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Atheists Against Darwinism - Page 5

Ruse on "Nonliteralist Antievolution"

As we've seen, it's easy to find Darwinists whose thinking comports with Johnson's analysis of the theory's philosophical foundations. However, in a speech delivered to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1993, Michael Ruse explicitly agreed with Johnson:

Johnson [is] arguing [that] the kind of position of a person like myself, an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level, just as much as the kind of position of . . . some creationist . . . I must confess . . . I've been coming to this kind of position myself? I was inclined to say . . . creationism is not science and evolution is, and that's the end of it . . . Now . . . I'm inclined to think . . . we should recognize? that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science? Certainly, I think that philosophers like myself have been much more sensitized to these things? by trends? in the philosophy of science . . . So . . . however we're going to deal with creationism, or new creationism [i.e. Intelligent Design Theory] . . . we should also look at evolution and science, in particular, biology, generally philosophically I think a lot more critically . . . And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things, come what may . . . I think . . . that evolutionary theory . . . certainly seems to be the most reasonable position, once one has taken a naturalistic position. So I'm not coming here and saying, give up evolution, or anything like that. But I am coming here and saying, I think that philosophically that one should be sensitive to what I think history shows, namely, that . . . evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically . . . And I think that the way to deal with creationism, but the way to deal with evolution also, is not to deny these facts, but to recognize them, and to see where we can go, as we move on from there.[47]


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