Intelligent Design

Remember that Linnean Society conference, Teleonomy vs. Teleology?

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It’s actually called “Evolution ‘on purpose’: Teleonomy in living systems”
Comments from the virtual meeting available here. Also.

Some friends, virtually attending, say that the real purpose is to assume the language of purpose in nature while denying any purpose.

What they cannot any longer deny, they will reprocess.

2 Replies to “Remember that Linnean Society conference, Teleonomy vs. Teleology?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmm, but why are “Teleonomy Vs. Teleology” juxtaposed?

    Teleology vs Teleonomy – What’s the difference?
    As nouns the difference between teleology and teleonomy is that teleology is (philosophy) the study of the purpose or design of natural occurrences while teleonomy is (biology) the quality of living organisms of seeming to be organized towards the attainment of an end.
    Teleology – noun
    *(philosophy) The study of the purpose or design of natural occurrences.
    *(by extension) An instance of such a design or purpose, usually in natural phenomena.,,,
    Teleonomy
    *(biology) The quality of living organisms of seeming to be organized towards the attainment of an end
    https://wikidiff.com/teleonomy/teleology

    Exactly why is the title of the conference written as “Teleonomy Vs. Teleology”, as if the two words are in conflict with each other, instead of being properly written as “Teleonomy AND Teleology” to correctly reflect their true relationship of being mutually supportive of one another?

    Darwinian atheists, since they resolutely deny that any ‘real’ purpose exists for the universe, and for life in the universe, have a huge problem with BOTH “Teleonomy AND Teleology” and not just one of them.

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Contrary to what Richard Dawkins believes, Physicists (i.e. teleology) and Biologists (i.e. teleonomy) simply can’t even do their scientific research without ‘illegitimately’ presupposing Teleonomy and/or Teleology on some level.

    As Dr. Michael Egnor explains, “No explanation of nature — not in biology or physics or in any natural science — makes sense without recourse to final causes. Final cause – teleology — is the cause of causes.”

    Philosopher in NY Times: The Universe Has No Purpose, But We Can Pretend…
    Michael Egnor – August 8, 2017
    Excerpt: Teleology and Aristotelian metaphysics came roaring back in the early 20th century with quantum mechanics and relativity. And quantum mechanics is not the most striking example of teleology in science. Biological science is simply not possible without constant invocation of teleology. Biologists cannot even begin to understand DNA or mitochondria or hearts or brains or enzymes without inference to the goal or natural end of the thing. Biological science is not merely aided by inference to teleology. It cannot be done without profound and deliberate investigation of the telos of biological molecules and organs. “What is it for” is the fundamental and inescapable question in all biological research.
    No explanation of nature — not in biology or physics or in any natural science — makes sense without recourse to final causes. Final cause – teleology — is the cause of causes.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/the-universe-has-no-purpose-but-we-can-pretend/

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

    What Haldane is referring to is the fact that the very words that Biologists themselves are forced to use, when they are doing their research, presuppose teleonomy, (and/or teleology), and therefore falsifies the claim from Darwinian Atheists that there is no purpose behind, or for, life.

    For instance, Stephen Talbott challenges biologist 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: 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 purposiveness 1.
    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

    Denis Noble also notes that “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 assessment and states, “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
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    And as the following article pointed out, “teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological.”

    Metaphor and Meaning in the Teleological Language of Biology Annie L. Crawford – August 2020
    Abstract:
    Excerpt: However, most discussions regarding the legitimacy of teleological language in biology fail to consider the nature of language itself. Since conceptual language is intrinsically metaphorical, teleological language can be dismissed as decorative if and only if it can be replaced with alternative metaphors without loss of essential meaning. I conclude that, since teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/biologists-cant-stop-using-purpose-driven-language-because-life-really-is-designed/

    Moreover, not only can ‘teleological concepts’ not be ‘abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power’, but it also found that the ‘narrative gloss’ of evolutionary explanations can be readily substituted without any loss of meaning or explanatory power.

    As Philip Skell explained, “I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core.”

    Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – Philip Skell – 2005
    Excerpt: I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    – Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, it is found that removing the ‘narrative gloss’ of evolutionary language from research papers actually makes the science in the papers “healthier and more useful.”

    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/

    Here are a few more quotes that establish the fact that evolutionary explanations are a superficial, and unnecessary, ‘narrative gloss’ in biological research:

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    -Adam S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    – Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    It should not be all that surprising to see that the very words that Darwinists themselves are forced to use, when they are doing their research, betray them. After all, in the Christian view of things, our words are held to have far more importance, and meaning, than Darwinian atheists presuppose them to have under Atheistic Naturalism

    2.) The argument from meaning
    1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning.
    2. Premise (1) has meaning.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – William Lane Craig – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – (response to Alex Rosenberg’s book “The Atheists Guide to Reality”) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

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

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