Friday, August 2, 2013

Charles Darwin Refutes Materialism

I found an interesting quote by Charles Darwin at

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

It is from a letter by Darwin to William Grahm written in 1881. The quote shows that Darwin believed that the universe is not the result of chance, and that he doubts that human reason is reliable if it arose through natural selection. This is quite a strong refutation of materialism. I knew that Darwin believe that natural laws were designed but I had not seen this quote before so I updated the section on Charles Darwin on my web page on Eminent Researchers. The addition explains how Darwin's beliefs undermines materialism:

Charles Darwin is credited with being a co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He was not an atheist, he was agnostic. He believed that one could not know if God existed or not. Darwin also believed that the universe did not arise by chance and that natural laws resulted from design which indicates that he believed in a form of Intelligent Design.

Darwin also doubted human reason was reliable if it evolved through natural selection. This is a key point in the argument that materialism is not a rational philosophy. If you cannot trust human reason, then it is irrational to believe anything, including materialism. It is significant that Darwin's beliefs on this subject undermine materialism because Darwin's theory of natural selection was one of the most important ideas that led to materialism and philosophical naturalism being adopted by most scientists. When you consider that Darwin believed natural laws were designed, and he did not trust human reason if it arose through natural selection, you begin to see that exploiting Darwinian theory as foundation of materialism is a huge scam.

Materialism says that there are no supernatural entities. Darwin's beliefs that the universe did not arise by chance and that natural laws were designed contradict materialism. His doubt that human reason could be reliable if it arose through natural selection also undermines materialism. Since materialists maintain that human reason arose through natural selection, according to Darwin human reason is therefore of doubtful reliability, so it is not rational for a materialist to believe in anything, including materialism. On my web page on Skeptical Fallacies I have a section that discusses in more detail the fact that materialism undermines itself, so I also added the quote by Darwin to that section.

That Darwin was such a poor advocate for materialism made me realize how unfortunately ironic it is that Darwinism, evolution by means of natural selection, was made part of the foundation of scientific materialism. This realization led me to make the following addition to my post on T. H. Huxley: Accidental Founder of Modern Pseudo-skepticism which discusses how Darwinism was used to foist philosophical naturalism on the scientific establishment through a conspiracy led by T. H. Huxley.

It is unfortunate that Darwin was used this way in the adoption of philosophical naturalism and materialism by the scientific establishment. Materialism is a gross misrepresentation of Darwin's thinking. Darwin believed that the universe did not arise by chance and that natural laws were designed - which directly contradict materialism and is a form of intelligent design. Darwin also doubted human reason could be reliable if it arose through natural selection. If you cannot trust reason, then it is not rational to believe in anything including materialism. This argument is a well known flaw in materialism whereby materialism refutes itself. Darwin's beliefs did not support materialism yet his theory of natural selection is a keystone in the philosophy of materialism because it provides materialism with an explanation of how complex organisms arose naturally.

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