Intelligent Design and the Artist’s Soul (Part 3)

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Professor Scot McKnight’s Beliefnet blog, Jesus Creed. The first post in this series is found here, and the second here. The Origin of Beauty Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt’s masterful book A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature gives the following illustration of how modern scientific reductionists treat nature and the arts: Imagine hearing the following account of one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s symphonies: ‘We have been able to prove that this particular symphony is actually reducible to a series of notes that happen to be played both at the same time in chords and one after another, creating a string of disturbances in the air caused by Read More ›

Beckwith: Dawkins Unwittingly Endorses Purpose in Nature

Over at the First Things blog On the Square, Francis Beckwith carefully shows how even Professor Dawkins cannot escape the common sense perception that the world is filled with agency, and those agents have a proper function. To get at all this, Beckwith describes Dawkins’ lambasting of Kurt Wise, the young-earth creationist who did doctoral work under Stephen Jay Gould at Harvard. Dawkins writes:

Gerhart and Kirschner’s Speculations on The Plausibility of Life

The September/October issue of Books & Culture has a review by CSC senior fellow Jonathan Wells of The Plausibility of Life by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, two eminent biologists. The book has been acclaimed since its arrival earlier this year for providing answers for the last remaining “gap” in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Wells –an eminent biologist himself– is, not surprsingly, skeptical of the claim. (He knows a thing or two about the gaps in Darwin’s theory.)

Derbyshire: Science Is Not Metaphysically Neutral

I find myself in yet another odd alliance. I guess NRO‘s John Derbyshire would side with me over Leon Kass (whom, once again, I greatly respect for the solid anti-reductionist arguments he has made). Scientific observation can and should affect one’s view of what it is to be human. (Derbyshire and I simply disagree about the strength of Darwinian claims.) He lists “Biology” as one of the major things shaping his view of “the human condition.” He writes: