Pointing out that there is probably no overwhelmingly dominant way that evolution occurs (like, for example, the natural selection of the biology textbook and the Darwin lobby literature/court cases … ) materialist atheists Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini admit that that’s not the solution a Darwin culture is looking for:
Perhaps that strikes you as not much; perhaps you would prefer there to be a unified theory – natural selection – pf the evolutionary fixation of phenotypes. So be it; but we can claim something Darwinists cannot. There is no ghost in our machine; neither God, nor Mother Nature, nor Selfish Genes, nor World Spirit, nor free-floating intentions; and there are no phantom breeders either. What breeds the ghosts in Darwinism is its covert appeal to intensional biological explanations, which we hereby propose to do without.
Darwin pointed the direction to a thoroughly naturalistic – indeed a thoroughly atheistic – theory of phenotype formation; but he didn’t see how to get the whole way there. He killed off God, if you like, but Mother Nature and other pseudo-agents got away scot-free. We think it’s now time to get rid of them too.
– Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 163.
They don’t mention Michael Dowd’s “largest nesting doll”* or Howard Van Till’s “fully gifted creation.” But sources believe that Fodor and P.-P. mean to send them packing on the same bus.
Many serious theists would agree that bidding all these figures goodbye and following the evidence is the best – no, the only – strategy that could put some science back into a discipline that, as agnostic sociologist Steve Warwick observes, is now in the same sort of mess that floored astrology.
But can readers find a ghost in their machine?
* Yes. See Thank God for Evolution, p. 122.
See also: But guys, the classical atheist is typically a smart person who … The ‘new atheist’, on the other hand …