Saturday, October 6, 2007

What does science have to do with metaphysics?

"Separate creation...does not explain adaptation. When the species originated, they must have already been equipped with adaptations for life, because the theory holds that species are fixed in form after their origin. An unabashedly religious version of separate creation would attribute the adaptiveness of living things to the genius of God; but even this does not actually explain the origin of the adaptation, it just pushes the problem back one stage...

"We can accept that an omnipotent, supernatural agent could create well-adapted living things: in that sense the explanation works. However, it has two defects. One is that supernatural explanations for natural phenomena are scientifically useless. The second is that the supernatural Creator is not explanatory. The problem is to explain the existence of adaptation in the world; but the supernatural Creator already possesses this property. Omnipotent beings are themselves well-designed, adaptively complex, entities. The thing we want to explain has been built into the explanation. Positing a God merely invites the question of how such a highly adaptive and well-designed thing could in its turn have come into existence."

Mark Ridley, Evolution (Boston: Blackwell Scientific, 1993) 57, 323.

[As this is a widely used science textbook, it seems that science and metaphysics are all mixed together somehow.]

1 comment:

CyberKitten said...

As I said in another place:

"Traditionally, metaphysics refers to the branch of philosophy that attempts to understand the fundamental nature of all reality, whether visible or invisible. It seeks a description so basic, so essentially simple, so all-inclusive that it applies to everything, whether divine or human or anything else. It attempts to tell what anything must be like in order to be at all".

My excuse is that it's very early in the morning here & I'm not exactly feeling well.... [grin].

Anyway.... As far as I know we have a pretty good handle on understanding the sub-atomic world which is arguably the "fundamental nature of all reality, whether visible or invisible". We have a good, solid & *Naturalistic* explanation for things. So I don't understand why you [laughing boy] said that science has proven 'unsatisfying' in the area of Metaphysics. Is it that *you* find it unsatisfying? Personally I think Quantum Mechanics is simply fascinating.... though I can understand why people don't like it - after all Einstein spent the later part of his life trying to undermine it. He failed.