Re: [asa] Jerry Coyne's Confused Attack on Religion

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 10:49:59 EST

Heya Randy,

Just wanted to comment on one thing in particular.

2. Agreed. Though I suspect Coyne would say that the scientific evidence is
> not consistent with an intent for convergence to humanoid creatures. That's
> a little softer than disproving it but close.

How would or could anyone get proof of 'intent' in a scientific way here?
Though I don't necessarily agree with Miller & company's specific claims on
this, that humans were an outcome of evolution is in this discussion without
dispute - if it's agreed that evolution produced humans, it goes without
saying that a mind could use evolution to produce humans. Convergence
certainly plays a role in evolution, and could play a role in producing such
an end product.

It also seems to me that, at one point in history, a convergent outcome in
evolution would/could have been singular - such that at that point, one
would look around and say, 'Well, that was an entirely unique development.'
Go further along the timeline, and oh - actually this development is
repeating. If evolution does tend towards repeating solutions and
developments along distinct lineages, it lends force to the argument Miller
& company seem to be making - especially if part of the assumption is that
once a species reaches a human-like stage, their influence spreads rapidly
and powerfully enough that a second 'natural' development of such
intelligence in the same environment is vastly reduced.

The point where science ends and speculation begins really seems to be
shorter than many realize, no matter what side they take in such debates.
Coyne himself seems to hardly care about such lines, save for insisting that
he can always imagine chance as being fundamental no matter what the issue.

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Received on Wed Jan 28 10:50:18 2009

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