Purpose, Evolution, and Self-Replication

I said that science is based more then just math. You said that you agree. Science is built on theories that have been tested and confirmed by experimentation.

At one time before people became aware of the nature of quantum mechanics, most people seemed to think that the the fact that the universe was controlled by math means that every thing is determined. Personally I do not think that there is no free will, or that humans and other animals are not controlled the physics of cause and effect. Probabliity is not determinate.

Dawkins claims tom follow Darwin very closely, and for the most part he does, but of course he us not the same. Still the goal is the same , to separate God from the Creation.

Dawkins’ thing is the Selfish Gene, while Darwin’s was the the Durvival of the Fittest. I have heard it said that Daewin dews back from the Survival of the cittest and Sawkis from the

. .

@mitchellmckain, I expect that we are both saying similar things, but are looking at things from different perspectives. This is a very comp0licated topic with important perspectives from all sides, plus this format seems to promote debate rather than academic discussion.

I wrote a book on the need to reconcile the perspectives of science, Christianity, and philosophy concerning evolution. Of course generally neither science or faith or philosophy are interested in reconciliation, which requires change., but hope springs eternal (in God if not in humans.)

For better or for worse, Dawkins seems to be incapable of doing science without involving his atheism. He has said the Darwin’s theory was to him an atheist scientist like a revelation that made him fill fulfilled as a unbeliever… So much for objectivity!

Darwin’s experience of the painful side of life seems to be the source of his desire to bring more separation between the Creation and God which is correct. Species were cot created de nova. There is no such justification for Dawkins.

Dawkins might justify the assertions that science is based on math because it is "objective<’ but that is false. This thinking comes from a book by Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity. Monod won a Nobel in biology. During WW2 he was a resistance fighter against the Nazis in France. After the war quit the Communist Party, but maintained his atheist ideology as he describes in his book.

His theory is relatively simple. Matte4r is an object. Matter cannot think. Thought is required for meaning and purpose, so matter has no meaning and purpose. However humans can implant meaning and purpose into matter. When we make something that happens, However we can also use our minds to imagine that an object has meaning when it does not, and this i\s false.

This is what Monod and Dawkins fear. They are afraid that we might see love, peace, and joy in nature when they know there is only hatred, sorrow, and pain. How do thjey know because they proved this because nature is dead, not rational. Only humans are rational and live alone in a hostile environment., but in fact they so not Nature is mother Nature, not devil nature.

The fact is that God created the universe out of nothing and made the universe to be a home for us and our fellow creatures. It is not perfect, but is as comfortable home for the most part. Most of the problems we creatures for ourselves and God gives us the ability to solve our problems and even eternal life with God. If survival is the tack that the universe set before humanity, God has given us the means to accomplish that task.

Goodness is not the survival of the fittest of the survival machines that we call humans. Science and faith are not either or, but both/and. THe key to the new philosophy is the One and the Many. See my essay on Academic.edu

Roger, I have read all your posts on this thread. It is my opinion that you seem to draw too long a bow when discussing Dawkins’ comments. Driven by, its seems, a deep dislike if him and his atheism, and perhaps fear of the implications for you that comes from entertaining any aspect of what he says.

I would not say that he is putting his atheism into his science. He is simply saying that he has found no evidence of purpose or meaning in anything that his work in science has revealed to him. This is simply an honest statement my him, of his findings. This is not because he is seeing everything through the lens of atheism, but because he would like to find purpose and meaning in the natural world, but has not been able to do so.
Roger, sometimes when people say things or think things that you disagree with, it may not be because of bias, and may just be their honest and considered and balanced conclusion. The arrogance is with those who assert that anyone who disagrees with them must have a bias. Remember that this attitude cuts both ways. :neutral_face:

I submit that. if on the other hand, he had said that he finds meaning and purpose in evolution, I think you would welcome his unscientific observations and their intrusion into a scientific discussion, but you would still criticize his comments purely on the basis that he is an atheist.

I am not making an argument for or against Dawkins here, just that your handling of his commentary seems to be heavily influenced by your attitude towards him, and thus I feel, not entirely fair.

