Re: [asa] (ancient theodicy, 'ancient theology') Deism, Apologetics, and Neglected Arguments

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Aug 26 2009 - 19:49:42 EDT

David Clounch wrote:
> Bernie's questions have led me down two forks in the road.
> In this post is fork #1.
> 1) It seems the TE position is that evolution has a purpose. That is
> the main tenet of TE.
> The materialist position is evolution has no purpose.
> What then happens to the Kenneth R Miller's argument in Dover where
> Miller challenges design based on arguing against purpose? How is it
> that Miller isn't arguing against TE?

Good question, but without trying to be trite it's one you'd have to take up with Miller.

Personally, I think it evident that the claim that evolution is without purpose actually goes way past the data - at best it's an inference, at worst it's metaphysics disguised as science.

As I have (perhaps?) mentioned before, I'm rather taken by Simon Conway Morris' observations regarding evolutionary convergence and will only say that for a process which has no "directionality" evolution sure seems to arrive at similar destinations with uncanny regularity. That being the case, it is not, to my mind, so obviously that there is no purpose in evolution.

Getting back to Miller, though, I think he might argue something like: "Purpose implies agency/intent and as we have no way to assess the involvement of agency/intent in evolution then we have no way to assess the claim that evolution has purpose." At which point an ID theorist will probably choke on their weeties because, of course, ID broadly understood is pretty much the attempt to provide ways to assess the involvement of agency/intent. But, as I say, you'll have to take that up with Miller!


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Received on Wed Aug 26 19:50:16 2009

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