious pause before pretending to any final conclusion.

Should philosophy be considered among the group of disciplines we consider sciences or among the humanities? I understand that the answer to this is typically taken to be that philosophy is among the humanities but I also know that philosophers sometimes resist this categorisation. Obviously we'd need to refine our definitions of these categories first to see if we can produce a useful answer. And perhaps the answer is that there's a third category that philosophy should belong to all on its own?

It's funny you asked, as I have just been discussing with the Physics faculty at my university the possibility of having my course in Metaphysics count as an elective in their program. One might ask, I think, why there are categories at all. Why not just have disciplinary programs. The reason is often more administrative than pedagogical or theoretical. Universities need means of distributing budgets, committee assignments, and review procedures. Sure there is a background in the medieval division of the ancient liberal arts into two categories: the verbal studies of the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) and the quantitative studies of the quadrivium (music, astronomy, arithmetic, and geometry). And there's a stream of division that extends out of nineteenth-century ideas about the human sciences. But I find very little theoretical consideration given to the division today. My hope, in fact, is that it will diminish somewhat in importance as interdisciplinary studies gain in prominence. And that...

According to Karl Popper, a hypothesis is scientific if it can be observationally falsified, not, if it can be verified. One instance not in accordance with a supposed law refutes the law, but many instances in conformity with the law still do not prove it. Accepting this falsification test, we may remark that the idea of the divine existence either could, or could not, be falsified by a conceivable way of observation. If it could not, then science in no position to test theism. Please comment. Thanks

Yeah, I think that's right. The theistic hypothesis is not testable through the procedures of natural science. That in itself has led many, myself included, to a kind of agnosticism about theism. That's also one of the reasons why neither creationism nor much of what is described as intelligent design are scientific. Do note, however, that testability may not be the only basis for rejecting (or accepting) theism. Some reject theism because they find theistic language itself intolerably confused and senseless. Others point to the political and moral problems associated with theisms (the violence, the intolerance, the blunting of norms of reason and critical thinking). (I frequently find that line of reasoning attractive.) Some object to the way theism fails to produce agreement and generates divisions and sects. (Often compelling to me, too.) Along similar lines, others have concluded that it's simply undesirable to commit to beliefs that are excessively complex or, alternatively not as simple as...

Is it possible for science to come to a conclusion regarding the origin of the universe?

It's possible for empirical science to come to conclusions regarding "what" the origin of the universe was like and "when" it occurred. For example, it's possible to determine the age of the universe, it's approximate initial mass, whether or not there was a "big bang," the rate of initial inflation, what the initial consituents of the universe were like, howe they behaved etc. Because, however, empirical science is strictly about the causal order of the universe itself, it's not possible for it to come to conclusions about a source or cause beyond or outside of the universe. Metaphysics sometimes takes a stab at addressing those sorts of issues regarding origins.