The Fallacy of “Supernatural”

Mehran Banaei

How many times have neo-atheists like Lawrence Krauss vociferously stated: “We [the scientists] don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans?” In an attempt to refute the notion of the First Cause, Krauss ubiquitously refers to the Big Bang Originator as a “supernatural shenanigan”, hoping to convince his audience that it is science which leads to disbelief in a caused universe.

Krauss is not the only atheist scientist who appeals to gimmicks to score his point. Like Richard Dawkins, he claims not to believe in “supernatural shenanigans” because he is a man of science. I suppose a man with a hidden agenda has no choice but to appeal to deceitful tricks, when he tries to promote an unscientific personal opinion disguised as a research based academic exposition. Indeed, it boggles the mind as to why would a scientist, if he were truly objective, inordinately adopt unscientific language to brag about what he does not believe?

The term “supernatural”, particularly when paired with “shenanigans” unconsciously conjures up the image of a mystical fairytale, magic or superstition. Whatever is labeled “supernatural”, connotes it being a relic of the past, an outdated pre-scientific thinking, sitting right next to the paranormal. A “supernatural being” sounds like a fictitious mythological character that does not exist, i.e. Zeus, Vishnu or Superman. By using such a term the neo-atheists are trying to make their opponents look like idiots before even the debate begins. Krauss is trying to shape the reader’s attitudes towards what caused the universe before he even presents his case, by implying that belief in “God” for lack of a better word is stupid, and the one who adopts such a belief is at the zenith of stupidity.


An example of genuine supernatural shenanigan: the claim that one can levitate by meditation. Belief in the First Cause is put in the same category and then debunked by erroneous association.

Psychologically, people have a great aversion to being branded with terms that have a negative import. No one would wish to be stigmatized as having an antiquated belief. No one wants to have a negative title bestowed upon one, especially when it is often closely associated with some outlooks which indeed are primitive, superstitious, irrational or fanatical. This insidious attempt is deliberately used to disadvantage the other side at the very outset, by placing a negative label on them. This is nothing short of straw man labelization.

The strategy implies that whoever adopts a belief in “supernatural” is dogmatic. However, this type of stigmatization in essence, is a typical textbook case of cheap ad hominem attack and name calling, devoid of any substantiative arguments.

But, is the Entity which caused the universe supernatural? It all depends on the definition and our point of reference. Nothing is universally natural across the board. For instance, is it natural to be able to fly? For reptiles is not, for birds it certainly is. Is it natural to swim under water? For fish it is, for the cockroach it is not. Is it natural, to be uncaused, to be immortal outside of time and space dimensions, and not to have a face or physical body? For earthy beings it is not, but for the Big Bang Originator, the Creator of time and space it is. Who said that the Creator of the laws of physics must be subject to the laws of physics, and ought to be empirically verifiable? In fact, the Creator of the laws physics cannot be subject to them. That should be perfectly obvious to anyone with a modicum of logic. The Creator and creation cannot be of the same essence, not even close. One must be totally different than the other! How absurd to determine what is natural, unnatural or supernatural from a reductionistic self-centered point of view. Krauss ignores the limits of conceptualization of human understanding, and acts like he knows it all. For him what is universally natural, is what he perceives to be natural, anything outside of the limited realm of human perception is considered unnatural; therefore anything of such a unique attribute is categorized as nonsense. However, I guess revealing all of that information to the readers would have undercut Krauss’ attempt to dogmatize monotheistic theism.

Furthermore, note how Krauss subtly uses his academic status and the like-minded scientists to bolster the claim that God does not exist, even though the existence or non-existence of God falls completely outside the jurisdiction of science, the way modern scientists define science. This is a fallacy known as “Appeal to Authority” – we are supposed to believe the proposition just because someone who is supposedly an expert says so. However, it is Krauss the atheist, not Krauss the physicist who is stating his own opinion, and his personal opinion on God carries no more weight than the opinion of a hairstylist. Just as cutting hair in a barbershop does not lead to atheism, likewise working in a science lab does not lead to atheism. Surely, the opinion of another scientist could be diametrically at odds with his. Therefore, the appropriate thing for Kruss to say is that “We the atheists don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans”, to which a thoughtful theist could rightly reply: Big Deal! We, who acknowledge the universe is caused, don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans either.

But why should we be listening to Krauss? Do we know if he is trustworthy? Is he stating a fact, or merely his own slanted atheistic opinion? Indeed, why would a truly objective scientist assume that the universe is causeless, and degrade the theistic position as a “supernatural shenanigans”? If one is truly a man of science, then he does not need to appeal to these kind of cheap tricks. Atheists repeatedly use these tricks because they know well it is effective. The inappropriate usage of the term supernatural is now frequently picked up by the believers themselves to describe their faith.

If Krauss says that we the scientists don’t believe in the Uncaused cause, we believe that the universe is self-created, he would then have a hard time defending his position without looking dim-witted. For one, he is in no position to speak for all scientists. Prominent scientists, past and present like Isaac Newton, and all the Muslim scientists of the Golden Age who introduced science and scientific investigations to the Europeans, emphatically believed in the Uncaused cause. They openly believed in the existence of a Grand Designer.

Does Krauss the scientist believe in a rudimentary deductive logic and a priori reasoning? He should if he is truly objective. We now know that the universe had a beginning. Time, space, matter and energy suddenly came into existence from oblivious nonexistence. An Entity, call it God or what have you, must have triggered the creation of the universe. This God far from being “supernatural” the way it is suggested, is the Necessary Being, which is impossible not to exist. By Its nature, such a Being ought to be uncaused, singular, intelligent and powerful. His “Godly” nature is natural for what this Being is – as natural as water being wet.

