Darwinism Intelligent Design Mind Philosophy Science

From The Poached Egg: How Darwinism dumbs us down

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From Nancy Pearcey:

To understand how Darwinism undercuts the very concept of rationality, we can think back to the late nineteenth century when the theory first arrived on American shores. Almost immediately, it was welcomed by a group of thinkers who began to work out its implications far beyond science. They realized that Darwinism implies a broader philosophy of naturalism (i.e., that nature is all that exists, and that natural causes are adequate to explain all phenomena). Thus they began applying a naturalistic worldview across the board–in philosophy, psychology, the law, education, and the arts…

In a famous essay called “The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy,” Dewey said Darwinism leads to a “new logic to apply to mind and morals and life.” In this new evolutionary logic, ideas are not judged by a transcendent standard of Truth, but by how they work in getting us what we want. Ideas do not “reflect reality” but only serve human interests.Nancy Pearcey, “How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down” at The Poached Egg

Indeed. And then it falls apart because, obviously, those are ideas too. Then we can’t be sure that we are conscious but our coffee mug is not.

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See also: Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug

and

How can consciousness be a material thing? A surprising implication of Darwinism and materialism. Materialist philosophers face starkly limited choices in how to view consciousness. In analytical philosopher Galen Strawson’s opinion, our childhood memories of pancakes on Saturday, for example, are—and must be—”wholly physical.”

16 Replies to “From The Poached Egg: How Darwinism dumbs us down

  1. 1
    Brother Brian says:

    Thus they began applying a naturalistic worldview across the board–in philosophy, psychology, the law, education, and the arts…

    Yet technology, agriculture and medicine have all advanced greatly in this time. Infant mortality had declined, median age at death has increased, violence has declined, racism and persecution of those different than the norm is no longer tolerated.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^^
    Other than BB falsely imagining that Darwinism has anything to do with what he listed, the brute fact of the matter is that Darwinism has been completely fruitless as a scientific endeavor and, in so far as it has influenced society at large, has had horrendous consequences for societies at large.

  3. 3
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Other than BB falsely imagining that Darwinism has anything to do with what he listed,…

    I didn’t claim or suggest any such thing. I just stated objective facts. It seems that the increased naturalism that the OP cautions against have not had the negative impacts inferred .

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    It seems that the increased naturalism that the OP cautions against have not had the negative impacts inferred .

    Most likely due to the fact that doctors, engineers and scientists don’t use it.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    I suspect that there are a great many researchers who would dispute the claim that Darwin’s original theory was without significance or influence in biology.

    As for the the fundamental role of naturalistic thinking in the science and technology of the last two centuries, can you cite instances where non-naturalistic thinking played a significant role?

    As for dumbing down, I would argue that by encouraging people to think outside the boundaries imposed by religious dogma and doctrine, a/mat has smartened us up. We no longer think (well, most of us, anyway) that epileptic seizures are a manifestation of demonic possession, for example, to be cured by driving out the evil spirits.

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    In the past century alone we have seen some of the worst wars our world has ever seen. Our technology made it possible to have actual world wars, of which we have had two. This does not include all the other incredibly violent wars like Vietnam. In the past century we have also seen real super villains come and rise to power. Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Po Pot. We also have had a rise in terrorism, with people like Osama Bin Laden, And other Islamic terrorists

    Racism is still huge problem or “black lives matter” doesn’t exist And the incident with the sniper that supported black lives matter didn’t kill any cops. The one black girl didn’t die in the Texas jail cell that caused all the issues in the first place, and no riots happen because of this

    Our technology has provided some of the best and easiest ways to kill each other

    Chemical weapons of been used frequently and people, And during World War II we created one of the most powerful weapons in existence harnessing the power of the sun and using it against one another.

    Most of the medical advances that we have today or build off the backs of people like Edward Jenner, Alex Fleming, Louis Pasteur. All of these men were incredibly religious men and had a very strong moral compass that guided them, their discoveries and how they would help people. It was these advances that have allowed humanity to live much longer which and allowed huge population increases

    Darwinian evolution had a lot to do with the rebirth of eugenics and was practiced religiously by the Nazis

    Not exactly what I would consider a huge achievement and I’m not saying that evolution or the concept of evolution has had no good achievements, it has, but that’s a pretty big black mark, and that was in the past century.

    Think a real delusion is the belief that we are more moral than our past counterparts. I am just shuffled things and we find other ways to be evil one way or another. We just have better and bigger toys now.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    I suspect that there are a great many researchers who would dispute the claim that Darwin’s original theory was without significance or influence in biology.

    According to Mayr there were FIVE. So which ONE are you talking about?

    As for the the fundamental role of naturalistic thinking in the science and technology of the last two centuries, can you cite instances where non-naturalistic thinking played a significant role.

