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Published on Mar 8, 2015
In this lecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Phillip E. Johnson examines three ways of thinking about Neo-Darwinian theory.
His own outlook is “skeptic think.” He asks the all important questions of Darwinian theory: “Is man the result of the same processes that bring about minor changes in the beaks of finches or shifts in population of light and dark colored moths? Are purely materialistic and purposeless processes sufficient to account for the complexity and diversity of life on earth?”
Next, Johnson looks at “scientific reductionist think,” common among physicists. In this view, life is strictly chemistry guided by the laws of physics. Neo-Darwinian evolution is taken for granted.
A third way of thinking is “philosopher of science think.” To this mindset, something like Darwinian evolution MUST be true, regardless of the evidence. Anything outside the natural, material world cannot be studied by science, thus science must explain all of reality. No challenge to naturalistic evolution is possible with these restraints.
Johnson concludes that it is important to question the authoritarian assumptions of naturalistic thinking in science.
The Q and A period following the lecture ranges over a variety of interesting related topics, adding richness and depth to the viewer’s experience.