Reasons why ID must be considered (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, June 26, 2017, 14:55 (168 days ago)

An essay by a thinking prof who does not accept ID but says it must not be rejected:

https://www.academia.edu/33313918/Intelligent_Design_Maybe_True_Maybe_False_But_Not_Absurd

"Let me say from the outset that this is not an essay arguing for intelligent design. Rather, it is a protest against a certain attitude. Everywhere I turn today, I hear voices, with varying degrees of smugness and contempt, telling me that intelligent design -- the
position that there is some ordering intelligence behind the whole cosmic shooting match -- is straightforwardly ridiculous. "No intelligentperson believes such a thing." "how unscienti!c" "It's always a cover for a religiously based, evolution-denying creationism, trying to sneak in the back door in the guise of science."

***

"I do not want to argue today that intelligent design is true. I don't know if it#s true. I also do not wish to argue that it is a scientific position. I believe that it is not, but is instead an empirically undecidable, metaphysical one. I wish only to argue, contrary to the
current intellectual *eitgeist, that it is neither stupid nor ridiculous either to believe in it or to entertain it as a possibility.

"Let me begin with a simple observation: Many e1traordinarily intelligent and relevantly informed people believe and have believed in intelligent design. Famously, Isaac Newton, himself a heretic and hardly a slave to conventional religious belief, once stated that, "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful 4eing." 0ore recently, Albert Einstein, a secular Jew who repeatedly affirmed his disbelief in a personal god, stated that, "The scientists religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the
harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant re8ection." Other great scientically informed minds from the past 'e.g., Galileo, Kepler,
and Maxwell( as well as the present time 'e.g., Francis Collins, Fred Hoyle, and Alan Sandage( have expressed essentially the same belief.

"While there is disagreement about its implications, there is little disagreement among physicists today that our universe is "fine tuned" both for existing in its present form and for bringing about life forms. Garious physical parameters, among them the value of the strong nuclear force, the charge of the electron, and the rate of e1pansion of the universe in the first second after the big bang, all have a wide range of theoretically possible values. However, only an extremely tiny fraction of these values, and these allowing for essentially Zero deviation, allow for such things as the existence of atoms, the formation of stars, the clumping together of matter to form planets and gala1ies, and ultimately the origination of life forms. This being the case, the scientific consensus is that our universe is an e1traordinarily unlikely one. The realization of each of these values, taken alone, is extraordinarily improbable.The fact that so many of them conjointly have precisely the necessary value represents such an incomprehensible unlikelihood that Stephen Hawking, himself an avowed atheist and opponent of intelligent design, refers to our
universe as "an apparent miracle."

"Other facts, such as the origination and evolution of heavier atomic elements, stars,
gala1ies, planets, and life-relevant entities such as proteins, DNA, and cell walls, have more to do with countless events and states of affairs taking place over vast expanses of time. Even here, however, there is wide scientific consensus that what has actually happened was highly improbable. Finally, with regard to the multiverse, the present scientific consensus is that its existence is, as a highly speculative, untested, and probably untestable hypothesis positing something that we may never be able to empirically confirm or
disconfirm. Thus, at this point in time, its postulation cannot be regarded as any kind of definitive, settled answer to the enigma of the staggering improbabilities involved in fine tuning.

***

"there remain very deep and unresolved Questions about the e1traordinary improbabilities in our cosmos.

"I do not claim to have a settled answer for myself. I just don't know. Intelligent design may or may not be the case -- I believe we will not, indeed cannot, ever know for sure -- but it is hard for me to dismiss as merely foolish Einstein's conjecture that there may exist "an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.'"

Comment: My point of view. The whole essay is excellent.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by dhw, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 15:09 (167 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: An essay by a thinking prof who does not accept ID but says it must not be rejected:
https://www.academia.edu/33313918/Intelligent_Design_Maybe_True_Maybe_False_But_Not_Absurd

QUOTE: "I do not claim to have a settled answer for myself. I just don't know. Intelligent design may or may not be the case -- I believe we will not, indeed cannot, ever know for sure -- but it is hard for me to dismiss as merely foolish Einstein's conjecture that there may exist "an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.'"

DAVID’s comment: My point of view. The whole essay is excellent.

It’s actually my point of view not yours, since he remains undecided. Thank you for what I agree is an excellent essay.

Thank you also for the intriguing essay on panpsychism, which I hope to come back to. Out of time now!

