The presuppositions of naturalism and materialism.
"The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity. Even if the evidence did not favor it, it would still be the best theory available." Richard Dawkins, The Blind watchmaker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1996), 240, 317
"Life arose here on earth from inaminate matter, by some kind of evolutionary process. This is not a statement of demonstrable fact, but an assumption. Is is not supported by any direct evidence, nor is it likely to be, but it is consistent with what evidence we do have." Franklin Harold, The way of the cell: molecules, organisms, and the order of life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 254
"Our starting assumption as scientists ought to be that on some level consciousness has to be an illusion." John Brockman, ed., Intelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement (New York: Vintage, 2006), 58
"It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori commitment to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intutive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, the materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door." Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997