It is my belief that they will, simply because scientists will fail to create a complete theory of reality without it. Until that time, I believe that material scientists are overlooking some interesting evidence that the universe is purposely designed. There seems to be no argument that the universe has order and orientation, nor, that the complexity (including bio-structure) found in nature is intelligently arranged. The argument is over whether intelligently arranged structure can emerge from serendipitous accidents or a guiding hand.
One thing seems to smack me in the face – nature has a mechanism by which it exerts control! Control is therefore a proper “category of explanation” even for those who promote materialistic ideologies.
One of the fathers of quantum mechanics, Max Planck, discovered that action comes in whole units (quanta). This is why the quantum world expresses discreteness. It also represents controlled action.
Scientists measure action through three aspects – mass, length (space) and time. Control enters the picture when these measurements are all tied to angular momentum (spin). In fact, complexity on all levels of organization requires periodic or cyclic patterning principles to be coherent (and whole). Angular momentum is the only way an action can marry change with constancy (stabilized scale) and obtain this control through the most economic route (a ubiquitous law of nature).
I think the existence of control in the universe is every bit as problematic to material scientists as the concept of purpose. In fact, purpose requires control as much as so-called blind nature does.