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  Topic: The limits of darwinism., Utunumsint's thread.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,14:31   

So, Joy, please do tell me about how *you* believe life originated.

And if it's got any level of detail comparable to even the slimmest paper on abiogenesis then perhaps we can talk about that instead?

Oh, got to go? Ok, no problem.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,14:35   

And as I'm answering your questions, please do answer this.

Is your chosen deity sufficiently powerful that it is capable of creating a universe where life can originate via "chance" alone?

Or not?

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,15:17   

oldman:
 
Quote
The where and when is ongoing. Some specific details are missing. I realise that's not as satisfying as the first few chapters of your book, but...


So you believe that life arose from non-life at least once, but do not know where or when or precisely how. That's what I suspected. You are in the same boat as everybody else, it seems.

It's somewhat amazing that you have read the first few chapters of my book, since it was never published and made generally available to the public. Though there were a few copies making the rounds. Quite exciting, wasn't it? Perhaps one of these years it finally will be published...

 
Quote
Any evidence that consciousness is not a product of "just cells and chemicals"?


Cells and chemicals (and biophysical processes) are of course surmised to be the means and mechanisms for the operations of consciousness, at least for so long as it is embodied in physical, organic form. I simply do not misconstrue the phenomenon itself with the physical correlates of its mechanical operation. And before you ask or offer yet another inane insult, yes. I do know that there are people who do equate phenomena with the physical processes of their operation. I am not one of them. You apparently are.

 
Quote
Why are they bothering eh? If they are looking at the "cells and chemical" level they'll never find what they are looking for, right?


What they are mostly looking for are the physical correlates of consciousness' expression in living organisms. The physical components, the mechanics and the processes. Originally the primary motivation was to determine if information technologists could hope to create an artificial machine-based consciousness. I don't know how many of those individuals with lots of money to invest in the projects may be transhumanists. There are no doubt some who would simply like to have a conscious machine. For whatever reason.

 
Quote
Yet you claim to 'know' that life did not have a natural origin on what basis?


Where did I claim that? Nowhere have I asserted that life's origin was not entirely natural, even if it was a singular event. Again you are making things up out of whole cloth and projecting them onto me. Please stop it.

 
Quote
Yes, the intense scientific research into abiogenesis can't compete with an old book written by goat herders. I can see why you believe that case is far more convincing.


Oh, THAT's the book you're referring to. I've read it a few times. Good for what it is, and reliable as what it is (considering the care exerted to keep it accurate over many generations, which is what the treatment of such things as 'holy' is particularly good for). I find the slightly differing accounts of ancient Hebraic creation mythologies - no doubt regionally specific - as interesting as I've found the creation mythologies of the Pima and Tewa, the Inuit, the Chinese, the Norse and the several others I've investigated. Also interesting that they use a ceramic model, as do several other cultural origin stories. Probably indicating some common sociocultural development(s) undergirding the particular metaphors.

 
Quote
So lets split the difference and say eight.


Interesting that you'd pick that number. One of my current favorite models is 8-dimensional. I'd say it's 'easier' than 11, 22 or infinite dimensions, but it's really not. The mathematics is quite different from the current string models, difficult to grok. Thanks for the response.

 
Quote
What possible difference would it make to anything you might say to me?


I'd hoped that some grasp of the likely fact that there is more to reality than just what we have evolved to easily perceive, observe/measure and/or quantify would suggest to you that things may not be so cut and dried as your simplistic metaphysical belief system would have it.

 
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And the "experts" all agree (with some notable exceptions) that unassisted abiogenesis is at least possible, and perhaps even likely given the right conditions.


"Unassisted" meaning what, exactly?

Quote
No serious "expert" is making any sort of case for "god did it". Are they?


Far as I know, only god-experts are attempting to make such a case. Though how 'expert' anyone can really be about gods is certainly debatable. Science is not trying to make that case and will not. That realm of speculation is outside its job description.

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,15:39   

Quote
So, Joy, please do tell me about how *you* believe life originated.


I have no clue how, where or when life originated, so I don't worry about it. I'm here now, so there's plenty of other things to concern myself with. I do kind of like the 'seeding' scenario, given that I'm not naturally inclined to believe life is exclusive to this obscure chunk of rock in a universe as huge and full of wonders as ours appears to be. But that's just a preference among speculative scenarios, not all the way to being what you could call "belief."

