beyond ID/Darwinism…//Jerry Coyne — An Evolutionist and His Ideology | Evolution News

As usual Evo-News has a useful account of the peppered moth debate, the most notorious of the brain-dead evolution capers. The tactics of the ID folks are to be sure themselves misleading, or else limited, and the whole debate should be more neutral with respect to religion, and even ‘intelligent design’. Here we have to consistently distinguish ‘design’ from ‘intelligent’ design on the grounds that the term ‘intelligent’ will suggest a conclusion about design that we can’t fully prove and be used to precipitate theitic inferences that are not warranted. To see the point consider how you will distinguish the term ‘intelligent’ for use with humanoid beings, theistic projections, and natural lawful constructs, and/or Israelite proto-theism versus Christian/Judaic completions. There is no such ‘word’ that applies, the the term ‘intelligent’ being semantically contradictory, and only what the letters spell, no more. And what about the difference between ‘intelligent’ and ‘superintelligent’ and ‘beyond intelligent’? And it might be helpful for the issues to be reviewed by an atheist, and/or an ‘atheist’ in quotation marks: viz. a semi-agnostic wary of ‘god references’,
But in case you don’t think ‘nature’ looks ‘intelligent’ study the eonic effect: the greater nature behind what we call ‘evolution’/’human evolution’ is ‘so intelligent’ it seems to go off the meter, as above, and yet never commits itself to demonstration. We cannot detect a person, god, or any entity we know behind the ‘creating front’. By comparison man is not very intelligent and the term breaks in trying to cover vast gulfs between different categories
As an example, consider the data in WHEE very carefully, a long long study, but make it short for a moment by skimming: just to take one spectacular example, consider the genre ‘tragedy’: as we examine the system return over two eras, Greek, and modern, we suspect that ‘nature’ can distinguish good from bad tragedies, seed their creative resolution successively over millennia in actual artists, and in general keep its fingers in the ‘pies’ of art, religion, philosophy, science, politics, etc, … and in the distinction of system action and free action, generate futures, yet stay in the background as a kind of ‘creative energy’ animates men to create/generate the actual results.
In this context the idea of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ is almost pathetic in its mismatch with reality. Nature is more like Santa Claus and showers an evolving hominid with a plethora of gifts.
Small wonder then we get confused here, and it might help to adopt a strict discipline against anthropomorphic metaphors (duh), viz. terms like ‘intelligent’. And yet, the ambiguity won’t go away. The ID folks then are onto something, but unfortunately the magpie secular humanist will sooner or later wake from his stupor, see the point, and make off with the bacon of the ID pioneer. The ID gambit is stuck in the Old Testament mythology which again we can see is really a child of the eonic sequence: here we must distinguish the much later Judeo-Christianity from the primitive beauty of the savage Israelites (still stuck, or barely unstuck, in the barbarism of Canannite child sacrifice) in the early vision of the unspeakable mystery tokened later as IHVH, then degenerating into Jehovah-ism. The Taoists in parallel were perhaps the ones who (also) got it right: the tao that can be named is not the real tao. We should also learn this lesson as we discuss ‘evolution’ because an analogous semantic ambiguity haunts the whole subject.
Our refuge standpoint then should be to see the reality of evolution, but be wary of saying we understand the mechanism…

At least some others have the courage to stand for what they believe even in the face of potential criticism.

Source: Jerry Coyne — An Evolutionist and His Ideology | Evolution News

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