[Taxacom] teleology example
lists at curtisclark.org
Mon Mar 11 11:34:43 CDT 2013
On 2013-03-11 3:30 AM, John Grehan wrote:
> The real nature of the problem may be that there is this a
> pervasive and explicit language of teleology in evolutionary biology
> that is perfectly at home with theologically based approaches such as
> intelligent design and creationism.
I would go further and say that is is pervasive in English (and probably
other natural languages as well), that we are biologically predisposed
to seek teleological arguments, and that a different view of the world
must be learned.
> But in this case the teleological statement was so explicit and direct
> that it was worthy of notice.
And I contend that a single statement is not an accurate enough measure
of the underlying state to be adequate for analysis (as contrasted to
hand-waving). It seems that the best example is not one where an
evolutionary biologist's thought processes *could* be explained by
teleology, but rather one in which they cannot be explained any other way.
> My personal view is that for many biologists, evolution has become a
> substitute for traditional religious belief - which would explain a
> lot of the hostility that arises in evolutionary biology when
> certain fundamental 'truths' are challenged, and the sometimes deified
> or saintified state given to Darwin.
I totally agree. I would never put a "Darwin fish" on my auto, because
evolution isn't my religion. A relative told me that she "doesn't
believe in science", and I responded that I don't, either: "belief"
plays no useful role in science (beyond the belief that there is a
Curtis Clark http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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