On the topic of evolution itself, and natural selection. I think on this, and your other remarks, there is confusion and conflation about the meaning of the words ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’. For this I would like to make some clarifying remarks that might help.
Purpose is different to meaning in that it can have an infinite loop or an unending chain, or it can land you in a place that gives you meaning. Eg. The purpose I have for this screwdriver is to tighten this screw. The purpose of the screw is to hold up the shelf. The purpose of the shelf is to hold up my books. The purpose of my books is to help me understand things, including how to use a screwdriver to fix a shelf (infinite loop), or to write posts in forums etc etc. The purpose of writing in forums is to connect with other people and share ideas. The purpose of doing that is to make me feel like I am part of the conversation and relevant and engaged with life on a level greater than mere survival and reproduction. The purpose of that is to work on a level greater than myself, which is say with the greater human experience. And finally the purpose of that is to give me a feeling that my life is of value to others and not just myself. Thus meaning is an end-point of a purpose chain. Therefore purpose delivers meaning, and ultimately meaning can be found most often in the service of others.

I think that it is in this mechanical sense that one can break down the layers of knowledge we are discussing here. i.e the purpose of chemistry is biology and so on. The difference is that Dawkins is saying that can see no causal agency at work. i.e. the purpose of chemistry is not to create biology, and the purpose of biology is not to create life, and the purpose of life is to not to create natural selection, and the purpose of natural selection is not to create people. However he is saying that people, due to the evolution of self-awareness actually need to have a purpose for doing things and to understand that purpose. Thus purpose and meaning are emergent properties of conscious, self-aware creatures. Dawkins is saying that there is nothing purposeful when building this from the ground up, that all the layers are emergent properties of the layer beneath, and it is us humans who try to overlay a purpose chain in all of this so that our lives at the end of that chain ultimately have meaning. He is saying that grounding that meaning in evolution itself is flawed because in the real world, the natural world we don’t have purpose chains but have emergent property chains.
We, as pattern seekers, as purpose seekers, and as meaning seekers, are free to overlay the idea of purpose if we want, but that there is nothing in nature and science that suggests that a chain of purpose exists.

Now you don’t have to be an atheist to acknowledge that this makes sense, if nothing else, as an epistemological argument. An argument that tries to ensure that we are careful with our definitions, and how we arrive at our conclusions.
Imbuing natural selection with purpose is something that you can do to it but not what it does to us. It does not give us meaning, it is our description of what happens and if there is meaning then we inserted in it there. After all, is it not the very fact that the natural world seems indifferent to us, that motivates us to look for purpose and meaning in the first place? Dawkins merely says that he doesn’t find meaning and purpose in it, but rather in the things that we as humans choose to do.

Definitions matter, as does the principle of charity when talking about the ideas expressed by those with whom you have fundamental disagreements. (and please, if I have misrepresented your views in any way, I am only too happy to be corrected)

I agree that it is of some importance to embark on a project of finding a synergy between science and faith, but I implore you to approach it as less of a war of ideas (and of people) and see those ideas as more of a list of ingredients that we must handle with care, because we are all seeking the perfect recipe to mix them together.

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Peter, Welcome to the forum.

Sadly I must begin by protecting my integrity. You say that I must be arrogant and have a blind bias because I say that Dawkins has a bias. You do not say how you know that I am wrong and Dawkins does not have a bias.

Let me give you some advice here. If someone says something that appears to be wrong, the best way to handle this is to ask, What evidence do you have that this statement is true? If they can back up their statement with facts, then you have saved yourself the embarrassment of having to explain a rash statement. If they cannot back up their statement with acceptable facts, at least you have a basis for discussion.

Why do I think that Dawkins has a bias? Because he admits to this. He has said that reading Darwin he felt intellectually justified as an atheist doing biology. That means that his atheism came first, his science came second.

In his book, Out of Eden, Dawkins addresses the philosophical basis of this issue. >

Dawkins response is clear. “On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune.” If we expect accidents to happen, they will surely happen more often than not. The meaning of the accident is not directly based on the existence of God, it is on the meaning and value of human life." p. 94 of Darwin’s Myth by Roger A. Sawtelle.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe good science indicates that human life is without meaning and purpose, but I do not think that good science proves this. Do you? This is why and how I disagree with Dawkins.

Yes, I have a bias. I believe that life has meaning and purpose, which is to live and share with others. When I see how selfishness has corrupted Pres. 45 and the Republican Party and through them our country, I know that it is wrong and cannot be the basis of evolution. Dawkins has not given any evidence that it is.

[quote=“Peter, post:43, topic:43926”]

After all, is it not the very fact that the natural world seems indifferent to us, that motivates us to look for purpose and meaning in the first place? Dawkins merely says that he doesn’t find meaning and purpose in it, but rather in the things that we as humans choose to do.

