Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Darwinian Monkey-Brain At Work?

The problem posed: "... we should not confuse the mechanisms by which the universe works either with its cause or its upholder."

Pretty straightforward, eh?

Here's the response this gets: "The whole car_needs_a_designer so everything_needs_a_designer meme fails as soon as you account for the fact that living cells self-replicate and reproduce, cars (and other inanimate objects) do not. That alone shreds Lennox's point."

Except, it doesn't. The point is, let me say this slowly, what needs an explanation is the universe itself -- the whole show --, and the regularities (what we often refer to as "laws") by which it operates.  Since self-replicating, living cells are part of this "show", referring to them describes something but explains nothing.

"Natural laws" are an observation, not an explanation.

Which has been the point of the last half dozen or so posts.

But, in fairness, so has the point that, under darwinism, our brains are not designed for abstract thought; indeed, they are not designed at all for anything.  So, we really ought not to expect too much from them.


P@J said...

How many Strawmen is this now? You have a freaking Strawman army on your side.

Evolution of Species by Natural Selection (Darwin's theory) does not attempt to explain the universe, the "whole show" as you eloquently (but intentionally obscurely) put it. It does, however, successfully explain how over a little more than 3 billion years, a vast array of life forms developed on this planet. Including Homo sapiens sapiens.

If you want to debate the nature of the universe, then I suppose you had better start attacking cosmologists (Copernicists?), not biologists. If you want to debate the nature of matter, you had better start attacking chemists (Paulingists?), If you want to debate the characteristics of energy, you had better start attacking physics (Einsteinists?). If you want to argue that 2+2 = 5, you might want to start riling against any Pythagoreans you meet…

RkBall said...

Again, you have to look at the arguments being made, in context. The Darwinian mind refers to darwinian views of the mind's origin and development. This mind is then used to contemplate all of life, all of science, etc.

Secondly, "Darwinist" is a rhetorical jab at persons like you. I assume you are not an atheist/materialist when it comes to origin of species, and outside of the self-imposed, arbitrary Darwinian box, a supernaturalist/theist when it comes to "the whole show", including origin of life.

Plus, as you know, the term "evolution" is now used to explain EVERYTHING from the Big Bang on. You know -- evolution of stars, evolution of planets, evolution of chemicals into the first life form and then, Voila!, cue the strings, the unfolding of the Darwinian world -- from super-goo to me and you!

P@J said...

But the word “evolution” is not an invention of Darwin. The word existed long before Darwin, and the evolution of species was a recognized phenomenon before Darwin wrote a book of that title (otherwise the title wouldn’t have made much sense to anyone, a bad idea for a popular science tome). It’s application to lyrical prose on the history of stars, planets, etc. has nothing to do with Natural Selection.

You can use “Dariwnist” as a rhetorical jab at all people who hold rational thoughts about the universe, but it rather dilutes your argument, doesn’t it?

Now, if you want to discuss the relative merits of the several prevailing scientific theories about the beginning of life, we can do that, but you have to stop talking about Darwin. You are using a hammer to turn a screw: you keep using the wrong tools!

RkBall said...

"But the word “evolution”.... Darwin wrote a book of that title"...

* You might want to check the above statement.

* Darwin originally eschewed the term evolution because of the teleological connotations it had in his day.

"It’s application to lyrical prose on the history of stars, planets, etc."

* The usage is not lyrical -- it's hard-core scientific. Google "galaxy evolution".

"has nothing to do with Natural Selection."

Sure it does. According to the materialist view, it is all part of one seamless, continuous chain of cause-effect natural events. So, it has everything to do with natural selection, because natural selection owes its existence to it. The laws of natural selection had to be, in some sense, embedded in the dead stardust of the galaxies.

Crude said...

The laws of natural selection had to be, in some sense, embedded in the dead stardust of the galaxies.

That sounds like the echo of front-loading, an ID hypothesis.

Joe_Agnost said...

Crude wrote: "That sounds like the echo of front-loading, an ID hypothesis."

I wasn't aware that ID had ~any~ hypotheses... I know they like to add science words to their babble in order to appear scientific, but I've never heard of an ID concept that made it to "hypothesis" status.

The word you might be looking for is an ID ~concept~...

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