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The notion of evolution in the sense of different species descending from a common ancestor predates Hegel, Darwin's contribution was the theory of natural selection to explain how the process happens, along with lots of empirical evidence for common descent and local adaptive processes such as Darwin's finches. Darwin's own grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731 -...


7

Darwin I should have thought that Darwin's theory of evolution does not recognise anything like an 'arc of history'; that evolution is not progressive, and that it moves with no purpose (cf. R.Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker). Darwinian evolution, working causally through random variation and natural selection, is naturalistic, non-directional and non-...


6

Biological evolution is an undirected process driven by chance mutation. Many mutations have severe consequences, and even those that could be considered beneficial in certain contexts may have nasty side effects in different contexts. And of course even many of those changes which could be considered beneficial don't get passed on to the next generation. ...


5

The evolutionary biologist (and student of the history of science), Stephen Jay Gould writes in his book Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History, chapter entitled Darwin and Paley Meet the Invisible Hand: Where did Darwin get such a radical version of evolution? Surely not from the birds and bees, the twigs and trees. Nature helped, but ...


5

There is really no doubt that animals have consciousness in the basic sense of the terms. They are aware of the world around them and respond to it: avoiding threats, consuming food, seeking out others of their kind... There's a more difficult question as to whether animals have a sense of self. Higher animals seem to, since they can order themselves into ...


4

You defined natural and supernatural in an absolute sense: can or cannot. You said life arising from nonliving matter has never been observed, which does not rule out that it cannot arise in such a way. Therefore, no, the observation does not imply life has supernatural origins by your own definition.


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I think anybody who is interested in this subject must first explore scientific studies of animal behaviour. In my opinion, there are studies which show that even animals have at least an under-developed consciousness. Evolutionary biologists may argue that neo-Drawinism (DNA mutations + natural selection) can also explain these advanced behaviours and ...


3

Without endorsing Dr Phillips' perspective — more because I find it presumptuous and arrogant than because I think he is factually wrong — the way to evaluate a scientific claim is on the preponderance of evidence. The 'preponderance of evidence' scheme implies the following: The one makes the effort to incorporate all relevant observations as evidence for ...


2

The utilitarian moral philosopher Peter Singer may be one to consider who has taken up similar lines of questioning. Here is Wikipedia's description of Animal Liberation published in 1975: In Animal Liberation, Singer argues against what he calls speciesism: discrimination on the grounds that a being belongs to a certain species. He holds the interests ...


2

One might view this fallacy as guilt by association or ad hominem. Here is how Bo Bennett describes it: When the source is viewed negatively because of its association with another person or group who is already viewed negatively. Bennett notes a potential exception if one can demonstrate that the "association is causally linked, or the probability of ...


2

Consciousness concerns awareness of one's environment and possibly some introspective knowledge if such there be. Deterministic consciousness need not lack utility. On the contrary: if there is a deterministic explanation of my seeing a dangerous animsl heading towards me, and if this visual experience connects with my deterministic desire to survive, then ...


1

During my sociology study we were reading about a sociologist, philosopher and psychologist George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), who proposed that conciousness is a form of behaviour. He argued that a person's personality consisting of self-awareness and self-image, is a product of social experience. I found this a very interesting perspective to think about.


1

I am aware of at most one serious falsifiable attempt of constructing theory of consciousness beyond the usual, mostly not falsifiable discussions in the philosophy of mind. I am speaking about integrated information theory. The main authors of IIT are Christof Koch and Gulio Tononi. They wrote interesting popularization books on the subject, that contain no ...


1

It's a property of English grammar that a phrase like "the baking of a cake within an hour" can be rewritten as "the baking within an hour of a cake" without changing the meaning, although the latter phrasing is apt to sound more old-fashioned to modern ears. Similarly, Godel's phrasing there is equivalent to "the formation of a human body by the laws of ...


1

The OP asks the following question: Why would the driving force for all existence and life be about creating things that slightly resemble ourselves less and less as time passes? There are two competing Darwinian models of evolution. One is phyletic gradualism. Wikipedia describes this as follows: Phyletic gradualism is a model of evolution which ...


1

Apart from any (a)theological or biblical references, non-interventionist evolution and young-earth creationism (YEC) are comparable. Both make claims about the physical world, present and past, that in principle can be tested. The challenges of testing claims about the distant past applies to both. Their key claims are comparable: (1) the evolutionary tree ...


1

Meaning can be found in action -- therefore if you find meaning in life (whatever that means for you) but you die sometime, your meaning likely dies with you. In such an event I'd say that life has no meaning unless it's always existing -- namely because "the meaning of life" is multifaceted and could mean various things. You can't reasonably argue of "...


1

That change in species occurs is evident from both paleontology and Darwin's theory. It also seems, if one looks at it from a high enough level, that a progress-like pattern from simpler to more complex life forms appears to characterize it. If there is real progress going on then an explanation for that would likely be some holistic cause effectively ...


1

Your link gives two definitions. The first is "Forward or onward movement towards a destination." Evolution is "movement", in the metaphorical sense, from earlier forms to later forms. If we take "forward" to mean "going from earlier to later", then evolution does indeed constitute progress. But the second definition is "Development towards an improved or ...


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Depends on what you would define as progress. If you say that being fit for nature, the environment, and getting more and more adapted to it, then yes, I would argue evolution is a progress of process. However, part of evolution is selection, and that includes the death and extinction of those living organisms, which are unfortunate enough to not be well-...


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