Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The failures of materialism

Materialists may be keen to suggest that alternatives to materialism have various weaknesses, which cause them to fail as they engage with science. For example, creationists still get the flat earth and the earth-centred universe thrown at them (although this has done nothing to refute the Bible - only certain peoples' interpretations of it).

One of the odd things about this is that materialistic philosophy has a pretty disastrous record when it comes to predictions about the universe which flow from this worldview. I thought I'd just recap a few here:

Life at its lowest level is simple.

The origin of life is easily explainable from physical processes.

Life is common in the universe.

The universe is eternal.

Vestigial organs have no function and are left over from evolution.

Junk DNA has no function and is left over from evolution.

The earth is an unremarkable planet orbiting an unremarkable star in an unremarkable galaxy.

There are other "gaps" in the materialistic explanation of the universe, which may or may not be filled at some stage in the future, such as:

An explanation of consciousness and mind;

An explanation of the many unique facets of human behaviour;

An explanation of whether the fine tuning of the universe has any significance.

Any more to add to the list?