Home » Darwinism » If the Darwinists are right and Fuller is wrong, we cannot hope to understand nature

If the Darwinists are right and Fuller is wrong, we cannot hope to understand nature

In the post below, where U Warwick sociologist Steve Fuller replies to the attempted hatchet job by third-rate Darwin hack Sahotra Sarkar, I think this point made by Fuller is especially critical:

The overarching sense of scientific progress and its concomitant faith in greater explanatory unity and increased predictive control of nature over time: All of these trade on an ID-based view of the world, in which human beings enjoy a special relationship to reality that enables us to acquire a deep knowledge, most of which affords no particular reproductive advantage and more likely puts our continued survival at risk. Armed only with a Darwinian view of the world – and without the implicit ID backstory – it becomes difficult to justify the continuation of the scientific enterprise in this full-bodied sense.

The idea that we can understand nature is daily retailed to science students in publicly funded schools. We want them to know that we can somehow acquire the ability to understand reality – but that requires explanation.

And the explanation cannot be Darwinian. The Darwinian view is, as I have noted before, that our minds are illusions created by our neurons – which are in turn under the control of our selfish genes. These systems did not originate in order to discover truth but to enable us to leave offspring.

So Sarkar’s theories cannot be true to nature. They can only be meaningless (but for those who take them seriously, they may possibly result in a need for infant shoes).

That is okay with me, to be sure. But producing the infants to wear the shoes is not an intellectual enterprise. So whatever is going on with the intellect, and therefore about philosophy of science, is not Darwinian, apparently.

For that, advantage Fuller.

Also at Colliding Universes, my blog on theories about our universe:

The best that a Darwinist can aspire to is a thought that is meaningless (but possibly productive of a need for infant shoes).

Major media, imagining themselves sober, think there are many universes, not just double vision

Flatland: Helping us think about the dimensions of our universe

Science fiction mag discovers intelligent design theory

Weird news from far-off galaxies …

Big Bang exploded? Seriously, is there room for reasonable skepticism about the Big Bang?

The number 137 has its own Web page? Why?

Origin of life: Random origin of life was exploded by 1970s discovery – who didn’t get the memo?

Astronomer argues that we can test whether Earth is fine-tuned as a science lab

Our unique solar system is less probable than our universe? – a reader writes

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

31 Responses to If the Darwinists are right and Fuller is wrong, we cannot hope to understand nature

  1. Fr. Stanley Jaki, a Benedictine priest/scientist/physicist who thinks poorly of ID, says that Darwinist spend all their time and effort trying to prove there is no purpose to life. As he puts it: the only purpose in life a Darwinist has is to prove that life has no purpose.

    Or, as you have put it Denise, “what is the explanation for our desire for explanations?”

  2. Not baby shoes.

  3. Denyse O’Leary,

    Steve Fuller is quite impressive in the video you link to indirectly. It is so refreshing to hear someone who knows what he’s talking about argue for ID as science while acknowledging that Behe and Dembski have not been particularly successful in their science. I agree with nearly everything he says, and am rethinking a couple of the points on which I disagree.

    What Fuller did not say in his response to Sarkar is that he regards ID as a heuristic of demonstrated value in scientific investigation. He does not claim that nature is in fact intelligently designed, but that believing so motivates and directs science. He evidently has basic science in mind, and I would observe that the vast majority of scientific research is, and perhaps always has been, designed to provide solutions to practical problems. Improved prediction and control of the immediate environment have obvious payoffs. I think he also does not take account the huge and rapidly growing amount of research done in the East. It may be true that there is latent belief in intelligently designed nature among scientists of the West as a matter of cultural inertia, but I doubt that the “borrowers” in Korea, China, and Japan believe in an intelligently designed universe any more than do members of the general populations of those countries.

    My main problems with Fuller are in what he neglects to say. His ID, which perhaps was the ID of Newton, is not the ID of Behe and Dembski. It seems to me that Fuller presents ID as the challenge to scientific orthodoxy he wishes it would be. And I wish that ID were in fact Fuller’s ID.

    The most important thing Fuller does not mention is how self-identified ID scientists differ from Newton. While Newton was sure of the intelligent design of nature, as was everyone around him, and was trying to get at what was in the mind of God (as Fuller put it), Behe and Dembski seek to prove that intelligent design is manifest in nature. The shift from seeking to explain how God did it to seeking to demonstrate that Designer in fact did it is radical. Fuller should have a thing or two to say about this.

