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Catholic philosopher: “alleged mechanistic reductionism” of ID vs. “blatant reductionism” of Darwinism

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  A new book critiquing theistic evolution is hitting the shelves. But meanwhile, a Catholic book along the same lines, Aquinas and Evolution by Michael Chaberek, OP, is performing a much-needed service: Helping people understand that Catholicism is not a branch of naturalist atheism. To listen to some Catholic evolutionists, we might find it hard to distinguish.

Michał Chaberek Brief excerpt from Chaberek:

Thomistic critics of ID reject ID for “philosophical reasons” and adopt the Darwinian explanations for the “scientific reasons.” But this means that they fight the alleged mechanistic reductionism of intelligent design and, at the same time, they accept the real and quite blatant reductionism of the Darwinian theory. Indeed, there is no greater misunderstanding of life and no greater reductionism in biology than saying that all species came about by the mechanism of blind mutations and natural selection. Yet, this is the main tenet of neo-Darwinism. The reason why some Thomists make this fatal mistake is that they do not adhere to the distinction between science and philosophy. when they think about intelligent design they judge it by philosophical categories, whereas when they think of neo-Darwinism they adopt the “scientific” point of view. Both theories, however, are on the same level of science and should be judged according to the requirements of science.

Yet even if we apply the same scientific measure to both theories, new-Darwinism, unlike ID, will still fall into the category of reductionism (scientific reductionism). The reason is that on the very level of biological investigation we can discover intelligent causation, which is the only type of cause able to produce the type of structures/events we find in living beings. Neo-Darwinism a priori and by definition excludes this type of causality. In contrast, ID by definition allows all types of causes and appeals to intelligence only after rigorous investigation. As the ID proponents say: “Scientists should go wherever the evidence leads.” Thus, the way to overcome reductionism in science (a dream of many Thomists) is not by adopting neo-Darwinism and trying to show how it is compatible with classical philosophy, but rather by embracing intelligent design as the alternative scientific explanation, and then showing how ID is compatible with classical metaphysics. — Chaberek, Aquinas and Evolution,, pp. 199 – 200

See also: Michael Chaberek: Darwinian theory is past its best-before date

More tales of the tone deaf: Catholic intellectuals who say that Thomas Aquinas would not have supported ID

and

Top Vatican official says Catholic scientists should “come out”

4 Replies to “Catholic philosopher: “alleged mechanistic reductionism” of ID vs. “blatant reductionism” of Darwinism

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Since when is free, intelligent, rational action to be deemed mechanistic?

  2. 2
    Latemarch says:

    KF@1

    But this means that they fight the alleged mechanistic reductionism of intelligent design and, at the same time, they accept the real and quite blatant reductionism of the Darwinian theory.

    Note above the “alleged.”
    While I won’t be buying this book it looks to be very philosophically friendly to ID based on the reviews. I particularly liked the one star “heretical” review. “;^)

  3. 3
    EricMH says:

    I had this same sort of conversation with a Thomist professor from Oxford Blackfriars and a Dominican priest. They both insisted the world must be teleological, not mechanical, when I brought up ID. They did not realize that the point of ID is that the world is not merely mechanical, but has detectable teleology. The Dominican priest ended up agreeing, but the professor remained stuck on insisting ID is not scientific and is bad philosophy.

  4. 4
    StephenB says:

    For anyone who is inclined to read this book, let me assure you that this author gets it. He has studied ID’s paradigm and all ID’s adversaries. He knows them better than they know themselves, especially the philosophically illiterate, intellectually challenged Thomists for Darwin. For the record, Thomas cannot co-exist with Darwin.

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