Posted: Aug 30, 2013 1:26 pm
by Shrunk
Mick wrote: Suppose it is true that final causation and contingency cannot be tested. Presumably, you think falsifiability is necessary. Thus, it follows that science cannot deal with that stuff, but that doesn't imply its non-presence.

That said, the abandonment on final causation was not in light of some rebuttal. You have no scientific basis for affirming that. A familiarity with the history science will tell you that much. This was a switch in models. That said, there were plenty of teleological understandings of evolution, and nothing about evolution entails mechanical philosophy alone.

That's one of the defining differences between methodological naturalism and some other philosophical positions, namely parsimony. While teleology cannot be ruled out thru empirical means, presuming its existence offers no explanatory power beyond that available from a purely mechanical model of the process. Adding teleology to evolutionary theory is like adding fairies to to automotive mechanics; you can describe the workings of the internal combustion engine fully thru mechanical principles alone. Then, if you want to add at the end "But it only works because of the fairies. We can't detect them in any way, but if the fairies weren't there, the engine wouldn't work," no one can falsify your claim. But that would not make it any less superfluous.