  4. My apologies for responding to Liz Lizard’s points so late, which are very well taken. I have been on the road this entire period, so my e-mail contact has been sporadic.

    I don’t pretend to speak for anyone other than myself in these matters but ID puts itself in an unnecessarily disadvantaged position by hiding the role of the biblical God as the intelligent designer. I know William Paley is a popular figure in these circles but his view of ID is too closely tied to specific features of organisms, which can be easily contested on empirical grounds. While I understand the rhetorical attractions of deflecting attention from discussions of how God’s mind works, at the same time ID should not be saddled with defending defunct science. Also I know about the currently repressive interpretation of the US Constitution’s Establishment clause, which discourages acknowledgement that a scientific perspective might be religiously motivated.

    Inspite of all that, I don’t see why a biblically inspired idea of God as the intelligent designer who differs from human intelligence by degree rather than kind cannot be taken as a research heuristic – in the same way that, say, atomism was until atoms were empirically detected. I realize that doesn’t settle the matter, but it should do as a guiding intuition. In that spirit, ID’s position should be that there is sufficient GENERAL evidence for design in nature that the remaining empirical questions concern the ‘levels’ or ‘units’ of design – i.e. we are literally trying to second guess the intelligent designer’s construction process. Maybe the bacterial flagellum was constructed as a whole, like a mousetrap, but maybe not. The principled point that ID should be defending is that this general way of thinking about things is scientifically appropriate – i.e. it makes sense to understand nature as a very large and sophisticated engineering project of indefinite duration.

    So, we acknowledge that God exists but we’re not exactly sure how he goes about his business, which includes the exact role that he envisages for us to play – i.e. do we continue the creation process ourselves through bioengineering or simply maintain the current crop of species as they are? Newton was confident that he knew how God operated but we now know that he only figured out part of the story –- there is still more that has been and has to be done. But all of this is gradually revealed through more science, not by a general skepticism about our ability to deal with these questions. The Bible says that humans are fallible but corrigible, not irredeemably ignorant. I stress this point because much ID rhetoric veers towards skepticism, and that will not work as a long-term pro-science strategy. It will only feed mysticism — not mention the worst suspicions of ID’s critics!

    If you go back to some of Phillip Johnson’s early anti-naturalistic writings from the late 80s, you’ll see considerable ambivalence about whether ID should be about putting God back into science or saying that science can’t touch God. The theistic evolutionists have gone down the latter route, and the Darwinists are quite happy with that since it doesn’t disturb anything they care about. But ID’s position – if it really is something worth fighting a long war over – should be about getting into God’s mind, maybe even playing God, but in any case, making God do some serious scientific work. I actually think the strong analogies pursued between human artifacts and intelligent design in nature provide a promising way forward, despite the resistant scientific, political and even theological environment.

  5. Steve Fuller,

    I shouldn’t have accepted a third party’s explanation of your absence, and I apologize for having done so. And I will be reading your book — not because you commented here, but because your lecture was brilliant.

    I hope to give a response that does not bore you. I need to cogitate a bit longer.

  6. Liz

    Professor Fuller asked that comments be disabled so he wouldn’t feel obligated to respond. You have no need to apologize and neither do I.

  7. Dr. Fuller does give an excellent talk here. This is the same information that he gave in his Dover testimony and that people familiar with Dembski, Johnson, Meyer, Behe, etc., will be familiar with and comfortable with.

    Some points I enjoyed:
    1) He acknowledges the prejudice of journals against the framework of ID, even when they accept the findings (Behe and Snopes).

    There are other examples I can think of, including: Minnich’s insights on TTSS and his experimental demonstration that the BF is IC; Seelke’s empirical demonstration supporting Behe’s idea that RM and NS is quite capable of solving an problem which requires one mutation and not so capable when two or more are needed; Axe’s work on protein folding.

    Critics will tell us that none of these argues, much less proves, ID. They will also argue that there is no proof that ID thinking led to these findings. The proof is in the fact that the researchers themselves tell you tat ID provided the heuristic and in that, as seen in Minnich’s case, the funding bodies told them these questions need not even be asked because neo-Darwinism, by presumption, already knows the answers.

    2) The questions Behe and Dembski raise are scientific and are answered and critiqued within the realm of science.

    3) Science can only benefit from having competing metaphysical frameworks which both think the other is wrong and cannot provide the correct answers.

