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  Topic: No reason for a rift between science and religion?, Skeptic's chance to prove his claims.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2007,11:45   

Louis -

That is clarifying. I think what you want to say is not that the mechanisms that catch a ball use a form of reasoning, but rather that both propositional reasoning across evidence and the mechanisms that enable one to catch a ball are instances of a more general phenomenon: "processes that interact with and derive feedback and correction from the environment." That certainly characterizes scientific reasoning, and also characterizes the homeostasis to target that characterizes catching a ball, while avoiding the hang up on propositions. It doesn't characterize the process of deriving propositions from faith, because there the correction from environmental input is absent.

Your Fibonnacci sequence observation raises an interesting point. Of course, it was natural selection that enabled the emergence of plant organization around the extremely efficient arrangement described by the Fibonnacci sequence. Yet we know that natural selection generates only apparent design - structures that appear for all the world to have been designed, and hence to have emerged by means of a process of representational reasoning, yet emerged from a process that is completely absent actual reasoning (or representation of any kind). That is the essence of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" (both the book and the dangerous idea itself). Hence, in the flower petals, we have an arrangement that appears to have been devised by means of reasoning and even the ultra-abstract representational art we know as "mathematics," and that may be described with exquisite precision by means of this mathematical computation - yet did NOT originate by means of a process of mathematical reasoning. So too the apparent unconscious "reasoning" that underlies motor behavior may also be only apparent. Which is not to gainsay the point of the first paragraph, above.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  1091 replies since Aug. 06 2007,07:39 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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