Reasons why ID must be considered

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 19:30 (167 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: An essay by a thinking prof who does not accept ID but says it must not be rejected:
https://www.academia.edu/33313918/Intelligent_Design_Maybe_True_Maybe_False_But_Not_Absurd

QUOTE: "I do not claim to have a settled answer for myself. I just don't know. Intelligent design may or may not be the case -- I believe we will not, indeed cannot, ever know for sure -- but it is hard for me to dismiss as merely foolish Einstein's conjecture that there may exist "an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.'"

DAVID’s comment: My point of view. The whole essay is excellent.

dhw: It’s actually my point of view not yours, since he remains undecided. Thank you for what I agree is an excellent essay.

He espouses my point of view of the evidence but won't make my theist decision just as you won't.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by reblak, Tuesday, July 04, 2017, 00:44 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

As a convinced atheist, it always troubled me that while creationism offered an explanation of life and evolution, whatever I thought of it, atheism did not. It clung universally to the idea that it was all a million’s to one series of chance events.
This always distressed me but not being a biologist, I thought that if they had no answer ... Then one day, loafing in my chair (aged 76), I resolved that if I believe/know that all things are subject to physical law, so must be life and evolution.
Suddenly excited by a flash of (rather clouded!) inspiration, I decided upon a dialectical approach to this conundrum. Having pondered in this way, I realised that my starting point must be (as it were) as if I were Mother Nature! There is nothing and no-one, to help Mother Nature, in this scenario.
It was obvious that while evolution was, thanks to Darwin et al., partially understood, the same cannot be said of life to any real extent. I have never considered chance – an arithmetic equation not engaged by nature – as affecting evolution. Mother Nature doesn’t ‘do’ arithmetic so chance barely exists.
All ‘events’ are the essentially automatic result of a current ‘pre-condition’. There are usually, probably two or more automatically acceptable outcomes in the terms of the then pre-existing conditions. Thus this process is not totally deterministic as it allows marginally different, immediate outcomes. These, in turn, will result in widely varying further outcomes.
So, I thought, it’s essentially atomic – must be if nature is automatic: complex (at this stage) would be impossible. Atoms, to become materials must be governed by laws (properties) that set the boundaries of their differing structures and capabilities including – most importantly – the acceptability of conjoining with other atoms that are’sympathetic' in their structure. A simple example sprang to mind.
H2O !! This is the result of the entirely natural interplay of forces and materials. Before the advent of Homo-Sapiens, as far as we know, absolutely everything has been formed automatically.
So, for certain, we know that inorganic materials can and do form automatically! Life would seem to be formulated in like manner but there are other quite natural possibilities. No useful purpose for airing them here, unfortunately.
Evolution, however, is a different case.
The very simplest form of life as yet eludes us, leaving only speculation. Nonetheless, it is possible that all life has developed from it. Assuming this to be so, that lifeform further developed when some member/s automatically accepted an additional atom or atoms. The addition/s altered the pre-existing ‘State’, just marginally and this ‘change’ modified the automatically the range of further ‘acceptability’.
In a nutshell, this process, automatically functioning in varying conditions, must inevitably result in all the lifeforms that have ever existed and any yet to appear.
Simple can only deal with simple, but, eventually, complexity is formed but is still limited to operating with only the simplest available choices. In Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens is displayed the amazing capability of the brain. Many feel that this level of complexity cannot arise in this seemingly ‘iffy’way.
What they fail to understand is that chance (iffyness!) plays no part! These bits of brain are already at a stage where the ‘rules of engagement’ can only accept very particular new configurations. The already existing ‘configurations’ take, as they must, account of the ‘directing balance’ of the organism (i.e. what it has become) in accepting further ‘additions’.
On 7th July 2007, ten full years ago, I sent the main body of my idea (in a pages long essay) to The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies. Mrs Jill Abury (Sec) added the title as ‘The Genesis of Evolution’. Sadly, for me, it was rejected.
Analogies are, unfortunately rarely if ever fireproof, but, if we assume here that the letters of the alphabet are incontrovertible parts of natural law and that letter ‘A’ can conjoin with any other and all the others have limitations, I can say that A, B, C, may be an example of a natural automatically attracted set of atoms.
This 'base' will not accept some dozen or so of the others but can unite with half a dozen of the remainder. Other letters may form other bases, but only with a limited selection of letters that will then influence strongly further additions. Later, the more complex word may be able to absorb what were hitherto unacceptable letters.
An example: the word Verb can become Verbal or Adverb, but the word Verb cannot retain its initial structure if it accepts letters a,d or l. ‘Verbatimly’ would represent that later complexity. I hope this is sufficient to convey my meaning.
I should, I think, make the point that are no physical laws plural. Physical law is a totality, the so-called laws are simply shades of its intrinsic all-embracing nature. I would be happy to discuss any views I post, via john.kalber@yahoo.com .

