Any and all aspiring presuppositionalists need to read Paul Davies’ NY Times Op-Ed article, “Taking Science on Faith.” (And when you’re done, you might be interested to read at least one atheist’s response). Right up front, Davies sounds like Bahnsen or Van Til getting warmed up on TAG:
…science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. … Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational.
I’m not aware of whether Davies is a Christian, but I’m guessing no. Towards the end of the article, he parallels the one-way flow of authority from a Sovereign God to his created universe, with the one-way flow of authority from impartial natural laws, to the universe they control (concluding that “both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence”).
As a scientist, dissatisfied with this state of affairs, he attempts to bend things back around to pure naturalism:
It seems to me there is no hope of ever explaining why the physical universe is as it is so long as we are fixated on immutable laws or meta-laws that exist reasonlessly or are imposed by divine providence. The alternative is to regard the laws of physics and the universe they govern as part and parcel of a unitary system, and to be incorporated together within a common explanatory scheme. In other words, the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency.
I can’t imagine how that would work — it seems that such a scheme would be in principle impossible. Davies speaks of the laws of physics as “the bedrock of reality”; if science somehow reaches his desired end, then there is no longer any bedrock. It would have to be a worldview not founded on axioms, but somehow circularly self-supporting. Whatever such a beast might look like, I don’t see how it could be immune from Davies’ own criticism of the explanatory weakness of multiverse theory: “This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.”
Davies’ closing sentence is also a good closer for me: “until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.”
I wouldn’t wait up.