|Middle St. Man
Joined: Sep. 2004
Let me revisit the issue about postmodernism and anti-evolution, since it is still considered relevant on the informational side of this website.
A few questions come to mind:
Is it possible to be a post-modern evolutionist? That is, if evolution is considered a 'modernist theory,' then a post-modern would by definition be a post-evolutionist.
More generally, do natural scientists often think of themselves as post-modern, even though 'postmodernism' began in such fields as literary theory, architecture and cultural studies? Have natural scientists read Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, Baudrillard and others in the postmodern genre?
Recognition that natural science is a priviledged perspective, which nonetheless still claims comprehensive appeal to human meaning, purpose and social value would seem to negate an approach to science that still considers evolution as a universalist theory, as T.d. Chardin or D. Dennet may suggest.
Perhaps I've discovered one article that has influenced the views of this website's authors, that being the 2002 article by Patrick West titled "And then there was postmodernism," which can be found at: http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006D867.htm
"Ultimately, postmodern scientists rest their ideas upon metaphors, not upon what actually happens in science. They assume that just because there is chaos theory, uncertainty and irrational numbers, that science is incomplete, chaotic, relativistic and irrational. As any practising scientist will tell you, this is simply not true."
Somehow it doesn't surprise the reader that a view that claims Heisenberg and Einstein are responsible for postmodern theory, might be the least bit partial or incomprehensive. It almost sounds as if those who do not study evolutionary science are destined to be disenfranchised from higher truths about the world that chemists, biologists, zoologists, ethologists, physicalist philosophers of mind and psychologists may be privy to.
A more straightforward question to ask of Dr. Elsberry or others out there: is there any legitimacy to postmodernist criticisms of evolution?
This would seem to lead a further question: is it possible for anyone to be anti-evolution, post-evolution or simply non-evolution, especially outside of the natural sciences? As a postmodern person by birth and location, I would appreciate any answers to these time-dependant questions.
Thanks for your input,
M St. M