I’m using @Ashwin_s’s statement below as a starting point for discussion:
I want to try out an analogy here and see if there’s anything to it or if it’s helpful at all.
I’m going to borrow Maslow’s Law of the Instrument, which is a form of cognitive bias summarized as:
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
OK, so let’s try this out with materialism/naturalism and science, each could be the hammer or the nail.
hammer = materialism
nail = science
If the only tool you have is materialism, you tend to treat everything with science.
hammer = science
nail = materialism
If the only tool you have is science, you tend to treat everything as materialist.
To me much of the complaints about methodological naturalism from ID/YEC/etc. sound a lot like Scenario 1. It goes something like:
When we apply materialism to everything, we see everything through the lens of science. To remove the bias we need to remove materialism as the only philosophical “tool” with which to do science make it more flexible.
If we look at Scenario 2 though, it goes something more like:
When science is the only way to acquire knowledge, you see everything as materialistic/naturalistic. To remove the bias that may form we may need to add other “tools” to the toolbox.
My overall point is this, as a Christian scientist, the problem is not that science has a naturalistic methodology, it’s when people think science is the only tool available.
No scientist is limited to only considering naturalistic causes, but science only considers naturalistic causes.
So @Ashwin_s, I don’t think “the scientific method incorporates a materialistic bias”, I think materialism incorporates a scientific bias.