6 Replies to “The education your taxes pay for

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Physicalism and Reason
    Excerpt: Dr. Matt Dickerson, a professor of computer science at Middlebury College, recently gave a lecture at MIT on the relationship between physicalism and reason. The lecture was based on the fourth chapter of his book The Mind and the Machine. After developing an account of human identity on physicalism, and developing an account of what a logical reasoning process requires, he concluded that physicalism is unable to support the ability of humans to reason. In this post I will largely build off of his remarks at the lecture.,,,
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....nd-reason/

  2. 2
    cantor says:

    The link “used to describe evolution” appears to be broken (404 error – these are not the droids you are looking for).

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....38/497287b

  3. 3
    Barb says:

    David Tyler seemed to make a decent response: “I would suggest that the clear limit is not the field of faith, but the philosophy underpinning science. Before Darwin, scientists were generally Theists (17th Century) or Deists (18th Century) and their methodologies allowed them to discern the signs of design in nature. Darwin was sometimes a Deist (as when he wrote: “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one”); and sometimes an Agnostic (as when he wrote to Hooker: “But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion and used Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process.”) Science is now dominated by Atheism and the philosophy of naturalism is declared to be the essence of science. This is a mistake. Statements describing evolution as “impersonal” and “unsupervised” are driven by the philosophy of naturalism, and are not the conclusions of evidence-based science. It is not an accommodationist stance that rejects such statements, but a commitment to empiricism and a desire that all assertions about nature should be evaluated by reference to observational data.”

  4. 4

    Barb @3:

    Darwin was sometimes a Deist (as when he wrote: “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one”); and sometimes an Agnostic (as when he wrote to Hooker: “But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion and used Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process.”)

    Doesn’t the second quote show that he didn’t really mean the word “Creator” in the normal sense of the word in the first quote? In other words was he really a deist, or only for public relations’ sake?

    I’m generally not too impressed by what Darwin thought (in my view essentially everything he got right was trivial and everything that wasn’t trivial he got wrong), but given his prominence even today in evolution debates it might be worth knowing for sure: Was he really a deist or an agnostic or an atheist?

    I tend to think he was a deist, but would be interested in others’ opinions.

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    The comment was made by a person named David Tyler from the website linked in the OP. To my knowledge, Darwin was a bit more than a Deist: he was preparing to enter the seminary to become an Anglican priest prior to embarking on a career as a naturalist.

    I think that after his daughter Anne died, he became more of an agnostic than a true atheist. To me, that’s what he meant when he put a reference to a “Creator” in the Origin of Species. He wasn’t ruling out a creator, but he was (at the very least) extremely doubtful of the existence of one.

  6. 6

    Thanks for the clarification on the quote.

    Darwin’s reference to a “Creator” in The Origin wasn’t originally in there, right? I thought he added it in a subsequent edition to appease folks, not because it represented any deep personal belief on his part. Further, the second quote you cited seems to confirm that he didn’t really think a creator was needed for life. So the single reference at the end of the Origin, in my view, is certainly not enough to demonstrate that he actually believed in any kind of deity.

    On the other hand, he was obsessed throughout The Origin (as are his disciples today) with arguing about what God would or would not do. That, coupled with his earlier training, as well as the then-current thinking about cosmology makes me suspect that he probably had some kind of belief in deity — albeit an absent and impersonal one.

    I guess what I’m saying is that there is a difference between (i) thinking that some kind of god was involved in the origin and development of life, versus (ii) thinking that some kind of god was involved in the origin of the universe, the cosmos, and perhaps the Earth. It seems Darwin didn’t hold to the former (although he, like everyone else of his time, may have in his early years), but he may have held to the latter.

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