Sunday, May 19, 2013

Not so fast …

… The Vocabula Review - The Two Natures: A Sort of Philosophical Ramble, Complete with Apes, Medieval Sages, Gay Rights, Grammarians, False Teleology, Alexander Pope, and Blood-Drinking Martians — Parts 1 and 2. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Actually, separating is from ought isn't as easy as herein suggested. The digestive is known to act in a particular way. If it fails to act that way, and one gets sick, one is surely justified in concluding that it is not working as it ought to.
In the other direction, global warming denialism seems heavily invested in a hazy conflation of the two natures. Not long ago, one congressman opined that the scientific data and theories had to be mistaken, since the Bible shows God taking direct responsibility for Nature. Perhaps this should really be called prescriptive supernaturalism — the insistence that reality itself does and must correspond to one's religious preconceptions. The penchant seems unlikely to produce much good public policy.
Come now. The unnamed congressman's remark would not be taken seriously by most people on either side of the debate. The author should also take some time to read E. Kirsten Peters's The Whole Story of Climate, which is about what we might call the geology of climate. He would discover that much that he thinks he knows is not so.

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