Posted: Aug 30, 2013 3:00 pm
by Mick
Shrunk wrote: 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.

Modern science only looks for the mechanistic explanations. That final causation offers nothing in that respect is obvious. That is why scientists need not worry too much about final causes, it is not all too relevant to their project. It is also why I, nor many Catholics, feel threatened by science. It is only when scientists or laymen think that science offers a full explanation do we call foul.

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.

We can agree to disagree here, but even if that were true, my point remains: if they are unfalsifiable, you can't say that there evolution does not involve final causes. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.