update: it is useful to cite J.G. Bennett’s account of evolution to those who think a ‘religious’ thinker should inject theism into the account. Bennett tries to actually construct an evolutionary dynamic using his model of space/time/’eternity’/hyparxis as a novel geometry, a striking anticipation probably muddled of spooky physics. The point seems to be that the hyparchic dimension gives a hint of the way a potential form factor computes form potentials which then realize as experimental new species instances. Continue reading “The mystery of evolution”
It may or may not be true that the evolution of the neck shows design flaws but to use this argument to defend ‘evolution by natural selection’ is completely wrong. The influence of the Darwinian obsession a la Richard Dawkins extends to the general public in the vast realm of controlled opinion that has made secular thought seem like a hoard of idiots.
Clearly, the human body shows design, it is possible that this could have produced a design flaw but the reality of holistic body evolution by some process with a larger evolutionary design is inescapable and this has no theological conclusions nor any implication of natural selection.
The author has a good critique of Darwinism but then lets the ‘design’ argument talk him into the ‘god conclusion’, the ID guided tour to theological endpoints.
The failure of natural selection does indeed suggest design arguments but those are not theological arguments.
As a long-time critic of the natural selection fallacy I nonetheless think that selectionist evolution tries at least to answer the question ID converts forget: how does nature construct designed objects? If not natural selection, then how? To cop out with sudden ‘god’ conversion is cheating, and that is neither theistic nor atheistic. It is a question that rivals quantum physics in its suspected complexity. And I will betcha that lurking in that is a connection. Let’s trot out ‘spoooky physics’, as a likely suspect. The bootstrap issue is one of the main unknowns of science, and theological escape hatch tactics seem less and less convincing, for the simple reason that ‘god’ thinking belongs to another age. It tends to bug people as ‘religion’ lurks in the background of secular humanism. But that is less and less true.
Those who promote the ‘god’ thesis do however remain unrefuted, but the fact remains that they would have to upgrade their god gibberish to a new and intelligible form. You can’t exclaim ‘hey guys, I give up, god did it’ and then inject the Old Testament tribal ‘god’, a savage hyperdemon still demanding blood sacrifices. C’mon, get with the program here.
A good example here is the work of the atheist Schopenhauer. Why can’t just ditch the ‘god’ mumblers and consider the ‘will’ in nature, sorry, Will in nature, behind evolution? But even there we need specifics.
The issues of science reflect levels of technology and the ‘technology’ of nature as an evolutionary design source remains unsolved because we can’t conceive of machines that have design factors, although they are themselves designed. Theology/natural selection distract from trying to resolve the problem, which admittedly isn’t simple: somehow nature bootstraps a process that can direct evolution over eons and is thus the ‘equivalent’ as abstraction to a factory that can produce species. Once we focus on the actual problem we can at least begin to converge on an answer. We may not realize just how far off we are from answers.
A process of interaction so detailed and at such a high level will seem to invoke questions of ‘design’ or even intelligent design. At this point we are ready for that stealth theism: the ID group over a generation has critiqued Darwinism, rightly so. But then the presence of ‘design’ in nature suddenly became ‘intelligent’ in an argument by Dembski et al. His logic is of interest but still remains ‘sub-kantian’ so to speak. On one side we say, we cannot invoke either theism or ‘mind in nature’ using the term ‘intelligent’ unless we can point to something specific. And that we can’t do. Ambiguous crypto-theism does nothing but harm because it is instantly abused for theological partisanship.
To me the question of design in nature is transparent and has nothing to do with theism. It usually points to a teleological issue, but again that cannot be used to promote theism.
The fact is that if you predicate ‘intelligent’ to design you create an ambiguity that sows confusion that can never be clarified until you drop the term and start over. Many good reasons stand there: a planetary AI machine might direct evolution and thence art forms, and it might have bootstrapped in the wake of the onset of earth history. That’s outlandish, and open to objection, but it is less outlandish than vague references to theistic fictions that have no concrete evidence. An AI machine might have different but related exixtences in nature showing how unconscious design factors might exist. Simple doubt here makes confidence in the usual design theism plummet. And we should not a la the Turing argument say that AI machines are conscious in the usual sense. That misses the point. Nature wouldn’t waste conscious energy on hypermechanical machines that boost evolution. Still, as AI nutjobs claim, there is a threshold were ‘intelligent’ mechanical computation ‘seems’ conscious. What is consciousness? It is not the same as ‘intelligence’ in quotation marks. Very little in the above paragraph is proven, so who knows?