I do not believe in abiogenesis (spontaneous generation) here on this planet, though if science ever demonstrates such a thing can occur (and is likely to occur in nature) I'm willing to accept it. Doesn't look like that's going to happen during my lifetime, so I'm not investing any energy into a belief that means precisely zip.

Quote
Is your chosen deity sufficiently powerful that it is capable of creating a universe where life can originate via "chance" alone?


I don't know. Though I would be inclined more toward belief that a deity sufficiently powerful to create an entire universe and populate it with life forms would not need to rely upon "chance" alone, nor (given intent) be particularly inclined to rely upon "chance" alone. But there's no way to be sure of any such speculation either way from here inside of space-time. So the question is not of much serious concern to me. It looks to be of more serious concern to you.

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,15:42   

Quote
"Unassisted" meaning what, exactly?

I expect you would have determined that when you were hanging around at TT.
Quote
I do know that there are people who do equate phenomena with the physical processes of their operation.

What is pressure?
Quote

Where did I claim that? Nowhere have I asserted that life's origin was not entirely natural, even if it was a singular event. Again you are making things up out of whole cloth and projecting them onto me. Please stop it.

You hang around with dogs, you pick up fleas.
Quote
I'd hoped that some grasp of the likely fact that there is more to reality than just what we have evolved to easily perceive, observe/measure and/or quantify would suggest to you that things may not be so cut and dried as your simplistic metaphysical belief system would have it.

Agreed. There's much we don't know. More we don't even know we don't know.

Anyway, I'm guilty of treating you like the usual fundy with the usual baggage. I apologise for that. You are obviously a different beast entirely.

So I'll take my simplistic metaphysical belief system and go then......

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,15:46   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 09 2010,15:39)

I do not believe in abiogenesis (spontaneous generation) here on this planet, though if science ever demonstrates such a thing can occur (and is likely to occur in nature) I'm willing to accept it. Doesn't look like that's going to happen during my lifetime, so I'm not investing any energy into a belief that means precisely zip.

So you have no thoughts whatsoever on abiogenesis then? Not even to say telic intervention was required? What was your original purpose over at TT then? To argue against TT?
   
Quote
It looks to be of more serious concern to you.

Perhaps. I was just trying out my little trap, and you eluded it. It works sometimes......

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Quack



Posts: 1961
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,16:04   

Applause. Some time since we had a real shootout here, last was with Denial Smith.

I believe both Joy and Utunumsint might do well taking a close look at  the Methological naturalism thread

Gotta go to bed now.

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Rocks have no biology.
              Robert Byers.

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,16:30   

Quote
So you have no thoughts whatsoever on abiogenesis then? Not even to say telic intervention was required? What was your original purpose over at TT then? To argue against TT?


My only thought on abiogenesis is that I would like to believe life is intentional rather than accidental. It struggles too mightily to stay alive - even when it knows it's doomed, at this end of the scale - as if it had purpose. A reason to be. That fits nicely into my metaphysical views. But I do not claim to 'know' anything about it that you would consider objective, big-t Truth. Nor am I here to convince you to subscribe to any metaphysical belief system other than your own.

I participated at TT because Mike Gene asked me to participate at TT. It was quite a fun pastime before he moved on to other things and it became Bradford's personal political blog. I still follow on occasion if there is an interesting subject.

My interest in the debates exists on a couple of levels. The first scientific - I find accumulated and incoming knowledge and evidence via research to be fascinating. Life is quite the amazing phenomenon, it would be a good thing (I believe) for humanity to understand much more about it. That kind of knowledge might to a long way towards helping us make life a more enjoyable experience overall.

The second level is sociocultural, colored by politics. I see this grand "Culture War" and a lot of senseless bravado, and some serious overtones of authoritarianism on both sides that conflicts with my views about things like freedom and liberty and democracy and the sanctity of individual human rights. It often seems like there are a lot of wannabe mind-tyrants abroad in the "Land of the Free," and too little courage in the "Home of the Brave." I am interested in how this works, and why it seems to be more prevalent of late. It doesn't seem like a very hopeful indication that humanity can evolve past its strong suicidal tendencies, and that would be a shame.

