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Materialism Can’t Account for Beauty

Concepts like truth, beauty, and goodness can't be derived from the material world

Is the world a good place? Is truth relative? Can beauty be defined? On a classic episode of ID the Future, host David Klinghoffer speaks with biologist Dr. Ann Gauger, a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, about her article “The Transcendental Treasury of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” for Evolution News

These abstract concepts don’t derive from the material world, yet we feel impoverished without them; they’re foundations of a life worth living. Truth, says Klinghoffer, has fallen on hard times these days. Gauger calls truth a correspondence with reality and says we must have it to thrive. “Truth is essential for our lives,” says Gauger. “We can’t function in a society that isn’t based on truths. It’s destructive to families, it’s destructive to the culture, it’s destructive to political action.” Materialistic evolutionary explanations for truth, beauty, and goodness are out there, but they fall flat upon closer inspection. Some of them even reduce these qualities to mere illusion. Gauger holds that truth, beauty, and goodness are hallmarks of a designed world. Meditating on them can promote a spirit of gratitude, an important part of a healthy, happy life. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Cross-posted at Evolution News

Andrew McDiarmid

Director of Podcasting and Senior Fellow
Andrew McDiarmid is Director of Podcasting and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is also a contributing writer to MindMatters.ai. He produces ID The Future, a podcast from the Center for Science & Culture that presents the case, research, and implications of intelligent design and explores the debate over evolution. He writes and speaks regularly on the impact of technology on human living. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Post, Houston Chronicle, The Daily Wire, San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, Newsmax, The American Spectator, The Federalist, and Technoskeptic Magazine. In addition to his roles at the Discovery Institute, he promotes his homeland as host of the Scottish culture and music podcast Simply Scottish, available anywhere podcasts are found. Andrew holds an MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University and a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Learn more about his work at andrewmcdiarmid.org.

Materialism Can’t Account for Beauty