08
Sep
10

Metaphysical Underpinnings

I received an alert from Amazon just now recommending a book whose title touts its message, to wit “The Cell’s Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator’s Artistry.” It leads me to muse that fashions of thought have not always been so doggedly materialistic as now and that such a book title would not always have been controversial. Sir Isaac Newton, as rigorous a thinker as there ever was, existed in a cognitive realm in which the Creator was the presumed source and backdrop of all phenomena. It was only with the advent of Darwinism that some found justification for being, in the words of Richard Dawkins, “an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” The Enlightenment had flirted with the reductionism and materialism that had begun to pervade Western culture but Darwinism was transformative; it upped the ante by providing a foundation for materialism that substituted random processes for purposeful ones. But this is no more than a fashion or fad; it doesn’t add rigor or refinement to our intellectual standards.

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