Thursday, October 30, 2008
Science, History and Politics
Peter McKnight of the Vancouver Sun has a multi-part series, that can be accessed here, about religion and science that looks pretty good so far:
Part I: Coupling of science and religion;
Part II: Religion in disguise;
Part III: Hitting a brick wall; and
Part IV: The tension between science and religion.
The third part makes some provocative claims about scientists using science to attain political ends and it also touches on methodological naturalism (which he calls methodological materialism):
[S]ince science is guided by methodological materialism - the rule that says scientists can't invoke supernatural causes in explaining the world - scientists can't then turn around and say science proves such causes don't exist.Although I haven't gone through it all thoroughly, it certainly appears to be a good, evenhanded read.
Indeed, even if belief in the supernatural can be explained by evolutionary biology, this doesn't mean that the supernatural doesn't exist. Virtually all beliefs can be explained by evolutionary biology, at least in Wilson's view, but that doesn't necessarily render the objects of those beliefs illusory.