    4) He says Behe should not have said that “evolution” can’t explain the BF and that he should have said that ID provides the answer with or without “evolution”.
    I concur, and I think, so would Behe, because that is just what Behe did. Although he strongly stated his case against Darwinism he never said “evolution” cannot produce the BF. He made a case against direct Darwinian pathways and allowed that, however improbable, indirect routes could be taken by evolution in the production.
    As Dr. Fuller suggests, ID makes the case that their explanation is the better explanation, that it doesn’t need neo-Darwinism.

    5) He gives Newton’s framework as an example of a successful paradigm. MikeGene’s case closely resembles this, in that he takes the position of looking at nature as designed and asking “how would a designer have done this?”

    6) He discusses science in a way that reminds me of Lennox’s point (I think) in God’s Undertaker.
    I hope it is Lennox, at any rate, who describes science as, rather than being methodological naturalism, actually methodological theism. He says all scientists approach science as theists in that they expect the world to be rational, they expect answers to present themselves and to be logical and they look at nature in terms of its design solutions. In other words, they take on all the presuppositions of theism, including the rational universe, and then relabel it “naturalism”.

  8. I forgot that Dr. Fuller also brought up the fact that critics, even those publishing in scholarly journals, often have not even read the material or theorists that they are critiquing. This certainly isn’t news to anybody who has defended ID on the internet to any degree.
    And some of those, Miller comes immediately to mind, who have continually been corrected and afforded the opportunity to become familiar with the primary material still argue as though it doesn’t exist.

  9. Charlie says, “This is the same information that he gave in his Dover testimony and that people familiar with Dembski, Johnson, Meyer, Behe, etc., will be familiar with and comfortable with.”

    On the contrary, people who have gotten their ID only from the usual sources should find Fuller’s lecture quite challenging. He says a great deal that is not in his testimony. Not only does he comment on where Dembski and Behe have gone wrong, but he acknowledges that the Dover school board was in the wrong. He also makes some very interesting remarks about George Gilder and the Discovery Institute.

    Professor Fuller does not give ID the rubber stamp. He gives ID a gentle nudge in what I consider to be the direction of honesty and philosophical / theological coherence. This is an excellent opportunity for ID proponents to learn from a scholar whose credentials are far better than those of anyone else speaking in favor of ID. If you deflect by saying “Oh, he’s with us,” you’ll miss out.

    I have to give William Dembski credit for allowing Fuller to present his thoughts here. For what it’s worth, I would be happy to see Fuller’s ID flourish.

  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    On the contrary,

    Nothing to the contrary.
    Anybody who knows the usual sources knows that the DI criticised the Dover policy and tried to correct it long before their own critics give them credit for having done. And they know of the problems involved with the school board members and their lack of knowledge about ID. This is common knowledge.

    I know you want this to look like something embarrassing about Dembski and Behe, but it’s not – although your full-credit to Dr. Dembski is very gracious.
    Nobody is looking for a rubber stamp and the implication that they’ve “gone wrong” underestimates by how far they’ve gone right.

  11. Charlie, you are not mentioning that Fuller emphasizes that ID derives its heuristic value from the Islamic / Jewish / Christian belief that God is the designer, and that the mind of man is like the mind of God. The assumption of similarity is essential to the heuristic. If the designer of nature could just as well be an utterly alien intelligence, there would be no basis for believing that we can figure out the workings of nature.

    What if you believed that the design of nature came from a hive mind? Given that we humans have no intuition of hive intelligence, there would be little heuristic value in the belief. It would aid us little in scientific discovery.

  12. Hi Elizabeth,

    Charlie, you are not mentioning that Fuller emphasizes that ID derives its heuristic value from the Islamic / Jewish / Christian belief that God is the designer, and that the mind of man is like the mind of God.

    This implies that I should have mentioned this and that it is somehow relevant.
    Of course the assumption is essential – thus the charge form all the critics that ID relies upon an analogy to human minds and human designers.

  13. Charlie: “I know you want this to look like something embarrassing about Dembski and Behe, but it’s not – although your full-credit to Dr. Dembski is very gracious.”

    No, I do not care to see you sanitize Fuller. What I want is for ID to make sense. Fuller’s ID makes sense to me. No one else’s does. And I say that as someone who has been tracking ID for seven years. I recommend that everyone watch the entire lecture.

  14. No, I do not care to see you sanitize Fuller.

    Fuller needs no sanitizing, regardless of your cares.

    What I want is for ID to make sense. Fuller’s ID makes sense to me. No one else’s does. And I say that as someone who has been tracking ID for seven years. I recommend that everyone watch the entire lecture.

