Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Stochastic or Intelligent Teleology?


Former Templeton Fellow John Fellow asserts: Why Teleology Isn’t Dead

Conway Morris argues that in the grand scheme, evolution will not be reduced to chance: constraints built into life at the most fundamental level guarantee that life is going to follow the same evolutionary pathways to achieve limbs, respiration, vision, balance, an immune system, indeed all the remarkable features we associate with living things across the great spectrum of life.

Morris begs the question by assuming a stochastic origin of these “constraints built into life”.“Life” achieving “limbs, respiration, vision, balance, and an immune system” “at the most fundamental level” is an excellent description of an Intelligent Agent behind the “Origin Of Life” (OOL), embedding those designs into the genomes – where they are highly preserved and and very accurately replicated by DNA/RNA with repair. Despite all its “hand waving”, NeoDarwinism can only actually quantify degradation by mutation.
John Fellow cites Andreas Wagner’s recent book Arrival of the Fittest:

at the most basic level of DNA–evolution is exploring what you might call an ideal Platonic library of genetic pathways just waiting to be realized in life.

What great observation. Yet bereft of mathematical understanding, it is illogically amplified by wild imagination!
Morris and Wagner have the challenge of explaining the “Origin of Life”, how the first cell with its accurate replication/repair mechanisms, photosynthesis and energetic systems, and mass transfer through oxygen barrier systems first came into being – with a full accounting of the stochastic mathematics involved! [Emphasis added]

Starbuck. You have not addressed the origin of "constraints built into life". Assertions without quantitative models based on evidence are meaningless. DLH
Starbuck, it has nothing to do with Genesis and everything to do with the fact that it is just vague, unsubstantiated, contrary-to-evidence speculation that denies the purposefulness and intentionality required for the real design we see in biology. Eric Anderson
Hey, Starbuck. It's funny how you brought up Genesis 1, while Anaxagoras did not. anthropic
It's so funny how IDers can't get behind even this kind of teleology, because it would mean Genesis 1 is false. Starbuck
Neither constraints, nor chance can “guarantee that life is going to… achieve limbs, respiration, vision, balance and immune systems…” Both the inherent teleology of living organisms and of evolution as a process (whatever that means) need an explanation that can not be reduced to the existence of “constraints built into life.”. Constraints can not be the CAUSE of the immanent process of change. Constraints explain why something is not achieved, but not why a complex functional organized biological systems can emerge. Constraints (let alone chance) can not explain how you can get “order from free” (Stuart Kauffman, as reported in the article). In fact those “constraints” have never been defined or identified. They are simply assumed because they are needed to maintain the theory of a naturalistic explanation of evolution as a process that shows an astonishing convergence of similar complex biological systems in organisms distant in the phylogenetic tree. It could be a more appropriate explanation to suggest that this surprising convergence is simply the effect of common design. Anaxagoras

Leave a Reply