History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Newton’s laws, the a priori, and the mental physics pack of all space-time apes (man included)

August 19th, 2010 · No Comments


I was a little unfair to this article, which is worth reading, and which shows that, ironically, physicists have a better ‘design’ argument than religionists–they just can’t quite get a handle on it.

I should note that Kant, with what success (?), tried to show that Newton’s laws were ‘a priori’, a task that has not found favor with later thinkers. But I think his point, although it derailed in the attempt, was profound. It is an aspect of our ‘widget’ consciousness, or tool thinking, which is so simple that we take it for granted: a force is required (by all space-time apes, etc…) to push/pull/crack coconuts, and in the absence of that force things proceed as per nothing much. Newton’s laws tweak our sense of this and often seem to state the obvious.
In any case, the Darwinian formulation is upside down. It is trying to create a law of force out of natural selection, and it won’t work. Because such a ‘force’ would seem like a designer at work. But the latter issue is not the point.

Tags: Evolution · Kant · physics

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