Telos and Contingency: Jim Manzi v. Jerry Coyne

Jim Manzi defends Robert Wright against atheist biologist Jerry Coyne’s thumbs down New Republic review of Wright’s new book, The Evolution of God, here.

Money quote:

[T]he evolutionary process does not add any incremental randomness to outcomes beyond what is already present in other physical laws, simply such great complexity that scientists are well-advised to treat it as if it were goalless. We currently lack the capability to compute either the goal or the path of evolution, but that is a comment about our limitations as observers, not about the process itself. The theory of evolution, then, has not eliminated the problems of ultimate origins and ultimate purpose with respect to the development of organisms; it has ignored them. These problems are defined as non-scientific questions, not because we don’t care about the answers, but because attempting to solve them would impede practical progress. Accepting evolution, therefore, requires neither the denial of a Creator nor the loss of the idea of ultimate purpose. It resolves neither issue for us one way or the other. The field of philosophical speculation that does not contradict any valid scientific findings is much wider open to Wright than Coyne is willing to accept.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Telos and Contingency: Jim Manzi v. Jerry Coyne

  1. Pingback: The Evolution Of A Blogginghead; Or The Ballad Of Jim And Jerry « Around The Sphere

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