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Daniel Dennett, Orgel’s Second Law and Materialist Fideism


Fideism is the idea that sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and believe, because faith is independent of, or even in opposition to, reason.  Theists are often accused of fideism.  Every time you hear someone say, “your belief in God is based on nothing but blind, unreasoning faith” the speaker is accusing his target of fideism.  Theists respond to the “blind faith” attack by pointing out that their beliefs are evidence-based, reasoned, and reasonable.  See here for an example.

But this post is not about responding to materialist accusations of fideism against theists.  It is about the irony of such attacks coming from any materialist who has ever cited Orgel’s Second Rule of Evolution.  Orgel’s Second Rule, named for chemist Leslie Orgel, is:  “Evolution is cleverer than you are.”

Orgel’s Second Rule is a statement of blind, fideistic faith in metaphysical naturalism.  And it is used as such by Darwinian Fundamentalist* Daniel Dennett in the second video embedded in this webpage.  The interviewer asks:  “You’ve described the design of natural selection as ‘brilliant but mindless;’  Can you explain?”

Dennett responds:

The late Francis Crick used to joke that he had what he called Orgel’s Second Rule.  Orgel’s . . . named after his colleague Leslie Orgel.  Orgel’s Second Rule is that natural selection is cleverer than you are.  Again and again we see in natural systems, in organs, in individual cells, in the wing of the bird, in the way that polar bear makes its den, we see wonderful design, design well worth copying, stupendous use of resources.  This is, this is design that enraptures engineers who know good design when they see it.  So there’s a lot of, of exquisitely well designed materials in the living world.

But the process that made it is not itself intelligent or directed.  It is a sifting process; it’s a mechanical sifting and differentially replicating.  It’s like a tournament which automatically has a winner, and the winner not . . . doesn’t just advance to the next round but makes lots of copies of itself to advance to the next round.  And it’s this incessant competition, copying copying copying which automatically finds the design improvements and discards the rest.  So it’s profligate; it’s wasteful; it’s . . . wonders aimlessly around in the space of possibilities.  But if there’s good design out there to be found it finds it.  And so it is a process that is itself mindless.  But since it has the copying feature; that’s what, that’s what Darwin appreciated.  It’s the preservation of the good designs and the further elaboration of those designs in the next generation, that’s where, that’s where the ratchet is that, that ratchets up the design from generation to generation.  The good bits are saved and used again.

Wow.  I doubt that a more pristine statement of religious dogma masquerading as science has ever been spoken.  The sheer blind unreasoning faith displayed by Dennett here would make a fundamentalist Tennessee snake handler blush.  Blind mechanical forces are able to create designs and a semiotic code (i.e., DNA) that baffle our most brilliant engineers.

But Barry, the difference between belief in God and Dennett’s claims in the video is that there is no evidence for God and Dennett’s claims have been absolutely established as scientific facts.  Pure flummadiddle on both counts.  We have already seen that belief in God can be evidence-based and reasoned.  Whether the evidence convinces you is a separate question.  The point is there is evidence and one reasonable interpretation of that evidence is that God exists.

The second claim is also false.  Dennett’s claims have not been absolutely established as scientific facts.  And you don’t have to take an ID proponent’s word for that.  Dennett’s understanding of evolutionary theory appears to be stuck in the 1960’s when he was in university.  The adaptationist theory Dennett spews would be called the “adaptationist fallacy” by neutral theory advocates Larry Moran and Eugene Koonin.  See here.

The point is not whether adaptationists like Dennett or neutral theory advocates like Moran and Koonin are correct.  I happen to think that neither are correct.  The point is that when he was speaking in that video clip Dennett had the demeanor of a true believer.  “Believer” is the key word here.  Never mind that even fellow materialists such as Moran and Koonin would agree with me that there is zero evidence that natural selection has the creative power Dennett ascribes to it.  Never mind that no materialist theory of evolution has attained universal assent among evolutionary researchers.  There is no room for doubt in Dennett’s mind.  Doubt cannot co-exist with blind fundamentalist faith.


Dennett’s rhapsodizing about the engineering prowess of natural selection put me in mind of Nathan Lents’ book Human Errors in which he deplores many designs in the human body.  (One of several UD News Desk takedowns here.)

