Saturday, July 19, 2008



During the last few years I have become increasingly interested in the philosophical debates and metaphysics. The evolution vs intelligent design debate seems like a recent manifestation between religion and science. It is not. It goes as far back 500BC where two opposing groups of scholars have dueled it out. In the one corner you have the teleologists and in the other corner you have the non-teleologists. Famous teleologists from Greece include Aristotle, Plato, Diogenes, Socrates and non-teleologists include Democritus, Leucippus, Empedocles and Epicurus [Teleology and science]. More modern examples of teleologists include Kant, Darwin, Paley and Aquinas while non-teleological examples include Hume, Locke and Dennett.

It does not look like the debate is going to be settled anytime soon. So what to do? I like this:

Take the analogy of a duck and a rabbit:
From The Design Matrix p123:
Evolution is supported by a vast amount of evidence. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it is a duck. So let us view non-teleological evolution as the Duck. In contrast, Intelligent Design is rooted in a long tradition of thinking, but supported mainly by suggestive clues. Following the trail of Intelligent Design may be akin to chasing Allice's rabbit down the rabbit hole. Let us think of Intelligent Design as the Rabbit.

Of course, in the end, any particular biological feature either arose through non-teleological evolution or it was intelligently designed. Yet if the situation is ambiguous, where both the Duck and Rabbit can be seen, we have a choice. We can choose to follow the rabbit, let us not worry about killing the duck or attempting to convince ourselves there never was a Duck. Instead, let us keep out eye on the Rabbit and see where it goes.

How deep does the rabbit hole go?

Have fun, enjoy the ride!

Addendum (01/06/2010): I have become increasingly interested in peripatetic philosophy, especially the Aristotelian-Thomistic (A-T)version. Thus, future posts will include terminology asociated with A-T naturalism. These include:
Essence and Existence
Potency and Act
Prime matter, proximate matter, accidental form, substantial form.
Substance and Accident
Four causes: material, efficient, formal and final.
Powers, ends and inclinations
Immanent and transcendent causation etc.

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