    Can you cite one where it did?

    As for dumbing down, I would argue that by encouraging people to think outside the boundaries imposed by religious dogma and doctrine, a/mat has smartened us up.

    LoL! Minds from the mindless via blind, mindless and purposeless processes is perhaps the dumbest thing anyone ever conceived. A/mat is a dogma, fool.

    Materialism is untestable nonsense.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    BB,

    Whatever, Darwinism, naturalism, reductive materialism, are, for practical purposes, all the same. As pointed out in the other thread, methodological naturalism is completely insane as a supposed scientific worldview

    In no uncertain terms, assuming Methodological Naturalism, particularly assuming reductive materialism, (as Darwinists assume), instead of assuming Christian Theism, as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/why-do-some-biologists-hate-theism-more-than-physicists-do/#comment-675531

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    A78, pardon, but we have had older worldwide wars, the Seven Years War, The War over the American Independence, and the war with the Ottomans come to mind. It’s just that the term World War came up in the 1940’s (previously they spoke of the Great War for the 1914 War). The difference is, scale of ruin due to industrialisation and that WW2 was a nuke threshold war. One can argue, two more global wars have followed, even overlapping: Cold War to the early 90’s and Islam-IST expansion since 1979 or so. KF

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    Thank you good sir. I appreciate the correction, like to emphasize that was my point though, we haven’t really changed much at all at least not morally and not because of Darwinian thinking

  11. 11
    chris haynes says:

    Dear BB

    With the greatest respect, what you wrote was nonsense.
    Here it is: “Infant mortality has declined, median age at death has increased, violence has declined, racism and persecution of those different than the norm is no longer tolerated”

    Infant mortality has declined? Violence has declined?
    No offense BB, but youre wrong, big time.
    According to the CDC, here in the USA, 20% of all human beings are killed before their first birthday.
    All of them innocent all of them defenseless.
    And worse, our elite have made it legal!

    And the persecution of those different than the norm is no longer tolerated?
    Yeah, right!
    In the USA, we kill over 70% of Down Syndrome people, before they can even breathe. In enlightened Sweden, it’s 98%. While in Iceland, Downs Syndrome has been eradicated. Not by “advances in medicine”, but by killing those who are “different from the norm.” because of Downs Syndrome

    Please be honest. Do you see now that what you wrote was nonsense?

  12. 12
  13. 13
    asauber says:

    Darwinism leads to a “new logic to apply to mind and morals and life.”

    Of course, we all know that scientifically, Darwinism doesn’t lead *anywhere*, let alone to a new new logic, morals, or life. These things aren’t comprehended through science anyway. Oh well (shoulder shrug).

    Andrew

  14. 14
    john_a_designer says:

    Nancy Pearcey makes a couple of important points in the following excerpt:

    The media paints the evolution controversy in terms of science versus religion. But it is much more accurate to say it is worldview versus worldview, philosophy versus philosophy. Making this point levels the playing field and opens the door to serious dialogue.

    Interestingly, a few evolutionists do acknowledge the point. Michael Ruse made a famous admission at the 1993 symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to naturalism,” he said–that is, it is a philosophy, not just facts. He went on: “Evolution . . . akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.” Ruse’s colleagues responded with shocked silence and afterward one of them, Arthur Shapiro, wrote a commentary titled, “Did Michael Ruse Give Away the Store?”

    But, ironically, in the process, Shapiro himself conceded that “there is an irreducible core of ideological assumptions underlying science.” He went on: “Darwinism is a philosophical preference, if by that we mean we choose to discuss the material Universe in terms of material processes accessible by material operations.”

    https://www.namb.net/apologetics-blog/how-darwinism-dumbs-us-down/

    In other words, according to naturalists like Ruse and Shapiro, “truth” for the Darwinist is “whatever you believe to be true is true.” Their underlying argument is basically, I believe proposition p therefore p must be true.

    This is honestly where the slippery slope of epistemological subjectivism takes you. Unfortunately those who embrace such a view are apparently not even intelligent enough to grasp that their world view is self-refuting. They don’t even grasp what self-refuting means.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, precisely, and sadly. When one radically relativises or subjectivises truth s/he loses the sense that self-referential incoherence is a strong demonstration of necessary falsity: each half overturns the other. The raw intelligence of a mind that may have huge natural power is hobbled by a self-defeating though currently institutionally dominant and culturally pervasive worldview. Let us realise, that the shadow shows are not reality and let us go out from the cave to a brighter, richer world. KF

  16. 16
    Brother Brian says:

    Bob O’H

    No, infant mortality rates are about 0.5%, so murder rates must be less than that. Of course, I guess you mean abortions, but abortion rates in the US are also decreasing.

    As they are in most western countries, even the most secular ones.

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