Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A concise statement of faith

The biologist E. O. Wilson wrote (in On Human Nature): "The core of scientific materialism is the evolutionary epic. Let me repeat its minimum claims: that the laws of the physical sciences are consistent with those of the biological and social sciences and can be linked in chains of causal explanation; that life and mind have a physical basis; that the world as we know it has evolved from earlier worlds obedient to the same laws; and that the visible universe today is everywhere subject to these materialist explanations."

The evolutionary epic, says Wilson, is subject to improvement in all of its details, but its most sweeping claims cannot be proved with finality. It has, therefore, aspects of myth, but it is "probably the best myth we will ever have."