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Simon Conway Morris on his new book on Evolution, Convergence, and Theism

From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution - Morris, Simon Conway

Palaeobiologist Simon Conway Morris discusses these topics with Sean Carroll in a Preposterous Universe: podcast.

Evolution by natural selection is one of the rare scientific theories that resonates within the wider culture as much as it does within science. But as much as people know about evolution, we also find the growth of corresponding myths. Simon Conway Morris is a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who’s new book is From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution. He is known as a defender of evolutionary convergence and adaptationism — even when there is a mass extinction, he argues, the resulting shake-up simply accelerates the developments evolution would have made anyway. We talk about this, and also about the possible role of God in an evolutionary worldview.

A transcript is available.

Hn42 at 6, Ken Miller hasn't "forgotten" anything. He wants two things to be true at the same time - God as Creator and evolution. I pray he makes a good decision about that. relatd
Related @4 "Finding Darwin's God" is available online. If you can, check out the section "Finding Work" in the chapter "The Road Back Home." Close to the end of the section gets very interesting. And if you can, read more for context. Miller has some thought-provoking ideas but here I think he forgot that he was defending naturalistic evolution instead of common descent. hnorman42
I will be reviewing "Finding Darwin's God" within a few days. Miller gave an in depth discussion of the quantum level. If it turns out that he only discussed it as a defense of free-will and indeterminancy, I will apologize. My impression at the time though was that he thought that the quantum level gave God an opening to interact in the world. I remember that it led to some intense dialog at the time. I stand by my basic point not related to Miller - a great deal of so-called TE is actually ID. hnorman42
"Kenneth Miller got confused about the issues involved and postulated basically a higher-order intelligent design where God influenced nature at the quantum level." When did Kenneth Miller say that and where? relatd
Regarding the ID vs TE debate: I think we may have been talking past each other for a long time. I have long wondered how a scientist can preach intelligent design - intelligent design - intelligent design - but as long as he does not self-identify with intelligent design we're supposed to just accept it. Kenneth Miller got confused about the issues involved and postulated basically a higher-order intelligent design where God influenced nature at the quantum level. As I understand it, TE believes that God operates purely through natural laws. Of course, to say that God uses natural selection is a contradiction of terms. God could conceivably use survival events but God would be providing the creative act. Darwin's idea was that a survival event could do that by itself -- a dubious idea -- in my opinion. hnorman42
More baloney. Evolution is a fact? No. Not as marketed in Biology textbooks. relatd
Sean Carroll does excellent interviews and this one is no exception. Morris would be classified as a theistic evolutionist and debunks a couple of ID notions along the way.... chuckdarwin

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