the END goal...

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TurboLung
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 04:58 am
@TurboLung,
Let it be clear, I believe in evolution, but, I can't get my head around the fact that some things, like a brain could have come about purely from millions of mistakes over millions of years. I believe that the only way this could have happened is that evolution is a design in itself. That said, there are organisms that stay simple, or, stupid. Take leichin; it's very simple but it is capable of living everywhere on Earth, from cold mountain tops to dry deserts.
 
manored
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 12:35 pm
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;78775 wrote:
Let it be clear, I believe in evolution, but, I can't get my head around the fact that some things, like a brain could have come about purely from millions of mistakes over millions of years. I believe that the only way this could have happened is that evolution is a design in itself. That said, there are organisms that stay simple, or, stupid. Take leichin; it's very simple but it is capable of living everywhere on Earth, from cold mountain tops to dry deserts.
As in, determinism? That is, rather than the maker throwing all that stuff there and hoping something would come out, it having everthing that would happen already planned by the initial setting?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 03:09 pm
@TurboLung,
Please somebody give a brief recapitulation of why the idea tht 'life evolved without purpose' is in fact a good idea. It seems to me that this is just one side of a dualism perceived by 'science' where religion: purpose - science: no purpose. The idea is that 'God designed it with a purpose, and there is no God, therefore there can be no purpose'. Or perhaps because Teleology was Aristotlean, and was outmoded.

But if you say there is no purpose, how does anything actually ever occur at all? The most basic creature could not move from the cold part of the pond to the warm part, because there would be 'no purpose'. Why do birds migrate? Why does the salmon swim 10,000k to return to its home river? Why, for 'no purpose'. So this was getting rather silly.

Realising this, evolutionary biology has tried to replace the word teleology with teleonomy replacing 'purpose' with 'apparent purpose'. Split hairs, anyone?
 
Kthelmir
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 07:07 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78851 wrote:
But if you say there is no purpose, how does anything actually ever occur at all? The most basic creature could not move from the cold part of the pond to the warm part, because there would be 'no purpose'. Why do birds migrate? Why does the salmon swim 10,000k to return to its home river? Why, for 'no purpose'.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 08:02 pm
@TurboLung,
Quote:


Not at all. It is just that for a particular outlook on life, any sense of purpose is taboo. Not so much here on this forum, however.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 08:21 pm
@TurboLung,
Jeeprs, you're grossly misrepresenting (or perhaps misunderstanding) science.

Purposes are not scientifically demonstrable entities (except in the solitary case of a human describing his/her purpose). There is no means either to descry or describe purpose in science -- and thus it is absent from scientific discourse. If one believes that a blade of grass has a purpose, then one believes that on non-scientific grounds. If one believes that there is a purpose to evolution, that is similarly non-scientific.

And if one thinks that there must be purpose because evolution seems goal-directed, then one forgets that the dinosaurs must also have seemed that way a moment before the meteor arrived.

Evolution does not deal in "purposes", because the theory (and all evidence) suggests that ALL molecular genetic and population genetic changes that determine evolutionary change happen without knowledge of consequence.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 05:35 am
@TurboLung,
That would be a fair comment except that various scientific ideologues have tried to argue FROM the fact that 'purposes are not scientifically demonstrable entities' TO the existential implications of the idea that 'life arises without purpose'. This is the main thrust of works such as 'Chance and Necessity' by Jacques Monod, 'Free Man's Worship' by Russell, and the 'Blind Watchmaker' by Dawkins (and of course I acknowledge that they are all quite brilliant pieces of work.)

But these go well beyond the requirements of a scientific account of evolution to state that the discovery of evolution has shown that life has no purpose in the sense designated by such traditional understandings as 'providence' or 'destiny' or the human species as imageo dei. Many have drawn philosophical implications from evolutionary discoveries that all of life is, in Bertrand Russell's words 'the accidental collocation of atoms', because the idea of any kind of 'purpose' or 'cosmic intelligence' is deemed supernatural (maybe just because it is well beyond the ken of science). So the idea of any kind of purpose has been declared taboo just because it is associated with 'religion and spirituality' and other archaic, outmoded forms of thought. Neitzche saw all this of course.

(Let's pause to consider the New Age Creation Myth which says that life does indeed have a purpose, namely evolving towards 'enlightenment', wherein the human being transcends their own selfish limitations by realising their oneness with the universe and all that lives. Many people believe this, and I have a hard time finding fault with it, myself.)

Now you could quite well argue, and I indeed accept, that much of the confict between science and religion only arose because of the literalism of fundamentalist Christians, with whom I have not the least sympathy. But there are many other readings of the Bible, and many other shades of meaning within religion, that neither challenge, nor a challenged by, any detail of the discovery of the evolution of species. Thomism does not support creationism in the slightest. Not to mention the many ideas of teleology, destiny and purpose in many of the world's other significant cultural traditions, including the one mentioned above.

So do not complain to me about misunderstanding or misrepresenting science. There are many excellent scientists who do a splendid job in this regard without any assistance from me.
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 07:13 pm
@manored,
manored;78837 wrote:
As in, determinism? That is, rather than the maker throwing all that stuff there and hoping something would come out, it having everthing that would happen already planned by the initial setting?


i really don't know. i am agnostic, meaning i do not believe we will ever know if their is a god. to your question; the whole process of evolution is a series of small mutations, or, mistakes. the process works too perfectly, so i get the feeling that the process is designed. i just can't accept the answer that the whole thing is a mistake. THAT doesn't make sense.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 07:35 pm
@TurboLung,
I agree with this understanding but in fairness to the approach of evolutionary philosophy, they say the key driver is not chance or random mutation, but natural selection, which operates in the context of vast periods of time by way of many incremental changes. Chance plays a role but everything is shaped by evolutionary adapation.

However I don't think this really amounts to a complete philosophy of life either, in contrast to Richard Dawkins, who has more or less elevates the role of natural selection to what he understands as Deity. This is rather well discussed in a book by Mary Midgley, Evolution as Religion.
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 08:02 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;79533 wrote:
I agree with this understanding but in fairness to the approach of evolutionary philosophy, they say the key driver is not chance or random mutation, but natural selection, which operates in the context of vast periods of time by way of many incremental changes. Chance plays a role but everything is shaped by evolutionary adapation.

However I don't think this really amounts to a complete philosophy of life either, in contrast to Richard Dawkins, who has more or less elevates the role of natural selection to what he understands as Deity. This is rather well discussed in a book by Mary Midgley, Evolution as Religion.


jeeprs, natural selection is a series of thousands of mutations [mistakes] of a species. if the mistake/accident/mutation accidently benefits the species, then the species is more likely to pass on its genes and adapt to its environment better than its brothers and sisters. so, to recap; natural selection is random mutation.
 
 

 
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