In a previous post, I claimed that I had recently had a religious experience. Since the post was about science and atheism, it drew all kinds of challenges. I appreciate those challenges, because it has forced me to clarify my thoughts. Here's where I have ended up.
Assumption: Everything in the world can be explained through science - repeatable, measurable, definable rules and laws.
Event: Something very unusual happens to me which has religious significance.
Explanation: I understand the brain and psychology fairly well as well as chemistry, physics and mathematics. I can come up with an explanation for the event using these tools. However, my explanation is based on a sequence of highly unlikely occurrences and since probabilities are multiplicative, the overall probability that this event should have taken place is infinitesimally small.
Quandary: I am left with relying on my assumption that science can explain all things to accept my wildly improbable explanation for the event. I dismiss a miraculous explanation for the event only because my assumption tells me to. Essentially, an otherwise perfectly valid data point is discarded because it conflicts with my assumption.
I have good friends who are sceintists who have had similar experiences. We can also dispose of theirs through equally improbable explanations. More data points are discarded only because our assumption tells us to. Over time, in the aggregate, the number of such discarded data points quickly grows large. How many data points do you discard before you begin to wonder if the assumption was incorrect?