Intelligent Design theism

Orwell’s 1984 as an argument for God’s existence

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According to U Nebraska political science prof Carson Holloway, atheism is not only fundamental to the power of the Party in 1984 but is also its central weakness:

Only the Party itself is immortal. Unthinking and unconditioned subservience enables Winston and his fellows to participate, however faintly and briefly, in that immortality.

Submission is made easier by the dogma that there is no objective reality…

In that case, atheism is not only fundamental to the Party’s power but is also its central weakness: If there is evidence for any higher power in the universe, the Party cannot be what it claims. Objective reality, apart from the Party’s version, then certainly exists. There would be a record of what really happened in, say, the Mind of God. Then, the basis of the Party’s authority (total control of reality) collapses…

News, “How Orwell’s 1984 can be seen as an argument for God’s existence” at Mind Matters News

See also: Here’s why an argument for God’s existence is scientific. The form of reasoning and the type of evidence accepted is the same as with Newton’s theories or Darwin’s. (Michael Egnor)

14 Replies to “Orwell’s 1984 as an argument for God’s existence

  1. 1
    Karen McMannus says:

    At the end of the day, arguments don’t matter. Experience does.
    Gnosis. Yeah, I said gnosis.
    Either ya got it, or ya don’t.
    “He who has an ear, let him hear.” –Yeshua/YHWH

  2. 2
    William J Murray says:

    Submission is made easier by the dogma that there is no objective reality…

    In that case, atheism is not only fundamental to the Party’s power but is also its central weakness: If there is evidence for any higher power in the universe, the Party cannot be what it claims. Objective reality, apart from the Party’s version, then certainly exists.

    If “the Party” has a version of objective reality it requires its adherents to live by, it is the idea in the mind of the individual that an objective reality exists that provides the “Party” this opportunity. If one does not believe in an objective reality, then no “Party” can use that concept to brainwash them into their particular “objective reality” propaganda.

    The idea that an objective reality exists at all provides the opportunity to convince people of any particular objective reality.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “Atheism is the moral basis of the Party’s unlimited hold on its own members because it makes them terrified of death as absolute nonexistence. Like any government, the Party in 1984 has the power to kill disobedient subjects. Party members, however, view death not just as the end of bodily life, but as a complete erasure of their being—their thoughts, their words, their affections, their deeds. Winston Smith muses that the “terrible” thing about the Party is its ability to make you vanish, such that “neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again. You were lifted clean out of the stream of history.”
    Carson Holloway, “ORWELL, ATHEISM, AND TOTALITARIANISM”

    So apparently, if the party decides to kill you, they not only kill you, but erase all the information concerning you. Hence there is no record of you and therefore it is as if you never existed.

    And this is their ultimate fear?

    I guess it makes sense, many people live as if their life here on earth is the only life that really matters.

    But any meaning and purpose that a man may derive for his life in the written historical records of man, or in the memory of his children, is, practically speaking, a completely false sense of meaning and purpose.

    The second law of thermodynamics guarantees that not only are all the written records of man going to be eventually destroyed, but that all your children and all your children’s children, are also going to cease existing.

    This universe, left to its own present course of accelerating expansion due to ‘Dark Energy’, will continue to expand forever, thus fulfilling the thermodynamic equilibrium of the second law to its fullest extent (entropic ‘Heat Death’ of the universe).

    As the following article understates the dire situation we are in, “Not a happy ending.”

    The Future of the Universe
    Excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.
    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/p.....uture.html?

    Thus to repeat, any meaning and purpose that a man may derive from simply having a written record of his accomplishments in this life is a completely false sense of meaning and purpose.

    It is interesting to note that so much emphasis was placed on the written records of man in order for man to derive any meaning and purpose for his life.

    The interesting thing about written information is that in order for written information to have any meaning in the first place, it first takes an immaterial mind to encode meaning onto the abstract symbols that we use for written information.

    Which is to say, the ability of an immaterial mind to first assign meaning to a set of abstract symbols is a necessary prerequisite for the abstract symbols to be able to subsequently convey any meaning to us in the form of a written language.

    Written Language
    Historically, culturally, and in the individual’s life, writing is subsequent to speech or (hand) signing and presupposes it. Aristotle expressed the relation thus: “Speech is the representation of the experiences of the mind, and writing is the representation of speech”
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/language/Written-language

    Hopefully ID advocates can now see where I am going with this.

    Written information is now found to be ubiquitous within life. Besides DNA molecules conveying information, RNA molecules, protein molecules, glycan molecules, etc.. etc.., are all known to convey symbolic sequential information.