You are assuming something not in evidence. If the universe is indifferent to us, why did it give us life? The Anthropic Principle says that humans are an intrinsic part of the universe, not an afterthought.

There is another source of this error and that is the thought of Jacques Monod found in his book Chance and Necessity. He tries to prove based on an atheist philosophy that the universe is not rational and therefore has no real meaning and purpose. I will let you follow this up if you want. The problem here is that people who follow this line of thought say that the universe is without meaning and purpose, because they say the physical is not rational.

And what isn’t symbiosis again?

If you are not happy with my definition of symbiosis, then check it out for yourself.

I know what it is, you deny it.

If you don’t agree with the definition that I am using, you need to prove that it is wrong.

What is your problem?

No, you need to not disagree with the definition you used. Which you linked to to prove your point and failed, as it does the opposite. As I pointed out days ago,

Who says so other than you?

So, for the umpteenth time, what is symbiosis?


Your claim is not simply that Dawkins has a bias, but that this bias affects his judgement, his thinking, how he does his scientific work, and what he communicates. You are also claiming that he is wrong about the science behind natural selection (which you incorrectly claim is synonymous with symbiosis). You are implying that we should not trust his objectivity as a scientist because he is an atheist.

You are claiming to know that his bias is his atheism. Yet, the quote you presented does nothing to demonstrate that he might have reached different conclusions in his work if not for his atheism. In fact you have not demonstrated this at all. You have not shown that his results are faulty and you have not examined his peer-reviewed work and submitted facts and evidence supported by methodology and well-formed arguments challenging his results. From what I can see, you have not published original research showing that you have repeated Dawkins work and got different results. Nor have you done this with the legion of other published papers from thousands of other scientists in the field. In short, you have done nothing but make baseless accusations.

Redefining things to suit your own tastes, while doing no research of your own, ignoring evidence and making unfounded accusations about scientists is not how you do science. This is scientific, unjustifiable, and frankly just unfair.

If he personally lost his faith (although he said his faith was more cultural than sincere to begin with) because evolution by natural selection satisfied him of the likely non-existence of God, that does not mean that his only goal in life became the use of his work in evolutionary biology to create a view of the world that is deliberately at odds with the bible. You simply have no proof that this is his objective or that his atheism has affected his work in that way. Further, all he has said is that he is interested in what is true and that is all that motivates him. He has also said that if it turns out that it is true that there is a God then he would want to discover that as well.

Yes, he has made some philosophical statements in his books and in public that he finds that the randomness and suffering in the world suggests there is no loving creator, but these are conclusions he has made outside of his scientific work. These are outputs, not inputs. These are not scientific statements that inform his work, but his personal thoughts and observations about the natural world and its implications for a theological worldview, that have come from doing his work.

You say that science says that life is without meaning and purpose, but again this is wrong. Science says nothing about that at all. It is individuals drawing philosophical conclusions based on the results of scientific research. All that Dawkins has said is that he was an atheist before he became a biologist and nothing he has come across in his work has made him feel the need to reconsider that.

Roger, you are the one making that claim here. It is therefore your task to demonstrate the following:

  1. That Dawkins has a bias that impacts his scientific thinking and results such that his results are false.
  2. That since his scientific work is falsifiable, you have a falsification that you have published in a peer reviewed journal that shows that his findings about natural selection are incorrect as are those of all other scientific work by others on the subject.
  3. That this falsification also not only shows that his views on natural selection are incorrect, but they are incorrect due to an atheistic bias
  4. That if not for this bias, he would be supporting the idea that natural selection = symbiosis

I have had this conversation many times with people who push the narrative that atheistic bias distorts science to paint the world out to be Godless, meaningless and purposeless. The problem is always the same though, and this is that the findings of scientific research is just data, not philosophy. The conclusions about meaning and purpose are philosophical ones made after the fact. So it is up to you to infer that the universe does or does not have meaning. What you are doing here though is that because you don’t like the implications that you have drawn from the way that natural selection does work, you have redefined it and then made unsubstantiated claims about Dawkins to try to undermine his credibility (and others).

This is the routine I have seen over and over. It is the routine of not accepting things merely because you don’t like them. In science it doesn’t matter what you like, it only matters what the facts are, what you can prove (or rather, disprove)

As I have said before, if you are having trouble making sense of things, perhaps the problem is that you are having trouble making sense of things, and not that the world is wrong.

Sorry to be blunt and to sound harsh Roger, I mean no offence.

1 Like

This post is in response to what Relates says about Jaques Monod, whom I read about since I had not heard of him before.

