[ExI] heaves a long broken psi

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri Jan 22 20:42:39 UTC 2010

On 1/22/2010 2:18 PM, Dave Sill wrote:

>> What does this "supernatural" mean, exactly.

> Things we consider supernatural (ESP, vampires, God)

This misuses the word. If ESP is real, there is no reason to suppose 
that it functions by abrogating the laws of physics; far more economical 
to suppose that we do not yet fully understand all those laws. In the 
19th century, the radioactive heating of the sun was not supernatural, 
just unexplained. Believing the sun was a god was a supernatural 
explanation, but not a very useful one. Vampires, if they existed 
outside fiction, would not be supernatural either, unless their powers 
are described as deriving directly from satanic supernatural beings. 
"God" is certainly supernatural--outside the realm of nature entirely, 
ontologically distinct and superior to nature. And almost certainly 
non-existential. At any rate, I've never seen a paper in Nature or 
Science proving its existence.

Damien Broderick

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