Re: Why methodological naturalism?

Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 21:30:50 EST

  • Next message: "Re: Genesis One that Fits, #3"

    I couldn't agree more. And to show that some bad ideas just never die,
    here's a quote I came across the other day. It was written by Frederick A
    Dixey (biologist, Oxford Univ.) in a book review for Nature in 1903
    (Semi-darwinian speculations: Nature, v. 69, p. 98-99). Dixey was a devout
    Anglican and a darwinian at the height of the 'eclipse of Darwinism' around

    "Whenever he meets with a problem in evolution which appears to him
    inexplicable on the lines of natural selection...he resorts at once to the
    intervention, by a direct creative act, of a "Being possessing intelligence,
    intention, and power". This is bad science, and we much doubt whether it is
    good theology...To fly at once to the hypothesis of direct "intervention" by
    a "higher intelligence" is as much as to say that a science of life is
    impossible. It is not our province to enter into the theological aspects of
    the matter; we would only remark that the author's language on this head
    appears to us to be a curious instance of survival from a bygone epoch.
    When, as in the eighteenth century, deistic conceptions of nature were rife,
    the idea of "interference" or "intervention" rose easily enough in the minds
    of devout persons. The only alternative seemed to be the complete banishment
    of the Deity from his universe. But in so far as deism is discredited by
    evolution, its correlative notion of "interference" must share in its
    discredit; and it is, to say the least of it, somewhat surprising to find the
    idea revived in the supposed interests of religion..."

    Interventionism, whether Paley or circa-1900-style or OEC or ID, is
    stroboscopic deism, and a bad idea.

    Karl V. Evans

    In a message dated 2/12/02 8:51:16 PM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

    << 1st, speaking of the "popularity" of methodological naturalism is an
     understatement. The vast majority of working scientists use it in practice.
     test that claim one may try to find scientists who are content to explain a
     puzzling result of an experiment or theoretical inconsistency by saying "God
     it." >>

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Feb 14 2002 - 21:31:32 EST