I’ve recently had the “privilege” of discussing some of the implications of so-called methodological naturalism (MN) on one or two blogs. For Darwinists, especially Darwinists who take philosophical naturalism (PN) as true, MN is an absolute necessity for scientific practice.
Thus MN becomes an extension of PN, and has the effect of making science a correlate of PN. Now, many defenders of MN would argue that isn’t the case at all and that MN is quite separate from PN and in no way implies its truth or even demands that PN be followed. But is that possible? Given what MN says and how it operates within science, is there a principled way to distinguish between it and full-blown PN?
I don’t think there is.
My contention is that MN implies or is equal to PN and that unless we know a priori that PN is true, MN places unnecessary stipulations on scientific practice that virtually guarantee that, on some matters at least, the deliverances of science could be way off the tracks, especially if key components of the tracks do not fit within the framework of a naturalistic worldview, as demanded by PN. Since no one has established or confirmed scientifically that PN is true, why is it necessary to demand the stipulation of MN in the first place?
I’d be interested to hear other’s thoughts on this matter.