Biological Deism

Joseph Needham

Those who still interest themselves in problems connected with God, Freedom, and Immortality are not accustomed to look to natural science for any light on these dark places. It is usually admitted that the scientific method operates with basic assumptions which are far from binding on philosophers, and which indeed have no very satisfactory metaphysical authority. In spite of a few protests by philosophers, scientific thinkers have on the whole felt entitled to neglect the philosophical consequences of their theories, and have gone ahead in the investigation of nature by accepting only such hypotheses as explained the maximum number of known facts, irrespective of their possible results on other fields of work. When a strictly scientific theory is invested with philosophical importance, some form of materialism, however well disguised, usually results.