So for example there is what the Wikipedia article says about him here.

Monod shows a paradigm of how choice at one level of biological organization (metabolic activity) is generated by necessary (choiceless) interactions at another level (gene regulation); the ability to choose arises from a complex system of feedback loops that connect these interactions. He goes on to explain how the capacity of biological systems to retain information, combined with chance variations during the replication of information (i.e. genetic mutations) that are individually rare but commonplace in aggregate, leads to the differential preservation of that information which is most successful at maintaining and replicating itself. Monod writes that this process, acting over long periods of time, is a sufficient explanation (indeed the only plausible explanation) for the complexity and teleonomic activity of the biosphere. Hence, the combined effects of chance and necessity, which are amenable to scientific investigation, account for our existence and the universe we inhabit, without the need to invoke mystical, supernatural, or religious explanations.

While acknowledging the likely evolutionary origin of a human need for explanatory myths, in the final chapter of Chance and Necessity Monod advocates an objective (hence value-free) scientific worldview as a guide to assessing truth. He describes this as an “ethics of knowledge” that disrupts the older philosophical, mythological and religious ontologies, which claim to provide both ethical values and a standard for judging truth. For Monod, assessing truth separate from any value judgement is what frees human beings to act authentically, by requiring that they choose the ethical values that motivate their actions. He concludes that “man at last knows he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose”. While apparently bleak, in comparison to the concepts that humanity belongs to some inevitable, universal process, or that a benevolent God created and protects us, an acceptance of the scientific assessment described in the first part of the quotation is, for Monod, the only possible basis of an authentic, ethical human life. It is reasonable to conclude that Monod himself did not find this position bleak; the quotation he chose from Camus to introduce Chance and Necessity ends with the sentence: “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

In 1973, Jacques Monod was one of the signatories of the Humanist Manifesto II.

Sociologist Howard L. Kaye has suggested that Monod failed in his attempt to banish “mind and purpose from the phenomenon of life” in the name of science. It may be more accurate to suggest that Monod sought to include mind and purpose within the purview of scientific investigation, rather than attributing them to supernatural or divine causes. While Monod does not explicitly address mind or consciousness, his scientific research demonstrated that biology includes feedback loops that govern interacting systems of biochemical reactions, so that the system as a whole can be described as having a purpose and making choices. Monod’s philosophical writing indicates that he recognized the implication that such systems could arise and be elaborated upon by evolution through natural selection. The importance of Monod’s work as a bridge between the chance and necessity of evolution and biochemistry on the one hand, and the human realm of choice and ethics on the other, can be judged by his influence on philosophers, biologists and computer scientists such as Daniel Dennett, Douglas Hofstadter, Marvin Minsky and Richard Dawkins.

Numerous times on this forum I have explained how choice is derived from a mathematical process described in Chaotic Dynamics by the word “bifurcation.” For the first time here I have seen this addressed by a publication of someone in the scientific community which explained here quite correctly that this is exemplified in feedback loops in biochemical reactions. What is missing from this explanation just as Erwin Shrodinger misses in his book “What is life,” is the fundamentally non-deterministic character of these processes as a butterfly effect that goes right down to the level of quantum fluctuations in which it has been proven there are no hidden variables within the scientific worldview.

If the aim is to eliminate the need for magical or supernatural explanations of free will and the mind as we find in various sorts of dualism, then I cannot agree more. But as an attempt to shut the door against the possibility of free will and supernatural involvement, this is indeed a complete failure. Indeed Kaye correctly points out that Monod fails to even address this question and at most we only see a redraw of the line between the natural and the supernatural. Free will and the mind do not require the supernatural and are on the natural side of that line and thus to do not point to or establish the existence of anything supernatural. Physicalism with regards to the phenomenon of life and the mind are established quite solidly in this – but with regards to the supernatural that only succeeds in shutting down one common means of arguing for the supernatural from things of the mind. It certainly does not shut any doors with regards to the existence and involvement of supernatural (spiritual) existences in the events of life and the mind.

I have my doubts about whether Monod is seeking to do what you claim. I have little doubt that atheists have used what Monod did show for such a purpose however. I would argue precisely the opposite that this plus the re-evaluation of rationality from our discoveries in AI show that the physical is rational right down to the level of elementary particles. But part of this is a different understanding of what the word “rational” even means. There seems to be a long tradition going back to the Greeks, Plato, and the Gnostics of equating the rational with the spiritual. That is what I think we must toss on the garbage heap. The rational is no more than the ability to follow a set of rules consistently – and computers can do this extremely well so that they can beat us at all our hardest strategy games. What we need to rethink is this very idea that meaning and purpose come from rationality after all – and rather than looking for God and our humanity in things like intelligent design or cleverness we should be looking for them in another aspect of human existence altogether – love and the human heart.


