Re: media & religion

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Thu Nov 24 2005 - 16:52:02 EST

How can you wonder about "struggle for life"? It's going on right now in
the fact that you're a smorgasbord for microbes of various sorts. As to
teleology, though it's not conscious, it's present in that pathogenic
microbes cannot be too virulent. Killing the patient too quickly prevents
the spread of the organism. Not being virulent enough produces
elimination before spread. There is a goal without thought, but
perceptible to thought.

Another element of direction involves the interaction of items currently
in cells. If A is less effective than B, but B interferes with C, which
is vital to growth, A will prevail until such time as C is bypassed,
which may not happen. This is a function of the simple fact that all
elements in a cell must work together--which may be achieved by
partitioning in some cases. The possibilities are manifold. New
discoveries relevant to the matter are continually being made.

There is no thought involved in the survival of microbes. Their sole goal
seems to be survival, at least so far as science can detect. If there is
a further purpose, it involves religion, philosophy, both nonempirical.
Both science and philosophy must be logically consistent, but this is
essentially the only ultimate test for philosophy, although breadth
enters in. Science has also to match, directly or indirectly, empirical

When we get to human beings, we plan ahead. But I have never heard of a
chimp picking up a stone and looking for a nut, or stripping a twig and
looking for a termite mound. They use tools, but not by anticipation.
Purpose is a human approach. As a Christian philosopher, I happily
ascribe purpose to the deity. But I cannot prove this, nor even the
existence of God. A rigorous appraisal of supposed proofs shows that they
fall short. That's where B16 is coming from, not from science.

On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 06:53:12 -0500 (EST) Gregory Arago
<> writes:
in small part
For example, ‘struggle for life,’ do you claim it does or does not exist
in nature? Does evolution have a ‘teleological’ component, does it imply
direction, and if so, what is it? Darwin, as we all know thought
evolution was not teleological; he couldn’t see that it (the process of
evolution and even life itself) had a purpose.
Received on Thu Nov 24 16:58:42 2005

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