Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Magnets, magic, and other anomalies: in defense of methodological naturalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 21/11/20)


John Perry, Sarah Lane Ritchie

School/Research organisations


Recent critiques of methodological naturalism (MN) claim that it fails by conflicting with Christian belief and being insufficiently humble. We defend MN by tracing the real history of the debate, contending that the story as it is usually told is mythic. We show how MN works in practice, including among real scientists. The debate is a red herring. It only appears problematic because of confusion among its opponents about how scientists respond to experimental anomalies. We conclude by introducing our preferred approach, Science‐Engaged Theology.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1093
Issue number4
Early online date21 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Anglo-American Secular Government

    Perry, J. M., 23 Feb 2017, Oxford Handbook of Secularism. Zuckerman, P. & Shook, J. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 125-141 17 p. (Oxford Handbooks).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Putting hell first: cruelty, historicism, and the missing moral theory of damnation

    Perry, J., Feb 2016, In : Scottish Journal of Theology. 69, 1, p. 1-19 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. God, the good, and utilitarianism: perspectives on Peter Singer

    Perry, J., 28 Feb 2014, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 232 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Related by journal

  1. Praying together: corporate prayer and shared situations

    Cockayne, J. L. & Salter, G., Sep 2019, In : Zygon. 54, 3, p. 702-730

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The physicalized mind and the gut-brain axis: taking mental health out of our heads

    Bruce, L. & Ritchie, S. L., Jun 2018, In : Zygon. 53, 2, p. 356-374 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The possibility of a theology-engaged science: a response to Perry and Ritchie

    Torrance, A. B., Dec 2018, In : Zygon. 53, 4, p. 1094-1105

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The unsuitability of emergence theory for Pentecostal theology: a response to Bradnick and McCall

    Leidenhag, M. & Leidenhag, J., Mar 2018, In : Zygon. 53, 1, p. 258-273

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 252534291