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"What has gotten into Thomas Nagel?": Leading atheist branded a "heretic" for daring to question Darwinism

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Expressing skepticism about Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has made a handful of authors outcasts from the scientific community.
(image by Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Prof. Nagel rejects them all: materialism (the idea that human consciousness can be fully explained in terms of matter and physical laws), idealism (we have no direct access to physical reality, only to our thoughts about it, so the question ends there), and dualism (matter and mind are fundamentally separate and distinct, not explainable in terms of the other, as in Descartes). Rather, he favors what he calls a 'neutral monism,' a view that is neutral because it does not favor matter over mind, but is designed to be noncommittal and aware of its own ignorance. His way out of this thicket is the most controversial part of Mind & Cosmos - and the ripest target for critics - as it seems to verge on the fanciful, suggesting consciousness is not an accidental by-product of evolution, but was somehow written into the universe from the beginning. 'Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy...'

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but was somehow written into the universe from th... by Kyle McDermott on Sunday, Mar 24, 2013 at 11:37:44 AM
The HereticThe Heretic by"F... by Kyle McDermott on Sunday, Mar 24, 2013 at 12:24:29 PM