Friday, 5 April 2013


Is Materialism Falsified?

Dr. Thomas Nagel’s newest book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False1 is causing Darwinists nightmares. The cat is out of the bag. He states in his new book “It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.”  Translation: Life is no accident. It cannot be explained by matter and energy alone.

This statement would not be surprising if it came from an intelligent design advocate. However, it is coming from an atheist. Not just any old atheist but a professor. Not just a professor but a 75-year-old respected philosophy professor at New York State University. The scientific evidence is so overwhelming it is even convincing people whose lives show a persevering dedication to denying it.

Nagel's most challenging statements is,  "What is lacking, to my knowledge, is a credible argument that the story has a non-negligible probability of being true." The probability that life is self-generated from chemistry is zero. Ask a scientist to produce life from his laboratory with the most sophisticated equipment and he will respond that it is not yet possible. So on what grounds is the Darwinian claim made that life can arise spontaneously? It appears that such claims are based on hope more than reality.

So why is Nagel edging away from evolution? “In thinking about these questions I have been stimulated by criticisms of the prevailing scientific world picture from a very different direction … by the defenders of intelligent design." He is referring to people like Dr. Behe and Dr Stephan Meyers. Though their scientific institute is a small one it has incurred the wrath of many Darwinists. Nagel admits, "Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair." Why would scientists 'who only seek the truth' unfairly discount seriously researched theories? Well, that is the question!
Responses by Darwinists to Nagel is interesting. Science philosopher Elliott Sober wrote, "If Nagel is right, our descendants will look back on him as a prophet—a prophet whom naysayers such as me were unable to recognize.2" Is this not an admission that Sober fears being judged as a stoner of scientific prophets? And so he should. But, if intelligent design can be dismissed as religion, can Sober's views not also be dismissed as anti-religion?

John Dupré, from the University of Exeter states, "The title of the book, however, all too readily interpreted as announcing the falsity of Darwinism, will certainly lend comfort (and sell a lot of copies) to the religious enemies of Darwinism.3" But why should true scientists care if any of their discoveries comfort religion as a by-product. Indeed, this statement clearly implies that Darwinism is primarily a defense against religion and secondarily it is concerned about truth.

Simon Blackburn fears Nagel is giving aid to the enemy creationists: “There is charm to reading a philosopher who confesses to finding things bewildering. But I regret the appearance of this book. It will only bring comfort to creationists and fans of ‘intelligent design’, who will not be too bothered about the difference between their divine architect and Nagel’s natural providence.4" Again there is a contrast between the divine architecture and natural providence - natural or supernatural - a conflict which is in nature theological not scientific.  

Science prides itself in its open-mindedness and pure motivation - we go where the evidence takes us and we change our minds when the evidence demands it. Then scientists should not be afraid to examine the obvious - life formation and operation are beyond any plausible accidental origin (statistics). Life is organized. It is organized by the coded information on the DNA (observation). It is not organized by the chemistry. Coded information comes from intelligence (all known codes are intelligently derived). Thus life had an intelligent designer. The lack of explanation for coded information in Darwinian thought is devastating to its whole position.
In Darwinian thinking nothing God does may be explained by the supernatural. It must ultimately be explained by something non-supernatural. Thus the purpose of science is to explain everything without God rather than seek the truth - the truth is now secondary to discomforting religion.

  1. Nagel, T., Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Most Certainly False, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  2. Sober. E., Remarkable Facts. Ending Science As We Know It,, November 2012. 
  3. Dupré, J., Thomas Nagel,, 29 November 2012. 
  4. Blackburn, S., Thomas Nagel: a philosopher who confesses to finding things bewildering,, 8 November 2012.

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