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Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 21:26:33 »
 Em setembro, a Oxford University Press lança oficialmente a versão brochura de um novo livro pelo renomado filósofo Thomas Nagel da Universidade de Nova York. É uma surpresa estarrecedora.

Já disponível na versão Kindle, o livro de Nagel porta o título provocante Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False [Mente e Cosmo: por que a concepção materialista neodarwinista da natureza é quase que certamente falsa]. Você leu direito: o sub-título do livro declara que "a concepção materialista neodarwinista da natureza é quase que certamente falsa". Nagel é um ateu que não está convencido do caso positivo a favor da teoria do Design Inteligente. Mas ele acha claramente que a evidência a favor da moderna teoria darwinista deixa a desejar. Além disso, ele está profundamente agradecido pelos "iconoclastas" do Movimento do Design Inteligente por levantar um desafio significante à atual ortodoxia científica. No capítulo 1, Nagel cita favoravelmente o trabalho de três membros do Discovery Institute em particular:

Pensando sobre essas questões, eu tenho sido estimulado pelas críticas da predominante visão de mundo científica... pelos defensores do Design Inteligente. Muito embora escritores como Michael Behe e Stephen Meyer sejam, motivados, pelo menos, por suas crenças religiosas, os argumentos empíricos que eles oferecem contra a possibilidade de que a origem da vida e a sua história evolucionária possam ser plenamente explicadas pela física e física são, em si mesmos, de grande interesse. Outro cético, David Berlinski, tem trazido esses problemas vividamente sem referência à inferência de design. Mesmo que alguém não seja atraído para a alternativa de uma explicação pelas ações de um designer, os problemas que esses iconoclastas colocam para o consenso ortodoxo científico devem ser considerados seriamente. Eles não merecem o escárnio com que eles enfrentam comumente. Isso é manifestamente injusto.

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Offline O Grande Capanga

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #1 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 22:13:54 »
Será que o filósofo tem conhecimento em evolução biológica?

Offline Gigaview

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #2 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 22:18:10 »
Será que um biólogo tem conhecimento em filosofia?
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Offline O Grande Capanga

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #3 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 22:55:40 »
Será que um biólogo tem conhecimento em filosofia?

Vou chamar o M4dM4x para iluminar esta discussão.

Offline Renato T

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #4 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 23:00:40 »
Fica difícil ver se o cara falará besteira sem nem mesmo ler o livro.
Me pareceu polêmica demais pra motivo de menos essa matéria. Falar que o materialismo  neodarwinista provavelmente não se sustenta e citar pensadores do Designe Inteligente não é nem metade da bomba que essa matéria faz pensar. Vai saber o que o cara tem pra dizer dentro do livro...

Offline O Grande Capanga

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #5 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 23:09:03 »
Fica difícil ver se o cara falará besteira sem nem mesmo ler o livro.
Me pareceu polêmica demais pra motivo de menos essa matéria. Falar que o materialismo  neodarwinista provavelmente não se sustenta e citar pensadores do Designe Inteligente não é nem metade da bomba que essa matéria faz pensar. Vai saber o que o cara tem pra dizer dentro do livro...

Pode até ser, mas eu acho sem sentido utilizar de filosofia para refutar o biologia evolutiva. Afirmo isso supondo que é isso que ele fez.

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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #6 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 23:14:45 »
Extraído do livro citado: Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

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Chapter 2
Antireductionism and the Natural Order

