Cover of McCartneyHindus believe that all is illusion -- maya. The material world? Illusion.
Atheists believe something similar. They believe that the overwhelming appearance of design in nature is just that -- appearance, illusion. We are seeing something that is not there. The heart, a pump? The brain, an information processing apparatus? The lungs, an oxygen-processor? The cell, a biological factory? DNA -- information stored, retrieved, and processed, with built-in error-correction mechanisms? All of these appear to be purposeful. But, purposeful artifacts entail intelligent design, so, they are not. They just look that way. They just popped into place due to the impersonal, purposeless laws of chemistry and biology along with what Paul McCartney would call "with a little luck".
I had this exchange with my blogger friend Jonathan.
I quoted Behe, "1. Life reeks of design."
No, life reeks of apparent design, which is only apparent because we as humans use our brains (a pattern deciphering brain) to attempt to fit the apparently designed into a nice neat package. It only looks designed because he thinks it does, and that goes with all intelligent design supporters.
The apparent design is only in OUR HEADS, not in nature, nor else where.I asked, "What is your proof for this?"
He offered, Brain Seeks Patterns Where None Exist
The brain will find patterns or images where none really exist. Relaxation exercises lowered the chances of finding a pattern that wasn't really there.
OK, here we go.
1. Jonathan, my question was not about human brains seeking patterns, my question was what proof you have that life itself (all biological mechanisms) is not really designed but only appears to be designed. How do you know it isn't designed? How do you know that there is no purpose to the universe, or to life, or to us?
2. The fact that the brain seeks patterns does not mean that designed patterns do not exist. In the case of biology, the evidence for actual design goes beyond a desperate search for a "there must be a pattern here somewhere". To whit.
a) the functional parts of a human being I mentioned above appear to be purposeful. There really does seem to be a purpose for a heart as a pump, and blood-clotting as a life-saver. The full list would be endless. That's the external appearance of design.
b) then, look inside. We see the same kind of evidence. The cell functions as a factory. Factories have a purpose. This is just a metaphor. But...
c) DNA. DNA doesn't just look like an information-processing mechanism; it is an information-processing mechanism. It stores, retrieves, and processes instructions. It even has error-correction mechanisms. It looks purposeful.
d) The fine-tuned-for-life parameters of the universe. (I'm sure you are familiar with this argument.) These are hugely, immensely improbable if the mere result of random, purposeless processes. How do you know these weren't purposely "set"?
How do you know the apparent design is only in "our heads" and not actual and real?
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