But materialists like to have it both ways.  Exquisite design?  Natural selection did that.  Terrible design?  Natural selection did that too.  And not only that, the exquisite design proves materialist theories of evolution, because as Orgel said, “evolution is cleverer than you are.”  AND the terrible design also proves materialist theories of evolution, because, after all, natural selection is a hodge-podge higgledy-piggledy process.

In summary:

Orgel’s Second Rule:  “Evolution is cleverer than you are.”

Dennett’s Gloss on Orgel’s Second Rule:  “If there’s good design out there to be found evolution finds it.”

Lents’ corollary to Dennett’s gloss:  “Except when it doesn’t and instead comes up with a truly awful design that no self-respecting intelligent engineer would have proposed.”

So, depending on what they need it to be that day, materialists say that evolution is simultaneously both far smarter than and far stupider than an intelligent designer.


Irony alert.  It is ironic that Dennett would cite both Crick and Orgel in his talk, because both of them apparently gave up on materialist origin of life science, going so far as to co-author an article pushing consideration of directed panspermia.

Directed Panspermia F. H. C. CRICK Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Row, Cambridge, England AND L. E. ORGEL The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, P,O. Box 1809, San Diego, California 92112 Received June 22, 1972; revised December 20, 1972 (Published in Icarus 19, 1973, P341-346)



*Dennett’s self-description.

