A biologist awakens from reductionism and begins to rediscover life
The basic problem, he contends, is that current biology requires us to view life forms as machines. Yet a key characteristic of life forms is the intention of remaining alive and purposeful activity toward that end. For Turner, homeostasis (the way a life form balances itself within an environment and all of its cells balance themselves within it in order to stay alive) is central to understanding life, but largely ignored.
It’s not hard to see why it is ignored. If life evolved, purposeless and unguided, why is there so much purpose and guidance within it? Many readers may be surprised to learn, for example, that “cold-blooded” life forms like lizards go to considerable intentional trouble to regulate their body temperatures, which Turner describes as a “cognitive state”, meaning that the humble lizard seeks to stay alive by managing its relationship to its environment. …
Turner flirts with the idea that life forms show evidence of intelligent design. But he feels conflicted and often contradicts himself. … More.
Also, me vs. troll commenter below the post:
Hrafn, above, demonstrates with admirable economy why so many top thinkers doubt Darwinism, irrespective of their views on design in nature: Starting with the world’s best-known Darwinist, Richard Dawkins, they allow the world to know that: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” Note: Dawkins was obviously quite willing to “consider that” and to have others do so because he raised the suggestion himself in print.
So, faced with the kind of response he offers to doubt, growing numbers of thinkers have started to research Darwinism and have found plenty to doubt – as did the biologist author and the three esteemed philosophers I mentioned.
One difficulty is that when rejoinders take the form of simple abuse, on which Hrafn and surprising numbers of Darwinists increasingly rely, thoughtful people hesitate to offer a critique. But they are out there, their numbers are slowly increasing, and when I find them, I review them.
See also: Ann Gauger’s cautious assessment of Scott Turner’s Purpose & Desire