On Monday, October 1, 2012 1:52:29 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:28 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
> >>The difference is Evolution doesn't understand the concept of one step 
>>> backward 2 steps forward for one thing, I went into considerable more 
>>> detail about this in my last post and also gave you 4 more reasons how and 
>>> why intelligent design is different from random mutation and natural 
>>> selection.  
>> > That is not what I am asking. You are describing ways that they are 
>> different, not explaining how it is possible for these differences to arise.
> I don't understand the question because I'm not clear on what "these 
> differences" refers to.

The differences between evolutionary nature (teleonomy) and rational design 
(teleology) that we are talking about. It is like you are pointing out that 
the river is water upstream and wine downstream and I'm asking you how do 
you get wine from water (especially wine that defies gravity).

>> > Blue-green algae survives all over the world since the Pre-Cambrian 
>> Era. Survival is not complex. Acquire nutrients. Reproduce. The end.
> Blue-green algae are astronomically complex compared to inorganic 
> chemicals, and they are beautifully adapted to fill one niche, but that's 
> not the only niche in the environment and the others can only be filled by 
> organisms that are even more complex than Blue-green algae. 

Any meta-molecular system is going to be complex compared to a molecular 
system, but that doesn't make survival a complex task. The inorganic 
geology of the Earth as a whole is much more complex than a single cell and 
it doesn't seem to struggle to 'survive'.

>  > >But Evolution found that if it could wire together just a few cells it 
>>> could start to use a few inductive rules;
>> > This is pure metaphor. 
> Yes, many, perhaps most, of the most profound ideas in the universe are.
> > Evolution doesn't 'find' anything. You are falsely attributing intention 
>> and analysis to an unconscious process. 
> It's poetic license, it just never occurred to me that somebody would be 
> so foolish as to think that I meant that random mutation and natural 
> selection was conscious and intended to do anything. 

I'm ok with that as long as we both are aware that you are using poetic 
license. I think the fact that it is difficult to talk about without 
invoking poetic license reveals the limitations of the model though. If we 
confine ourselves to what we are actually talking about, it becomes clear 
that teleology can't be both completely alien to nature and purely a 
product of nature (teleonomy) at the same time.

> And because I still think such misunderstanding is extremely unlikely 
> unless one wants very much to misunderstand something and because I believe 
> such informal language is useful in talking about Evolution I intend to 
> continue doing so.   

I'm ok with that, I just wonder how you justify the necessity.You are 
describing a universe devoid of poetry, but can't describe it without 
resorting to the very form you deny.

> > Evolution = The right things in the right places don't die. Nothing 
>> else. 
> And Darwin's genius was in finding how wonderful things can come from 
> something as simple as that. This is the last sentence in Darwin's 1859 
> book "The Origin of Species:
> " There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having 
> been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst 
> this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from 
> so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have 
> been, and are being, evolved.” 

I agree, but Darwin wasn't trying to explain awareness itself. If you have 
a raw material which contains the potential for forms, beauty, and wonder 
to begin with, then yes, simple quantitative processes can be seen behind 
their elaboration. There is no bridge however from evolution of biological 
forms and functions to the origin of experience, and certainly there is no 
suggestion of the possibility of equivalence between the experience of an 
evolved organism and the functioning of an assembly of inorganic mechanisms.

> In just my last post I did a better job at explaining something than I've 
>> ever seen you do.
> > Congratulations, you have a very high opinion of yourself.

Thanks for the congratulations, and I do think that post was good, very 
> good, I wish you'd read it. 

I have nothing against your explanation, it's just doesn't explain 
something that I didn't already know.

 > I'm not the one saying that biological systems have qualities that 
>>> inorganic systems cannot, you are.
>> I'm saying they do not, I'm not saying they cannot.
> We agree then. I only say that there may very well be an important reason 
> why they do not which cannot be accessed by existing theory.

There are indeed important reasons but they can be accessed by existing 
> evolutionary theory and I explained how in a previous post that you 
> correctly deduced I rather liked.

It's a retrospective theory, not a prospective theory. It offers no hint of 
why complex intelligence should be living organisms and not mineral-based 

>>  if I was designed better I could reason better. Before long computers 
>> will be designed better. 
> > By natural people who were designed by natural selection. 

Before long one generation of computers will design the next more advanced 
generation, and the process will accelerate exponentially.  

Maybe. My guess is that in 50 years, someone will still be saying the same 

> You aren't seeing my point that if human designers are nothing but 
> evolved systems, then they must have the same limitations as evolution 
> itself

That is nuts! If tools couldn't do something that people can't then there 
> would be no point in them making tools. And water vapor can't smash your 
> house but water vapor can make a tornado and a tornado can.

But water vapor can't make tools no matter how fast it's moving or for how 
long. We can choose to make tools which extend the power of our intentions, 
but you are saying that nature can't do that without us.

> I am saying that there is no reason for biology to exist in your 
> worldview.

Biology doesn't have any cosmic purpose for existing, but there are reasons.

Are there? Like what?


 John K Clark 

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