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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
great artcile, but caution Nigh , Ronald Mar 30, 2006
A great piece by Levitt and a well-deserved trouncing for Fuller. But I would urge caution here. I question Levitt’s dismissal of the motivations of all who might be suspicious of the notion that our current scientific image of nature has settled once and for all our fundamental questions about what exists and how we know about it. To question creationism as ideological nonsense is not to accept that Darwin’s Victorian view of life and the universe full tilt.

A candle in the dark does not illuminate the entire cosmos and indeed may give us a highly misleading view of reality if we try to project what we think we know beyond the glow of our current knowledge into the dark beyond. Though our science provides no unequivocable evidence for a universe of “moral equity and ultimate justice”, say, it does not deny the possibility either, nor can atheists legitimately claim their ideology to be fully ‘science based’. Another trap is to believe that American wingnut Christiantity is representative of all, or even most, religious thought.

I don’t think that refraining from arrogance about what science teaches us about our world, or from believing that our current science is the sole source of such knowledge, is necessarily motivated by a reactionary desire to reinstall ‘supersitition’ and theocracy. Knowledge is always situated, to use Haraway’s accurante phrase, it exists from a point of view and this is always its limitation, but also the source of its ultimate legitimacy.
>And from our own point of view, we must view the whole universe, including those parts which the candle of our scientific knowledge does not reveal.

In this effort, religion, understood as the rational ordering of our values, ethics, wisdom and compassion, is an indispensable guide. (posted at Gene Expression)
Related Articles: Steve Fuller and The Hidden Agenda of Social Constructivism

Title Author Date
great artcile, but caution Levitt, Norman Mar 30, 2006
Mr. Nigh will be interested to know that in my (rather frequent) discussions with physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers on the foundations of physics, I take the view (which scandalizes some physicists) that at the
foundational level, physics is a very tentative and immature subject, especially as regards the fundamental ontology of the "physical" universe.
In my view, physicists are decades, if not centuries, away from achieving a view of such matters as quantum mechanics and cosmology that is deep enough and self-consistent enough to qualify as a candidate for a fundamental
understanding of space, time, matter and all that.

That said, however, I would claim that in the realm of phenomena that it addresses, evolutionary theory is an utterly mature and well-confirmed science, fundamentally correct in every sense that matters and with the
potential to provide an explanatory framework for a vast range of biological and even cultural phenomena that are as yet unexplored. I think it is a distortion to refer to it as "Darwin's Victorian view of life," Darwin's
enormous role in laying the groundwork for it notwithstanding. There is a long, rich history of thinking beyond Darwin and beyone "Victorianism," whatever that might be.

As a side issue, allow me to interject my view that Donna Haraway is a thinker of no special importance to the understanding of science or to
philosophy in general; rather, she is a type-specimen of a certain type of academic gamesmanship not unrelated to Fuller's. But Mr. Nigh probably disagrees.

I think my view of the points at issue is that, indeed, science doesn't know everything; but non-science doesn't know anything. Perhaps that is to flip and dismissive not to antagonize hordes of people. But, suitably dressed up
in sober epistemological terminology, I think it is a philosophically defensible position.

Norman Levitt
Related Articles: Steve Fuller and The Hidden Agenda of Social Constructivism