The Petri Dish Only Confirms that Kant was Correct: Or Technical, Teleological, and Practical ‘Purposiveness’ in Science and Morality – Revised 23 July 2017

The linked paper was presented at the “Religion, Society, and the Science of Life” conference to be held at the Ian Ramsey Centre at St. Anne’s College in Oxford, England, 21 July 2017

The paper is a direct response to the “Call for Papers” that claims that Kant has been contradicted by scientific progress:

“’There will never be a Newton for the blade of grass,’ Kant wrote in 1784, a quarter-century before the birth of Charles Darwin, and less than a half-century before the first synthesis of an organic compound in a laboratory. Life is an object of science, but an object like no other, presenting an unparalleled field of complexity and intricacy. A single cell contains an entire world. Biology is changing, with increasing recognition of how context influences even the most basic processes. This is why the science of life is distinctive among the sciences using history, narrative, and teleological explanations. All of this sets up fascinating resonances with the humanities. Can a convergence between the humanities and biology—from Darwin and Lamarck to holism and epigenetics—shed light on human societies, narratives, and religions? This interdisciplinary conference (a joint venture between the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and the International Society for Science and Religion) will explore the implications of the life sciences for religion, values, morality, education, and meaning.”

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