Intelligent Design

Jerry Fodor shows why Dawkins is wrong in saying “We must believe Darwinism”

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Here at “Does Darwinism depend on evidence?”, Richard Dawkins’ has said we must, because it is the only plausible theory of evolution.

But Fodor responds that being a materialist atheist like himself,  his co-author Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, and Dawkins has nothing to do with needing to believe Darwinism.

Fodor and Piatelli-Palmarini respond in What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), that physicalism (the basic assumption they share with Dawkins, that everything is ultimately physical = bottom up, not top down) requires no such thing:

Physicalism per se can’t vindicate adaptationism [Darwinism] … Arguably, what determines which trait was selected-for is which laws governed the selection: given the laws, the counterfactuals follow; given the counterfactuals, you can distinguish a trait that isselected-for from a trait that isn’t. But physicalism isn’t committed to any particular inventory of laws; it says only that every causal intervention falls under some physical law or other. It follows from physicalism that if there is such a process as natural selection, it falls under physical laws (inter alia). But that says nothing at all about whether there is such a process. S the next time someone tells you that adaptationism is required by the ‘scientific world view’, we recommend that you bite his or her ankle. (p. 130)

One Reply to “Jerry Fodor shows why Dawkins is wrong in saying “We must believe Darwinism”

  1. 1
    JDH says:

    Maybe I am just too much of a literalist, but does it occur to anyone else that the statement…

    “X has made a rational choice to believe in physicalism.”

    Is a statement which can not possibly be true.

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