Natural selection was taken up to banish all design arguments and thus to buttress atheism. But such things are tactics, not science. The Dawkins fanatics do this but in vain. Design used to raise the hackles of secularists but now the question gets a shrug: design in nature is omnipresent and its existence has no theological implications. The ID folkd have shifted somewhat to say that ‘intelligent could refer to ‘mind’ in nature. A figure like Hegel does so. We have no absolute proof this is wrong, but without direct specification it gets another shrug. The computer revolution has changed all this and now we confront the fact that machines that look ‘intelligent’ might direct evolution, without even specifying how they could bootstrap out of the Big Bang, etc…
The point is that intelligent design could be mechanical in a new sense and thus require quotes, ‘intelligent’. The problems of science are one thing, those of theocracy another. If we speak of intelligent design we confront a political faction of religious maniacs trying to plot against the government.
The fact of the matter is that ‘intelligent’ (now in quotes) design is evident ‘as it seems’ in nature but if religious fanatics persist in plotting against the government we will change terminology, tough luck. Over time people change and the secular mood takes over and we just don’t take ‘intelligent’ design as proof of anything anymore. The example of art, music, and drama as evidence of historical design is especially useful because it passes out the range of what we ascribe to theistic action. God doesn’t tie your shoes in the morning and won’t do your poetry either (notwithstanding the poets superstition about muses) even though we can see that art generation is bound up in macroevolution. It had to be so, and once we think about it we realize or suspect that song emerged in evolution as a characteristic of species man, so we are saying nothing new.
The 30% protection target sounds like a good idea, but those having listened to the #OurLandOurNature conference by @Survival in #Marseille yesterday know better. The @IUCN congress seems very tempted by the idea that financialising could save it: it won't. pic.twitter.com/J4jBrpIo4a
— Martin Pigeon (@marpinoir) September 3, 2021
The current pandemic in the US is a puzzle in the sphere of vaccination. Tens of millions refuse vaccination in what is seen as irrationalism. So it is, but consider the issue of evolution. The theory of natural selection in Darwinism has been critiqued over and over, hundreds of times, and yet the paradigm remains in place with a factor of domination that remains very authoritarian. The puzzle is the sheer stupidity of the theory of natural selection taken statistically. But even statisticians are silent here.
Thus for over two generations, the entire (nearly so) scientific community has been in lockstep (and lockjaw) on a pseudoscientific form of idiocy on evolution.
In that vacuum, the religious right has been handed a golden opportunity, and for over two generations exploited this strange befuddlement of science to their own advantage, but in the process actually attempting to stick with the science keeping creationism in the background and attempting to actually make sense on the subject of evolution. The result was on the one hand the confusing ‘intelligent design’ movement and paradigm, but beside that a considerable and cogent set of critiques of Darwinism, scientism, and the selectionist confusion. In the process they have relentlessly promoted the appearance of religion outplaying and correctly critiquing science. The issue of intelligent design is indeed controversial but one can simply ignore that aspect and take note of the many useful citations of real science, with some suggestions on the issue of evolution. The question of design is a lost cause: design is pervasive in nature and the attempt to claim that natural selection accounts for design by the cadre of superidiots like Dawkins has been a waste of breath. Nature shows design at all levels and the issue is hardly one of theology. The question of ‘intelligent’ design is about the same, but somewhat tricky: we have no scientific way of discussing the issue of intelligence in nature. Nature seems intelligent, but that is a useful metaphor unless someone can resolve the ambiguity with some kind of evidence, of which there is none directly. But the point is that design as such is a naturalistic issue pointing to a science we don’t that we don’t have yet. Theology, what to say. A pagan’s view of nature is hardly on the agenda of the religious right.
