Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Limits of science…a question about the future…

November 6th, 2013 · No Comments

http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/11/6/daniel-dennett-lawrence-krauss-and-massimo-pigliucci-discuss-the-limits-of-science#

The issue of the ‘limits of science’ is one that I am wary of: I note the way I start a talkathon on the issue, but fail to really grapple with the question. So I will be merciful with this video of Pigliucci, Dennett, and Krausse. Current science is not doing well at all on the issue of ethics, for example. And flunks evolution, with Darwinism.

First, the issue of the ‘limits of science’ is a prediction/prophecy about the future, which is not known to us. So the debate tends to be really about the limits of current science, and its trending toward ‘scientism’.
I have often seemed critical of science, but to be honest my real tendency is to favor science, at least in principle.

Here’s an example: consider the movie Avatar: it shows a technology of ‘soul’, as it were, and this shows a technological method of dealing with bodies, genomes, and souls. Well, the science fiction, as usual is a fantasy, hoping to be a prophecy. The context of the story is a dreadful one, in a way: it shows the issues transposed: an exploitative technological space mission has the technology of ‘souls’ (which could be the wrong word since its says nothing clear about this ‘soul’ in relation to death, save near the provocative ending), while a primitive culture of tribal peoples indigenous to Pandora, a people shown with superior intelligence (hinted at many times) to earth men and somehow completely ‘soul-ful” to change the meaning of ‘soul’ lacks this technology. That strikes me as a transposed symbolism. But sci-fi tales often scramble everything. Even so this is a truly remarkable sci-fi plot, all of which collapse in the end. But here the question of the ‘limits of science’ is posed in a provocative way: will the question of soul become one that future science will deal with?
This example makes my point clear: the ‘limits of science’ are clearly shown in a sci-fi mode as a prediction about the future, leaving, obviously, the question unsolved, the fate of sci-fi.
The question of ‘soul’ is, ironically, an inveterate issue of human evolution: hypothesis, the soul factor in man came into existence in the transition from homo erectus to homo sapiens, and this transforms man, even as he fail to really understand his new aspect of his nature. So we are confronted with a slightly different variant of the ‘Avatar’ myth in early evolution, leaving us with the question, is the new ‘soul’ for man a produce of natural evolution or a software upgrade of an advanced alien civilization. I think that a ‘natural’ evolution is the better answer, but not anything we know about yet in current science, and this about our past.
The limits of current science are drastic: they can’t even register on the issue of the nature of man!/… Lot more to say here….

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