Darwinism Intelligent Design Philosophy

At Evolution News: Darwin and the ghost of Epicurus

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British philosopher Neil Thomas, author of Taking Leave of Darwin (2021), offers some thoughts in this first of a series:

Strange as it might at first appear, Darwinism, when viewed from a philosophical perspective, might more accurately be understood as a late sub-branch of ancient speculative thought than as science in the more rigorous, modern sense of that term. Indeed, some classically educated contemporaries of Darwin saw in his ideas little but a 19th-century rehash of thoughts that they had once studied in ancient Greek and Latin authors in their university days. “I cannot understand why you scientific people make such a fuss about Darwin. Why, it’s all in Lucretius,” harrumphed Victorian educator and poet Matthew Arnold to a biology professor in his circle.1

For the ancient Greek writer Epicurus and his later Roman follower, Lucretius, the entire mystery of the world’s awe-inducing complexity was to be sought in different shapes and objects generated at random by the chance interaction of elements.

Neil Thomas, “Charles Darwin and the ghost of Epicurus” at Evolution News and Science Today (January 25, 2022)

One way of looking at it: Darwinism enabled thinkers to retain the thought of Epicurus and Lucretius when, in general, the thinkers themselves were forgotten.

5 Replies to “At Evolution News: Darwin and the ghost of Epicurus

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Although Darwinists assume, indeed adamantly insist, that reductive materialism is true,

    Materialism (and/or physicalism),
    ,, the view that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.
    – per Britannica

    ,,, despite the seemingly unshakable Darwinian belief that reductive materialism is true, the fact of the matter is that science itself, particularly advances in Quantum Mechanics, have falsified their belief that reductive materialism is, or can possibly be, true.

    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism (v2)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE

    As Werner Heisenberg himself stated, “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato, (i.e. against Epicurus). In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    – Werner Heisenberg – Das Naturgesetz und die Struktur der Materie (1967), as translated in Natural Law and the Structure of Matter (1981), p. 34

    And as Eugene Wigner himself once stated, “while many philosophical ideas “may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics… materialism is not.”

    The Atheist War Against Quantum Mechanics – Nov 28, 2021
    Excerpt: Eugene Wigner, an influential physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, once stated that, while many philosophical ideas “may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics… materialism is not.”
    https://www.staseos.net/post/the-atheist-war-against-quantum-mechanics

    Perhaps the clearest empirical falsification of reductive materialism is the following delayed choice experiment that was done with atoms, (instead of being done with photons of light as it is usually done).

    As lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice with atoms) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    “Quantum physics predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, a PhD student who worked on the experiment.,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/at-medium-six-scientific-paradoxes-on-offer-that-will-blow-your-mind/

    As should be needless to say, atoms not existing until we measure them is a direct experimental falsification of the Darwinians’s atheistic belief that material particles are the ultimate substratum upon which everything else is based..

    “The conception of objective reality of the elementary particles has thus evaporated not into the cloud of some obscure new reality concept but into the transparent clarity of a mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of particles but rather our knowledge of this behavior”
    – Werner Heinsenberg – The Representation of Nature in Contemporary Physics – pg. 100

    Moreover, although Darwinian materialists may falsely, and adamantly, insist that all of science is based upon the presupposition of reductive materialism and/or ‘methodological naturalism’, the fact of the matter is that atheistic materialism had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the founding of modern science.

    In fact, to the consternation of atheists, it is found that modern science, far from being based upon materialistic presuppositions, was born directly out of Judeo-Christian presuppositions, and that modern science is still very much dependent on presuppositions that can only be grounded within the Judeo-Christian worldview.

    Stephen Meyer, in his recent book, “Return of the God hypothesis”, lists the three necessary Christian presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe as such.

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.”
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    As Paul Davies himself honestly admitted, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    Thus, directly contrary to what Darwinian atheists repeatedly try to claim, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of Intelligent Design and is certainly not based on their presupposition of reductive materialism and/or methodological naturalism.

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare to understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    Moreover, insisting on naturalistic explanations, i.e. methodological naturalism, (over and above Theistic explanations), no matter what the empirical evidence says to the contrary, ends up driving science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/from-philip-cunningham-the-human-eye-like-the-human-brain-is-a-wonder/#comment-727327

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    Thomas’ writing reminds me of a quip by Howard Cosell: Why use a one-syllable word when a four syllable one will suffice….”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, so your response to Thomas exposing Darwinism as, basically, a rehashed, long scorned, philosophy from the ancient Greeks, rather than as being a hard and testable science, is to complain that he is using too big of words to do so?

    It seems that someone who uses Charles Darwin name as his blogging handle would be a bit more concerned with what Neil Thomas is actually doing to Darwin’s theory. Namely, dismantling it piece by piece via placing it in its proper historical, and philosophical, context.

    Your supposed literary criticism aside, I find his historical and philosophical criticisms of Darwin’s theory to be VERY well informed and, frankly, devastating to Darwin’s theory.

    Yet, here you sit ChuckyD, playing the black knight to the hilt, impervious to it all, and defiantly saying ’tis but a scratch’.

    Monty Python – The Black Knight – Tis But A Scratch
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs

  4. 4
    zweston says:

    Affirmative, BA. “I’ve had worse”

  5. 5
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77@ 3

    ChuckyD, so your response to Thomas exposing Darwinism as, basically, a rehashed, long scorned, philosophy from the ancient Greeks, rather than as being a hard and testable science, is to complain that he is using too big of words to do so

    Pretty much. It’s not a science book, so it doesn’t really bear on contemporary evolutionary biology. It simply carries on DI’s attacks on Darwin. Ironically, the first headline on UD as I write this, introduces a brand-new book called Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism , also published by the Discovery Institute Press. Talk about piling on………

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