Reasons why ID must be considered

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 04, 2017, 20:57 (159 days ago) @ reblak
edited by David Turell, Tuesday, July 04, 2017, 21:03

reblak" The very simplest form of life as yet eludes us, leaving only speculation. Nonetheless, it is possible that all life has developed from it. Assuming this to be so, that lifeform further developed when some member/s automatically accepted an additional atom or atoms.

You sound like an agnostic to me, certainly not atheist. Biochemistry does not deal in atoms as additions. Organic biochemistry is highly complex as compared to inorganic chemistry (your H20 example). The origins of life is not solved or even beginning to be understood after 60 years of active research. Living protein molecules are strings of 100 or more amino acids, with definite sequences and foldings in order to function. This requires polymerization enzymes which are giant molecules to facilitate the process which would take centuries of time without them. When these millions of molecules are put together in a cell and work in coordinated fashion, life appears. To further complicate matters all proteins as 3-D molecules are either right or left handed. All 20 essential amino acids, the building blocks of life are left handed and DNA is right handed. If one makes these molecules without controls, one gets 50/50 right and left as a result, but life doesn't accept this.

Further, life started about 3.8 billion years ago on a planet that was inorganic to begin with. Where did the left handed amino acids come from? Current meteorite analysis has found only eight of them. The Miller-Urey experiment of 1957-8(?) of lightning in a bottle of guessed at atmospheric conditions 3+ billion years ago produced some simple organic molecules and offered hope, which has since withered.

reblak: On 7th July 2007, ten full years ago, I sent the main body of my idea (in a pages long essay) to The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies. Mrs Jill Abury (Sec) added the title as ‘The Genesis of Evolution’. Sadly, for me, it was rejected.

Based on what you have stated I think I understand why your essay was rejected.

reblack: I should, I think, make the point that are no physical laws plural. Physical law is a totality, the so-called laws are simply shades of its intrinsic all-embracing nature. I would be happy to discuss any views I post, via john.kalber@yahoo.com .

I think we would prefer to discuss ideas here on the website where everyone can follow. I hope you agree and will continue a discussion with us. May I refer to you as John?

Reasons why ID must be considered

by reblak, Friday, July 07, 2017, 17:22 (157 days ago) @ David Turell

“John” is fine David. I am a ‘devout’ atheist & this allows me to consider every idea from a rational standpoint. I agree entirely with your description of the highly complex later stages of evolution. I am disappointed that you don't like my account of how evolution is clearly and totally automatically directed.
Naturally, I think my phrasing is fine – but... You give no indication of what you find wrong. Introducing an unusual idea within 5000 characters is difficult. There are many potential objections to ‘accommodate’!
I dealt in minimum detail with my view of the likely formation of the inorganic then with the idea of an infinitely more complex early lifeform. As Mother Nature unquestionably (leaving out God nonsense) made both forms kinds of structure, the initial steps could be only atomic. David, you can surely only agree on this. Before complexity, (such as a cell or molecule) can form there must already be a suitable living structure in place.
As everything is composed of atoms, and am not a biologist (and neither are many who may read these comments), I use generalities where they convey (I had hoped!) what point I am making. As my reason is to describe the very ‘difficult’, I favour such a relatively simple approach. Accurate terminology is relatively unimportant when offering an idea for discussion.
First life must already be formed to some complex extent
Once a cell is formed, the ‘rules’ for further development are limited (in ‘direction) by the nature of the engaged organism. From this early stage, the ‘casual’ engagement with other atoms is less of a factor. Probably still able to attract additional atoms, internal processes are taking on a high level of responsibility and later dominate almost entirely.
The ‘almost’ relates to catastrophic encounters involving comet impact and disruption caused by interplanetary close passage. These may generate massive charges of ‘whatever’ that can penetrate and disturb DNA. This may indeed so re-order these characteristics that new species are createdawaS.
Before all the complexities you refer to can form, the organism must, blindly, be built to accommodate them. They don’t just appear. The building blocks, if Mother Nature is responsible, must be of a very simple kind, no matter how (seemingly) difficult you find it.
The principal arena of formative change, is I think, much as I suggest. Once complex the necessary advances are, almost certainly genetic (to coin a phrase). These processes carry an integral logical outcome (addition) that effectively can only result in (some variety) of what we see.
It occurs to me that a further insight may help! When considering these from my atheist stance, it is obvious that the forces of nature, pre-programmed by their existing inherent constituent, parts make possible virtually unlimited variation!
Were this not so, how else could dear old Mother Nature do her job?
So, David, it becomes obvious (to me) that as a totally unguided process takes these steps towards complexity,(e.g.H2O ), why should you doubt her capacity to engage effectively when highly organised systems are in place? Agnostics, doubting a creator, must surely see the rational that natural forces may have the capabilities I suggest.

