Should any of these events, by themselves, serve as evidence for the supernatural or some missing law of nature that may be operating on it? More curiously, should any of these events rationally even move the needle on your credence of this?

1.) John predicts every single sporting outcome event for the next year in every single sporting event in the world

2.) John claims that he can move a coin with his head, gets someone else to flip it, and gets it to land on his predicted side millions of times. Assume he can do this for anyone flipping the coin.

3.) John guesses whatever you’re thinking of, every single time. He’s able to do this with any person every single time.

Now, none of these events are physically impossible. Arguably, they’re not even any more unlikely than what we consider normal events. They are just as unlikely as any particular incorrect guess sequence that John would have if he failed. Thus, should any of these scenarios change your degree of belief in supernaturalism?

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    If an event can be explained under a law of nature, why would we appeal to a law of supernature as well? Or if we can explain the attitudes and behaviors of prophets naturalistically, why suppose instead that the prophets were communicating with divine beings? Note, though, the Maimonidean picture of prophethood: we have an a priori concept for the word "divine" and a prophet is someone more adept at rationally applying the concept (even if as a mental exercise, like a mathematics of divine simplicity). No prophecies, here, I suppose, are needed besides the naturalized predictions. Aug 26, 2023 at 19:59
  • I agree. Wouldn’t those events atleast instinctively cause you to be suspicious of the current laws of nature not being enough to explain it though? Or no? If so, is this just a failed instinct?
    – user62907
    Aug 26, 2023 at 20:03
  • I'd guess this is why the issue is rephrased as, "But the events are improbable unless produced intentionally; the only intentionality that could see into the future that much and control history, etc. would be divine," and off we go... For as far as laws of nature go, it is enough to realize that a claimed law is false, when we find exceptions, but probability is not what is at stake (for a truly exceptionless law, a fail rate of even one instance calls the whole proposal of that law into question). Aug 26, 2023 at 20:10
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    It all boils down to the statement: There is something (we don't know) Aug 27, 2023 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


All of these questions are questions about evidence for parapsychological phenomena, not for "supernatural". All of these are natural experiments, and are replicable. That a model to explain the results might be non-material, does not make it supernatural. The AAAS has answered this question with a strong affirmative. The Parapsychological Association is a member science society.

Most of the theorizing in the PA leans between pure idealism, dualism with a much stronger ideal side than Descartes assumed, and idealism with the physical emergent. None of these theories are "supernatural". They are characterizable, and predictive.

Positive test results for parapsychology do not require 100% success. Very little (virtually noting) in our world has 100% success, and that is not needed in science, nor in naturalism.

For info about the Parapsychology Association, here is it web site: https://www.parapsych.org/

  • Don’t the majority of mainstream scientists reject this? Nevertheless, I’ll try to keep an open mind and look through some of the studies
    – user62907
    Aug 26, 2023 at 19:48
  • That the PA is an AAAS member society is as definitive a refutation as there can be to your claim about the majority of scientists.
    – Dcleve
    Aug 26, 2023 at 20:18

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