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Can Darwinism generate purpose in the universe out of thin air?

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That’s the goal of the bottom up thinkers:

British science writer Philip Ball offers us a guide to a very interesting project: an attempt to “naturalize” the idea of agency, that is, make the desire to do things—the mouse’s desire to escape the cat— explainable from a fully materialist perspective.

That’s much harder than it seems. Rocks don’t desire anything. So we can’t just start from the bottom. It’s also not enough to say that the mouse wants to avoid getting killed. That’s true but it doesn’t really explain anything.

For example, a person looks both ways before crossing the street to avoid getting run over. But, by itself, that doesn’t explain why she tries to avoid getting run over. One must factor in her memory, background knowledge, will to live, and such, to explain her behavior. A tire rolling downhill would not alter its course even though it might get run over because it does not have any mental attributes.

There is no science explanation, at present, for why life forms, human, animal, plant, or bacterium, strive to go on living but rocks do nothing to avoid becoming sand.

Denyse O’Leary, “Can we find purpose in a universe with no underlying purpose?” at Mind Matters News

Your mind vs. your brain: Ten things to know

and

Do we really have free will? Four things to know

5 Replies to “Can Darwinism generate purpose in the universe out of thin air?

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Looking for oncoming traffic is a sign of free will that exists only in humans. Animals run out in front of traffic on a constant basis. If they had free will, there would be less road kill. Even the most devout believers of evolution make the decision to check for traffic before crossing a road. If there was no free will, as they claim, there would be no need to check for anything. The illusion, as it is so amply used to describe free will, is no illusion. Free will exists regardless of the delusional rantings of those who wish it did not exist.

  2. 2
    JVL says:

    BobRyan: Looking for oncoming traffic is a sign of free will that exists only in humans.

    Not correct. For example, my dog is afraid of cars and if he sees one coming he hunkers down and waits ’til it passes. I’ve seen lots of cats dash across a road when it’s a bit busy but meander across very early in the morning.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Your dog is not looking for oncoming traffic, JVL. It sees/ hears a car.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Dogs are very good at predicting movements and intentions. That’s why blind folks use them. Cats are not good at prediction. Every single move surprises them, and they never seem to catch onto an obvious rhythm. Cats survive because of their instant reactions and amazing acrobatics, not because of their predictive ability.

  5. 5
    Mac McTavish says:

    ET

    Your dog is not looking for oncoming traffic, JVL. It sees/ hears a car.

    What about guide dogs?

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