Thursday, July 15, 2010

Darwin and Nature's Mind

Darwin's scientific theory was based on an anthropomorphic metaphor -- "natural selection". Underlying the metaphor was the image of nature endowed with intelligence and purpose.

Robert J. Richards discusses this in "Darwin’s Metaphysics of Mind".

 “... Darwin constructed a theory of evolution whose conceptual grammar expresses and depends on a certain kind of metaphysics....  he founded that theory on something like a concept of absolute mind, echoing from afar ideas propounded by such German Romantic scientist-philosophers as Friedrich Schelling and, more proximately, Alexander von Humboldt."

Quoting Darwin:  “Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for that of the being which she tends. . . . If [sic] may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest;  rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.”

Darwin offered 19th cc. Britain a God-substitute -- nature with a brain. The idea that nature is intelligent and purposeful remains with us in present-day (un)scientific descriptions of how evolution works. Nature "experiments", "designs", "adapts", "selects", etc.  Call it Metaphysical Darwin Lite.™

It's just so dog-gone hard to get away from the God-Idea. As hard as atheists try to scrub it away, it persists, like a faint imprint even in their own descriptions of how it all happened.

I have yet to hear or read a scientific description of evolution that was strictly non-teleological. I'm not even sure it would be possible to create one. Our darwinian-reptilian brains have been hopelessly wired by evolution itself to think in terms of purpose.

Oh, the irony! Oh, the humanity! Speaking of which...

Regain your humanity. Rebel against the atheist machine.™

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"