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New Research: Teleology is Built Into the Brain

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New research reveals teleology in the design of the human brain. It has long since been known that the brain processes and categorizes different types of objects in different parts of the brain. A steak sandwich and a predator, for example, activate different areas of the brain. But the new research indicates that such differentiation is not merely for the purposes of processing different types of visual images. Instead, our cranial categories distinguish objects based on their inherent properties–objects are not categorized by mere appearance but, as one reporter put it, by the “subsequent consideration they demand.”

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Shawn Boy,
I’ve always thought that the purpose behind life and the universe was self-evident
I love self-evidence! That must be the strongest evidence there are; nothing disputable about it. It makes me wonder, though. About the purpose of the universe. To create an entire universe just to make life on an insignificant planet, doomed to extinction? Like cutting down an entire forest just to make a pair of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqQaO3_WF00 But I may be missing something, is there something I fail to understand about the self-evident purpose of life and the universe? Cabal
So IRQ Conflict, simple question: do you think that feathered dinosaurs ever existed? Lenoxus
"That’s the last time you get invited to their parties." Hahahaha. That made me laugh. Yes, lies are wonderful! When the light of truth is shone on them! IRQ Conflict
Feathered dinos being disqualified now.
Thanks a lot, Archeorapter! You just had to go turn out to be a mixed-up combo of a bird and a feathered dinosaur, and now you've gone and disqualified Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, Rahonavis, Shuvuuia, Sinornithosaurus, Beipiaosaurus, Microraptor, Cryptovolans, Scansoriopteryx, Epidendrosaurus, Yixianosaurus, Dilong, Pedopenna, Jinfengopteryx, Sinocalliopteryx, Epidexipteryx, and Anchiornis. That's the last time you get invited to their parties. (As for his Holiness Darwin, my evolutionist mind simply can't wrap around the possibility of his having made a false prediction; it's a logical contradiction. He was infallible! Infallible, I say! There, I feel better.) Lenoxus
Watching a documentary on the History channel last night (it was a re-run - I'd seen it before). A scientist was marveling at all we have learned about the universe, and said (paraphrasing), "Isn't it peculiar that our brains, which evolved to pick up rocks and eat bananas, has been able to learn some of the most fascinating secret of the universe?" ...I didn't know whether to laugh or shake my head - How can such a smart person not see the inanity of this belief? He obviously knows it doesn't make any sense, yet he believes it is a 100% fact. Why? uoflcard
I like Gould more and more every quote. lamarck
"Such a hypothesis is not motivated by scientific evidence but rather by the assumption that evolution is true." I'm curious how long did the Bear-to-Whale "evolution is true" theory last? Evidently not as long as the Dino-to-Bird theory. Ah, about two years...
Darwin's Origin of Species contains some wonderful insights and magnificent lines, but this masterpiece also includes a few notable clunkers. Darwin experienced most embarrassment from the following passage, curtailed and largely expunged from later editions of his book: In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale. Why did Darwin become so chagrined about this passage? His hypothetical tale may be pure speculation and conjecture, but the scenario is not entirely absurd. Darwin's discomfort arose, I think, from his failure to follow a scientific norm of a more sociocultural nature. Scientific conclusions supposedly rest upon facts and information. Speculation is not entirely taboo, and may sometimes be necessary faute de mieux. But when scientists propose truly novel and comprehensive theories—as Darwin tried to do in advancing natural selection as the primary mechanism of evolution—they need particularly good support, and invented hypothetical cases just don't supply sufficient confidence for crucial conclusions. Natural selection (or the human analogue of differential breeding) clearly worked at a small scale—in the production of dog breeds and strains of wheat, for example. But could such a process account for the transitions of greater scope that set our concept of evolution in the fullness of time—the passage of reptilian lineages to birds and mammals; the origin of humans from an ancestral stock of apes? For these larger changes, Darwin could provide little direct evidence, for a set of well known and much-lamented reasons based on the extreme spottiness of the fossil record. Some splendid cases began to accumulate in years following the Origin of Species, most notably the discovery of Archaeopteryx(ha!), an initial bird chock-full of reptilian features, in 1861; and the first findings of human fossils late in the nineteenth century. But Darwin had little to present in his first edition of 1859, and he tried to fill this factual gap with hypothetical fables about swimming bears eventually turning into whales—a fancy that yielded far more trouble in easy ridicule than aid in useful illustration. Just two years after penning his bear-to-whale tale, Darwin lamented to a friend (letter to James Lamont, February 25, 1861), “It is laughable how often I have been attacked and misrepresented about this bear.”
LOL... so common sense scientist existed in Darwin's day. "Laughable indeed" High Priest Darwin. "Fables" yes, science no. Thank you Mr. Gould for that interesting look. But even Gould in this case was not aware of the fraud and fakery coming out of China. Feathered dinos being disqualified now. But hey, fables are good to teach our children in school for important moral lessons. I'm thinking the biggest lesson about Darwinian fables is that atheist can make up some real wing dingers. DATCG
This might be a good spot to post a recent discussion that I was having with evolutionists. I pointed to the podcast of the Texas board that had the chair person 'giving a science lesson'. In it he quoted various persons that believed the theory yet they were skeptical of the claims made by some and dealt with the issue of stasis in the fossil record. What the individual picked up on as the quote by Ernst Mayr from his book "What Evolution Is" Here is the money quote: "Cro-Magnons, were highly successful but did not change appreciably … in the nearly 100,000 years of their dominance." And here was the response I got: "What a glaring statement of ignorance regarding the evolutionary process. Where did Cro-magnon come from and who took over after the 100 years? Hmm? I believe this is called an ESS (Evolutionary Stable Strategy). It's not a problem to the evolution theory, not in the slightest." Somehow, methinks it will never be a problem. Ever. IRQ Conflict
I've always thought that the purpose behind life and the universe was self-evident and that atheists delude themselves and each other into believing otherwise. This finding seems to support those conclusions. Thanks for posting it! ShawnBoy
Nakashima, I think Dr. Hunter's preceding paragraph covers that: "But can evolutionary theory account for such smarts? The short answer is yes, of course it can, because evolutionary theory employs just-so stories. Free ranging speculation based on low-probability events can explain just about anything." magnan
I think we have to blame selection rather than chance this time! Teleology has been so useful, we couldn't understand a large part of our world without it, and therefore couldn't survive. Sure, it might trick us sometimes - just as we have good 3-D vision but still suffer from optical illusions and trompe l'oeil - but it works most of the time. Nakashima
And I am sure this all happened by chance. I mean it makes alot of sense that blind evolution would evolve a system of thought by chance- one which allows for intellligent beings to realize evolution cannot build such a system of throught by chance. Right? Frost122585
Dr Hunter, We would have to imagine mutations occurring that somehow set up these distinctions and the mapping of them to different areas in the brain, and the appropriate differences in the cognitive handling of the concepts. No, we would have to imagine there to be an advantage in creating these kind of categories, even simpler categories in simpler ancestors, and the subsequent development of those categories. There is obvious selection advantage in distinguishing moving objects from stationary objects. If a fish wants to catch another fish it has to do that. It has to go beyond that and predict the motion of the other fish. It would seem that teleology should be present very early in the wiring of animal brains, growing from simpler tasks. Does this surprise you? Nakashima

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