"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Scottish Nous: Evolution Necessary?

Here's a heavy post from the Scottish Nous philosophy Blog, entitled Evolution Necessary?:

Dr. David Deutsch is a renowned Oxford quantum physicist (winner of the Paul Dirac Medal) who has recently defended a bizarre physical view known as Omega Point Theory, a theory that I take it was originally expounded by Frank Tipler.  I was sent the link to this article via e-mail and briefly commented on it in response...

...What's worse is that Deutsch has to conclude that evolution (perhaps not our evolution but the evolution of some other beings in our universe or "some other universe") is/was NECESSARY. That's ridiculous. It's obviously (intuitively) merely POSSIBLE that intelligent beings evolved. If one can derive the conclusion that intelligent beings must exist necessarily from any premises, at least one of those premises is false.
It's tough reading for a layman like me, but in short the article argues against "deterministic" views of science, evolution and the universe (i.e. that there is any philisophical necessity for our existence). It argues against extreme interpretations of what the reviewed article refers to as "the Darwin-Dawkins theory of evolution" - but the same philosophical objections clearly apply to "Intelligent Design" theory. It shows that philosophers and scientists can be skeptical without letting their brains fall out...

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