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,17:01   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 09 2010,16:30)
I see this grand "Culture War" and a lot of senseless bravado, and some serious overtones of authoritarianism on both sides that conflicts with my views about things like freedom and liberty and democracy and the sanctity of individual human rights.

And from your analysis of how the "Culture War" functions would you agree it's something of an uneven fight?

One side somewhat outguns the other, no? There's a definite preponderance of evidence on one side, right?

I mean, if it were an actual war it would have been over in a half hour. If that.

Giving equal time to both sides of an argument only works when both sides of the argument are equally strong.

So, why do you suppose it is that the side of the Culture Wars represented by the Disco Tute, AIG and UncommonDescent get so much face time with teachers like Mr Freshwater? And why does he get so much support  from his local community, to the extent of death-threats being made against his opponents?

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,17:19   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 09 2010,17:30)
           
Quote
So you have no thoughts whatsoever on abiogenesis then? Not even to say telic intervention was required? What was your original purpose over at TT then? To argue against TT?


My only thought on abiogenesis is that I would like to believe life is intentional rather than accidental.

It strikes me that to ascribe the origins of life on earth, and/or the evolutionary directions taken by life over the last ~3.5 billion years either to "intent" or "accident," is a category error (or category mistake).

It is defensible to ascribe to persons and perhaps a few other higher organisms intent to engage in behaviors, which are therefore called "acts." To do so is to ascribe to them the ability to represent behavioral options prior to behaving and hence "intend" a given behavior. As a component of this ascription, we say that for them it is possible to exhibit "accidental" behaviors or results. A person may "accidently" knock the cup from the table. Or may do so intentionally.

An earthquake, however, neither behaves intentionally nor causes results "by accident." It may cause many cups to fall from many tables, but these are neither accidents nor not accidents. They are not "acts" at all. Such an ascription is simply inappropriate for a natural event such as an earthquake, and represents a category error.

It is similarly inappropriate to ascribe either intention or lack of intention ("accidents") to other natural phenomena. Hence, within a naturalistic framework, the origins of life and course of evolution are neither accidental nor non-accidental, because both ascriptions commit a category error. However these phenomena originate, it is unlikely to be by means of "actions" analogous to human actions, because the capacity for "acts" (versus mere behavior) appears rather clearly to be a culmination of long evolutionary history, not its beginning.

Interestingly, it IS possible that God created life accidently. An eternal divine entity possessed of agency may create deliberately - but as an intentional being may also enage in acts that have unintended consequences, and hence may be regarded as accidents. It is an interesting question for believers in such beings to contemplate: perhaps there is a God, but this universe and/or the life within it are accidental. Could explain a lot, because the God of the bible seems such a bungler.

Absent such a being, the universe is neither accidental nor not accidental. Ascriptions along that dimension become category errors when the processes so described are natural processes, absent agency. The only circumstance in which a universe and the life within it can be "accidental" is if there IS a God and that God created this universe. Only believers need be concerned with that possibility.

(Remember to recycle).

[Edit for fragrance]

--------------
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

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1692
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,17:51   

Hello Joy!

Would you accept Eru Illuvatar as your creator?

Or for that matter, Osyrhia?

please answer carefuly...

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,18:44   

Schroedinger's Dog:
 
Quote
please answer carefuly...


Carefully? I actually quite like Tolkien's concept of "the infinite 'potential variety' of God." Though his hierarchal model is nothing new - many cultural mythologies include 'levels' of creation and creative impulse - gods, demigods, powers, principalities and such. Due to Catholicism's warm embrace (and outright usurpation) of entire systems of Pagan metaphysics, it doesn't seem so strange that the scenario would appeal to someone as gifted a storyteller/mythmaker as Tolkien.

As for Osyrhia, I'm not all that fond of terminal complexity in metaphysics, though I will certainly admit that things on that level may indeed be terminally complex. I'm often amazed at how twisty and unfathomable people can make their metaphysical belief systems - a reflection of their minds, I'm pretty sure, as well as a way to provide cover for obvious and endemic personal failings. If I could get the pages in English I might be able to figure out if this is an elder system or just another New Age construct. But it doesn't really matter. Again, 'ages' of progression and/or regression ruled by different powers is nothing new. Aldous Huxley's documentation of common themes and concepts across cultures and systems amounts to what he termed the "Perennial Philosophy." Looks to me like certain classes of direct experience come quite naturally to the human animal. Our propensity to turn them into authoritative, sociopolitical constructs called Religions can lead to lamentable results.