Let us note then that for over two generations the religious public on the right has been given better information on Darwinism, if not evolution, than what scientists have provided to the secular public. Smal wonder then that many conservatives are wary of scientific claims. They have been shown directly the idiocy and/or mendaciousness of scientists and …
well, …and just might be suspicious of claims for vaccination.
A disgraceful failure of science. Scientists, or else outsiders, such as here, need without delay to take down the Darwinian pseudo-science, really a form of propaganda.
Darwinian theology seems to have slipped away into its fated oblivion
At a medical research laboratory in California, Alysson Muotri has used chemistry to change skin cells into neurons, which have multiplied to form “organoids” – globes of interconnected brain cells. The organoids can expand to hundreds of thousands of cells, live for years, and even produce detectable patterns of brain waves, like those of premature babies. “The most incredible thing is that they build themselves,” says Muotri. He even wonders whether they could one day become conscious.
We addressed this post yesterday but can make some additional points: the claims for design in the universe make sense but then the conclusion is that this is evidence of mind in nature. The problem here is that you still have to show what ‘mind’ is and probably without reference to the human mind. If mind is behind evolution, what is behind mind? The antinomial regress is not an answer. The feeling about design is real, and shows that the universe shows non-random processes.
Let’s play a trick here, honest and out front: the eonic effect (Cf. Decoding World History) shows design in history, which sometimes seems intelligent indeed. But the design is not the same as the design proposed by Jews and Christians as in the Old Testament. How do we distinguish different forms of design? In fact, the eonic effect shows massive evidence for its own issue of ‘design’, and it effectively replaces the monotheistic confusion over design. It is not yet science, to be sure, but it is empirical.
At this point, the ID group becomes dangerous because they are right-wing Trump fans hoping to use design arguments to establish a theological regressive theocracy. Fair, unfair? In any case, they are not open to free discussion. In the last twenty years since WHEE showed design in nature by an ‘atheist’, I have never been able to exchange an email, even once with the gang there. I can’t post comments, and in the end their tactics are not science but incipient theology based not on science but on design propaganda for social control, etc, etc…
A comment at academia.edu ‘s debate on Evolution and Atheism. It is sad to watch the triumph of idiocy manufactured by bad, or dishonest, ‘science’ education. The failure of natural selection is totally obvious to any statistical analysis, and yet persists as ideology because powerful people enforce it in educational brainwashing mills. I have always thought the reason was the promotion of social Darwinism in public economic ideology. It is ideal for psychopaths who wish a free hand in capitalist competition and ‘dog eat dog’. Sad is the inability of leftists to escape the universal muddle, although Richard Lewontin seems to have known better, but never made his views clear.
No matter how many times you say Darwinism as a theory of evolution has no evidence for its claims: i.e. random mutation and natural selection, people just go into a kind of trance as the brainwashing of thought takes hold. To do science you must have evidence but no one has the evidence for a single species in the large evolving by chance. Confusion arises over what is really microevolution and/or the sloppy usage using the term evolution for, say, Covid molecular mutations, in RNA no less. That does not extend to the large-scale evolution of species, a hypercomplex operation that is still a complete mystery. Google the question and scroll down from the propaganda first page to some serious critiques of the impossibility of random evolution where the odds of producing a single protein by chance are astronomically low, vanishingly low. Look at a strand of molecular structure: the odds of producing a designed structure are so low that there can’t be any debate there. And the improbability multiples across repeated links in any chemical chain. It is hard to see how in a culture where statistics is a hard rigorous discipline anyone could think otherwise.
But figures like Dawkins in their obsession to promote atheism have distorted the whole debate, and worse using their professional power to conduct witch hunts of any professional figure in biology who dissents, a disastrous destruction of science. The design issue seemed once to be connected with creationism, but the god angle is waning more and more. You have to discuss design in evolution andthat has nothing to with creationism…
Guess what, scientists can’t be trusted…
“The apparent homogeneity within races as compared to the ‘obvious’ difference between them stems partly from the fact that our consciousness of racial differences is constantly being reinforced socially because racial distinctions serve economic and political ends.”—Richard Lewontin, The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change, 1974. Pg. 152.