Part 2 in this series.
Thomas Nagel, in his important book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, systematically challenges several important areas of study, claiming that neo-Darwinism cannot adequately explain the development of the biological world around us. The three big areas that he presents as issues are consciousness, cognition, and value.
Nagel argues that consciousness presents a significant problem for Darwinism. Since consciousness exists as a part of life, it must be considered in the explanation of how life came to be. As evolutionary biology is a physical theory, it has a choice of either reducing the mental to the physical or claiming the mental has some active part in life. If the evolutionist chooses the first option, it cannot account for mental things that are not physically reducible. If the second option is chosen, then evolutionary biology is no longer a purely physical theory…
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