For myself, I choose the "Simple Answer" because I don't seek too much knowledge of the furniture of heaven or the temperature of hell, nor to I wish to claim such [h/t Reinhold Niebuhr]. Of all the systems of belief I've encountered and examined, I've chosen the one with the best advice on how to live. Here, and now, since that is my concern while I live in the here and now.

In that system Love is the Answer. I honestly and reasonably doubt that any avatar or holy man/woman will ever impart to us a better or more complete Answer to the suffering of this world. And I believe very, very strongly that if we could just abide by that one commandment - to Love One Another - life on planet earth would be as good as it gets here and now. Alas, love is not something so easily commanded, is it? Judging by the obvious difficulty that humans have with so simple an Answer, it seems a mighty Fool's Errand to go seeking after anything more obscure or occulted. I'm just doing the best I can, figure that if I someday wake up dead, I'll deal with 'reality' there and then as I find it to be.

YMMV.

  
Badger3k



Posts: 861
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,20:46   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 09 2010,17:19)
Quote (Joy @ Feb. 09 2010,17:30)
           
Quote
So you have no thoughts whatsoever on abiogenesis then? Not even to say telic intervention was required? What was your original purpose over at TT then? To argue against TT?


My only thought on abiogenesis is that I would like to believe life is intentional rather than accidental.

It strikes me that to ascribe the origins of life on earth, and/or the evolutionary directions taken by life over the last ~3.5 billion years either to "intent" or "accident," is a category error (or category mistake).

It is defensible to ascribe to persons and perhaps a few other higher organisms intent to engage in behaviors, which are therefore called "acts." To do so is to ascribe to them the ability to represent behavioral options prior to behaving and hence "intend" a given behavior. As a component of this ascription, we say that for them it is possible to exhibit "accidental" behaviors or results. A person may "accidently" knock the cup from the table. Or may do so intentionally.

An earthquake, however, neither behaves intentionally nor causes results "by accident." It may cause many cups to fall from many tables, but these are neither accidents nor not accidents. They are not "acts" at all. Such an ascription is simply inappropriate for a natural event such as an earthquake, and represents a category error.

It is similarly inappropriate to ascribe either intention or lack of intention ("accidents") to other natural phenomena. Hence, within a naturalistic framework, the origins of life and course of evolution are neither accidental nor non-accidental, because both ascriptions commit a category error. However these phenomena originate, it is unlikely to be by means of "actions" analogous to human actions, because the capacity for "acts" (versus mere behavior) appears rather clearly to be a culmination of long evolutionary history, not its beginning.

Interestingly, it IS possible that God created life accidently. An eternal divine entity possessed of agency may create deliberately - but as an intentional being may also enage in acts that have unintended consequences, and hence may be regarded as accidents. It is an interesting question for believers in such beings to contemplate: perhaps there is a God, but this universe and/or the life within it are accidental. Could explain a lot, because the God of the bible seems such a bungler.

Absent such a being, the universe is neither accidental nor not accidental. Ascriptions along that dimension become category errors when the processes so described are natural processes, absent agency. The only circumstance in which a universe and the life within it can be "accidental" is if there IS a God and that God created this universe. Only believers need be concerned with that possibility.

(Remember to recycle).

[Edit for fragrance]

Well said.  That also applies when people say "well who created the universe" - by putting the "who" they are automatically leaving out the more basic "what", along with the implication that "creation" carries.  Creation can refer to the result of natural process without intentionality (cold weather and water can create ice, for example), but most people think of an active agent.  Same sort of error, no?

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"Just think if every species had a different genetic code We would have to eat other humans to survive.." : Joe G

  
Badger3k



Posts: 861
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,20:52   

So Joy, if Love is the Answer (good song, by the way, even if that may not be the title, I forget, forgive my digression), does that apply between consenting adults of the same sex?  What about between species?  Between kingdoms (animal and vegetable, for example)?  

Why pick a philosophy that gives advice on how to live here and now if it includes (or you include) things about some other life for which there is no evidence?  I like a lot of Zen teachings, but when they go into metaphysical BS that has no basis in reality, I jettison that part.  There is no need to take things whole.  Even stoic philosophy had its supernatural aspect that can be ignored.  Why not do that and leave the non-evidence based crap behind?

