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Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto for Enlightenment Humanism

This article appeared in Theology and Science Vol. 15, No. 3 in June 2017.

A recording of this article can be listened to below, read by the author, with an introduction by David Smalley, thanks to our Patrons at Patreon.


The success of the Scientific Revolution led to the development of the worldview of scientific naturalism, or the belief that the world is governed by natural laws and forces that can be understood, and that all phenomena are part of nature and can be explained by natural causes, including human cognitive, moral and social phenomena. The application of scientific naturalism in the human realm led to the widespread adoption of Enlightenment humanism, a cosmopolitan worldview that places supreme value on science and reason, eschews the supernatural entirely and relies exclusively on nature and nature’s laws, including human nature. (continue reading…)

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The Shamans of Scientism

On the occasion of Stephen W. Hawking’s 60th
trip around the sun, we consider a social phenomenon
that reveals something deep about human nature
magazine cover

In 1998 God appeared at Caltech.

More precisely, the scientific equivalent of the deity, in the form of Stephen W. Hawking, delivered a public lecture via his now familiar voice synthesizer. The 1,100-seat auditorium was filled; an additional 400 viewed a video feed in another hall, and hundreds more squatted on the lawn and listened to theater speakers broadcasting this scientific saint’s epistle to the apostles. The lecture was slated for 8 P.M. By three o’clock a line began to snake around the grassy quad adjoining the hall. By five, hundreds of scientists flipped Frisbees and chatted with students from Caltech and other universities. (continue reading…)

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