History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Weinberg at Discovery

September 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Evo-News takes on Weinberg in ‘Without God’ (NYRB)

…the worldview of science is rather chilling. Not only do we not find any point to life laid out for us in nature, no objective basis for our moral principles, no correspondence between what we think is the moral law and the laws of nature, of the sort imagined by philosophers from Anaximander and Plato to Emerson. We even learn that the emotions that we most treasure, our love for our wives and husbands and children, are made possible by chemical processes in our brains that are what they are as a result of natural selection acting on chance mutations over millions of years. And yet we must not sink into nihilism or stifle our emotions. At our best we live on a knife-edge, between wishful thinking on one hand and, on the other, despair.
What, then, can we do?

Weinberg throws the Discovery folks a softball pitch, and remarkably they miss. The reason, perhaps, is that the obsession over god, symmetric between monotheists and scientists, produces an arid debate.
Of more concern is the rank scientism of Weinberg’s pronouncement, whose implications are not how we should live to learn as scientific sadsacks but how science got itself into the position of actually believing the absurdities their reductionist views seem to imply. Surely the problem is the tool being used, reductionist methodology, and its limits when it is taken from the laboratory and applied metaphysically to ‘reality’ questions.

Tags: Science & Religion

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