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A materialist believes that all phenomena can be explained based on physical matter and that nothing else exists. Materialists reject any unseen forces, intelligent design, miracles, or anything spiritual. Counterexamples to materialism include the placebo effect, quantum mechanics, action-at-a-distance, and remarkable migration.

Examples of beliefs of materialists are:

  • gravitons, never detected for nearly a century
  • dark matter, never seen but believed to comprise most of the universe
  • black holes, impossible to see but popular in science magazines
  • magnetic theories to attempt to explain remarkable homing powers

Materialists often deny and refuse to discuss observed phenomena that defy purely physical explanation, such as chickens returning from afar to their chicken coop at sundown each day and entering the coop in the same order each time, or butterflies migrating thousands of miles each year to the same destination.

In colloquial terms, a materialist is someone obsessed with money at the expense of other aspects of life, such as love or faith.