Ironically enough, materialists are a mystical lot. They say they reject irrational and superstitious beliefs, but when one pushes them past their ability to explain life, the universe and everything in materialist terms, they are very quick to resort to obscurantist pseudo-explanations. And “it emerged” is their favorite dodge.
As we have explained many times before, “it emerged” is the explanatory equivalent of “it’s magic.” But like bugs scattering when the lights are turned on, we have to stomp on this one again and again. Like today for instance. In my Why there is no Meaning if Materialism is True post I argued that on materialist premises – that nothing exists but space, time, particles and energy – there can be no meaning.
Popperian says I can do better. There is “emergence” after all. And I poked a little fun at Pop:
as Popperian argues on these pages ad nauseam, it’s all emergent. You see, if you stack up the burned out star stuff this way, nothing. But if you stack it up ever so slightly differently, poof!! out of a cloud of smoke emerges rabbits, doves, silly string, consciousness, and morality.
Yes, that is the level to which we have descended — the invocation magic.
And then REC gave us this gem:
Barry, @29, seems close to denying that different arrangements of matter will have different properties. If ID wants to fight with chemistry, that is a development I look forward to.
REC, as we have explained over and over and over, we do not reject emergence as an explanation as such. See here where we said this in so many words. No, we reject “it emerged” when materialist like you and Popperian use it as a pseudo-explanation to obscure the fact that you haven’t the faintest idea how consciousness arises from the physical properties of the brain.
Your fellow atheist Thomas Nagel also rejects your antics:
Merely to identify a cause is not to provide a significant explanation without some understanding of why the cause produces the effect.
To qualify as a genuine explanation of the mental, an emergent account must be in some way systematic. It cannot just say that each mental event or state supervenes on the complex physical state of the organism in which it occurs. That would the kind of brute fact that does not constitute an explanation but rather calls for an explanation.
If emergence is the whole truth, it implies that mental states are present in the organism as a whole, or its central nervous system, without any grounding in the elements that constitute the organism, expect for the physical character of those elements that permits them to be arranged in the complex form that, according to the higher-level theory, connects the physical with the mental. That such a purely physical elements, when combined in a certain way, should necessarily produce a state of the whole that is not constituted of of the properties and relations of the physical parts still seems like magic even if the higher-order psychophysical dependencies are quite systematic.
And if you don’t believe Nagel, maybe you’ll believe Elizabeth Liddle:
[“Emergent” is] simply a word to denote the idea that when a whole has properties of a whole that are not possessed by the parts, those properties “emerge” from interactions between the parts (and of course between the whole and its environment). It is not itself an explanation – to be an explanation you would have to provide a putative mechanism by which those properties were generated. . . .
‘It’s emergent’ would be on an intellectual par with saying ‘It’s magic!’
REC, you most certainly cannot provide a putative mechanism by which immaterial consciousness arises from the material properties of the brain. I know this, because if you could I feel sure I would have seen you on the news accepting your Nobel prize.
Since you cannot provide such a putative mechanism, your own buddy Elizabeth Liddle would say you have done the equivalent of invoking magic. And I bet you think ID proponents are credulous.