    Moreover, when looking at life from the thermodynamic perspective, the information content of the entire human body is found to be much greater that just the 3.2 billion (10^9) base pairs encoded on the DNA. For instance, the 3.2 x 10^9 base pairs of information encoded on human DNA could easily be stored on a single thumb drive. Yet, as the following video notes, the information required to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000.

    In a TED Talk, (the Question You May Not Ask,,, Where did the information come from?) – November 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Sabatini is charming.,,, he deploys some memorable images. He points out that the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000. Later he wheels out the entire genome, in printed form, of a human being,,,,:
    [F]or the first time in history, this is the genome of a specific human, printed page-by-page, letter-by-letter: 262,000 pages of information, 450 kilograms.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/in-a-ted-talk-heres-the-question-you-may-not-ask/

    Thus to sum this part of my post up, finding that the existence of written information itself first requires the ability of an immaterial mind to assign meaning.

    And thus, finding written information to be ubiquitous within life is directly equivalent, (or at least ALMOST directly equivalent), to finding that our lives are ubiquitously infused with ‘real’ meaning and purpose. (not the false meaning and purpose that is falsely imagined for man’s life from having one’s life written in man’s written records).

    Someone may rightly object, “But why does finding information to be ubiquitous within life really matter, we are all going to die anyway?”

    But that objection is to take the short view.

    You see, information in immaterial in its foundational essence.

    And it is the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information itself, (which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of), that directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul:

    As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in this following video, information is immaterial in its fundamental nature and therefore, by its very nature, is beyond the scope of, and is therefore irreducible to, any possible materialistic explanation.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    – Stephen Meyer – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    Moreover, on top of the ‘classical sequential immaterial information in DNA and proteins, (the classical sequential information in DNA that has been the source of endless debate among Darwinists and ID advocates), there is also now found to be quantum information that is ubiquitous within life. (within every important bio-molecule). For instance, “practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it”

    “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

    The interesting thing about quantum information is that it is non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, and that it is also conserved, i.e. it cannot be created nor destroyed.

    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/high.....uences.php

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    The obvious implication of finding ‘non-local’, (beyond space and time), and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created nor destroyed), quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule of our material bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence directly implying that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.
    As Stuart Hameroff states ‘the quantum information,,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death

    Thus in conclusion, and as far as the scientific evidence itself is concerned, we do not have to live in a fantasy world and ‘pretend’ as if our lives derived their meanings and purposes from some written record of man, but we can rest assured that our lives truly are dripping with meaning and purpose in every molecule of our bodies. Meaningful Information that was written by the eternal and infinite mind of God, not by the hand of finite man.

    To further support my contention that not one detail of our lives is without true significance, I offer the following evidence from Near Death Experiences.

    Around the 20 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, thought, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uDA4RgHolw

    Matthew 12:36-37
    “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    Thus, the Christian Theist can live his life happily and consistently knowing that his life is not completely meaningless, but that there is real meaning, purpose, and significance for his life, and also for the lives of his loved ones, and he can rest assured that his life, and the lives of his loved ones, does not end at the grave.

    Quote and Verses:

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    Viktor Frankl , an Austrian psychiatrist, and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/3

    Thus, the Christian Theist can live his life happily and consistently knowing that his life is not completely meaningless, but that there is real meaning, purpose, and significance for his life, and also for the lives of his loved ones, and he can rest assured that his life, and the lives of his loved ones, does not end at the grave.

    Except that, for most Christians, their God never vouchsafes unto them what their meaning, purpose and significance really is. They are left to blunder along hoping that what they do finds favor in His eyes. Still, if it makes them feel good maybe that’s all you can expect from the “opium of the people”

  5. 5
    GCS says:

    Seversky (4),

    If anyone blunders it is their problem. God makes it clear that He wants you to recognize that He is there and then desires that you choose to have a relationship with Him. You turn to God and He will always show you the way. You insist on following your own way and He will allow it.

    Pascal said it well. There is always enough evidence that the seeker will find God, there is never so much evidence that the non-seeker will be forced to acknowledge God’s existence.

    The Christian obviously has the “inside” knowledge, but also the terrible responsibility to share that knowledge.

    You now know the purpose of life – to know and love God in this life so you can share the life of the Holy Trinity after your death. The choice is yours.

  6. 6
    EDTA says:

    Oh, Sev, Sev, Sev. How many times have we been over this?

    >Except that, for most Christians, their God never vouchsafes unto them what their meaning, purpose and significance really is.

