Michael Ruse on Bashing Philosophy

Some interesting thoughts from Michael Ruse on the proclivity of scientists to dismiss philosophy. Here is a fun paragraph:

I am used to uninformed comments like that of my colleague, Nobel Prize winner Harry Kroto, when he says things like: “Science is the only philosophical construct we have to determine TRUTH with any degree of reliability.” What on earth does he think is the status of that particular statement? From which branch of science is it drawn?

Ruse goes on to quote Jerry Coyne’s commentary on two lucky PhD candidates at Riverside who won post doc money from Templeton.

Coyne’s big beef is about some chap who has been given a postdoc to work on the philosophy of religion. How could God know what will happen and yet grant us free will? A couple of philosophers pointed out against Coyne’s first rant on the subject that the actual existence of God is not the point of the exercise. It is rather about the nature of time and free will and much more. Coyne’s response: “The theory is NOT philosophically interesting in the absence of an omniscient being. If there isn’t one, as I presume both of these folks agree, then the project becomes an exercise in mental masturbation, musing about what something nonexistent would do if it existed.”

Read the whole thing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s