Re: [asa] Because of us - Steve Fuller's anthropic principle - Darwin's original sin

From: Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com>
Date: Tue May 12 2009 - 21:22:06 EDT

Hello Gregory,

I agree that MN is a misnomer. Keep in mind, as I said with Gregory, this is
a very new realization for me. If you asked me two months ago if I thought
science was limited to methodological naturalism, I would have agreed and
argued in favor of it passionately.

As for the real and practical limitations of science - of course, I am not
naive about this. I'd put the problem in even stronger terms than you do - I
think there is a strong intellectual investment in the idea that science
operates according to 'naturalist principles', or the idea that the success
of science is a success of naturalism. I do not expecting questioning or
challenging these ideas to be met with a cheerful willingness to entertain
the possibility in all quarters.

On questions of humility... I admit, that does not concern me so much.
Someone like Dawkins can be as belligerent and argumentative as they want on
this topic - I'm far more concerned about making the case and arguments
clear in the public arena at large, or to Christians and other theists, or
more thoughtful and less professionally invested agnostics and atheists. A
given scientist can be as proud and belligerent as he or she chooses to be -
I'm more concerned about the more sympathetic or at least less emotionally
invested audience at large.

As for Russia - no, I suppose it doesn't surprise me, given their history.
Your argument here seems to be that the climate in America and perhaps the
west in general is hostile to making these kinds of distinctions, and having
a more reasonable (and perhaps humble) view of science. My argument, I
suppose, amounts to: We need to change the climate. So it seems we're not at
cross-purposes or differing views here.

In fact, I think recognizing the limitations of science will only help the
philosophical and similar 'voices' be heard more in these discussions. It
falls out naturally once one realizes that purely scientific considerations
can get a person only so far, and no further.* *

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Received on Tue May 12 21:22:25 2009

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