Thursday, May 17, 2007

Atheism is NOT reductionism, be it scientific or philosophical

And speaking of “scientific or philosophical,” I think the two leading representatives of those schools as public speakers on issues atheistic, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, need to remember this, be reminded of this, called out on this, or whatever.

On issues both philosophical and mathematical (and extending toward evolutionary biology), Douglas Hofstadter presents the case for a holistic naturalism well in “Gödel, Escher, Bach.”

And, though evolutionary psychology, let alone Evolutionary Psychology, wasn’t riding high on the radar screen at the time of GEB, Hofstadter’s writing puts paid to the capital-EP philosophy vs. the small-ep science.

In fact, beyond its metaphysical bent, I believe that’s one of the main problems with Ev Psych. Per Dennett’s comments in some of his books about warranted vs. unwarranted reductionism, I believe Ev Psych engages in unwarranted reductionism.

Back to this post’s title.

So do many of the varieties of atheism plied today by intellectual leaders. No, we don’t know everything yet about evolutionary biology, let alone evolutionary psychology. The same is true of cognitive science. Too strong a degree of reductionism is unwarranted on lack of epistemological grounds alone.

Given that Hofstadter and others (chaos and complexity theories, Malcolm Gladwell’s pondering in this areas, etc.), the Dawkins/Dennett degree of reductionism is also unwarranted as a logical inference.

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