Stephen Jay Gould on Scientific Presuppositions
"Nonliteralist Antievolution", AAAS Symposium: "The New Antievolutionism," February 13, 1993, Boston, MA
... an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level just as much as... some creationist... And to a certain extent, I must confess, in the ten years since I performed, or I appeared, in the creationism trial in Arkansas, I must say that I've been coming to this kind of position myself... I mean I realize that when one is dealing with people, say, at the school level, or these sorts of things, certain sorts of arguments are appropriate. But those of us who are academics, or for other reasons pulling back and trying to think about these things, I think that we should recognize, both historically and perhaps philosophically, certainly that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which — it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law — but I think that in honesty that we should recognize, and that we should be thinking about some of these sorts of things... And certainly, there's no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion ... And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things come what may.