Thank you for the feedback and the information.

This is the type of discussion we should have been having on BioLogos a long time ago.

The reason I am writing this is because I have several other threads going now and I do not know when I can respond in detail, but I will. I should not be needed to keep the thread going. Others need to participate.

No, I am saying that he is mistaken about how natural selection works and uses that bas science to justify his atheism. Please base your statements on facts and not assumptions.

Presumably we would have seen the truth that in reality evolution is not based on the Selfish Gene if he has not raised Darwinism into a place of absolute fact. See p. 1 of the Selfish Gene.

Dawkins has not published any work by Dawkins that confirms his belief in the Selfish Gene. Again please base your statements on facts, not assumptions.

“The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”1 Richard Dawkins quoted by Sy Garte at the beginning of this discussion. This is his conclusion, not mine.

B. S. When are you doing to use some facts?

At last a verifiable fact, but please a reference.

Who are you that comes out of nowhere and say that you can speak for Dawkins without a citation?

What in science indicates that the universe has nothing but “pitiless indifference?”

I would be glad to do so if you would only stop your diatribe and give me a chance.

For me I see evolution as a natural byproduct of life and I believe that science will eventually show abiogenesis as the answer to how nonliving matter was able to become living matter. We already have non living things that at times seem to closely resemble living things, such as prions and viruses.

I think that universe shows itself to be orderly and that we find it beautiful. I see the universe as clearly having natural laws that resulted in life. After all we are all here. I see those natural laws working towards creating life and that it’s especially expressed through ecology. After all even if you’re an atheist you believe that ecology exists and that it’s a byproduct of natural laws centered around existence. As in evolution , ecology, biology, and so on is generating life. I see God in those natural laws. I believe that we can see his character through the natural laws. A big part of ecology is about the relationship between animals, plants, and fungi. That’s not saying ecology is designed but that ecology is the natural byproduct of a universe that has generated life.

Roger, I can see that you are not really prepared to respond to my points. What you have come back with are little nit-picks, and frankly missdirections of one sort or another.

I have said it twice now. You have presented no evidence for your claims about natural selection. You are simply asserting that Dawkins, and by extension thousands of other scientists, have it all wrong, and you somehow have it right. You have published no peer-reviewed articles, but written a book. Anyone can write a book Roger, and anyone can cherry-pick quotations, and misuse them to make various arguments as you have done. What I need to see Roger, is a thorough, well-argued, logical, evidence-based case that passes peer-review, and explains the evidence better than the prevailing view of natural selection in the scientific community.

Simply asserting that Dawkins and everyone else has it wrong is not an argument and it is not science.

All your responses so far have failed to make any attempt to meet this request from me. You want me to give you a chance to do it, but I am several posts in and I have seen nothing from you. Furthermore, none of your previous posts provide this either.

The reality here is that you have started with a conclusion and then tried to make the facts fit it, and when they don’t you toss them out and anyone who disagrees with you. This is not a scientific methodology.

So I ask one last time:
Where is your evidence, what is your evidence, and where are your peer-reviewed publications?

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I still don’t fully understand the separation of ecology from natural selection. For me they go hand in hand. Natural selection and ecology both seem to overlap resulting in life. Natural selection results in new species and ecology is the relationship between these new species and ecology results in new morphological changes that results in natural selection. I can’t see how they are separated or if I’m just innocent my head and not understanding the conversation.

I keep thinking of this example.

They are seeing some birds evolving longer beaks because of bird feeders. Let’s just change that bird feeder out for a flower. So you have this flower with long slender petals. You have birds trying to get to the nectar. The ones with the longest beaks have access to these flowers better. So they have more food and less pressures to survive since they have more food. Over several generations we start to see the offsprings of these birds having longer beaks. The ecological influence on the bird is that they have longer beaks to feed on the plant. This is resulting in natural selection placing pressure on these birds to have longer beaks. Let’s say 50% of the flowers though break when the bird lands on it. The other 50% does not break and so are pollinated more often. This results in the ecological pressures for the flowers to naturally select offspring with stronger stems and flowers. ( yes I’m aware that this is actually about beaks and seeds and not tongues and nectar as ).

You and me both.

