Cognition in Evolutionary Biology and Religion

  1. Lemma
  2. Saznanje u evolucionoj biologiji i religiji
  3. Serbian
  4. Sta znamo i kako saznajemo? (en)
  5. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  6. Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology:evolution
  7. 27-9-2017
  8. Tarasjev, Aleksej [Author]. Evolutionary Biology and Religion: What Do We Know and How Do We Get to Know?. 113-125
  9. Religion and Epistemology 113-125, Evolutionary Biology and Religion: What Do We Know and How Do We Get to Know? - Belgrade: Dereta, 2007.
    1. Tarasjev, Aleksej
  10. Evolution - Biology
    1. The author initially depicts the position of biology within a natural scientific frame. Only after Charles Darwin has biology become a theoretically based and integral science, while before that it could have easily been perceived as description of nature. Evolutionary biology has since the beginning been in the center of issues between science and religion, where epistemological questions have been very important to address. In the light of that, the author also tries to explain creationism as a movement that has appeared in the 19th century in America.

      Before Darwin and natural mechanism to explain the adaptation of the living world, Intelligent Design was a ruling hypothesis. Even in the previous century, there have been attempts to reestablish this perspective. However such stances are simply attempts to return to pre-Darwinian concepts that have previously been reasonably rejected.

      There have been attempts to reduce biology onto chemistry or physics. However, the aim of epistemological reductionism to do so depends on the answers whether biological in biology can be narrowed down to the concepts of chemistry and physics. Despite the existence of such beliefs, the concepts from the field of evolutionary biology are the main arguments against epistemological reductionism affirming that they cannot simply be narrowed down to chemical or physical processes. Similarly, there have been attempts to reduce other sciences to biology – which again poses the same question – whether epistemological reductionism is justified. In that sense, in the 19th century Social Darwinism has been an attempt to describe the processes in human society by the new evolutionary biology terminology (fight for survival, survival of the fittest). Despite scientifically it may seem naïve, it has not been so in regard to its social implications.

      The last question the author addresses is what can be concluded on the epistemological status of contemporary biology and its relation to religion. Contemporary biology is a theoretically well based science and methodological (not ontological) naturalism serves as its foundation, just as in the case of other sciences. Its reasons for the contemporary creationism rejection are valid because creationism violates methodological naturalism. Furthermore, majority of biologists, even though they have distinct perspectives on many issues, generally perceive science and religion as two distinct fields without any mutual relation.