Nothing will come of nothing!

Posted: March 26, 2007 in Intelligent Design, Theo/Philo

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When thinking about the dominating view of how life as we currently experience it came to be, and the way those ideas have been expressed; it seems that there is a propensity to anthropomorphise.

As Francis Schaeffer has remarked, there has been a tendency for many who have rejected the idea of a personal beginning, to constantly return to talking about nature with a capital ‘N’ and personalising nature as ‘mother nature’ ‘she’ and  ‘her’.As a quick example, scanning through the’ New Scientist’ this week, I found this headline:

CLIMATE CHANGE – NATURE REAPS HER TERRIFYING REVENGE’.

I always though revenge was a characteristic only a person could be attributed with?

Wiki defines revenge as:
Revenge or vengeance or retribution or vendetta consists primarily of retaliation against a person or group in response to a perceived wrongdoing.’
I have yet to see any evidence supporting the hypothesis that nature has personality and can perceive wrongs done to it, then on the basis of that perceived wrong, act in revenge.

It seems living and thinking within an impersonal origin is difficult when referring to purposeless forces, if you cannot live with honesty and non-contradiction within your worldview, perhaps the worldview is at fault?What is it about people that make them want to refer to phenomena and entities as personal?Of course we use metaphor, something which aids explanations and enriches language, such as describing forces as blind.When a specific phenomenon is characterized as impersonal and this is emphasized again and again, why then do random collections of atoms such as science writers keep referring to the impersonal in ways that attribute personality?It is not using metaphor that I am concerned with, but specifically, assigning characteristics exclusive to personality and agency to that which is reckoned to be devoid of intent or personality.Where intent and agency are most conspicuous by there total absence, is the very place where they creep in through the semantic backdoor, that is in the theory of evolution.

We have genes that are selfish, we have selection and no selector, we have modification and no modifier, we have advantage and no one to assign a certain event as an advantage, except other specific groups of genes, for example the entity known as Richard Dawkins.

Moving on from the tendency to personalize the presupposed impersonal; there seems to be something of a false scaffold built around the theory of materialistic evolution, a scaffold that is more in keeping with Scientism than science.The issue is that terms used are either inappropriate or unfounded.What data can we point to that demonstrates that there are higher or lower creatures?

The late Stephen Jay Gould:

“If an amoeba is as well adapted to its environment as we are to ours, who is to say that we are higher creatures?” 

What data exist to show that a cell cares if it survives or dies?Who says survival and replication is an advantage?

James Barham:‘…just as purpose presupposes intelligence, so too intelligence presupposes purpose. In order to understand how it is possible for all living beings, including single cells, to behave intelligently, we must recognize that things matter to them in a way that things do not matter to machines.,Also

James Barham quotes Leon R Kass:

‘The desire or tendency of living things to stay alive and their endeavor to increase their numbers, which are among the minimal conditions of the theory, are taken for granted and are unexplained.’ In other words, to say that cats have been “selected” to like milk explains very little; it is actually much more informative to say that cats like milk because it’s good for them. Natural selection cannot explain this sort of goodness because it presupposes it, and no theory can explain its own premises.’

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  1. […] Nothing will come of nothing! « God3’s Blog […]

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