Bob O'H:
That suggests that ID isn’t interested in explaining the real world and how it works.
That doesn't follow from what SA said. Clearly you have issues and should seek help.
For scientists, there is a huge difference between aliens and God
Not when it comes to telic processes and the intelligent design of life on earth.
they open up very different ways of understanding the world.
Such as? ET
SA @ 23 -
The fact that they chose to look to alien intelligence instead of, for example, to God – is really irrelevant to the science of ID.
That suggests that ID isn't interested in explaining the real world and how it works. For scientists, there is a huge difference between aliens and God: they open up very different ways of understanding the world. Bob O'H
Bob O'H:
...but they really don’t present any convincing evidence that it did happen.
Perhaps they are materialists, then, as that is what materialists do. ET
Bob O -- well, I think we'd say that the idea has a lot of uptake among ourselves. They proposed intelligent design as an answer for the origin of life. It's really that simple. The fact that they chose to look to alien intelligence instead of, for example, to God - is really irrelevant to the science of ID. Silver Asiatic
SA - indeed. and that's probably a big reason why the idea hasn't seen much uptake. Crick and Orgel are correct to suggest that, well, it might have happened, but they really don't present any convincing evidence that it did happen. Bob O'H
Panspermia directed or otherwise is just a vain attempt to side step the obvious , life does not arise from non living materials by a random undirected process.So move the story to a galaxy far far away where no one can examine the supposed evidence , multiverse anyone? Marfin
Bob @ 19 Ok, but it doesn't seem like a necessary hypothesis if the materialist origin of life ideas are well-founded. Why look for answers in outer space? ... and even if it is alien intelligence, what can materialism say about the origin and supposed evolution of those life forms anyway? Silver Asiatic
SA @ 17 - no they weren't. They were discussing the origins of life on earth, and (more or less) were suggesting that it could have come from elsewhere. I know this because I've actually read the paper. :-) Bob O'H
How many self-contradictions regarding Intelligent Design are in this following quote by Crick?
“Life did not evolve first on Earth; a highly advanced civilization became threatened so they devised a way to pass on their existence. They genetically-modified their DNA and sent it out from their planet on bacteria or meteorites with the hope that it would collide with another planet. It did, and that’s why we’re here. The DNA molecule is the most efficient information storage system in the entire universe. The immensity of complex, coded and precisely sequenced information is absolutely staggering. The DNA evidence speaks of intelligent, information-bearing design. Complex DNA coding would have been necessary for even the hypothetical first so-called’ simple cell(s). Our DNA was encoded with messages from that other civilization. They programmed the molecules so that when we reached a certain level of intelligence, we would be able to access their information, and they could therefore — teach” us about ourselves, and how to progress. For life to form by chance is mathematically virtually impossible.” Francis Crick – Life Itself – September 1982
In another infamous quote, Crick offers further proof of the irrational denialism that we constantly see from atheists (and also offers proof that belief in God and/or the "Design Intuition" (Axe) is, as Plantinga has put it, a 'properly basic belief")
“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – July 1990
Anyone who has ever seen a cross-section of DNA knows exactly why Crick had to constantly live in denial of the design that he himself saw in DNA
dna cross section photos - google search https://www.google.com/search?q=dna+cross+section+photos&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwidr9Oa1sfcAhWsCDQIHWsfDsYQ_AUICigB&biw=1600&bih=782
And whereas atheists have no scientific evidence whatsoever supporting their claim that DNA, (that they themselves have admitted 'appears' to be designed), can arise by chance, Christian Theists, on the other hand, can appeal directly to advances in quantum biology to support their belief that DNA (and life) really is Designed and that God, Who is beyond space and time, is the one who created DNA:
"What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state." Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it) https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176 Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012 Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” http://www.quantumlah.org/highlight/121029_hidden_influences.php Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology - video https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y
Of supplemental note to the mental illness of denialism that atheists suffer from. Studies establish that the design inference is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their design inference!
Is Atheism a Delusion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? - October 17, 2012 Excerpt: "Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find." The article describes a test by Boston University's psychology department, in which researchers found that "despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose" ,,, Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_thinking065381.html
It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature. I hold the preceding studies to be confirming evidence for Romans1:19-20 and also confirming evidence for Plantinga's philosophical argument that belief in God is a 'properly basic belief'
Romans 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Synopsis of ‘Is Belief in God Properly Basic?’ by Alvin Plantinga Excerpt: Alvin Plangtinga argues that belief in God is properly basic as follows. 1. Basic beliefs can be justified and therefore be properly basic. 2. The right conditions are the justificatory grounds for proper basic beliefs. 3. If our cognitive faculties, which are aimed at truth, are functioning properly in the right conditions they will produce properly basic beliefs. 4. God created us with a cognitive faculty aimed at the truth of His presence. This faculty is our sensus divinitatis (SD). 5. Belief in God is produced by our (SD). 6. The right conditions for this faculty are everywhere since God’s glory is everywhere. 7. (From 5 & 6) Belief in God is produced by our (SD) in the right conditions. 8. Therefore, belief in God is properly basic. http://www.mkowen.org/2016/11/17/synopsis-plantinga-belief-god-properly-basic/
Bob O. - I think they were referring to panspermia as an answer for the origin of life, along with the idea that it could spread elsewhere. from a site called "Panspermia Theory"