David“This requires polymerization enzymes which are giant molecules to facilitate the process which would take centuries of time without them. When these millions of molecules are put together in a cell and work in coordinated fashion, life appears. To further complicate matters all proteins as 3-D molecules are either right or left handed. All 20 essential amino acids, the building blocks of life are left-handed and DNA is right-handed. If one makes these molecules without controls, one gets 50/50 right and left as a result, but life doesn't accept this.”[/i][/i][/i][/i]

Well, initially anyway, centuries or more were indeed so needed. If you are saying such molecules were fist built in the slowly, slowly practices of Mother Nature, I agree!

As to handedness, surely nature will suck it and see! Such factors, once usefully accepted, will prosper automatically. Nature is fully so endowed and – like it or not – no other rational answer serves. If you suggest that some super intelligence may be possible in some hidden part of the Universe, I totally disagree. We are the highest known intelligence and beyond what amounts to ‘wishful’ thinking there is – absolutely no evidence whatsoever. While I recognise the ongoing need to seriously examine any feasible notion, the case for it being purely Mother Nature is plain.

Amino-acids were formed by life itself, probably in the way I suggest. Once formed they aid other developments, so on down the line. If you are moved challenge these ideas, show me how it may reasonably be done. Perhaps it is no coincidence that some 3.8 billion years were required!
I agree with the online idea. My email suggestion was that the 5000 characters limitation can be overcome in expanding a view. No other reason.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 08, 2017, 15:11 (156 days ago) @ reblak

John: “John” is fine David. I am a ‘devout’ atheist & this allows me to consider every idea from a rational standpoint. I agree entirely with your description of the highly complex later stages of evolution. I am disappointed that you don't like my account of how evolution is clearly and totally automatically directed.

You shall be John, 'the devout atheist'. The earlier stages of evolution are just as convoluted as the later stages.

John: Naturally, I think my phrasing is fine – but... You give no indication of what you find wrong.

See below:

John: I dealt in minimum detail with my view of the likely formation of the inorganic then with the idea of an infinitely more complex early lifeform. As Mother Nature unquestionably (leaving out God nonsense) made both forms kinds of structure, the initial steps could be only atomic. David, you can surely only agree on this.

No I don't. Please explain your concept of "Mother Nature". Inorganic chemistry is a fairly simple combination of elemental atoms; organic chemistry is very different: atoms, yes, but very complex ways of organizing highly specific functioning molecules, especially in living cells.

John: Before complexity, (such as a cell or molecule) can form there must already be a suitable living structure in place.

But that doesn't explain how to get from a rocky Earth to living structure! Darwin never attempted it, except for his warm pond comment.

John: First life must already be formed to some complex extent

Tell me how. Origin of life is an atheists nightmare. It looks miraculous.

John: Before all the complexities you refer to can form, the organism must, blindly, be built to accommodate them. They don’t just appear. The building blocks, if Mother Nature is responsible, must be of a very simple kind, no matter how (seemingly) difficult you find it.

I could substitute God for your Mother Nature, and make the same sense. "They just don't appear" is true.

John: So, David, it becomes obvious (to me) that as a totally unguided process takes these steps towards complexity,(e.g.H2O ), why should you doubt her capacity to engage effectively when highly organised systems are in place? Agnostics, doubting a creator, must surely see the rational that natural forces may have the capabilities I suggest.

Water is necessary for life, but no one doing OOL research for 60 years has found a way to get from inorganic to organic.

John: : As to handedness, surely nature will suck it and see!
Amino-acids were formed by life itself, probably in the way I suggest. Once formed they aid other developments, so on down the line. If you are moved challenge these ideas, show me how it may reasonably be done. Perhaps it is no coincidence that some 3.8 billion years were required!

