Tuesday, April 06, 2004

C. S. Lewis & Evolution...

From The Weight of Glory (confer with the quote from Richard Lewontin in the post below titled, Moral metastasis):
The Bergsonian critique of orthodox Darwinism is not easy to answer. More disquieting still is Professor D. M. S. Watson's defence. "Evolution itself," he wrote, "is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or... can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." Has it come to that? Does the whole vast structure of modern naturalism depend not on positive evidence but simply on an a priori metaphysical prejudice? Was it devised not to get in facts but to keep out God?
Also, Lewis' critique of naturalism, from his book Miracles, should be noted:
...For when men say "I ought" they certainly think they are saying something, and something true, about the nature of the proposed action, and not merely about their own feelings. But if Naturalism is true, "I ought" is the same sort of statement as "I itch" or "I'm going to be sick." In real life when a man says "I ought" we may reply, "Yes. You're right. That is what you ought to do," or else, "No. I think you're mistaken." But in the world of Naturalists (if Naturalists really remembered their philosophy out of school) the only sensible reply would be, "Oh you are?" All moral judgments would be statements about the speaker's feelings, mistaken by him for statements about something else (the real moral quality of actions) which does not exist... There is no escape along those lines. If we are to continue to make moral judgments (and whatever we say we shall in fact continue) then we must believe that the conscience of man is not a product of Nature. It can be valid only if it is an offshoot of some absolute moral wisdom, a moral wisdom which exists absolutely "on its own" and is not a product of non-moral, non-rational Nature.
The question I've been addressing is not whether smart, good, religious people can claim to find no conflict between evolution and morality / religion; but it has been whether anyone can do so within the realms of logical coherence.

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