By John Calvert - January 4, 2020


There are at least five compelling reasons a logical evidence-based inference to a mind or some form of intelligence as the cause of complex functional information instantiated in living organisms should not be proscribed by methodological naturalism (MN), a doctrine which bans consideration of an inference to a supernatural cause. 

1. A logical inference to an intelligent cause for the coded complex functional information that accounts for life does not entail a supernatural cause. 

The genetic code and the coded complex functional information (CCFI) that runs life is evidence that much of life and its diversity are the product of an intelligent cause.  Since the natural world is filled with human and animal intelligence that generate CCFI for a variety of purposes, the CCFI that accounts for life and its diversity may to some extent be the product of a natural intelligence and not that of an unembodied supernatural ghost or God.  Therefore, an inference to an intelligent cause for some or all of the CCFI that accounts for life is not precluded by MN’s exclusion of supernatural causes from science.  

2. The suppression of the teleological inference inhibits the search for knowledge about life and how to optimize it.  

If life is in fact designed, the refusal of origins, behavioral and social sciences (OBSS) to allow the testing and exploration of that hypothesis will frustrate the goal of science to increase knowledge about life and how it might be physically, mentally and socially optimized. 

3. Methodological Naturalism precludes any testing of Materialistic Hypotheses about the origin and nature of life. 

Science that seeks to explain the cause of past unobservable events is an historical science that seeks to provide scientific explanations and narratives about that history.  Due to the lack of observation and experimentation, hypotheses about that history are tested by gathering all the available evidence and objectively searching for a collection of evidence that both (a) rules in one evidence-based cause and (b) rules out the other evidence based alternatives.  Thus, historical sciences use abductive reasoning to seek an inference to the best of the possible explanations.  The test of a hypothesis fails if only one of the evidence based alternatives is considered and others are ignored.  The tunnel vision of MN bans consideration of the evidence based teleological alternative and thereby reduces materialistic explanations to untested just-so stories, not tested scientific explanations.  

4. The use of Methodological Naturalism in Origins, Behavioral and Social Science converts those subjective sciences into non-theistic religious activities.  

MN should not be used in origins, behavioral and social sciences as those sciences address ultimate religious questions regarding the cause and nature of life and how it should be lived ethically and morally.  Since MN permits only untested materialistic/atheistic answers to those religious questions, it has the effect of indoctrinating the patrons of science with non-theistic religious worldviews, and thereby converts those sciences into non-theistic religious activities.

5. The use of Methodological Naturalism in Origins, Behavioral and Social Science is deceptive.   

The use of MN to suppress evidence based alternatives to materialistic/atheistic explanations about the cause and nature of life and how it should be lived, is typically concealed.  The effect of the concealment is to misrepresent the strength of the materialistic hypotheses and to mislead the uninformed listener as to its adequacy.  This deception is particularly problematic when used to indoctrinate cognitively immature and unknowledgeable children in K-12 public OBSS education.  That use interferes with the religious rights of parents to direct the religious education of their children and the rights of children to not be indoctrinated by the state as to a particular religious view. 


For further information see:

The Absence of Religious Neutrality in K-12 Public Science Education

John Calvert -
12 Liberty University Law Review, pp. 571-662 (2018)