Of the 20 essential amino acids for life nine essential amino acids needed for life are not made by life. The word 'essential' means they must be supplied to living organisms in diet. Life does not make them. Six others are conditionally made, and there are five which life makes easily:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acid

John: I agree with the online idea. My email suggestion was that the 5000 characters limitation can be overcome in expanding a view. No other reason.

Others follow our discussions, so it is best to be concise, not overly verbose. Look at natures wonders thread to see the amazing number of views at the bottom of entries.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by dhw, Monday, July 17, 2017, 09:07 (147 days ago) @ reblak

reblak: The very simplest form of life as yet eludes us, leaving only speculation. Nonetheless, it is possible that all life has developed from it. Assuming this to be so, that lifeform developed when some members/s automatically accepted an additional atom or atoms. The addition/s altered the pre-existing ‘State’, just marginally and this ‘change’ modified the automatically the range of further ‘acceptability’.

This is not far removed from my own speculations concerning the manner in which evolution has progressed, but I would use a slightly different approach. I agree that cells “accepting” additional cells has to be the key to evolution, as living forms increase their complexity. However, later you say: “The building blocks, if Mother Nature is responsible, must be of a very simple kind, no matter how (seemingly) difficult you find it.” This is where David’s expertise gives me pause for thought - though as an agnostic I do not share his theistic certainties! What you call the “very simplest” form of life must have been able to reproduce itself, vary itself (if evolution was to be possible), nourish itself and respond to its environment in such a way that it could survive. I don’t know to what extent we can say inorganic materials are possessed of such essential attributes . (More of this in a moment.)

The big question is therefore: how did comparatively simple inorganic atoms transmute themselves into the complexities of the organic cell? David has challenged you to explain your concept of “Mother Nature”, which after all is the name a Pantheist might give to his/her God, and this is the point where I would like to offer you my own hypothesis.

Your atheist’s “Mother Nature” is obviously a totally impersonal force, and the idea that she has blindly produced some law that automatically adds one “atom to another” to create the complexities of the single living cell requires a great deal of faith. But supposing “Mother Nature” did not act blindly and automatically? My starting point is the cell itself, and although David vehemently disagrees, there is evidence that individual cells are possessed of sentience, cognitive and communicative skills, the ability to cooperate with one another and to take decisions. That does not mean they are anything like self-aware humans, but it does mean that they are possessed of a form of intelligence, and this leaves us with the possibility that living things (which are communities of cells) conduct their own evolution by combining their intelligences, much as ants combine theirs to create structures that would be far beyond the capabilities of each individual. These cooperating cell communities succeed or fail in accordance with their intelligent ability to adapt to or exploit (hence innovations) the environment, and there is no single mind directing them.

This brings us back to the problem of how organic life and intelligence arose from inorganic materials – a question nobody can answer. But instead of your “Mother Nature” or David’s God, one can perhaps speculate that even the simplest of materials also have a form of intelligence – far more rudimentary than that of organic cells, but nevertheless endowing them with the ability, as you say, to combine atoms with atoms and form new materials. This idea, as you probably know, is a form of panpsychism, which seems to be enjoying a bit of a revival. What it comes down to basically is life and consciousness evolving bottom up from its most rudimentary forms to its most sophisticated. Some forms of panpsychism are theistic – but one might just as well have faith in a zillion bottom-up evolving consciousnesses as in a single top-down creative consciousness that has existed for ever. I’ll stop here to see whether these ideas have any resonance with you.

On a personal note, Jill Abery is a very old friend, and I’m delighted that she has pointed you in the direction of this website.

Xxxxx

I had drafted this post before seeing David’s latest one on the conscious universe, which also deals with panpsychism. For you, reblak, as an atheist, the operative paragraph would be:

"Although we still know very little about quantum nonlocality, it's hard to believe it has something to do with a cosmic-wide mind. As far as we know, nonlocal quantum effects don't show any sort of purpose, satisfying instead well-known physical laws such as the conservation of total rotation in a pair of particles (or spin). One could even say that quantum nonlocality is nature's way of preserving such conservation laws at the level of elementary particles, hardly a sign of some deeper volition. Indeed, a defender of pansychism would be hard-pressed to explain how quantum nonlocality would act as the "messenger" for some kind of cosmic purpose. Or, even harder, to propose a test or mechanism for such."

