The Lord’s Day, Meet Darwin Day… and Shudder – Methodological Atheism
Gray told Darwin that he didn’t see why they couldn’t have both Darwin’s theory of evolution and a role for a designing intelligence. Darwin would have none of it, but realizing that a thoroughgoing materialism wasn’t an easy sell, he actively concealed this aspect of his thinking. In one notebook he reminded himself to “avoid stating how far, I believe, in Materialism.”
Darwin promoted his materialistic worldview indirectly by supporting the principle that science should invoke only material causes. According to this methodological rule, you needn’t be an atheist to do science, but you should offer only hypotheses consistent with atheism when doing science. Call it methodological atheism. As he told geologist Charles Lyell, “I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection, if it require miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.”
This methodological dogma is in full bloom today. “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, … in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism,” wrote Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin. “Moreover,” he added, “that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” More.
Yes there is still an Evolution Weekend. Lord knows why. Darwin boys, the people who still think facts matter aren’t with you on your anti-religious crusade. They’re rethinking evolution, for what it shows, not affirming it for what you need it to be.
See also: Hey, it’s Darwin Day, again…
When genome mapper Craig Venter made clear he doubted universal common descent… Did you ever hear this story? Wonder why he thought that?
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