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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-...


7

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 -...


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 ...


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

What makes the argument of intelligent design unable to stand on its own legs is that simplicity and efficiency, are hints of design, not complexity. The useless complexity of living forms, the flaws in their body are all hints at a natural, trial and error type of development. A common example is the incredibly bad design of the human eye: photoreceptors ...


3

The main reason which justifies punishment of evolved behaviours, is to impose a fitness cost upon harmful behaviours. It matters not whether the person is blameworthy for having been bestowed with such behaviour, or even whether they can change it under their own will. The behaviour will be under pressure to change and be weeded out simply by imposing the ...


3

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

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 ...


2

No, the theory of evolution does not require or even predict uniformity of all species, not even resemblance. It does not reject the possibility of exceptional or unique species to form. Nor does it describe or predict any probability for any trait. Thus any exceptionally or unlikely looking species does not contradict the theory of evolution. All known or ...


2

the reason animals evolved with multiple eyes is that it confers depth perception, which allows the positions of objects to be accurately represented in the brain in all three dimensions. Sports activities involving tracking the motion of another person or a ball require binocular vision. Try playing left field with one eye taped over and you will understand ...


1

You are suggesting that the evolutionary process follows causal reasoning[1]. The evolutionary process does not think(1), and evolution has not a goal(2). (1) Causal reasoning is proper to human mind. It is us that think that the acquisition of an attribute (cause) increases the probabilities of survival(consequence). The evolutionary process is just our ...


1

Many genes need to meet with the correct environment. FoxP2, 'the language gene', is known to trigger babbling during development. In wild cockatiels individuals may be assigned names, and have emergency calls, and flock calls that build cohesion and call to roost. But raised by humans, they mimic human speech & music. Like this. Gene and behaviour, in ...


1

This is directly refuted by the existence of grasshoppers and pigs. It's a common misconception that humans are the "ultimate" product of evolution. We're not. All creatures that exist concurrently with us are just as evolved as we are because evolution is compared relatively to lineages and not between organisms living in the same time period. In addition ...


1

You have mis-stated the Argument From Design. It is only weakly based on complexity, but instead is based on intentionality. If an object is most validly explained as a product of intentional design, then there is good reason from the existence of that object to infer a designer. Complexity is only relevant in that it triggers a search for the ...


1

The question is a little problematic because Atheism is a position on a single question. If you believe that a god exists then you are a theist, if you don't, your an atheist. Atheism has no dogma and makes no proclamations of any kind. Thus it needs no defence against arguments of design. Also, having to defend Richard Dawkins is a little weird. I can try ...


1

The best way to know how Dawkins responds would be to read his book The God Delusion. As probably the most militant of the New Atheists, his argument is spelled out absolutely clearly. Part of his argument is to explain what science is and why intelligent design (ID) gets it wrong, particularly in Chapter 4, "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". The ...


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

I will assume that we all do have subjective experiences which correspond precisely to the information encoded by specific objective brain states, and that the particular subjective qualities which identify different experiences may safely be referred to as qualia, a set of assumptions which some philosophers doubt. A common tenet of qualia theory is that ...


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 "...


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