In "Aristotle on the Immateriality of Intellect and Will" Michael Engor wrote that Jerry Coyne, an adherent of materialism, admitted that he cannot grasp the concept of the immateriality of the intellect, will, and reality of free will.
Prior to the rise of mechanical philosophy, naturalism and positivism (scientism) in the 16th and 17th centuries, the existence of mans' immaterial (unseen) soul/spirit (intellect, will) was taken for granted, but then simply ignored by naturalists and finally forgotten. Thus modern materialists confidently deny free will and the immateriality of the intellect and will without even the slightest acquaintance with the ancient pagan antecedents of their assertions.
Modern materialism together with its' occult New Age counterpart are the antithesis of the Revealed Word and remain virtually unchanged from what they were in Paul's time:
"Paul was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"-- because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?… "(Acts 17:18-19)
The Stoics (todays' occult New Age/ spiritual Transhumanists) and Epicureans (todays' materialists/secular Transhumanists) were the two most prominent schools of nature philosophy/nature science/nature religion of that time. Theirs was an atheistic scientific worldview predicated upon a universe of animated (evolving) matter (animism) and energy. They were the physicists of their age.
The principle tenet of the Epicureans held that the world was not made by any deity, or with any design, but came into its being and form, through a fortuitous concourse of atoms of various sizes and magnitude that cemented together and so formed the world.
The world and everything in it--life, being, mind--were not created but rather the accidental emergent products of a great cosmic event (Cosmic Egg/Big Bang) that spontaneously generated matter from nothing. In this way of thinking, humans are aggregates of matter in motion in a human form and the human mind an active principle of grey matter.
This way of thinking forms the basis of the psychology of Sigmund Freud as well as of Darwin's evolutionary conception, modern evolutionary biology, secular humanism and secular trans-humanism.
The Stoics were a celebrated school of severe and lofty pantheists. Like the Epicureans, they were animists. Their main principle was that the universe of energy was under the law of an iron necessity (determinism in Darwinian creeds and karma in Eastern creeds), the spirit of which was what they called the Deity, World Soul or Gaia.
Stoic and Epicurean sages received their ideas from ancient Chaldeans (Babylonians), Egyptians and Hindus whose nature systems extended back centuries before Greek and Roman civilization.
For example, one Hindu belief was that Brahman (Universal Mind, Void or evolving Universe of energy) spontaneously generated itself as something like a seed or singularity about 4.3 billion years ago and then evolved under its' own power by which it expanded and formed all that exists. (Evolution: An Ancient Pagan Idea, Paul James Griffith, creation.com)
Scientism: Autocratic Spawn of Positivism
The father of Positivism was the certifiably insane Frenchman, Auguste Comte (1798-1857). Comte is celebrated as the first philosopher of science because he elevated science above the Revealed Word with his arrogant, defiant claim that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. This naturally discarded all transcendent universals of immutable Truth and Moral Law based on the Word of God. Comte's goal was to replace historical Christianity with a secular humanist nature religion where experts---scientists and engineers---constitute a new priesthood.
Scientism takes Positivism to an even greater extreme by claiming that only science and its high priests of science and technology can produce authentic knowledge about man, what constitutes right and wrong, and the origins of the universe. In pursuit of its goals, scientism deceptively stamps immaterial concepts such as evolution and climate change with the label: provable, therefore authentic science.
While Jerry Coyne cannot or will not accept the immateriality of the intellect, will, and reality of free will, Karl Popper had no such problem.
Popper (1902-1994) was a British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. Because he is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century, what he had to say about philosophical materialism and Darwinism is of utmost importance to the down and dirty war of attrition waged by methodological and ontological naturalists against creationists and intelligent design adherents.
Though Popper favored evolutionary theory and natural selection, he also forthrightly stated that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but rather a metaphysical research program. By this he means that not only is Darwinism metaphysical (immaterial/spiritual), but so are its' two most important foundations, classical empiricism and the observationalist philosophy of science that grew out of it.
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that contradicts itself by asserting that human knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience rather than the immaterial intellect while observationalism asserts that human knowledge and theories must be based on empirical observations....instead of the intellect. For this reason, Popper argued strongly against empiricism and observationalism, saying that scientific theories and human knowledge generally, is conjectural or hypothetical and is generated by the immaterial creative imagination.
In other words, all three theories originated in the immaterial intellect, a power of which is imagination. As spirit (intellect and will) is the citadel of the soul, then Darwinism, empiricism, and observationalism are spiritually derived constructs of the imagination
The Founding generation were not ignorant, superstitious pagans. They knew that intellect is a power of soul, and imagination the power by which intellect conceives. In Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, soul and imagination are respectively defined:
1. Soul: "The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason."
2. Imagination: "...the power or faculty of the mind by which it conceives and forms ideas of things communicated to it by the senses....The business of conception (and the) power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones so as to form new wholes of our own creation...(imagination) selects the parts of different conceptions, or objects of memory, to form a whole more pleasing, more terrible, or more awful, than has ever been presented in the ordinary course of nature."
In short, Darwinism, classical empiricism and the observationalist philosophy of science claim to be what they are not in order to obtain an advantage over the Genesis account of creation and intelligent design by imposition of immoral means.
We need to realize that the most zealous and outspoken defenders of this false science are arrogant sophists who hate the Triune God, Truth, Moral Law and reality and mean to keep them out. As Engor rightly concludes:
"That we take the free-will deniers seriously is a pitiful commentary on our gullibility and the poverty of our intellectual culture. "
It must be added that the accommodation of the Christian Church to evolution, climate change, sustainability, carbon footprints, and the rest of the modern pagan agenda speaks of something far worse, and more ominous----especially to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church.