Cell biology Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Origin Of Life

The philosopher and the biologist offer a “fantasy” of how Darwinism can create minds

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Daniel Dennett and Michael Levin ask us to imagine that a model car has arrived and must be assembled according to instructions:

But then you spot a slip of paper that instructs you to put all the parts into a large kettle of water on the stove, heat the water to a low boil, and stir. You do this, and to your amazement the parts begin to join together into small and then larger assemblies, with tabs finding their slots, bolts finding their holes, and nuts spinning onto those bolts, all propelled by the random roiling of the boiling water. In a few hours, your model car is assembled and, when you dry it off, it runs smoothly. A preposterous fantasy, of course, but it echoes the ‘miracle’ of life that takes a DNA parts list and instruction book and, without any intelligent assembler’s help, composes a new organism with millions of moving parts, all correctly attached to each other.

Daniel C. Dennett and Michael Levin, “Cognition all the way down” at Aeon

If even cars don’t get started by chance, why should we believe that life does?

The problem isn’t with their believing that cells feature lots of intelligence but with their effort to equate human and cellular intelligence. Human intelligence is something quite different.

5 Replies to “The philosopher and the biologist offer a “fantasy” of how Darwinism can create minds

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Philosophy is defined as having deep thoughts. In order to have a deep thought, one must use the mind over the brain. A series of questions are pondered before one is chosen. The selection of the question is done via free will. If there is no mind, there is no philosopher.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    Their worldview forces them to place their faith in very illogical things, but they are constrained by their worldview so have no choice but to ratchet up their faith to meet the challenge/demands of the data.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    tjguy @2 ” … faith in very illogical things”

    touche … Darwinian clowns are forced to believe in very illogical things, i would add, in very illogical and very absurd things … the whole evolutionary theory is a collection of very absurd just-so-stories and a huge misinterpretation of what Darwinian scientists observe

    Moreover, in my experience, the problem with a common Darwinian layman is, that these guys even don’t know what they believe in, what evolutionary biologists claim … these guys like Seversky or BobOH are familiar with some basic Darwinian claims (e.g. ATB resistance, vestigial organs, or eye’s blind spot ) and that is it… Of course, now we know, that ATB resistance has nothing to with Darwinian evolution, vestigial organs are not vestigial and that there is nothing wrong with human eyes …

  4. 4
    jawa says:


    What those two guys wrote or said is outside science, not scientific. It’s just their opinion.

    Check this recent paper:

    Reconciling Current Theories of Consciousness

    Understanding the neural basis of consciousness is one of the fundamental challenges in modern neuroscience.

    A number of sophisticated models and theories have attempted to formalize how the brain implements consciousness using insights from philosophy, psychology, computer science, and neuroscience.

    Consciousness remains one of the great unsolved mysteries in systems neuroscience.


  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, also, they don’t understand the statistical thermodynamics of random molecular and near-molecular motion. The overwhelming clusters of microstates will be parts scattered at random in no particular order. If parts seem to spontaneously assemble, it is by a program hidden somewhere, once we move beyond crystal like order to complex, functionally specific organisation. KF

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