In fact it was not to long ago that in classes on evolution that students were told that it was wrong to say that birds did not fly south for the winter to avoid freezing temperatures, which is an ecological reason, but “to gain an evolutionary advantage.”

The biggest difference between evolution and ecology is that evolution sees natural selection as survival of the fittest which results in the struggle for survival between two or more alleles of the same species, while ecology sees N.S. as symbiosis, which results from the drive to maximize the use of resources in a given habitat or environment. Ecology is a much broader and interdependent, holistic compared to linear evolution.

[quote=“wirkipedia, post:53, topic:43926”]
> Hence, the combined effects of chance and necessity, which are amenable to scientific investigation, account for our existence and the universe we inhabit, without the need to invoke mystical, supernatural, or religious explanations.
> [/quote]

I would agree that evolution is a natural process and as far as that is concerned it does not require a supernatural, dualistic explanation. However, there is no evidence that evolution created itself, but instead it is a rational, physical, and even spiritual phenomenon because it was created by God as part of the Big Bang.

Monod says that the universe is not rational, because it is natural, which he takes to mean solely physical. I would say that the universe is natural, because God created it that way and natural is more than physical, but also rational and spiritual.

The speculations that Monod makes to describe change and necessity are interesting. They seem to follow the old One And the Many paradigm which I find helpful philosophically, however it breaks down into a dualism without a third aspect. I would say that is why it fails to really justify its claims to give humans true free will.

> [quote=“wikipedia, post:53, topic:43926”]
> Monod advocates an objective (hence value-free) scientific worldview as a guide to assessing truth.
> [/quote]

Value-free means the life has no purpose or meaning and thus that there is no Truth. It is the ultimate “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” It seems to me that he has much in common with Camus and Sartre, which makes sense as a Frenchman of his time.

> [quote=“wikipedia, post:53, topic:43926”]
> For Monod, assessing truth separate from any value judgement is what frees human beings to act authentically, by requiring that they choose the ethical values that motivate their actions.
> [/quote]

If acting “authentically” means that we act in a valueless vacuum means we have no choice, because our choice makes no difference. For the Christian every one has freewill because they have the choice between God/Jesus Christ/Love and Self. We must make the choice based on our values, our Ultimate Concern, thus who we really are. This is rational freewill. If for Monod we must choose between Chance and Necessity, that is not a rational decision. Chance is not rational. It is random. Necessity maybe rational, but it is not good, because it is value free.

> [quote=“wikipedia, post:53, topic:43926”]
> an acceptance of the scientific assessment described in the first part of the quotation
> [/quote]

But is this “scientific assessment” true? I am challenging the accuracy of this “scientific” assessment and get nothing but flak for trying to engage in a rational fact based discussion.

> [quote=“wikipedia, post:53, topic:43926”]
> Sociologist Howard L. Kaye has suggested that Monod failed in his attempt to banish “mind and purpose from the phenomenon of life” in the name of science. It may be more accurate to suggest that Monod sought to include mind and purpose within the purview of scientific investigation, rather than attributing them to supernatural or divine causes.
> [/quote]

It seems to me that continues the Western view dualism of physics and metaphysics, but while most people put the mind on the side of metaphysics he assumes that it is on the side of physics arbitrarily, that is without justification. This seems par for the course for atheists today. They say that mind is physical like the rest of the body, because they want it to be.

> [quote=“mitchellmckain, post:53, topic:43926”]
> The rational is no more than the ability to follow a set of rules consistently
> [/quote]

I disagree. Rationality is the ability to analyze a situation or a problem and make a viable solution. It is the ability to create something fresh and original, rather than to keep on doing the same old thing. Animals can learn from experience and plants grow by following their sensors, so they are rational up to a point.

The Greeks tended to equate soul with the mind, thinking with the spiritual. They saw and we still see humans as having a mind and body not a body, mind, and spirit. The Jewish/Christian tradition made the heart/spirit separate from the mind.

> [quote=@mitchellmckain, post:53, topic:43926"]
> What we need to rethink is this very idea that meaning and purpose come from rationality after all – and rather than looking for God and our humanity in things like intelligent design or cleverness we should be looking for them in another aspect of human existence altogether – love and the human heart.
> [/quote]

This is true, but is contrary to the thrust of atheism today.

The biggest problem for atheist science is the most important scientific discovery of the 20th century, the Big Bang, the Beginning of energy, matter, time, and space. This is the reason God will never disappear. Because God is Real. Instead of arguing over God we need to be working together to bring people together in love.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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