Barry takes on the impossibility of the evolution of consciousness, noting,
Even if for the sake of argument one concedes that natural selection might account for the development of a material body, consciousness remains a mystery. There is still a vast un-crossable gulf between the physical body and mind. In other words, the difference between body and mind is qualitative, not quantitative. You can’t get an immaterial mind no matter how many slight successive modifications of the body there may have been.
One may as well talk about the evolution of the number 7.
Methodological naturalism (materialism) is bad for science. Researchers are looking for a simple materialist explanation of how a neural circuit that creates consciousness could have evolved from the much simpler nervous systems of creatures that probably didn’t exhibit consciousness billions of years ago.
This leads to a profusion of cranky theories (rocks, too, have minds, “attention schema” explain everything), claims about progress (“20 years of progress) that did not happen, claims that the problem isn’t difficult (no indeed, it isn’t difficult, it is insoluble on the only basis that current science will admit), and of course, demands for more time.
Put simply, methodological naturalism cannot incorporate information, which is immaterial and is measured differently from mass or energy. But more to the point, its adherents do not wish to incorporate it. They are still looking for that special brick that fits neatly into place and explains everything. As if.
And as the cranks crank on, the volume and variety of their output stands in for actual progress.
That’s why I started this series of articles, asking what, exactly methodological naturalism has achieved. Starting with:
Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train
Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.