1

The conflict between scientific naturalism and various forms of antireductionism is a staple of recent philosophy. On one side there is the hope that everything can be accounted for at the most basic level by the physical sciences, extended to include biology.1 On the other side there are doubts about whether the reality of such features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, purpose, thought, and value can be accommodated in a universe consisting at the most basic level only of physical facts—facts, however sophisticated, of the kind revealed by the physical sciences.
I will use the terms “materialism” or “materialist naturalism” to refer to one side of this conflict and “antireductionism” to refer to the other side, even though the terms are rather rough. The attempts to defend the materialist world picture as a potentially complete account of what there is take many forms, and not all of them involve reduction in the ordinary sense, such as the analysis of mental concepts in behavioral terms or the scientific identification of mental states with brain states. Many materialist naturalists would not describe their view as reductionist. But to those who doubt the adequacy of such a world view, the different attempts to accommodate within it mind and related phenomena all appear as attempts to reduce the true extent of reality to a common basis that is not rich enough for the purpose. Hence the resistance can be brought together as antireductionism.
The tendency of these antireductionist doubts is usually negative. The conclusion they invite is that there are some things that the physical sciences alone cannot fully account for. Other forms of understanding may be needed, or perhaps there is more to reality than even the most fully developed physics can describe. If reduction fails in some respect, this reveals a limit to the reach of the physical sciences, which must therefore be supplemented by something else to account for the missing elements. But the situation may be more serious than that. If one doubts the reducibility of the mental to the physical, and likewise of all those other things that go with the mental, such as value and meaning, then there is some reason to doubt that a reductive materialism can apply even in biology, and therefore reason to doubt that materialism can give an adequate account even of the physical world. I want to explore the case for this breakdown, and to consider whether anything positive by way of a world view is imaginable in the wake of it.
We and other creatures with mental lives are organisms, and our mental capacities apparently depend on our physical constitution. So what explains the existence of organisms like us must also explain the existence of mind. But if the mental is not itself merely physical, it cannot be fully explained by physical science. And then, as I shall argue, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that those aspects of our physical constitution that bring with them the mental cannot be fully explained by physical science either. If evolutionary biology is a physical theory—as it is generally taken to be—then it cannot account for the appearance of consciousness and of other phenomena that are not physically reducible. So if mind is a product of biological evolution—if organisms with mental life are not miraculous anomalies but an integral part of nature—then biology cannot be a purely physical science. The possibility opens up of a pervasive conception of the natural order very different from materialism—one that makes mind central, rather than a side effect of physical law.
It seems clear that the conclusion of antireductionist arguments against materialism cannot remain purely negative forever. Even if the dominance of materialist naturalism is nearing its end, we need some idea of what might replace it. One of the things that drive the various reductionist programs about mind, value, and meaning, in spite of their inherent implausibility, is the lack of any comprehensive alternative. It can seem that the only way to accept the arguments against reduction is by adding peculiar extra ingredients like qualia, meanings, intentions, values, reasons, beliefs, and desires to the otherwise magnificently unified mathematical order of the physical universe. But this does not answer to the desire for a general understanding of how things fit together. A genuine alternative to the reductionist program would require an account of how mind and everything that goes with it is inherent in the universe.
I am just turning a familiar argument on its head in order to challenge the premises. Materialism requires reductionism; therefore the failure of reductionism requires an alternative to materialism. My aim is not so much to argue against reductionism as to investigate the consequences of rejecting it—to present the problem rather than to propose a solution. Materialist naturalism leads to reductionist ambitions because it seems unacceptable to deny the reality of all those familiar things that are not at first glance physical. But if no plausible reduction is available, and if denying reality to the mental continues to be unacceptable, that suggests that the original premise, materialist naturalism, is false, and not just around the edges. Perhaps the natural order is not exclusively physical; or perhaps, in the worst case, there is no comprehensive natural order in which everything hangs together—only disconnected forms of understanding. But whatever may be the result, we must start out from a larger conception of what has to be understood in order to make sense of the natural world.
2

