Science and humanity: virtues and vices
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Science and Humanity starts with the claim that the apparent antagonism between science and religion is the result of misunderstanding each. Steane singles out Richard Dawkins as particularly prone to such confusions and as culpable in their perpetuations. Other ‘atheists’ get implicated along the way, but Dawkins serves as the main target throughout the entire book. As both are Professors of science at Oxford University, one gets the sense of an internecine war going on.
Part I, Science and Philosophy (Finding Room to Breathe), aims at dismantling what he calls the ‘WRONG view’ of science (15, emphasis in original) in order to replace it with one that ‘indicate(s) correctly the structure of scientific explanation and the way things are’ (17). The ‘wrong’ view combines a reductive ontology with a narrow causal conception of explanation. The ‘right’ view of science, according to Steane, combines what philosophers would call a holistic framework of multi-layered structures and entities...