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"Just think if every species had a different genetic code We would have to eat other humans to survive.." : Joe G

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,21:08   

Quote (Badger3k @ Feb. 09 2010,21:46)
Same sort of error, no?

It implicitly imports the notion of agency and intent, which is only clearly warranted with respect to human agency. Human agency is a culmination of a long biological and cultural evolutionary history, and therefore a poor model for beginnings.

--------------
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

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,22:27   

Badger3k:
   
Quote
So Joy, if Love is the Answer (good song, by the way, even if that may not be the title, I forget, forgive my digression), does that apply between consenting adults of the same sex?  What about between species?  Between kingdoms (animal and vegetable, for example)?


Love is not just about sex. There seem to be increasing numbers of ambivigendered folks these days, and it does not appear to be a choice (for those I know) as much as it is nature. Something the haters don't want to consider, but may have to accept one of these days. Given intersex epidemics in fish and amphibians from agricultural pollution - ALL the fish examined in a surprising number of systems - it could be yet another thing we've visited upon our children through unbridled greed, apathy, and/or endless stupidity. There are enough humans in the world, it is not important on any level for anyone to be forced to reproduce, nor is it reasonable to enforce lifelong celibacy because someone else doesn't 'approve' of who a person loves. Interspecies crosses a relative power and consent line, but if you're into loufas you and Bill O'Reilly would have something in common.

   
Quote
Why pick a philosophy that gives advice on how to live here and now if it includes (or you include) things about some other life for which there is no evidence?


No evidence you would consider, obviously. But it would be a mistake to extrapolate and project your own beliefs (or lack thereof) universally. I have encountered some evidence that consciousness is separable from body and may survive death. Enough to lend hope, for what it's worth - to me. Others have no power to eliminate my experiences or to dictate what I must believe about them. So I couldn't imagine why in the world anybody'd bother to try.

   
Quote
 Why not do that and leave the non-evidence based crap behind?


Because I don't have any desire to reject what I don't consider to be "crap." You of course can believe or not believe whatever you like.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,22:28   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 09 2010,16:30)
My only thought on abiogenesis is that I would like to believe life is intentional rather than accidental. It struggles too mightily to stay alive - even when it knows it's doomed, at this end of the scale - as if it had purpose. A reason to be.


Perhaps. Another explanation is that any kind of life that doesn't struggle mightly to stay alive and reproduce doesn't exist for very long, and doesn't leave any descendents for us to observe.

The advantage of this explanation is that it doesn't require any higher-order knowledge by life. No knowledge that it's 'doomed' or that it has a purpose. Kind of hard for me to see how bacteria could know they were doomed or had a purpose, especially a few billion years ago when they were the only life in existence.

Note: I'm not claiming this as evidence against a purpose to life. Only that it's not evidence for a purpose.

 
Quote
That fits nicely into my metaphysical views.


Do you consider that a reason to believe it?

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,23:20   

Reciprocating Bill:
 
Quote
It strikes me that to ascribe the origins of life on earth, and/or the evolutionary directions taken by life over the last ~3.5 billion years either to "intent" or "accident," is a category error (or category mistake).


Perhaps so. I'd suspect it would be dependent upon how life originated on earth, and whether or not the evolutionary directions followed a telic impetus or were front-loaded. I seem to recall that quite a few researchers in recent years have subscribed to the 'seeding' scenario in one way or another (accidental or intentional), for reasons of shortcomings they perceive in models of abiogenesis, time frames and other issues with strict Darwinism.

Thus while it would be a category error to ascribe intent to an earthquake, it may not be a category error to ascribe intent to either the appearance of life on this planet or its directional evolution. You never know. Maybe we'll meet ET one of these days and he'll give us his lab notes. §;o)

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,23:21   

It's enjoyable reading threads where Joy is commenting in good form.

While I may be more anti-religious than she, I can agree with the wisdom of avoiding having faith in absolutes.

Quantum Mechanics brings into question any absolute declaration of a separation of reality and consciousness (i.e. "purpose").

If Behe and the ID Movement in general were truly interested in finding evidence of "telic organizing principles in nature" I would think they would seriously explore things like EAM and Quantum Consciousness.

However, it is rather obvious they would rather engage in Joy's "dueling metaphysics" and try to convince people to bend knees for their religion.