My guiding conviction is that mind is not just an afterthought or an accident or an add-on, but a basic aspect of nature. Quite apart from antireductionist arguments in the philosophy of mind, there is independent support for the step to such an enlarged conception of reality in one of the background conditions of science. Science is driven by the assumption that the world is intelligible. That is, the world in which we find ourselves, and about which experience gives us some information, can be not only described but understood. That assumption is behind every pursuit of knowledge, including pursuits that end in illusion. In the natural sciences as they have developed since the seventeenth century, the assumption of intelligibility has led to extraordinary discoveries, confirmed by prediction and experiment, of a hidden natural order that cannot be observed by human perception alone. Without the assumption of an intelligible underlying order, which long antedates the scientific revolution, those discoveries could not have been made.
What explains this order? One answer would be that nothing does: explanation comes to an end with the order itself, which the assumption of intelligibility has merely enabled us to uncover. Perhaps one level of order can be explained in terms of a still deeper level—as has happened repeatedly in the history of science. But in the end, on this view of the matter, understanding of the world will eventually reach a point where there is nothing more to be said, except “This is just how things are.”
I am not disposed to see the success of science in this way. It seems to me that one cannot really understand the scientific world view unless one assumes that the intelligibility of the world, as described by the laws that science has uncovered, is itself part of the deepest explanation of why things are as they are. So when we prefer one explanation of the same data to another because it is simpler and makes fewer arbitrary assumptions, that is not just an aesthetic preference: it is because we think the explanation that gives greater understanding is more likely to be true, just for that reason.
This assumption is a form of the principle of sufficient reason—that everything about the world can at some level be understood, and that if many things, even the most universal, initially seem arbitrary, that is because there are further things we do not know, which explain why they are not arbitrary after all.
The view that rational intelligibility is at the root of the natural order makes me, in a broad sense, an idealist—not a subjective idealist, since it doesn’t amount to the claim that all reality is ultimately appearance—but an objective idealist in the tradition of Plato and perhaps also of certain post-Kantians, such as Schelling and Hegel, who are usually called absolute idealists. I suspect that there must be a strain of this kind of idealism in every theoretical scientist: pure empiricism is not enough.
The intelligibility of the world is no accident. Mind, in this view, is doubly related to the natural order. Nature is such as to give rise to conscious beings with minds; and it is such as to be comprehensible to such beings. Ultimately, therefore, such beings should be comprehensible to themselves. And these are fundamental features of the universe, not byproducts of contingent developments whose true explanation is given in terms that do not make reference to mind.
3

