Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cheating the Millenium: The Mounting Explanatory Debts of Scientific Naturalism

Author: Christopher Michael Langan, Fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design; President of the Mega Foundation

For me, this article is the most intellectually rigorous in the Uncommon Dissent collection. It is also the most abstract and philosophically challenging. In summary, the article is an analysis of the nature of causality, the nature of causality within the Neo-Darwinist and Intelligent Design Theory views in particular, and a step toward a true synthesis of those two views.

Langan accuses the scientific establishment, especially evolutionary biology, of passing the explanatory buck when it comes to the nature of causality. Evolution, particularly Darwinism, is built on the premise that events in the natural world are either deterministic or random. When pressed to recurse this chain of causality to the beginning, they are at a loss to explain the creation of the universe using these concepts. Langan proposes self-causation as the most viable alternative.

As he categorically attacks the neo-Darwinist model of causality, step by step, the reader learns a great deal about the presuppositions and presumptions made by the majority of scientists today. By excluding formal and final causes, by an a priori divorce of the abstract and concrete or mind and matter, and by the insistence that everything must have a specifically physical cause, the neo-Darwinists force their profession into conclusions that are neither based on any emprical evidence nor are the best or most complete answers to very important questions.

This article is a mental challenge but that just makes it even more informative and enlightening. Langan seems to be a naturalist, he doesn't seem to need or want to invoke the supernatural in his world view. His arguments are thorough and require hard thinking to digest. This is the toughest and most unique article in this collection.


At 3:29 PM, Blogger Kou said... can't possibly put outdated Aristotelian/Thomistic notions about levels of causation on the same level as SCIENCE! Mother Nature cares not for our systems of causation.

Seriously, though, it sounds like a very interesting article.


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