New York Review of Books: Awaiting a New Darwin (Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos")Quicklink submitted by Kyle McDermott Permalink
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|His leading contender for this something else is teleology, a tendency of the universe to aim for certain goals as it unfolds through time. Nagel believes that (currently unknown) teleological laws of nature might mean that life and consciousness arise with greater probability than would result from the known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology. Scientists shouldn't be shocked by Nagel's claim that present science might not be up to cracking the mind-brain problem or that a profoundly different science might lie on the horizon. The history of science is filled with such surprising transformations. Nor should we dismiss Nagel's claims merely because they originate from outside science, from a philosopher. Much the same thing happened when natural theology--the scientific attempt to discern God's attributes from His biological handiwork--gave way to Darwinism.|
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