Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lewontin lets the cat escape. . . (Repost from AMNAP 1.0)

Here is an extremely interesting citation of Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin:

We take the side of science despite the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, despite its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises, despite the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories because we have a prior commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.

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