Saturday, January 07, 2012

Naturalism as Teleological Parasite

What modern biology reveals to us is the existence of a physical structure that points to or aims at something beyond itself and yet is entirely unconscious. Where have we heard that before? Why, in Aristotle, of course. Moreover, as a blueprint, what this structure points to or aims at specifically is the realization in an individual organism of a certain kind of structure or pattern definitive of the species---that is to say, the realization of a form or essence. "Modern" biology isn't so modern after all; the riffs are different, but underlying the jazzy hipster talk of "information and "software" is the same old squaresville melody of Aristotelian final-formal causality. Modern science, like all rebellious adolescents, has morphed into the father figure it once reviled.

--Slightly redacted from Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, page 255.