Posted: Aug 30, 2013 3:29 pm
by Shrunk
Mick wrote: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.


I guess that hinges on what one means by "full". And, moreover, what on expects of an "explanation". Fairies could "explain" a lot about how an automobile works, if one wishes them to.


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.


No, no more than you can say automotive engineering does not involve fairies. Both claims have exactly the same amount of evidentiary support and explanatory value. For some reason, however, no one seems to take seriously anyone who claims their car is run by fairies. Odd, that.