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2010,23:35   

qetzal:
Quote
Note: I'm not claiming this as evidence against a purpose to life. Only that it's not evidence for a purpose.


That's why I qualified the statement to "this end of the scale." While all life forms we know of act/react to stimulus (process information) and display some signs of volition - jury's still out on viruses as life forms - not all life forms are 'conscious'. According to the Hameroff-Penrose model, there is a numerical quantification for the appearance of that phenomenon.

I'd argue in favor of all conscious life forms having 'purpose' (to include self-purpose), even if it seems trivial to us.

Quote
Quote
That fits nicely into my metaphysical views.


Do you consider that a reason to believe it?


"It" what? That conscious beings have purpose or act upon telic impetus, or my metaphysical views? Doesn't really matter, of course. I believe what I believe for my own reasons, about both.

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,03:09   

Quote
'd suspect it would be dependent upon how life originated on earth, and whether or not the evolutionary directions followed a telic impetus or were front-loaded.

And as we're never going to know that precisely you can continue to make the claim "that it depends".

The fact is there is absolutely no evidence for any sort of "telic impetus".

None. Whatsoever.

   
Quote
"It" what? That conscious beings have purpose or act upon telic impetus, or my metaphysical views? Doesn't really matter, of course. I believe what I believe for my own reasons, about both.

Yes, and to me it's about as interesting as hearing somebody recount their dreams.

It seems that you want to be an Atheist Joy but don't have the guts (boom boom) to go the whole way. Instead we get this wishy washy "I believe what I believe and nobody can make me chance my mind".

Yeah, you and everybody else too.

Joy, ever thought about becoming a politician? You've got a great knack for answering questions without actually committing yourself either way.

   
Quote
Thus while it would be a category error to ascribe intent to an earthquake, it may not be a category error to ascribe intent to either the appearance of life on this planet or its directional evolution. You never know. Maybe we'll meet ET one of these days and he'll give us his lab notes. §;o)

See what I mean?

A) You have no evidence whatsoever that the apperance of life was intended by some being. Yet you still make it part of your warm'n'fuzzy outlook.
B) Yes, ha ha, perhaps ET will turn up and give us his lab notes. Yet somehow I doubt you really, truly believe that. And even if you do then you've already indicated, in the previous sentence even, that the appearance and evolution of life was backed by intent. So even if it was ET you still have to explain the origin of ET. So what caused ET? Another ET? Yes, makes sense.

So which is it? Was it ET or was it some deity? It cannot be both, ultimately.

Ever thought about writing for the Huffington Post? I'm sure you'd fit right in with Deepak Chopra and the rest of the "woo gang".

 
Quote
I seem to recall that quite a few researchers in recent years have subscribed to the 'seeding' scenario in one way or another (accidental or intentional), for reasons of shortcomings they perceive in models of abiogenesis, time frames and other issues with strict Darwinism.


"Strict Darwinism"? Tell me a single problem you have with Darwinism? What's the difference between "Darwinism" and "Strict Darwinism"?

You seem more then capable of elucidating what your issue is with Darwinism, so please do so. That's what this is really about, at heart. Then we might be able to actually talk about something other then how your inner beliefs are yours alone and so very precious. Who's work are you cribbing from? Behe? Dembski?

But I won't be taking part.

Goodbye Joy.

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,07:12   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 10 2010,00:20)
Reciprocating Bill:
     
Quote
It strikes me that to ascribe the origins of life on earth, and/or the evolutionary directions taken by life over the last ~3.5 billion years either to "intent" or "accident," is a category error (or category mistake).

Perhaps so. I'd suspect it would be dependent upon how life originated on earth, and whether or not the evolutionary directions followed a telic impetus or were front-loaded.

Quite so, in this sense: it is an mistake to characterize undirected origins in the absence of "telic" input as an "accident." Undirected events in nature are neither accidents nor not accidents.

"Accident" refers only to the unintended acts/consequences of agents/agency.

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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

  
Utunumsint



Posts: 103
Joined: Jan. 2010

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,08:45   

Quote (Quack @ Feb. 09 2010,16:04)
Applause. Some time since we had a real shootout here, last was with Denial Smith.

I believe both Joy and Utunumsint might do well taking a close look at  the Methological naturalism thread

Gotta go to bed now.