    Can a human dog owner explain to his dog all the purposes the dog has? (That’s just an analogy!)
    How is a higher being supposed to explain to his created beings who are very limited compared to him, what their entire purpose(s) are? Again, you’re assuming that we and God are on the same level intellectually speaking. That criticism just doesn’t work.

  7. 7
    EDTA says:

    TV/Hollywood used to be the opiate of the people. Now it’s social media and netflix. Sadly.

  8. 8
    Blastus says:

    Percy Shelley and I both agree with BA77:

    “And on the pedestal, these words appear:
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

  9. 9
    Blastus says:

    The Westminster Catechism is succinct:

    Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

    I find both joy and meaning in serving the Designer that Paul announces to the Athenians in Acts 17:24.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, Marx’s heirs proved beyond all doubt that it was his materialistic ideology that was the true opiate complete with ruinous consequences of addiction. 100 million ghosts just called, to affirm their agreement with this statement. KF

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    In response to my evidence based conclusion, from the presence of immaterial information in our bodies, that every molecule in our bodies testifies that our lives are literally dripping with meaning, significance, and purpose, Seversky does not attempt to refute the evidence I presented, (which is just as well since my inference to meaning for our lives from the presence of ‘meaningful’ information in our bodies is fairly clear cut), but instead of presenting any counter evidence, Seversky merely states,

    Except that, for most Christians, their God never vouchsafes unto them what their meaning, purpose and significance really is. They are left to blunder along hoping that what they do finds favor in His eyes. Still, if it makes them feel good maybe that’s all you can expect from the “opium of the people”

    And to clearly define “opium of the people”

    Opium of the people
    Excerpt: Marx believed that religion had certain practical functions in society that were similar to the function of opium in a sick or injured person: it reduced people’s immediate suffering and provided them with pleasant illusions which gave them the strength to carry on.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people#Meaning

    Atheist like to pretend as if they are the ones who are bravely facing life on its own terms, and that they are not the ones who are deluding themselves with ‘pleasant illusions’.

    And although atheists may talk a mean game, the way they actually live their lives proves the exact opposite, The way they actually live their lives proves that they are the ones who are actually deluding themselves with ‘pleasant illusions’.

    It is simply impossible for anyone to live their life as if it was truly devoid of any true meaning and purpose. As Victor Frankl, (who had seen more than his fair share of despair), noted,

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    Viktor Frankl , an Austrian psychiatrist, and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

    Atheists themselves prove that it is impossible to live life as if it was truly devoid of any true meaning and purpose when they themselves invent ‘pleasant illusions’ that their lives have meaning and purpose.

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    The Practical Impossibility of Atheism – Dr. Craig
    About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. Bertrand Russell, for example, wrote that we must build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” [6] Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.
    The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it is impossible to live consistently and happily within such a world view. If one lives consistently, he will not be happy; if one lives happily, it is only because he is not consistent. Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.
    Let’s look again, then, at each of the three areas in which we saw life was absurd without God, to show how man cannot live consistently and happily with his atheism.
    Meaning of Life
    First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.
    Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    The point being, nobody lives their life as if atheism were actually true and as if their life was truly devoid of and real meaning and purpose.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona/

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Dawkins himself stated that it would be quote-unquote ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if his atheistic worldview were actually true,

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    To point out the glaringly obvious implication in all of this, if it is impossible for you to live as if your atheistic worldview were actually true, and that your life truly had no real meaning and purpose, then your atheistic worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your atheistic worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Thus in conclusion, although the atheist often claims that it is the Christian who is making up illusory meaning and purposes for his life in order to falsely comfort himself, the fact of the matter is that it is the atheist himself, (since it is impossible to live life as if it was truly devoid of any real meaning and purpose), who is the one making up illusory meaning and purposes for his life in order to falsely comfort himself. i.e. The atheist himself is the one who is addicted to the opium of ‘pleasant illusions’!

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    To further drive the point home that our own lives are literally dripping with meaning and purpose, I can appeal to the words that Darwinian biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their research.

    Teleological, (goal directed purpose), language of any sort is simply forbidden under the Atheistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution.

    tel·e·ol·o·gy
    noun
    PHILOSOPHY
    the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.
    THEOLOGY
    the doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.

