Scientists typically claim they must rely on methodological naturalism to do their science. It’s the principle that treats everything as if it were strictly natural, as if there is no supernatural reality.
Several years ago I wrote on this blog about how that was no need at all, and in fact it brings a host of non-scientific assumptions into science with it. Two years ago my theory was formally published in this volume of conference proceedings.
Today the Discovery Institute published a shorter version on its Evolution News website. Here’s part of the lead-up to the conclusion:
So am I actually proposing everyone adopt methodological theism as their scientific operating guideline? Obviously not. It could be the stronger theory in all kinds of ways, and in fact I think it is. But in a pluralistic world it would certainly never fly — much less in a secular-slanted world like academia today. No, I’ve brought it up here for a completely different reason: to expose the fact that there’s no scientific reason to reject it; nothing but that thorny issue of metaphysical bias. At the same time, though, it highlights the reality that there’s no scientific reason to insist on methodological naturalism; only the same problem of bias. Neither principle is fully scientific. Both principles are saturated with philosophical assumptions.
But I need to say that one more time. With emphasis — emphasis, that is, on the principle that’s held sway all these years. Methodological naturalism is saturated with non-scientific, philosophical assumptions. Therefore it has no business masquerading as a necessary principle for doing science. There’s no rational cause to think science benefits from that kind of needless bias imported into it.
The answer? Methodological regularism. But if you want to know about methodological theism — and how it really does make sense — you’ll need to read the links.
Image Credit(s): Max Saeling/Unsplash.