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Sober: Religion Isn’t Science, Except When it Is

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In his book Evidence and Evolution Elliott Sober chastised those silly creationists for deducing that god created the species. “If this simple formula were enough to explain the observations in question,” the evolutionary philosopher warned, “there would be no need for science. Not only would Darwin’s own theory be unnecessary; there would be no need for theories in any other area of science, either.” Darwin’s theory unnecessary? Unthinkable. The “god did it” hypothesis is strictly unscientific. In fact Sober applauds Darwin’s refutation of creationism in proving evolution. In a PNAS paper Sober writes:  Read more

I’d write “God” with a capital “G”.
I only do that when I'm referring to the living God. Cornelius Hunter
I'd write "God" with a capital "G". Eugene S
The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed Mung
Personally, I’m not Sober, it being the Fourth and all, and maybe that’s why I find this one irresistible. In the time of Plato and Aristotle, science knew its place. It had a place in the public square, certainly, but it was never confused with philosophy or theology. To the great philosophers, it was materialism. What is the place of science? It is to obtain knowledge of the sensuous universe, to the degree that it is able. Since the time of Galileo, however, science has not been content to keep its place. It does not want to be just knowledge of physical things. It wants to venture into the metaphysical realm of Big Ideas. This is the tipsy attitude reflected in Sober’s analysis. Let’s be real, even if we can’t be Sober. Science, per se, is all over the place. Science is driving modern medicine. Science is driving technology. There is more science going now than ever before in the whole course of human history. But this science is focused on obtaining knowledge of physical things and putting this knowledge to good use—and that’s not what intoxicates Sober. He’s in love with “theories” like Natural Selection. Why? Because it is only through theory that science can escape its narrow bonds and expand its magisterium. Sorry, Sober, the Age of Science that you loved so dearly is coming to an end. We were promised, starting in the seventeenth century, that science would make us happy. Science was going to solve all the metaphysical problems that philosophy had failed to overcome by putting knowledge on a firm and confirmable footing. But that’s not what we see in the theories that Sober loves so well. There were four great scientific theories of the last century: dialectical materialism, the theory of sex, relativity, and Natural Selection. Two are dead; one is tottering, and the other is irrelevant except as a sop to rhetorititians. And now there’s global warmism. Where do you stand on the latest and greatest “scientific” theory and cause, Elliott? Careful how you respond. All that is needed for science to lose its metaphysical cachet is for the common man to see that the emperor has no clothes. allanius

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