The late Nobel prize winner Professor Francis Crick, OM FRS, along with British chemist Leslie Orgel proposed the theory of directed panspermia in 1973. A co-discoverer of the double helical structure of the DNA molecule, Crick found it impossible that the complexity of DNA could have evolved naturally. http://www.panspermia-theory.com/panspermia-theories/directed-panspermia
Silver Asiatic
SA - Crick and Orgel have no problems accepting that life came from natural causes, they are suggesting that once it has, it could then have seeded other planets. Bob O'H
If they believed that intelligence was material then why would Crick and Orgel have a problem accepting that it came from natural causes? They proposed alien seeding - i.e. Intelligent Design - because they correctly understood that no known material causes could create DNA. Silver Asiatic
ET - indeed. They don't say anything either way, but the rest of the paper is materialist in nature, so I think it's a reasonable inference that they are thinking (rightly or wrongly) that intelligence is material. ba77 - thank you for your carefully reasoned destruction of my argument. Bob O'H
Bob O'H:
It’s not clear to me if Crick and Orgel view it as material or non-material, buttehre’s certainly no indication in their paper to infer that they view intelligence (or indeed anything else) as non-material.
There isn't any indication in their paper that they view intelligence as material and they definitely never provide any evidence for such a thing. ET
That's bullcrap and you know it Bob. bornagain77
My apologies, bs77, I had forgotten that you viewed intelligence as non-material. It's not clear to me if Crick and Orgel view it as material or non-material, buttehre's certainly no indication in their paper to infer that they view intelligence (or indeed anything else) as non-material. And if we are discussing whether they are materialists, then it is their views which are important, not yours. Bob O'H
Bob (and weave) proves once again that his Bob (and weave) nickname is well deserved. Right after I point out that 'spaceships' are "INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED", Bob (and weave) states,,,
I take it, then that you agree with me (and disagree with Barry) that Crick and Orgel were being entirely materialistic in their paper. Because that’s the only point I was trying to make.
No Bob, my point was precisely that they were not being "entirely materialistic in their paper" since they were in fact appealing to "INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED" spaceships. And in further confirmation of his disingenuous debating style, Bob goes on to state,,,
"I don’t find their arguments at all convincing, so please don’t conflate my quoting of what (t)hey wrote with agreement."
In regards to the first word in your sentence "I". If you truly want to finally be 'reasonable' here on UD, and want to stop hiding in every shadow you can find, tell me exactly how you can ground the abstract notion of "I" and free will, i.e. of agent causality, within your atheistic worldview so that you may have a coherent basis in which to be reasonable in the first place. Elsewise, I am just arguing with mindless particles with no capacity to be reasonable and truthful in the first place instead of arguing, as only Theism can coherently ground, with a reasonable and 'real' person named Bob:
Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield on Free Will – Michael Egnor – July 26, 2018 Excerpt: For a philosophical example, consider that affirmation or denial of free will is a proposition, which is a statement that may or may not be true. But matter has no truth value — propositions aren’t material things. Matter just is; it is neither true nor false. Thus, when a materialist claims that material causes preclude the possibility of free will, he is also claiming that his own opinion cannot be true (or false). Denial of free will on the basis of materialistic determinism is self-refuting. … No Counterfeit Will Penfield marveled that he could stimulate all manner of movement and sensation and memory, but he could never evoke agency. He couldn’t stimulate the sense of will — he couldn’t produce a counterfeit will in the conscious patient by stimulation of the brain. Penfield concluded that this meant that the will (he called it the “mind”) was not in the brain, or at least not in any part of the brain that he could stimulate, and that the will was not a physical thing. The will was free, in the sense that it could not be evoked by material means. Penfield began his career as a strident materialist. He ended it as a passionate dualist — the title “Mystery of the Mind” was largely the expression of his amazement that there was a scientifically demonstrable duality to the mind.,,, The denial of free will is an ideological bias, not a credible scientific or philosophical conclusion. https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/neurosurgeon-wilder-penfield-on-free-will/
Evolution is cleverer than you are, except when it isn't. Mung
Bob O'H:
I take it, then that you agree with me (and disagree with Barry) that Crick and Orgel were being entirely materialistic in their paper.
Yet they did NOT mention any materialistic processes capable of producing a living organism. ET
Crick and Orgel’s (and apparently Bob’s) appeal to some unknown aliens flying here on ‘Intelligently Designed’ spaceships to seed life on earth is actually a crystal clear example of the Fideism, i.e. unreasonable, blind, faith, that Mr. Arrington alluded to at the beginning of his article.
I take it, then that you agree with me (and disagree with Barry) that Crick and Orgel were being entirely materialistic in their paper. Because that's the only point I was trying to make. FWIW, I don't find their arguments at all convincing, so please don't conflate my quoting of what hey wrote with agreement. Bob O'H
Bob (and weave) states that
Crick and Orgel don’t mention any non-material causes – they discuss advanced aliens flying a spaceship to Earth to seed the planet.
And since when has anyone ever seen non-intelligent, i.e. material, causes building spaceships or any other machines of any sort? Whereas on the other hand we have abundant evidence that human beings alone, out of all the millions of creatures on earth, can INTELLIGENTLY DESIGN spaceships as well as a myriad of other machines. Crick and Orgel's (and apparently Bob's) appeal to some unknown aliens flying here on 'Intelligently Designed' spaceships to seed life on earth is actually a crystal clear example of the Fideism, i.e. unreasonable, blind, faith, that Mr. Arrington alluded to at the beginning of his article. That is to say, rather than ever admit that they have no "earthly" clue how life could have possibly started on earth, via material causes, or how life could have possibly started anywhere else in the universe for that matter,,,
