Methodological Theism

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As I define it, methodological theism is the position that, for the purposes of doing science (or empirical inquiry more generally), we should treat the world as if it were designed by God. Since methodological theism does not claim that God is a scientific hypothesis, it is compatible with methodological naturalism, which says that one should only invoke natural entities in a scientific hypothesis. This constitutes a major difference between methodological theism and the so-called Intelligent Design Movement, which rejects methodological naturalism. I not only argue that theistic scientists should adopt methodological theism, but that it accounts better for the actual practice and success of science than its major alternatives. I do this by looking closely at the criteria of theory choice in science. I then discuss the important potential ramifications this view might have on scientific practice and our view of the physical world.


Originally published as:

Collins, R. (2016). Methodological Theism. Brazilian Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 3(2), 9–26.

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