Fodor, Nagel, and Philosophy-In-Decline

Philosophers Rip Darwin
By Michael Ruse
The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Doubters Rip Darwin — Badly” would have been better. In his article, Michael Ruse adds Thomas Nagel to the fold of philosophers seeming to enter a late, demented phase in otherwise illustrious careers. (He discusses Alvin Plantinga too, but he’s been a card carrying creationist for a very long time.)

As always, it’s enough to state the fact: there is not yet an iota of successful science done in the pseudo-scientific field of Intelligent Design. However, on the philosophical side of things, the controversies are different. But, as I’ve maintained previously, scientific research is not utterly contingent on a completely developed philosophy of science, so it’s not likely that any substantial challenge to biological research and demonstration will break free of the usual circularity found in such philosophy.


For 150 years, since the Origin, critics have feared that we humans might become part of the evolutionary picture—not just our bodies, but our minds, our very souls. What makes us distinctively and uniquely human? This worry is still alive and well in today’s philosophical community. Plantinga is open in his fear that Darwinism makes impossible the guaranteed existence of our species. More, for years he has argued that Darwinism is bound up with the metaphysical belief that everything is natural (as opposed to supernatural), and that this leads to a collapse of rational belief and knowledge. The chance elements in Darwinism are simply not compatible with Plantinga’s Christian faith.

This alludes to real problems because there are versions of philosophical naturalism that collide. Are nature’s mechanics run by a strictly determined code that necessarily voids free will? (Etc..) It seems a stretch to imply that if nature is all there is, then some set of singular philosophical assumptions are necessary and inevitable.

But, from the other side, there isn’t any real philosophy upon which to hang the various suppositions of ID.

After all, it is the nexus of designer and materiality, and the mechanics of supernatural intervention that are the only fruitful fields for a science, rather than a superstition, of intelligent design. So, what philosophizing might aid (or underpin,) research into the designer/nature interface? No such coherent and cogent philosophy yet exists. (This noted, Del Ratszch and Bradley Monton are possibly the only mildly worthwhile thinkers on ID.) The problem obviously is research into the interface would tend to be subsumed into the normative philosophy of ‘applied’ science; such as it is.

from a comment to the article:

Thomas Aquinas used logics, reasoning and other qualities that none of the philosophers after him will ever have.

Darwinism is a complete nonsense in the eyes of a contemporary science. The center of Darwinism in London has admitted that, but you won’t! All you do is quoting what this and that guy said!

Open your eyes and think about what it really is! A piece of non-organic matter becomes a human being and yet we relatively know almost nothing about it! Exuse me, but when science tell you that one the sea shrimps has the most sophisticated vision in color (!) than any organizm known on the planet, I have no choice, but to think about the super intelligence behind it! When I know that human optical nerve(relatively thin) is composed of over 6 million cables, each of which is isolated (!) I have no choice, but to think about super intelligence behind it. When I think of the total length of human blood vessels being 2,5 times longer than size of our planet around equator, I am thrilled about intelligence behind it. And knowing that complete blood exchange across the entire human body takes just about 2 minutes, all I can say that all of you “smart” Darwinists either deliberately don’t want to admit the facts of science, or you are just a bunch of complete idiots.

So far, nothing good has ever come out of Darwinism except of a lot of wasted time! Not to mention Hitler who got inspired by it and came with the idea of a holocaust! And no, he was not sick, he just based his ideas an a false science!

This raw comment encapsulates many of the anti-Darwin arguments and their wrongheadedness. As far as the laity goes–and I’m a member–I have discovered over and over again folk proponents of ID invariably have no grasp on biology, biological research, and very rarely can tell you much about either the paperwork of ID or the responses to this paperwork. You know, the responses which have obliterated complexity-based arguments.

Still, I appreciate the irony behind having no choice but to believe in the super intelligence and his or her’s brutal, so-called, creation. Hey, and the Thomist reference–as in, one version, the universe being wholly a Catholic one in which almost everybody is going to roast in hell?

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