An Open Letter to My Colleagues - James Tour - 2017 Excerpt: We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense. Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.17 http://inference-review.com/article/an-open-letter-to-my-colleagues James Tour is one of the synthetic organic chemists in the world Origin of Life: An Inside Story - Professor James Tour – May 1, 2016 Excerpt: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated… So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal. You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.“ James Tour – one of the leading synthetic Chemists in the world https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/origin-of-life-professor-james-tour-points-the-way-forward-for-intelligent-design/
Rather than honestly accepting the 'scientific' conclusion from what we currently know, i.e. that material causes can NEVER create life, the atheistic materialist instead doubles down on his 'Fideism' that life can come from non-life and appeals to unknown aliens. Moreover, if the atheistic materialists ever did try to actually scientifically prove that some unknown aliens designed life on earth, as the following researchers tried to do,,,
The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code - 2013 Excerpt: Here we show that the terrestrial code displays a thorough precision-type orderliness matching the criteria to be considered an informational signal. Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of the same symbolic language. Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing rather than of stochastic processes (the null hypothesis that they are due to chance coupled with presumable evolutionary pathways is rejected with P-value < 10–13). The patterns are profound to the extent that the code mapping itself is uniquely deduced from their algebraic representation. The signal displays readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero, the privileged decimal syntax and semantical symmetries. Besides, extraction of the signal involves logically straightforward but abstract operations, making the patterns essentially irreducible to any natural origin. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103513000791
,,, Then the atheistic materialist, as the preceding researchers unwittingly did, would, in fact, be using the "Design Filter" (Dembski) to separate intelligent causation from unguided material processes. The main flaw in materialistic thinking about aliens flying here on 'Intelligently Designed' spaceships boils down to their denial of "Agent causality". As Dr Paul Nelson concludes in the following article, "some feature of "intelligence" must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for."
Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism - Paul Nelson - September 24, 2014 Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, "We cannot know that a mind caused x," laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds. MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. "That’s crazy," you reply, "I certainly did write my email." Okay, then — to what does the pronoun "I" in that sentence refer? Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,, You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,, ,,, some feature of "intelligence" must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for. https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/
Of supplemental note, when we rightly let the Agent causality of God "back" into modern science, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Leibniz, Faraday, Maxwell, Planck, to name a few), then an empirically backed reconciliation, (via the Shroud of Turin), between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics reality pops out for us in Christ's resurrection from the dead.
Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw
Of final note, it is certainly far more reasonable to believe that the Person who defeated death on a cross is the same exact Person who originally created life on earth in the first place, rather than it is to believe that some unknown aliens flew here on "Intelligently Designed' spaceships to seed life on earth. Verses:
John 1:1-4 and 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. ,,, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Of supplemental related interest:
Look Who's Irrational Now - 2008 Excerpt: "What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll Try U.F.O.s By CLAY ROUTLEDGE JULY 21, 2017 Excerpt: The less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse empirically unsupported ideas about U.F.O.s, intelligent aliens monitoring the lives of humans and related conspiracies about a government cover-up of these phenomena. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/opinion/sunday/dont-believe-in-god-maybe-youll-try-ufos.html
Barry Arrington: “We have already seen that belief in God can be evidence-based and reasoned. Whether the evidence convinces you is a separate question.” God’s marvelous creation is the general revelation. A strongly persuasive argument for God’s existence. God’s word is the special revelation to those who hear it and believe it by God’s amazing grace. Let’s pray for the still spiritually dead people so they too can enjoy our Lord according to God’s absolutely sovereign will and for God’s glory. I was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now see. Praise Adonai! PaoloV
Irony alert. It is ironic that Dennett would cite both Crick and Orgel in his talk, because both of them apparently gave up on materialist origin of life science, going so far as to co-author an article pushing consideration of directed panspermia.
I agree with vmahuna that directed panspermia is an example of ID, but I don't see why it isn't materialist. In their article, Crick and Orgel don't mention any non-material causes - they discuss advanced aliens flying a spaceship to Earth to seed the planet. This is the start of their conclusions:
In summary, there is adequate time for technological society to have evolved twice in succession. The places in the galaxy where life could start, if seeded, are probably very numerous. We can foresee that we ourselves will be able to construct rockets with sufficient range, delivery ability, and surviving payload if micro- organisms are used.
That sounds as materialist as Dennet to me. Bob O'H
Barry Arrington, This is a very interesting article you have written. Thanks. PaoloV
Here is another self contradicting gem that Dennett once uttered:
“(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.” J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER - Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection - 2004 https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection
I say we put Dennett's belief to the test:
Philosophical Zombies - cartoon http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11
:) bornagain77
"Directed panspermia" would of course be a mechanism of Intelligent Design, not a mechanism of Evolution. But there is the problem that we can't find any of the PAN for our Spermia. All we know for certain is that Life exists on Earth. And that life is interrelated in ways that sometimes look more like magic than chemistry. vmahuna

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