Does the no miracles argument for scientific realism commit a fallacy? I've read the claim that because science is abductive, and the no miracles argument proceeds via abduction, it is circular.
Is it viciously circular?
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Of course it is. What is a miracle other than a complete departure from what is expected. Well, then what is an outlier? The 'no miracles' argument cannot be observed.
It can be proposed as a falsifiable principle, but then it is kind of already falsified. Various things like the unexpected relevance of mathematics to physics come across as miraculous: they are positive results we might wish for, already true, and still inexplicable when they were most relevant. Newton surely considered the power of mathematics a gift from God.
It can be theorized that we would not have reached our Western level of faith in the reliability of results if we did not already have a principle of the miraculous order of the universe.