    As do I.
    Note where I commented on this excellent talk and that I would be buying his book.
    Drawing lines and scrapping about every little perceived difference seems the way of dialogue these days, but ti is entirely unnecessary when seeking the truth.

  15. Charlie,

    I have always found ID’s distancing of itself from the belief that man is created in the image of God not only dishonest, but unnecessary. Fuller makes a great case that the belief is essential to the ID heuristic.

    Do you understand that I fully support the freedom of scientists to apply the ID heuristic in investigation of nature, and to report that they do? I say that the contributions of scientific belief to scientific discovery should be fully acknowledged. It should be fully acceptable for scientists to report that their research is guided by belief that nature is intelligently designed by the God of Genesis (or gods of whatever religious texts). The appropriate social action is not to sneak Designer into high school classes, but to open up science and science and science education to the role of religious belief in God (and gods).

  16. HI Elizabeth,

    I have always found ID’s distancing of itself from the belief that man is created in the image of God not only dishonest, but unnecessary.

    You aren’t alone but I have a different opinion. I believe Dembski and Behe when they say that they personally believe, on non-scientific grounds, that they are talking about the God of the Bible, and, of course, of Genesis.
    But, as they are doing science, they follow Kant and Aquinas in admitting the fact that science cannot tell us that the designer they can infer from empirical observation is YHWH.

  17. The appropriate social action is not to sneak Designer into high school classes, but to open up science and science and science education to the role of religious belief in God (and gods).

    The body has many parts and the all rely upon one another. The eye is not the ear and the heart not the mind.
    There is room for many an activist to make the case you would prefer, there is room for AiG to argue for a literalist interpretation of Genesis, there is room for apologetics and there is room for a scientific design inference that does not name the God of the Bible as the designer.

  18. It should be fully acceptable for scientists to report that their research is guided by belief that nature is intelligently designed by the God of Genesis (or gods of whatever religious texts).

    It absolutely should. The majority of the greatest scientists in history have done just this.
    Today they can do so and they can never publish.

    But they can also demonstrate that not only is design a useful heuristic, not only is there some kind of argument from design t be made, but there is also an argument to design to be made.

  19. There is also an argument to be made that I can not type to save my life.
    My apologies for the constant typos.

  20. *
    sigh
    Behe and Snoke.

    I must do that at least once a month.
    It has to be from having “scopes” on the brain.

  21. Liz

    If the designer of nature could just as well be an utterly alien intelligence, there would be no basis for believing that we can figure out the workings of nature.

    I don’t have a problem believing we can figure out the workings of nature. The basis for that belief is past success. Modern science has successfully figured out very many things about the workings of nature. There’s no reason to believe it won’t continue along that path.

    Nature doesn’t change in the way it works to conform to our beliefs about it. In the practice of science we change our beliefs to conform to the way nature works. This doesn’t go over well with theists and atheists. While individual practioners may have indelible religious or areligious beliefs science itself does not. Science is agnostic. Maybe we should start making scientists take something like a Hippocratic Oath where they swear they’ll keep their metaphysical beliefs away from the office lest they have their license to practice science revoked. That would apply to atheists as well as theists.

  22. The appropriate social action is not to sneak Designer into high school classes, but to open up science and science and science education to the role of religious belief in God (and gods).

    The only way that Dover schoolboard “snuck” ID into the class room is if you buy the idea that mentioning an ID textbook in a four-paragraph statement–most of which is about why students will be taught and graded on evolution–is “content”. The poverty of logic that Jones used to reject the “mere mention” argument is breathtaking in its scope. Because banning curriculum is not “teaching” per se, he argues that more than just teaching is controlled in the law.

    But here’s the thing, in the Dover case they pretty much argued that Science could never be so widened. Otherwise if ID could be Science, then the mere mention of Of Pandas and People would not necessarily be religious. If Science can be so widened, than it seems to be an unnecessary burden put on people to restrain their speech until such an idea is sanctioned by an authoritative body.

    But that is really a straw man anyway since the Dover school board does not represent any substantive portion of the ID movement. As I mentioned in another thread, the “Wedge” is interpreted in an entirely backward manner.

    The reason prominent ID-ers appeared at the Dover trial not to back the action of the board, but to argue that ID is not inherently “Creationist” or religious, which was one of the arguments of the ACLU.

    It’s a straw man.

