Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Evolution: A Materialist and Idealist Weigh In
John Warwick Montgomery is one of those rare thinkers who seems equally at home in just about any subject with which they engage. I’ve been reading through his phenomenal book, The Shape of the Past and been blown away by the breadth of topics covered. What is more amazing is how he relates them back to the central topic: historiography. The second part of the book is a series of essays on various subjects. In one of these, on Marxism and Materialism, he writes:
Evolution means natural development to the materialist; it means teleology in the universe to the idealist. (234, cited below)
The quote is particularly poignant because it shows how even having what many consider raw data requires interpretation. One person can interpret evolution as confirmation of naturalism, while another might interpret it as teleology–goal orientation–found within the universe.
Be sure to check out The Shape of the Past. It is a fascinating work.
John Warwick Montgomery, The Shape of the Past (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2008 edition [originally published 1975 by Bethany Fellowship]).
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