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Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor replies to “nature shows no purpose” philosopher

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From neurosurgeon Michael Egnor at Evolution News & Views:

Materialists struggle with purpose in nature, because their ideology rules out natural purposes, and yet purpose is obvious everywhere in nature. How can materialists reconcile their ideology with quite contradictory facts?

They talk gibberish. The current buzzword is entropy, which allegedly prevents purpose.

While entropy is a kind of physical disorder, it is, from a metaphysical perspective, a very clear kind of order in natural change: a consistent tendency for the net order of material things to decrease with change. As a consistent tendency, entropy is teleological. Teleology pervades nature: even disorganization in nature is teleological.

Entropy isn’t a refutation of Aristotelian teleology. It’s a strikingly clear manifestation of it.

After misunderstanding Aristotle’s metaphysics, Carter goes on to misunderstand science, and to confuse teleology with purpose. More.

Dr. Egnor promises to pick up this theme in further posts.

In general, naturalism forces people to talk gibberish, at best, when addressing anything to do with purpose, value, ethics, and such.

See also: Naturalist claims there really IS purpose in life Accidentally, through Darwinian evolution.


Philosopher: The universe does not care about purpose but we should anyway

"If purposes exist in us, then purposes must be found in our efficient cause — the universe itself. Purpose cannot arise from nothing. Man can have no purpose unless the universe has purpose." https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/how-is-purpose-related-to-teleology-in-nature/ I'm just wondering what the purpose for the universe is exactly according Dr. Egnor? As a Catholic, Dr. Egnor must believe that his soul is going to go to heaven after death, so I'm not really sure why he is so keen and enthusiastic about the purposeful universe he is not going to enjoy that much longer... Other Christians, many of them as a matter fact, believe that the universe is going to be destroyed by its Creator and it will either be recreated (new universe) or everyone will end up in heaven... unless they don't make it and they are going to be tormented forever in hell...well more or less... J-Mac
'‘Purpose’, like faith, meaning, design, and a bunch of other emotions and speculations, are beyond science. - rvb8 ----- Billy Bean built a machine to see what it would do. He built it up with sticks and stones And nuts and bolts and glue - rvb8 We did not know that you were a distinguished, conservatoire-trained librettist, as well rvb8. Axel
When one reads rvb8's responses to the other posts, it's as if he were speaking a different language. But worse, a 'language' so alien that it presumably denotes phenomena and concepts, impervious, opaque, intractable to logic. A kind of analogue of 'quantum physics' in terms of a philosophy of meaning ; Except that any semblance of paradox, being false, will be actually be oxymoronic. Axel
LoL! @ rvb8- How is design beyond science seeing that archaeology and forensic science are built on determine ng whether or not it exists? How is purpose beyond science seeing that both those venues also deal with that? Design is measurable in the number of components it took to make it, as well as their configuration. And you can tell there is a purpose to the design also in the number of components and their configuration. On the other hand no one can measure natural selection's ability to produce eyes ET
But of course, "it's easy to evolve an eye" is a quantitative claim and easily tested. LoL! Mung
RVB8- so terms like love, compassion,mercy kindness,morals are also beyond science, and if so have no basis in fact as they can never scientifically be put to a test. Marfin
So, moving from the theology of many posts, we are now entering the realm of philosophy. 'Purpose', like faith, meaning, design, and a bunch of other emotions and speculations, are beyond science. Does Dr Egnor not realise that because these things are not measurable they do not qualify as scientific proofs. 'Purpose', really? This is your rocksolid proof for a designer? rvb8
Egnor is, of course, right - and Carter surprisingly adrift from Aristotle's thought for someone doing a doctorate in ancient philosophy. The absolutely classic discussion case of Aristotelian teleology is the universal tendency (as he supposed) of things to fall to the lowest, and least glorious, place in the universe - that is, the earth. That is why mediaeval (Aristotelian) astronomy considered the earth as the most central, and therefore base, part of the universe, and hell as the most chaotic, and therefore lowest, part of the earth. The more noble and perfect bodies - the planets, stars and (in Mediaeval thinking) heaven were therefore inevitably at increasingly great heights above us. In physical terms, Aristotle's concept of "gravity" was the direct equivalent of entropy. Jon Garvey

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