What Krauss does not wish to acknowledge is that the alternative so-called “scientific” theories posed to refute the Uncaused cause seem more shenaniganic than any pre-historic religious dogma. For example, the multiverse theory operating on unguided automated natural selection, Dawkins’ postulation that complex organisms in nature are not designed, but have the illusion of design. Or Stephen Hawking’s assertion of chance hypothesis that the creation of the universe was “the ultimate free lunch”. All these are implausible loopy theories nicely packaged as scientific facts. The truth is the atheist scientists indeed believe in the ultimate supernatural shenanigan, they believe that out of “Nowhere”, for no reason, “Nothing” caused a massive explosion. Out of this explosion, everything somehow arranged itself in an orderly fashion, and then without any purpose a complex interrelated self-supporting web of life with an astonishing degree of diversity spontaneously came into existence. I suppose, atheist apologists feel they can believe and promote sheer nonsense, if it is labeled “science”.

Neo-atheists have hijacked science, turned it into a right-wing industry for manipulating public opinion, rather than appealing to objective rational judgments, and the sincere and noble pursuit of the truth. The industry’s whole aim is to market a peculiar Godless religion in order to make a fast buck. These atheist evangelists have made a lucrative career ironically revolving around the “nonsense” of what they themselves purport they could not have cared less about.



Filed under Philosophy of Science and Religion

5 responses to “The Fallacy of “Supernatural”

  1. The same science that you decry when it shows your beliefs to be untrue is the same science that you use every day, from this blog to modern foodstuffs, to modern medicine. There is no need for a “necessary being”, your version or any others. There is no reason that the laws of physics can’t stand in for your magical being.

    To declare that only you have sincere and noble intent is just an attempt to declare everyone who disagrees with you to be insincere and unnoble, with no evidence of this at all, only wishful thinking.

    • Osama Ghanim

      I see you only as decrying Mehran’s laudable intellectual effort to expose the attempts, consciously or unconsciously, by new atheists scientists and philosophers to highjack science. And he was able to do that admirably and demonstratively, because he clearly is able to distinguish between science, pseudoscience and non-science. You, regrettably, are unable to see that the laws of physics, among the rest of the laws governing the universe that we can perceive, and that which is beyond our perception, as being in themselves, cannot be labelled as necessary, but they are part of the plan and ‘programme’ to get on with the building and creation of the universe. The term “The Necessary Existant”, as far as I can tell, was introduced by Muslim Thinkers of the Middle Ages and earlier, where what is known as the science of Kalam was introduced. The least I can say here in this brief comment is that the intelligent concept of the Necessary Existant has the capacity to contain all that is needed, not only to create the Universe and The Earth, but all that will ever be created or was ever created by The One God that has no equivalent or equal. Compare that with the explanatory power of the concept of “nothing” that the leading radical atheist scientists and philosophers are advocating nowadays!! From my perspective Mehran deserves to be properly understood, for he is sincerely and consistently trying to preserve science as the objective criteria that we as humans, Adamites or homosapiens have to have to be able to judge and evaluate all claims pertaining to Truth, Revelation and what is worth reading and knowing! This is, of course, besides, before all to preserve to our minds the freedom to think without a priori prejudice.

      • Osama, you simply make up what you want to believe. Tell me why the laws of physics can’t be considered necessary. All you are doing is trying to use special pleading for your god, a god that has no evidence for its existence.

        The necessary existent perhaps was invented by Muslims but you’d get an argument about that from Christians who want to pretend its their god that is the necessary being, along with its magical son.

        You are also quite ignorant on what scientists think about “nothing”, and that willful ignorance is all that keeps religion intact. Mehran is properly understood, he makes up nonsense and tries to claim a god exists when he has no evidence of such a thing. Science doesn’t support his claims at all, so his supposed preservation of science is simply lies create to allow his religion to exist beside science so he can use it because it makes him comfortable.

        All theists claim “truth” and “revelation” and funny how none of you can show that your claims are any more true than the next theist. Who has the truth, Osama? Christians? Muslims? Then which sect since sects kill each other with great glee sure that they each have the “truth”?

        And hmm, assuming a god exists, with no evidence, is one of the ultimate instances of a priori predjudice. Rather than allowing the evidence to lead you, you claim “God exists” and try to fit the facts to that false claim. Where is the evidence of the Noah flood, Osama? The “exodus”? The magical flight of Mohammed? All are completely unsupported by reality.

  2. Clubschadenfreude, I have never said anything against science in my entire blog, have no beef with science. In fact, I am all for it, just being critical of atheism. Your red herring comments indeed reinforce my position that somehow atheists have come to assume that science and atheism are the two sides of the same coin. Neo-atheists like Krauss and Dawkins act like science is their property. They have gravely misused science to point that the universe is uncaused. You know well there are many other credible scientists today who use science to conclude there must be a Grand Designer behind the creation of the universe. My favorite one is Michael Denton.

    Unlike you, I cannot satisfy my sense of curiosity that the laws of physics did it all, skipping the unavoidable question of how did these laws of physics come to be.

    As for your cliché accusation of belief in the First Cause is “wishful thinking”, I have a post specifically dealing with this issue and urge you to read it: “Is the Concept of “God” a Placebo?”

    I appreciate your comments and respect your rights to believe what you see fit.

  3. clubschadenfreude,

    Can you tell me what scientific evidence do you need to see, that would convince you that there is a Creator/Great Mind that made everything?

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