But aren’t scientists just scientists regardless of philosophy?
They should be; but in reality that isn’t exactly the case. Historically, the majority of scientists were theists. They believed God created the universe but expected creation to be a well-engineered one. They fully accepted methodological naturalism, understanding the usefulness of such an approach but all the while expecting that the methodology would eventually break down if they went far enough.
Over time, however, the makeup of the scientific community has changed. The majority of those who use methodological naturalism today happen to be themselves naturalists. There are several possible reasons for this:
- A higher percentage of atheists/naturalists have gone into the sciences.
- Society is more secular, so people go in uncommitted and easily adopt naturalism.
- Some theists have been converted to naturalism as students under naturalist professors.
- Still others became convinced of naturalism during their scientific career because they went in expecting to find an “assemble and assist” type of universe that just isn’t there.
- Some theists are able to exist within a state of cognitive dissonance where they fully embrace both naturalism and theism at the same time.
- Other theists who might otherwise be interested in the sciences recognize the naturalistic bias and either choose other fields or go into healthcare instead.
- Theists who do pursue science tend to keep their worldview to themselves to avoid friction.
- Those who are vocal are often marginalized.
Now I am not saying this as an accusation or to claim that there is some sort of conspiracy, but simply to point out that not only is there an intrinsic anti-god/anti-supernatural bias in the scientific method itself, but the scientists using this methodology resonate with this bias as well. What this should tell us as theists is that we have a responsibility to evaluate all scientific conclusions carefully and to look for ways to balance out this bias. Having an alternative point of view will only be a benefit to science in the long run.