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Darwinian materialist Steve Pinker reassures us that scientism is not the enemy

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Science Is Not Your Enemy
An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians

The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists. Not only did many of them contribute to mathematics, physics, and physiology, but all of them were avid theorists in the sciences of human nature. They were cognitive neuroscientists, who tried to explain thought and emotion in terms of physical mechanisms of the nervous system. They were evolutionary psychologists, who speculated on life in a state of nature and on animal instincts that are “infused into our bosoms.” And they were social psychologists, who wrote of the moral sentiments that draw us together, the selfish passions that inflame us, and the foibles of shortsightedness that frustrate our best-laid plans.

The very fact he needs to plead tells us, we hope, that peiople are wising up.

Sorry, Steve, you lost us when you explained that our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. (Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.)

After that, even if what you say is true, like, why should we care?

But what you say is surely not true. An actual thinker would be revolted by the ridiculous tawdriness of evolutionary psychology, not drawn to it.

Nice try, but scientism will prove about as useful as Freudian psychology. Happier are they who have never heard of it.

6 Replies to “Darwinian materialist Steve Pinker reassures us that scientism is not the enemy

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    ‘Science Is Not Your Enemy.’!!! Laughable, isn’t it? That’s a straw man that’s very dear to the benighted hearts of our atheist-polemecist chums. No, Esteban. Scientism is, as per the thread header, by implication.

    As if the great thinkers of the so-called Age of Reason were materialists, the pioneers of evolutionary psychology. To adapt J K Galbraith ‘bon mot’, ‘The only function of evolutionary psychology is to make astrology look respectable.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes:

    Is Scientism Self-Refuting – William Lane Craig
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....f-refuting

    If one restricts science to the natural, and assumes that science can in principle get to all truth, then one has implicitly assumed philosophical naturalism.
    – Del Ratsch, philosopher

    Does Epistemological Naturalism Imply Metaphysical Naturalism? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yNddAh0Txg

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Dr. R.C. Sproul interviews the author of Darwin’s Doubt, Dr. Stephen Meyer – August 5, 2013 – podcast
    http://www.ligonier.org/rym/br.....ns-doubt1/

  4. 4
    Tim Gardiner says:

    Thank you so much for the Sproul link!! Wow.

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    “Science” itself might not be my enemy, but the ideological hijacking of science in the name of Darwin certainly is.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    This Pinker guy is just wrong on his ideas of human beings. On his youtube stuff he said Jews were superior to other races and he constantly goes on about how our brains are beyond the free will and so we are controled and our futures are controlled.
    Except his and his hair.
    This from a Montreal native. Explains a lot though if i may say so.
    Steven pinker can not hint the great thinkers, non Jewish by the way, of the enlightenment etc were neuroscientists.
    they were just typical people opining on human nature.
    perhaps a few cats tried to make man a mere machine but mostly they saw man as a thinking being with free will.
    This gut contributes nothing and is a throwback to old tired ideas.
    Glad he’s out of cAnada but get him a real job yanks.
    Sad and insufferable vanity . A posterboy for the problems of modern ideas on man.

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