William James wrote, “A rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth, if those kinds of truth were really there, would be an irrational rule.” I believe this is true. It would follow, then, that a worldview which contains presuppositions preventing one from discovering reality would itself be irrational.
This is one of the serious problems with naturalism. Naturalism, which underlies this view of science, balks at the notion that there is a God or that God could have anything meaningful to do with the universe. The assumption is that if “science” (which, based upon presuppositions, necessarily excludes the supernatural) cannot validate something, then that something must not be true or part of anyone’s knowledge base. One must not suggest anything miraculous for creation. The supernatural is part of religion (mere belief), not knowledge (science). That, they think, is opposed to science.
What they don’t realize is that kind of thinking is quite irrational. Why? Let’s just say for a moment that there really is a God who created the universe (if you are a naturalist, humor me a moment). Naturalism has set itself up so that proponents of it are absolutely prevented from discovering this. They have ruled out the idea of the supernatural a priori, and nothing can convince them otherwise because of how they think at a foundational level. If the biblical God is part of reality, they have shut themselves out of the possibility of discovering Him. Naturalism is a closed system of thinking; it is irrational because it cannot discover if the supernatural is real.
Contrary to the basic assumptions of naturalists, naturalism is a matter of one’s belief. To argue, for instance, that ‘there is no God’ or that ‘the material universe is all that there is’ are statements that cannot possibly be empirically verified; science is not equipped to discover that nature is all there is or ever will be. So, contrary to their own rules of thinking regarding science, they make statements that are far beyond the realm of testable science. Their views and methodology are self-contradictory.
Science is a valid discipline, but it is far too limited to give us all knowledge. It can deal with “instrumental” knowledge. It can test certain aspects of the material universe; but it cannot tell us about ultimate purpose or provide knowledge about how people ought to act. It cannot even prove that humans are rational beings, for to prove it, you must first assume it.
Naturalism’s claims go far beyond the authority of science. They cannot validate their naturalistic claims by science, because those claims are not testable by any experiment. Any concept regarding origins is going to be based upon a belief system. Creationists believe that the evidence points to a Creator; and this Creator gives us knowledge of ultimate purpose. Naturalists think that God can have no relevant meaning to the universe or life, but let them develop a test for this. They cannot do it.
Of course, if God exists, then He would not be amenable to natural law or testable by a method that automatically excludes the supernatural. Yet, the naturalist’s methods inherently prevent the discovery or knowledge of the reality of God. Again, this is irrational from its inception.
Evolutionism is a story based on naturalism. It is a major tenet of naturalism’s church. This is one reason why attempting to harmonize theism with the claims of evolutionism is not very productive. They are at opposite poles on the most basic level. Contrary to what some think, creationists are not opposed to science—true science that is. In fact, proper science is based upon having an intelligent Creator that makes studying the material universe a valid possibility. How else can we be sure that we can even properly perceive the world? If God didn’t create, and we are the result of mindless chance, what guarantee do we have that we are really able to reason and think logically? What guarantee is there that the world will act consistently enough to actually test it?
Naturalists pride themselves on being rational, but they sorely miss the boat on that. If they can possibly admit that “maybe” there is a God, then they are at least on their way to having an open mind. When they start ruling out God a priori, they have bought fully into an irrational rule.
Doy Moyer is a native of California. He is 41 years old and has been married to Laurie (Teel) Moyer since May 1986. They have three children: Caleb (17), Luke (14), and Audrey (12). He has been preaching the gospel for over 20 years, working with congregations in Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, California, and Florida. He presently resides in Florida and works with the church in Cork, outside of Plant City. For five years he was an associate editor of Focus Magazine, and has written numerous articles for various publications. Since August, 2001, Doy has been teaching Biblical Studies, Evidences, and Philosophy at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL. He has his own web site located at http://studywell.org. You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.