Polkinghorne on Scientism (continued)

Polkinghorne continues:

“Every metaphysical scheme has to rest on a defining basis, which is not itself explained, but which is assumed as the foundation for the subsequent explanations that flow from it. In the tradition of Western thought, there are, broadly speaking, two choices for this foundational assumption. One takes as its assumed basis the brute fact of the properties of matter; the assumed basis for the other is the brute fact of the existence of a divine Agent or Creator. The first choice corresponds to materialism; the second choice corresponds to theism. Each choice has to defend itself by seeking to show that it provides the most economic, coherent, adequately comprehensive and intellectually satisfying understanding of the rich range of human experience of reality. In neither case can there be a claim to attain indubitable proof of the point of view adopted, but instead warrant must be sought by seeking to show that this metaphysical perspective affords access to the ‘best explanation’ of the nature of reality, a claim to be assessed in terms of the achievement of economy, naturalness of explanation and full adequacy to experience.”

– – John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), pp. 23-24.

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