Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Against "Intelligent Design"

Here’s the place where my advocacy of a distinction between physicalism and naturalism finds a real-life application.

Like many others, I criticize physicalism by pointing to what I perceive as its failure to include an explanation for first-person purposeful experience, and more tentatively for a more general failure to account for the nature of emergent higher level systems in the world.

I think a more successful metaphysical theory may include properties or causal structures not historically contemplated by physics. I fully expect that some of the ideas required for a successful theory might lend themselves to theistic interpretations.

But nothing in this would lead one to postulate intermittent or ad hoc supernatural interventions in our world, for which there is absolutely no evidence. This is the sense of philosophical naturalism worth preserving. And for Pete’s sake, no philosophical debate among we adults offers any basis for politico-religious efforts to inject unfounded ideas about “Intelligent Design” into our high school science classes. I find this effort deeply offensive.

I’m gratified that many resources are available for defending our public schools against "ID". For instance see the links (on the lower right-hand side) on the Panda’s Thumb group blog.


2 comments:

Jami said...

"But nothing in this would lead one to postulate intermittent or ad hoc supernatural interventions in our world, for which there is absolutely no evidence."

well-encapsulated.

it's "among us adults." if you wouldn't say "among we," you don't say "among we adults."

feel free to delete all evidence of my niggling and make the necessary edit.

Steve said...

Thank you for your comment. (I don't want to edit at this late date, but I'll get it right the next time!). - Steve