  23. I don’t think that the designer having a hive mind is much of an objection to ID. For example, if there were a way to design and manufacture a self-replicating species, either it would be able to be peer reviewed or it wouldn’t. Provided that it is a process that could be peer-reviewed, it represents more than just the workings of a single individual mind. But a broad abstract of intelligent design producing a self-replicating species.

    The hive-mind is only vastly different in a social capacity. Your link to Wikipedia mentions “complete loss (or lack) of individual identity” which makes it mainly social in aspect.

    One mind or many, tightly coupled or loosely coupled can make the same functional design. The hive-mind still has intent; it’s bodies don’t.

    On the other side, it would also be problematic to wonder how a hive-mind then conceived of our minds. So I don’t think it recommends itself as a best guess, just a possibility.

  24. Charlie 16: “I believe Dembski and Behe when they say that they personally believe, on non-scientific grounds, that they are talking about the God of the Bible, and, of course, of Genesis.”

    Good point …

    Yet why say on non-scientific grounds? Isn’t it that in order to connect design with the God of the Bible there are a lot of dots to connect—and not necessarily “non-scientific” dots? And isn’t it true that most ID people do not subscribe to this dichotomy—so dear to the TEs—that separates science and religion?

    Behe makes a design inference. Then we can wrestle with that within our own OEC, YEC, Protestant, Jewish, Agnostic, Mormon, Catholic, Unification, Baha’i, Deist, Sabbatarian, Muslim, New Age, or other perspective.

    Surely no one thinks the time has come that all philosophies and religions should unite?

    I believe the belief that there is such a thing as “the scientific method” is a source of endless confusion. We have only observation, reason, and authority coupled with carefulness and honesty—the same in farming and football as in physics and physiology. There are facts in all fields just as there are theories, and degrees of certainty and degrees of doubt regulate every aspect of our lives.

  25. Hi Rude,
    I’m reading your comment a second time to find out what you are asking me as your last three paragraphs I agree with and don’t see how they impact the question?
    I’ll try here, but I feel like I’m missing something important.

    Isn’t it that in order to connect design with the God of the Bible there are a lot of dots to connect—

    Yes, as atheists are quick to point out when presented such arguments as the First Cause or Finetuning, ththese observations only get you so far – why presume it was YHWH?

    and not necessarily “non-scientific” dots?

    If there is some scientific way to prove that God exists and that He is the God of the Bible we haven’t seen it yet and it certainly isn’t the evidence from IC or the EF.

    And isn’t it true that most ID people do not subscribe to this dichotomy—so dear to the TEs—that separates science and religion?

    I don’t know if this characterizes the debate between IDs and TEs very well. IDs are not saying we can prove religion with science, they are saying we can detect design. In Fuller’s talk God is taken as the starting metaphysical position which gives us a different way to look at the world – He is not the result of an investigation.

    Sorry if that is not useful.

  26. Charlie, I was typically unclear. Let’s call it the myth of the scientific method—there isn’t such! Atheism coopted “science” because of its prestige, and it is atheism that worries about how to define science so as to exclude religion. It’s what they call the demarcation problem. ID is “science” by any ordinary criterion, and excluding it means that archaeology, SETI, forensic science, etc., must also be excluded.

    ID is a very limited and managible endeavor. Our religions are vastly more complex areas where easy agreement is not to be expected. Still, there is no clear and concise boundary between science and philosophy/religion.

  27. —–Rude: “Surely no one thinks the time has come that all philosophies and religions should unite?”

    This is interesting. I submit that there are three positions for the science/religion debate just as there are three positions for the Church/State debate.

    [A] Union. One Extreme—Very Bad

    [B} Total Separation. The Other Extreme— Very Bad

    [C} Intersection. Moderation—Very Good.

  28. Hi Rude,
    Thanks for that comment. Again, we agree.

    Atheism coopted “science” because of its prestige, and it is atheism that worries about how to define science so as to exclude religion.

    Exactly. I think it is in Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion that this point is well made (or in Vox Day’s ?).
    The science v. religion war is a false myth. It is a battle of worldviews, atheism v. religion. As you say, atheism has tried to wrest science away for its own purposes but it is fighting history, philosophy, and logic to maintain its claim. The defence of the so-called new atheists is not of science but of the exclusive right to use science as a prop in support of their worldview.

  29. DaveScot (21):

    I think science poses new questions faster than it answers old ones. I am not overawed by the success of science. In my opinion, most people who consider science a great success are actually responding to technological success.

