Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Creation and Scientific Creativity

“JAKI…roundly rejects chance as an explanation for processes in the cosmos, let alone an explanation of the cosmos itself. Making chance the ultimate explanation reduces the cosmos to less than a sheer mechanism: it empties of coherence physical processes and poses an inherent threat to the purposeful nature of science. In this connection a principal target of Jaki is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics in general and of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty in particular. The essence of that interpretation, Jaki insists, is not science but philosophy, indeed a philosophy of anti-ontology. Once viewed in this light, the principle of uncertainty becomes, when taken for the overthrow of causality, a cheating with real matter. For, to quote Jaki, “if the inexactitude in measurement means inexactitude in ontological causality, then in each radioactive emission a fraction of real matter, however small a fraction, becomes unaccounted for in the sense of being an uncaused entity that can come and go for no reason whatever.” The chance proclaimed by the Copenhagen interpretation is, according to Jaki, “a philosophical ghost residing in the shadowy realm between being and non-being.” Jaki makes it clear that it is a fallacy to deduce an ontological proposition from the use of a purely operational tool, a fallacy made easier by the inroads of idealism and pragmatism into scientific thinking. Jaki’s sensitivity for the crucial role of ontology comes through just as well in his stricture of Darwinism whose essence is “that there are no essences except one essence which is sheer matter.””

~Paul Haffner: Creation and Scientific Creativity: A Study in the Thought of S.L. Jaki, Chap. 3—Pitfalls and Prospects of Science.

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