The largest question within which all natural science is embedded is also the largest question of philosophy—namely, in what way or ways is the world intelligible? Clearly natural science is one of the most important ways of revealing intelligibility. But in spite of the great accomplishments of the natural sciences in their present form, it is important both for science itself and for philosophy to ask how much of what there is the physical sciences can render intelligible—how much of the world’s intelligibility consists in its subsumability under universal, mathematically formulable laws governing the spatiotemporal order. If there are limits to the reach of science in this form, are there other forms of understanding that can render intelligible what physical science does not explain?
But first we should consider the view that there are no such limits—that physical law has the resources to explain everything, including the double relation of mind to the natural order. The intelligibility (to us) that makes science possible is one of the things that stand in need of explanation. The strategy is to try to extend the materialist world picture so that it includes such an explanation, thereby making the physical intelligibility of the world close over itself. According to this type of naturalism, the existence of minds to whom the world is scientifically intelligible is itself scientifically explicable, as a highly specific biological side effect of the physical order.
The story goes like this: There is no need for an expanded form of understanding; instead, the history of human knowledge gives us reason to believe that there is ultimately one way that the natural order is intelligible, namely, through physical law—everything that exists and everything that happens can in principle be explained by the laws that govern the physical universe. Admittedly, we can’t grasp the natural order in its full manifestation because it is too complex, and we therefore need more specialized forms of understanding for practical purposes. But we can attempt to discover the universal principles governing the elements out of which everything is composed, and of which all observable spatiotemporal complexity is a manifestation. These are the mathematically stateable laws of basic physics, which describe the fundamental forces and particles or other entities and their interactions, at least till a still more fundamental level is uncovered. The most systematic possible description of a material universe extended in space and time is therefore the route to the most fundamental explanation of everything.
Physics and chemistry have pursued this aim with spectacular success. But the great step forward in the progress of the materialist conception toward the ideal of completeness was the theory of evolution, later reinforced and enriched by molecular biology and the discovery of DNA. Modern evolutionary theory offers a general picture of how the existence and development of life could be just another consequence of the equations of particle physics. Even if no one yet has a workable idea about the details, it is possible to speculate that the appearance of life was the product of chemical processes governed by the laws of physics, and that evolution after that is likewise due to chemical mutations and natural selection that are also just super-complex consequences of physical principles. Even if there is a residual problem of exactly how to account for consciousness in physical terms, the orthodox naturalistic view is that biology is in principle completely explained by physics and chemistry, and that evolutionary psychology provides a rough idea of how everything distinctive about human life can also be regarded as an extremely complicated consequence of the behavior of physical particles in accordance with certain fundamental laws. This will ultimately include an explanation of the cognitive capacities that enable us to discover those laws.
I find it puzzling that this view of things should be taken as more or less self-evident, as I believe it commonly is. Everyone acknowledges that there are vast amounts we do not know, and that enormous opportunities for progress in understanding lie before us. But scientific naturalists claim to know what the form of that progress will be, and to know that mentalistic, teleological, or evaluative intelligibility in particular have been left behind for good as fundamental forms of understanding. It is assumed not only that the natural order is intelligible but that its intelligibility has a certain form, being found in the simplest and most unified physical laws, governing the simplest and fewest elements, from which all else follows. That is what scientific optimists mean by a theory of everything. So long as the basic laws are not themselves necessary truths, the question remains why those laws hold. But perhaps part of the appeal of this conception is that if the laws are simple enough, we can come to rest with them and be content to say that this is just how things are. After all, what is the alternative?
That is really my question. The implausibility of the reductive program that is needed to defend the completeness of this kind of naturalism provides a reason for trying to think of alternatives—alternatives that make mind, meaning, and value as fundamental as matter and space-time in an account of what there is. The fundamental elements and laws of physics and chemistry have been inferred to explain the behavior of the inanimate world. Something more is needed to explain how there can be conscious, thinking creatures whose bodies and brains are composed of those elements. If we want to try to understand the world as a whole, we must start with an adequate range of data, and those data must include the evident facts about ourselves.
4

As a way of marking the boundaries of the territory in which the search for such understanding must proceed, I would now like to say something about the polar opposite of materialism, namely, the position that mind, rather than physical law, provides the fundamental level of explanation of everything, including the explanation of the basic and universal physical laws themselves. This view is familiarly expressed as theism, in its aspect as an explanation of the existence and character of the natural world. It is the most straightforward way of reversing the materialist order of explanation, which explains mind as a consequence of physical law; instead, theism makes physical law a consequence of mind.
Considered as a response to the demand for an all-encompassing form of understanding, theism interprets intelligibility ultimately in terms of intention or purpose—resisting a purely descriptive end point. At the outer bounds of the world, encompassing everything in it, including the law-governed natural order revealed by science, theism places some kind of mind or intention, which is responsible for both the physical and the mental character of the universe. So long as the divine mind just has to be accepted as a stopping point in the pursuit of understanding, it leaves the process incomplete, just as the purely descriptive materialist account does.
For either materialistic or theistic explanation to provide a complete understanding of the world, it would have to be the case that either the laws of physics, or the existence and properties of God and therefore of his creation, cannot conceivably be other than they are. Physicists do not typically believe the former,2 but theists tend to believe the latter. This doesn’t mean that a theistic world view must be deterministic: God’s essential nature may lead him to create probabilistic laws and beings with free will, whose actions are explained as free choices. But some kind of divine intention would underpin the totality.
The interest of theism even to an atheist is that it tries to explain in another way what does not seem capable of explanation by physical science. The inadequacies of the naturalistic and reductionist world picture seem to me to be real. There are things that science as presently conceived does not help us to understand, and which we can see, from the internal features of physical science, that it is not going to explain. They seem to call for a more uncompromisingly mentalistic or even normative form of understanding. Theism embraces that conclusion by attributing the mental phenomena found within the world to the working of a comprehensive mental source, of which they are miniature versions.
However, I do not find theism any more credible than materialism as a comprehensive world view. My interest is in the territory between them. I believe that these two radically opposed conceptions of ultimate intelligibility cannot exhaust the possibilities. All explanations come to an end somewhere. Both theism and materialism say that at the ultimate level, there is one form of understanding. But would an alternative secular conception be possible that acknowledged mind and all that it implies, not as the expression of divine intention but as a fundamental principle of nature along with physical law? Could it take the form of a unified conception of the natural order, even if it tries to accommodate a richer set of materials than the austere elements of mathematical physics? But let me first say a bit more, for dialectical purposes, about the opposition between theism and materialist naturalism and what is lacking in each of them.
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Re:Notável filósofo ateu diz que darwinismo não se sustenta
« Resposta #7 Online: 29 de Abril de 2013, 23:15:38 »
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5

