Sunday, April 13, 2008


So now biologists deny “sentience” and mathematicians don’t??? That’s news to me…

Biologists are trained to imagine the transphysical nature of information away in a way that mathematicians are not. Note that various mathematicians from the Wistar conference on have worked to educate biologists with respect to the importance of information as a reality which cannot be imagined away, apparently with little success. To the purely biological “mind”/brain it seems that nothing is improbable, so it may always imagine that it can get something for nothing. Yet what do biologists mean when they talk about things coming about by “chance” or being “random”? It would seem to be nothing really because saying that something is random or comes about by chance is a statement of ignorance that will progressively be refuted by logic and a science of cause and effect. People who have knowledge of cause and effect do not say that something came about by “chance,” yet that is what Darwinists have a long history of saying even as they claim to speak for knowledge and science.

regarding dawkins wrt determinism, i don’t think it is understatement to say that there are a plurality of views of what it means to be alive.

Yet the established orthodoxy (as Dennett, Dawkins, etc. point out) is that any meaning to be found in life is ultimately an illusion rooted in mindless processes such as a natural “selection”/culling of organisms which are rooted in further events that seem “random” to biologists. Dennett says the illusion of meaning is the result of algorithms, Dawkins has said that it’s metaphorically “selfish” genes and so on. Yet on the other hand, if we accept our experience of sentience as a form of knowledge then we have to ask how something we know to be a valid and natural part of our nature influences other natural processes which we have knowledge of based on science, including natural “selection”/culling. After all, it’s science and knowledge that cannot exist without sentience and not the other way around. It’s already known at this point that sentience may have some impact on the observable world. It’s curious that those who speak of a Blind Watchmaker claim to be speaking about knowledge even as they claim to know that its only known basis is an illusion.

The history of eugenics is splattered with the residue of christianism.

Of course, it is linked to Darwinism and there are links between Darwinian reasoning and Christian theology, usually rather orthodox. The story of the provincial fundamentalist who goes on a journey and finds his answers to his religion in the Darwinian creation myth is so common that it is provincial itself. Apparently a residue of Christianity remains with its apostates. As I’ve pointed out before, even the blogs you refer to are named after theological arguments like the “panda’s thumb.” Yet the theological arguments typical to Darwinists seem to be rather puerile and shallow: “God wouldn’t make a panda’s thumb like this because we all know that the Bible says that creation is perfect or somethin’.” Perhaps that’s because they typically leave their original faith as an ignorant schoolboy and so on.

We don’t know of designers of fracterial blagella or clud blotting cascades. We have some dusty old books that make extravagant claims that may be interpolated to this argument but no explicit formulations or empirical evidence.

The problem with your argument is that extravagant claims about things which are not known to exist are already being made in the name of science and conflated with basic scientific facts. In many instances all that a Darwinian argument consists of is imagining past events which are assumed to “cause” the biological world that we now live in. Some of the same people who deny essential truths because they apparently cannot be observed empirically also seem to think that imagining past events which cannot be seen can be advanced as an explanation for the “cause” and origins of biological form as we know it.

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