Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Thomas Nagel: Sophisticated Members of Our Culture Have Been "Thoroughly Indoctrinated"

More wisdom from Thomas Nagel:
My own situation is that of an atheist who, in spite of being an avid consumer of popular science, has for a long time been skeptical of the claims of traditional evolutionary theory to be the whole story about the history of life. The theory does not claim to explain the origin of life, which remains a complete scientific mystery at this point. Opponents of ID, however, normally assume that that too must have a purely chemical explanation. The idea is that life arose and evolved to its present form solely because of the laws of chemistry, and ultimately of particle physics. In the prevailing naturalistic worldview, evolutionary theory plays the crucial role in showing how physics can be the theory of everything.

Sophisticated members of the contemporary culture have been so thoroughly indoctrinated that they easily lose sight of the fact that evolutionary reductionism defies common sense. A theory that defies common sense can be true, but doubts about its truth should be suppressed only in the face of exceptionally strong evidence.

Thomas Nagel, Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament: Essays 2002-2008, 2009, p. 54.

He is keen observer of many elements of Darwinian Fundamentalism in contemporary culture:  the use of propaganda and indoctrination instead of quality education that encourages critical thinking skills, and the suppression of doubts about the evidential support of the theory.


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