    “Maybe we should start making scientists take something like a Hippocratic Oath where they swear they’ll keep their metaphysical beliefs away from the office lest they have their license to practice science revoked.”

    I wrote something along these lines to Steve Fuller, but decided not to post it. My immediate response to the Darwinian philosophy reviewers and editors are allowing in scientific papers is that it should not be there. I wanted to say that meta-science should be cleanly separated from science. But on reflection I realized that I could be enforcing a sort of orthodoxy going back to the pragmatists and instrumentalists.

    I’ve been pondering whether instrumentalism is a least common denominator for scientific papers. If a scientist gets research inspiration by eating peyote and dancing with Yaqui Indians, what do I care? Do I want to see his reflections on the writings of Carlos Castaneda in scientific papers? I don’t think so.

    But I can imagine Professor Fuller raising the objection that de facto adoption of instrumentalist philosophy might keep valuable ideas from appearing in the context in which they naturally belong. And it certainly would create the impression that scientists are in greater agreement as to what constitutes science than is actually the case. I’m asking myself what, precisely, was wrong with the relatively freewheeling writing style of the natural philosophers. I also observe that scientists seem entirely willing to include debate over interpretations of quantum mechanics in the scope of scientific discourse. I don’t know what could have more to do with ontology and epistemology.

    I was trained to write “just the facts, ma’am” scientific papers. But I was given a very cut-and-dried notion of what constituted science. I know now that actual science is looser than the ideal science I was taught. Perhaps scientists should acknowledge the looseness and behave consistently, rather than tighten up.

    These are some of the thoughts going through my head. I really don’t know where they’re leading.

  30. So Rude said:

    Atheism coopted “science” because of its prestige, and it is atheism that worries about how to define science so as to exclude religion.

    And then I said:

    Exactly. I think it is in Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion that this point is well made (or in Vox Day’s ?).
    The science v. religion war is a false myth. It is a battle of worldviews, atheism v. religion. As you say, atheism has tried to wrest science away for its own purposes but it is fighting history, philosophy, and logic to maintain its claim. The defence of the so-called new atheists is not of science but of the exclusive right to use science as a prop in support of their worldview.

    And it was Vox Day, in The Irrational Atheist.
    Day said:

    Resurrecting The Myth

    And given the way in which their opposition to religion so cloely resembles that of their rationalist antecedents, it is reasonable to suggest that they are not so much interested in defending science as they are in advocating an outdated, nineteenth-century meme.

    As will be demonstrated subsequently in no small detail, Richard Dawkins’s grasp of history is not so much outdated as nonexistent. As for his adherence to the Enlightenment rather than science, he makes as many references to Denis Diderot in The God Delusion as he does to Sir Isaac Newton.

    Science , you’ll note. actually comes fourth, not first as you might have erroneously guessed. Dawkins thus reveals that it is not science in itself that he is defending so vociferously, but rather his Enlightnment ideals. It appears the possibility of “the subversion of science” to serve the interests of Christian values instead of those of its nineteenth-century competitr that has stimulated him to such feverish activity.

    Despite how it is commonly portrayed by the New Atheists, the rationalist war on religion cannot properly be described as a war between science and religion; it is more akin to a tug-of-war between rationalists and religionists over the way in which science is to be henceforth used and the purposes to which science is ultimately harnessed.

    pp. 38-40

  31. Or was I referring to John Lennox in God’s Undertaker?

    With this we come to one of the major points we wish to make in this book which is that there is a conflict, a very real one, but it is not really a conflict between science and religion at all.

    No, the real conflict is between two diametrically opposed worldviews: naturalism and theism. They inevitably collide.

    Lewontin claims that there is a struggle between “science and the supernatural”, and yet at once contradicts himself by admitting that science carries no compulsion within itself to force materialism upon us. This supports out contention that the real battle is not so much between science and faith in God, but rather between a materialistic, or more broadly, a naturalistic worldview and a supernaturalistic , or theistic, worldview.
    … What is more, lest we lose our sense of proportion, we should bear in mind that science done on atheistic presuppositions will lead to the same results as science done on theistic presuppositions.
    For example, when trying to find out in practice how an organism functions, it matters little whether one assumes that it is actually designed, or only apparently designed. Here the assumption of either ‘methodological naturalism’ (sometimes called ‘methodological atheism’) or what we might term ‘methodological theism’ will lead to essentially the same results. This is so for the simple reason that the organism in question is being treated methodologically as if it had been designed in both cases.

    pp. 27-36

Leave a Reply