I take issue of course with the last two sentences. It is perfectly possible to envisage an atheistic form of panpsychism in which there is no cosmic purpose but only a zillion individual purposes, as individual intelligences pursue their own ends. Faith is still required (and I remain agnostic): namely, that rudimentary intelligence can be present or can evolve in matter, but that demands considerably less credulity than the belief that a know-it-all intelligence can exist without any source at all.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by David Turell @, Monday, July 17, 2017, 19:26 (147 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I had drafted this post before seeing David’s latest one on the conscious universe, which also deals with panpsychism. For you, reblak, as an atheist, the operative paragraph would be:

"Although we still know very little about quantum nonlocality, it's hard to believe it has something to do with a cosmic-wide mind. As far as we know, nonlocal quantum effects don't show any sort of purpose, satisfying instead well-known physical laws such as the conservation of total rotation in a pair of particles (or spin). One could even say that quantum nonlocality is nature's way of preserving such conservation laws at the level of elementary particles, hardly a sign of some deeper volition. Indeed, a defender of pansychism would be hard-pressed to explain how quantum nonlocality would act as the "messenger" for some kind of cosmic purpose. Or, even harder, to propose a test or mechanism for such."

I take issue of course with the last two sentences. It is perfectly possible to envisage an atheistic form of panpsychism in which there is no cosmic purpose but only a zillion individual purposes, as individual intelligences pursue their own ends. Faith is still required (and I remain agnostic): namely, that rudimentary intelligence can be present or can evolve in matter, but that demands considerably less credulity than the belief that a know-it-all intelligence can exist without any source at all.

You are totally skipping the issue that the universe is inorganic, as far as we know, accept for this planet. Where does 'individual' purpose come from except for here where life has appeared? Are you hoping for inorganic purpose? On the other hand non-locality and the obvious interconnectedness of the universe suggests an existing quantum/consciousness underpinning the universe as its cause and director.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by dhw, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 08:47 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I had drafted this post before seeing David’s latest one on the conscious universe, which also deals with panpsychism. For you, reblak, as an atheist, the operative paragraph would be:

"Although we still know very little about quantum nonlocality, it's hard to believe it has something to do with a cosmic-wide mind. As far as we know, nonlocal quantum effects don't show any sort of purpose, satisfying instead well-known physical laws such as the conservation of total rotation in a pair of particles (or spin). One could even say that quantum nonlocality is nature's way of preserving such conservation laws at the level of elementary particles, hardly a sign of some deeper volition. Indeed, a defender of pansychism would be hard-pressed to explain how quantum nonlocality would act as the "messenger" for some kind of cosmic purpose. Or, even harder, to propose a test or mechanism for such."

I take issue of course with the last two sentences. It is perfectly possible to envisage an atheistic form of panpsychism in which there is no cosmic purpose but only a zillion individual purposes, as individual intelligences pursue their own ends. Faith is still required (and I remain agnostic): namely, that rudimentary intelligence can be present or can evolve in matter, but that demands considerably less credulity than the belief that a know-it-all intelligence can exist without any source at all.

DAVID: You are totally skipping the issue that the universe is inorganic, as far as we know, accept for this planet. Where does 'individual' purpose come from except for here where life has appeared? Are you hoping for inorganic purpose? On the other hand non-locality and the obvious interconnectedness of the universe suggests an existing quantum/consciousness underpinning the universe as its cause and director.

I devoted a whole section of my post to the problem of how inorganic matter could turn into organic cells, and stated categorically that nobody knows. Of course individual purpose is only known to us through living beings. The concept of rudimentary consciousness evolving in materials is purely hypothetical, as is the concept of a single conscious mind causing and directing the universe. However, you and I have already discussed these hypotheses at great length, and I was only repeating the panpsychist proposal as a response to reblak’s post, as it would be interesting to get a response from an atheistic standpoint.

Reasons why ID must be considered

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 01:36 (145 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: You are totally skipping the issue that the universe is inorganic, as far as we know, accept for this planet. Where does 'individual' purpose come from except for here where life has appeared? Are you hoping for inorganic purpose? On the other hand non-locality and the obvious interconnectedness of the universe suggests an existing quantum/consciousness underpinning the universe as its cause and director.

dhw: I devoted a whole section of my post to the problem of how inorganic matter could turn into organic cells, and stated categorically that nobody knows. Of course individual purpose is only known to us through living beings. The concept of rudimentary consciousness evolving in materials is purely hypothetical, as is the concept of a single conscious mind causing and directing the universe. However, you and I have already discussed these hypotheses at great length, and I was only repeating the panpsychist proposal as a response to reblak’s post, as it would be interesting to get a response from an atheistic standpoint.

Fair enough. I look forward to his response.

RSS Feed of thread
powered by my little forum