Sunday, October 25, 2020

Purpose and Desire

I started this journey back in this blog post

Much as in Quantum Mechanics giving the Newtonian view of the universe a lot of shivers, so mapping the genome and proteins folding are causing significant changes in the Darwin model. This from David Gelernter, one of the demigods of computer science in "Giving Up Darwin":

Mutations are the exception. In any case, there have evidently been, in the whole history of life, around 1040 bacteria—yielding around 1040 mutations under Axe’s assumptions. That is a very large number of chances at any game. But given that the odds each time are 1 to 1077 against, it is not large enough. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses.

Steven Jay Gould, once one of the preeminent Darwinists was brave enough to look at the developing science of genetics and indicate major change was needed. 

His [Gould's] challenge reflects a lively turbulence in the field, and more turbulence is sure to come over the next few years as discoveries from molecular biology flood into evolutionary theory. Gould himself is molding the pieces of the debate into a unified, hierarchical view of evolution that he believes will give scientists a framework for talking about the interplay of great events at the levels of species, populations, individuals and genes.

Isaac Newton created a model of a clockwork universe. In those days there was no reason to look for "why" -- God did it, and his reasons are beyond our comprehension. Biologists envied Physics with it's "perfectly" predictive equations, and no need for the "why" of intention. Darwin was no atheist -- his model was a "how" model like Newton's. "Why" was a question above his pay grade.

Einstein introduced some strange "details" to the Newtonian model that Heisenberg, Bohr, Feynman and others expanded on. Physics, at least at the very small, "rolled the dice" -- it wasn't a "clock", at least not all the way down.

What Gould, Turner, Meyer and others have discovered is that in biology, there strongly seems to be "teleology" (intention / design) all the way down to homeostasis (maintaining a certain temperature, salinity, level of potassium, etc). But WHY? Perhaps we really are "special".  The biologists covetousness of physics was really a very grave sin.

Much like the US debt, the definition of "lots" for time and odds has gone up dramatically. In the 1980's Sagan's "billions and billions" seemed like "a lot", now in the age of "trillions and trillions" and even MUCH larger numbers like "10 to the 80th" atoms in the universe, and "10 to the 500th" against us even being here, some wisps of humility have started to creep (slowly) into the "science".  Real science was NEVER about "why" it was always about WHAT down to the gnats eyelash. 

"Why did the chicken cross the road"?  "Because his brain told his leg muscles to move in a pattern adaptively chosen for crossing the road".  Or maybe he "wanted to"? A little "Voyage Home" may be instructive. 

There is a tendency for many of us with technical / scientific leanings to be somewhat "emotion blind". Lots of exceptions -- Gelernter and Turner for example, but there is a definite bias for in science / tech for determinism, materialism, atheism -- for many in these fields, "something more" is very uncomfortable. It may not even be possible to develop "knowledge" (like an algorithm / equation) for it. Wisdom? That really doesn't compute! The sad truth is that science is proudly psychopathic
On page 291 we see;  "the voice that beckons Richard Dawkins to fulfillment is his own - it is not nature's. The edifice of of modern Darwinism, as magnificent an edifice as the most beautiful cathedral, an edifice as painstakingly built by generations devoted and skilled artisans, is hollow at its core. It is an echo chamber." 

A bit later ... "the science of life has become disenchanted with itself". Which brings to mind a quite lengthy, but important book on that topic. "The Secular Age", the age we inhabit. Sometimes called the "Age of Anxiety", since anxiety, meaninglessness, suicide, and other pathologies are at record levels. The ancient world was "enchanted" with God, spirits, ghosts, telos. witches, demons, magic, etc" ... our world is "disenchanted" with numbers, formulas, statistics, random chance, and meaninglessness. 

So Darwinian materialism has turned out to not be "adaptive" for human thriving as time has moved on.  If you are convinced that you CAN'T believe in intentionality, why not? If you assume you are a random accident, why can't a random accident have a random thought and courage to look at intentionality? 

Page 253; "Homeostasis demands certain things however -- among them some form of cognition and intentionality. This leads to the very strange thought that the origin of life is tantamount to the origin of cognition and intentionality. Even stranger cognition and intentionality have to have preceded the origin of cellular life."

Note, this in no way requires the Hebrew/Christian God, it just indicates that there is SOME intelligence required. It could be space aliens, other dimensional creatures, demons, furies -- any number of things that modern man finds more acceptable than God.  For the creation of Western civilization, it is very clear that the Hebrew/Christian worldview was far more adaptive than other models. It worked to vastly improve the material quality of life, however life became so materially comfortable, the civilization lost God and meaning. 

As for me, Christ is my hope!

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