or atleast INDENT.
"That might seem to be science at its best answering a very difficult question, but I still say that this is a philosophical issue."
I think it is reasonable to remark that science asks "how" and philosophy asks "why". If the question can be answered quantitatively, then it is a scientific question. If the question can not be answered in such a manner, then it is metaphysical in origin. I guess the issue at hand is whether a question can originally be metaphysical and become scientific. I think you are saying that it can, I feel that I must agree. The Greeks and atoms. The particle that couldn't be broken down any further. It was merely conjecture with no bounds in quantity. However, now the issue is purely scientific.
Right now, and in actuality has been for a while, is attempting to learn the origins of the universe. I suppose each idea or postulate that is arrived at is done so through metaphysical means, especially when we are dealing with a concept that borders at the edge of our own imaginations. However, just as atoms were able to cross the barrier, so will with universe.
"If 'laws' are not really laws in the sense that they somehow necessitate certain facets of nature, then the term 'natural' is fully dependent on a certain observed range of past behavior."
But for a scientific theory or law to be accepted, musn't it be able to predict future behavior. Granted, our observations of these "laws" are what dictate how we quantify them, however, if we can't use the observations to predict future events, then it technically isn't a theory or a law.
"If God is involved, as I suggest, then the outcome of God's involvement is what is observed, and not directly God's involvement. This is not unscientific, since we are not able to observe the 'cause' of anything. We only observe effects."
An interesting idea, however, science, as I stated above, requires the crystal ball. One may believe they are observing god's work, however, we can not "predict" his future acts. Even Jesus said the time of Revelation would only be known to God himself.
"A perhaps better way of saying this is that no scientific model has been required to introduce God to explain or predict the natural phenomena in question. However, scientific models generally avoid addressing the metaphysical causes of something, so we shouldn't even expect science to provide insight into God's involvement. Yet, science does give us some indication that mathematics and underlying order to the Cosmos are important to scientific realism, so science realist interpretations of science do at least suggest that there is underlying order (which many theists have always signified as a sign of God's presence in the world)."
Reminds me of a comic in my college physics book. Show's a person doing calcs on the blackboard. A whole bunch on the left side, and a whole bunch on the right. In the middle, he states, "Then a miracle occurs". His collegue suggested that he "elaborate" on that point. :^P
Yeah, science must keep the metaphysical world outside of it, mainly because of the dichotomy that formed between religion and science. Science had to protect itself from doctrine, though even science may get stuck in doctrinal ruts itself. As I said, science is about reproducibility and observation. The metaphysical world has neither quality.
You are right in the point that science seems to point towards some sort of order. Its strange. Religion originally said that god had to exist because the universe was so simple. Now they use the opposite angle with ID (yak!). When they discover the unifying theory, they'll flop back to the simplicity argument again. Ah, to be an apologetic, you're never wrong. :^)
This is why I never, ever try to argue against the existence of god. I firmly believe that god can exist without leaving a trace of his existence to us. He's god you know. That we could get all the answers to the universe and beyond, and that still wouldn't disprove god. And to be honest, I don't think believing in god is an unintelligent choice. I disagree with it, however, I do so because of personal knowledge, experience, and what I feel is the contradiction of a concept of god (mainly, if one god can exist without creation, why aren't there an infinite number of gods?). But I will not keep out the idea a god may exist that has done nothing to our civilization, ever. In fact, I'm more likely to believe that than a christian or muslim or jewish god. Too arbitrary for my taste.