    (The irresolved problem of) Teleology in biology
    Teleology in biology is the use of the language of goal-directedness in accounts of evolutionary adaptation, which some biologists and philosophers of science find problematic. ,,,
    Nevertheless, biologists still often write about evolution as if organisms had goals, and some philosophers of biology such as Francisco Ayala and biologists such as J. B. S. Haldane consider that teleological language is unavoidable in evolutionary biology.,,,
    Teleology
    Main article: Teleology
    Teleology, from Greek, telos “end, purpose”[3] and , logia, “a branch of learning”, was coined by the philosopher Christian von Wolff in 1728.[4] The concept derives from the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotle, where the final cause (the purpose) of a thing is its function.[5] However, Aristotle’s biology does not envisage evolution by natural selection.[6]
    Phrases used by biologists like “a function of … is to …” or “is designed for” are teleological at least in language. The presence of real or apparent teleology in explanations of natural selection is a controversial aspect of the philosophy of biology, not least for its echoes of natural theology.[1][7]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology_in_biology

    Yet Darwinian biologists can’t do their research without illegitimately using words that directly imply teleology i.e. purpose.

    As Haldane himself explained, “Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he’s unwilling to be seen with her in public.”

    “Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he’s unwilling to be seen with her in public.”
    J. B. S. Haldane

    It is simply impossible for Darwinian biologist to conduct their research which illegitimately using teleological language

    In the following article, Stephen Talbott challenges Darwinists to “pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness.”

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: a common line of thought (among molecular biologists) runs this way: “Yes, there is an appearance of mindfulness in all organisms, but this is a mere appearance, or an illusion. And the explanation for the illusion is natural selection”. The idea is that variation plus selection results in adaptation, and adapted behavior possesses a functional effectiveness that looks as if it were mindfully guided.
    Not all those who say such things would be willing to describe their own minds and intentions as illusions. But, in any case, we are left to wonder how an organism’s apparently purposeful activity is explained by similar activity in previous generations. Selection, after all, requires organisms that grow, develop, compete, prepare an inheritance, produce offspring, and otherwise pursue their seemingly intentional and well-directed lives, judiciously improvising all the way. These are the very activities that raise the question of mindfulness. So how does weaving the lives of many such organisms into the infinitely complex narratives of natural selection explain this mindfulness?
    Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.,,,
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ell_23.htm

    And as Denis Noble notes “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language”.

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    This working biologist agrees with Talbott and Noble’s’s assessment, “in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.”

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on.
    – Matthew – a working biologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    Thus, the very words that Darwinian biologists are forced to use when they are doing their research, i.e. teleological language, proves that life is literally dripping with meaning and purpose.

    Matthew 12:37
    For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    Moreover, when we strip the false ‘narrative gloss’ of Darwinian language from research papers, the science in the paper becomes clearer and easier to understand.

    No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology? – December 4, 2019
    If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts, (“Darwin-ectomy”), should make research incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage.,,,
    So, here are three papers in America’s premier science journal that appear at first glance to need Darwinism, use Darwinism, support Darwinism, and thereby impart useful scientific knowledge. After subjecting them to Darwin-ectomies, though, the science not only survived, but proved healthier and more useful.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/12/no-harm-no-foul-what-if-darwinism-were-excised-from-biology/

    Of supplemental note. It would be a shame, in a post about teleology, to not include Dr. Egnor’s excellent article on the intimate link between teleology and the immaterial mind.

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, this is a question of projection from evolutionary materialistic scientism (within which, disbelief in God is an implicit proposition tied to the ideological a prioris and monopolisation of knowledge and prestige by Big-S Science). Projection is familiar, as a mark of cognitive dissonance. KF

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    Except that, for most Christians, their God never vouchsafes unto them what their meaning, purpose and significance really is. They are left to blunder along hoping that what they do finds favor in His eyes.

    We do seek to do what will find favor in the eyes of God – you’re right. Do good, avoid evil. Love God and neighbor. How do love God?
    “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. So, we strive to grow in virtue, continue to honor God with love for Him and for others. Try to correct ourselves and repent and change when we go wrong. We pray, and God helps us find deep meaning and purpose.

    Still, if it makes them feel good maybe that’s all you can expect from the “opium of the people”

    But the mistake here is that religion brings obligations and responsibilities. If we follow Christ, we think about His life. He came into the world, born in a cave. He was harassed and insulted, ridiculed as ignorant and a nobody. And we know how His life ended. But it’s “through the Cross to happiness”.
    I wouldn’t call that “opium” which is just a pleasure-ride. No, it’s sacrificial love – rising up to give one’s best. A very great reward comes from that, even in this life – but it’s not a matter of escape. On the contrary, it’s a matter of facing one’s weaknesses and sins, and turning to God with repentance and prayer. It’s not an escape from suffering but having the strength of love and understanding of the truth to be able to endure it and offer it.

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