Talk:Richard Lewontin

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Lewontin's comment on materialism really taken out context?[edit]

Hello, I am just wondering wheather lewontin's quote on materialism really taken out context. The link that is supposed to explain Lewontin's comment on materialism is blank an doesn't exlain at all what Lewontin meant to say on materialism.(It appears to be a dead link) Lewontin on materialism It appears that Lewontin is admitting that the reason why the scientific community is biased against supernatural claims because they are committed to scientific materialism. If this is not what Lewontin is really saying then please explain what Lewontin means on this quote (before I remove that dead link that is cited.Or it least improve the link, or at least explain what Lewontin's quote means) Here is Lewontin's quote

  • Many of the most fundamental claims of science are against common sense and seem absurd on their face. Do physicists really expect me to accept without serious qualms that the pungent cheese that I had for lunch is really made up of tiny, tasteless, odorless, colorless packets of energy with nothing but empty space between them? Astronomers tell us without apparent embarrassment that they can see stellar events that occurred millions of years ago, whereas we all know that we see things as they happen. … Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
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