David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 11 (4):493-517 (1996)
A remarkable but little studied aspect of current evolutionary theory is the use by many biologists and philosophers of theological arguments for evolution. These can be classed under two heads: imperfection arguments, in which some organic design is held to be inconsistent with God's perfection and wisdom, and homology arguments, in which some pattern of similarity is held to be inconsistent with God's freedom as an artificer. Evolutionists have long contended that the organic world falls short of what one might expect from an omnipotent and benevolent creator. Yet many of the same scientists who argue theologically for evolution are committed to the philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism, which maintains that theology has no place in science. Furthermore, the arguments themselves are problematical, employing concepts that cannot perform the work required of them, or resting on unsupported conjectures about suboptimality. Evolutionary theorists should reconsider both the arguments and the influence of Darwinian theological metaphysics on their understanding of evolution.
|Keywords||natural theology imperfection suboptimality homology methodological naturalism creationism panda's thumb pentadactyl limb Stephen Jay Gould Darwin's theology|
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Citations of this work BETA
Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Johan Braeckman (2010). How Not to Attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical Misconceptions About Methodological Naturalism. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 15 (3):227-244.
Stephen Dilley (2012). Charles Darwin's Use of Theology in the Origin of Species. British Journal for the History of Science 45 (1):29-56.
Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour & Robert B. Talisse (2010). Nagel on Public Education and Intelligent Design. Journal of Philosophical Research 35:209-219.
Maarten Boudry & Bert Leuridan (2011). Where the Design Argument Goes Wrong: Auxiliary Assumptions and Unification. Philosophy of Science 78 (4):558-578.
Stephen Dilley (2013). Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in Light of Theology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):774-786.
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