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Philosophy of Evolution: Belief Problem

Science and Ideology


Science and Ideology

Is evolution sometimes taken for granted as an article of faith? Dawkins insists that the critics of Darwin are wrong to say that evolution has become an article of faith among scientists. Dawkins replies to the Creationists who demand fossil life in the Precambrian Era, that the only life on earth at that time was bacteria, algae and plankton. Dawkins replies to those who object to evolution based on gaps in the fossil record, that evidence can be supplied by inference. Dawkins adds that the pattern in the genetic code is precisely what would be expected with the letters of the genetic code in varying degrees for all species. And in response to Behe’s intelligent design argument from complexity, Dawkins argues that Darwin’s theory of evolution is "a brilliant solution to the riddle of complexity; it is the only solution that has ever been proposed."28 In fairness to scientists, there are some reasonable defenses to show that evolution is not always an ideology. Nevertheless, Jaki notes that Darwinism is a mixture of truth and error, so that Non-Darwinian Evolutionism is a program that is not only feasible but necessary. Evolutionary theory must be pruned of those things that are not science.29

Do scientists philosophize? Sometimes scientists do not keep within the boundaries of science, but stray into areas of philosophy and theology where their neutrality ought to be observed.30 "Darwinist scientists have a tendency to view evolution dogmatically, going from theory to ideology."31

Scientism is ideological.32 Scientism is a dogma which affirms that beyond scientific knowledge, there is no level of knowledge. There is no space for philosophical or theological vision. An ideology of Scientism exists in presenting the theory of evolution as if it had philosophic validity, which would give the evolutionary hypothesis greater validity than it has. When epistemological questions are considered, there is a rejection of the ideology of Scientism because it reduces the vision of reality, denying its metaphysical aspects and the possibility of Divine Revelation.33 In addition, a scientific theory is often considered proved and is accepted by the scientists in the field when it effects a systematic organization and unification of date, and leads to further investigations, insights, and theories; the theory of evolution performs these functions and so is almost universally accepted without real proof, but as faith.34 But this assumption by scientists has led them to spurn the traditional channels of wisdom, such as supernatural religion, moral principles, perennial philosophy.35

Are there other evolutionary ideologies? In addition to Evolutionism itself, examples of biological theories strongly and passionately held and still held by biologists some non-professionals are Mechanicism, and Vitalism.36 Materialist ideology also presents dangers not only to faith, but also to reason.37 The fact that Materialistic views of evolution easily lend themselves to ideology is illustrated in the connection between a Darwinist perspective and the most repressive totalitarian politics of the last century, namely, according to Stanley Jaki, Marx and Hitler.38 According to Stanley Jaki, the enthusiasm for Darwinism by the advocates of dictatorship of the proletariate and of the master race is understandable, since Darwinism promoted class struggle. There is also an ideology of evolutionary education, as integrating all the sciences through history and the humanities.39 Finally, in Scientism there is the clearest expression of Positivism and Neo-Positivism.40 Science is the omnipotent instrument to answer all problems. Positivism is epistemological Scientism, whose founder was August Comte. Neo-Positivism is linguistic Scientism founded by Rodolph Carnap.


Author: John Edward Mulvihill, S.T.D., D.Min., Ph.D.
Copyright 2009 by The Genealogist, 3236 Lincoln, Franklin Park, IL 60131 U.S.A.