Great thread Quack. Kudos to RB for posting it.

I have a background in classical and medieval studies and also in comparative religions, so I'm familiar with several of the 12th century debaters mentioned. Thomas Aquinas' The Division of Sciences also gives a good presentation.

I'm more of an Augustinian in the sense that I think where we most reflect the image of God is in our intellectual capacities (memory, will, and reason). Bonaventure wrote a beautiful work called Itinerum ad mentis in Deum which outlines his markedly Franciscan/Augustinian view of the cosmos. As reflections of God, the material world sat at the bottom, showing ownly vestigial traces of the imprint of the hand of God. But in and of itself, the physical world was the most remote. I think this is a mistake that IDers make in thinking there can be any direct proportion between God and nature.

From a theological point of view, I believe God holds all time and space in his power, and thus there is no such thing as randomness and chance for God. Therefore if he wanted to use evolution to create us (or at least our physical bodies), then that is what he did. Methodological naturalism is no threat to this kind of theological point of view.

That said, the real question is, do you believe that God can have a personal relationship with his creation? Can his supernatural presense enter into his creation and engage with us as a species? Why, would such a God even need to do so if he holds all time and space in his power and there is nothing that he has not predetermined? Doesn't this mean free will is a myth?

You see the dividing line between theology and philosophy come out fairly clearly in some of these questions. And these in turn have an impact on biological questions such as biological determinism.

Anyway, very interesting.

Cheers,
Ut

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,09:00   

Quote
And these in turn have an impact on biological questions such as biological determinism.

Like what? What sort of "impact" are you referring to?

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Utunumsint



Posts: 103
Joined: Jan. 2010

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,09:11   

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 10 2010,09:00)
Quote
And these in turn have an impact on biological questions such as biological determinism.

Like what? What sort of "impact" are you referring to?

Don't worry. I only mean impact from a philosophical point of view. If you believe in biological determinism, then free will is an ilusion.

Cheers,
Ut

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 11172
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,09:37   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Feb. 09 2010,23:21)
Quantum Mechanics brings into question any absolute declaration of a separation of reality and consciousness (i.e. "purpose").



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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
fnxtr



Posts: 3286
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,09:58   

Quote (Badger3k @ Feb. 09 2010,18:52)
So Joy, if Love is the Answer (good song, by the way, even if that may not be the title, I forget, forgive my digression),

It's called "Mind Games".

How a propos.

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"[A] book said there were 5 trillion witnesses. Who am I supposed to believe, 5 trillion witnesses or you? That shit's, like, ironclad. " -- stevestory

"Wow, you must be retarded. I said that CO2 does not trap heat. If it did then it would not cool down at night."  Joe G

  
Joy



Posts: 188
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,10:02   

Thanks, TP. Just have to chuckle sometimes at the stubborn refusal of biologists to credit anything to physics. Ah, well. Around and around it goes, don't guess it'll ever stop... §;o)

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,10:55   

Quote (Joy @ Feb. 10 2010,10:02)
Thanks, TP. Just have to chuckle sometimes at the stubborn refusal of biologists to credit anything to physics. Ah, well. Around and around it goes, don't guess it'll ever stop... §;o)

And you just have to guffaw at physicist wannabes who refuse to learn enough biology to comment on it sensibly.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Quack



Posts: 1961
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2010,11:00   

Utunumsint, I appreciate your response although I don't think I can engage in much debate on that level. I am too much of a realistic bent.

WRT God though, I think he is to embedded in the manifest world to have a 'personal relationship' with his creation. (Provided there is or he is a creator.)

There was a time when everything under the sun was attributed to gods: Rains, winds, thunder and lightning (Thor used to drive his chariot across the sky around here, striking with his hammer).

Most of the mystery has gone, the world has become a rational and rather predictable place to be. And even when unpredictable, most of the time we know why things happen anyway.

What remains is the human mind. But as far as I am concerned, that mystery has been solved too. Actually was already 100 years ago. My studies of depth psychology and personal experience have dispersed any doubts I might have had.

That doesn't mean that man's propensity for religious feelings and impulses are false; it just means they too can be understood.

The problem is that people want to see God as a remote spirit in the sky instead of as the ghost in the machine of our soul.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is within."

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Rocks have no biology.
              Robert Byers.

  
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