The place at which the contrast between forms of intelligibility is most vividly presented is in the understanding of ourselves. This is also the setting for the most heated battles over what physical science can and cannot explain. Both theism and evolutionary naturalism are attempts to understand ourselves from the outside, using very different resources. Theism offers a vicarious understanding, by assigning it to a transcendent mind whose purposes and understanding of the world we cannot ourselves fully share, but which makes it possible to believe that the world is intelligible, even if not to us. The form of this transcendent understanding is conceived by extrapolation from the natural psychological self-understanding we have of our own intentions. Evolutionary naturalism, by contrast, extrapolates to everything, including ourselves, a form of scientific understanding that we have developed in application to certain other parts of the world. But the shared ambition of these two approaches, to encompass ourselves in an understanding that arises from but then transcends our own point of view, is just as important as the difference between them.
What, if anything, justifies this common ambition of transcendence? Isn’t it sufficient to try to understand ourselves from within—which is hard enough? Yet the ambition appears to be irresistible—as if we cannot legitimately proceed in life just from the point of view that we naturally occupy in the world, but must encompass ourselves in a larger world view. And to succeed, that larger world view must encompass itself.
Any external understanding, however transcendent, begins from our own point of view (how could it not?) and is usually supposed to be consistent with the main outlines of that point of view even if it also provides a basis for significant criticism and revision as well as extension. With respect to human knowledge, for example, both theism and naturalism try to explain how we can rely on our faculties to understand the world around us. At one extreme there is Descartes’ theistic validation of perception and scientific reasoning by the proof that God, who is responsible for our faculties, would not systematically deceive us. At the other extreme there is naturalized epistemology, which argues that perceptual and cognitive faculties evolved by natural selection can be expected to be generally reliable in leading us to true beliefs.
Neither of these proposals provides a defense against radical skepticism—the possibility that our beliefs about the world are systematically false. Such a defense would inevitably be circular, since any confidence we could have in the truth of either a theistic or an evolutionary explanation of our cognitive capacities would have to depend on the exercise of those capacities. For theism, this is the famous Cartesian circle; but there is an analogous naturalistic circle.3 In addition, evolutionary naturalism offers an explanation of our knowledge that is seriously inadequate, when applied to the knowledge-generating capacities that we take ourselves to have. I will return to this claim below.
But even if these two projects of self-understanding do not refute skepticism, I believe there is a legitimate aim of transcendence that is more modest and perhaps more realistic. We may not be able to rule out the skeptical possibility, and we may not be able to ground our normal capacity for understanding on something in which we can have even greater confidence; but it may still be possible to show how we can reasonably retain our natural confidence in the exercise of the understanding, in spite of the apparent contingencies of our nature and formation. The hope is not to discover a foundation that