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Didn't Darwin make Teleological obsolete?

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GCG
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2010, 10:39:41 AM »

you know, if darwin was alive today, he would bitchslap you tele.
do you think, this oke spent years travelling accross the globe, spending his years in the dust and much, researching evolution for an asshat like you to say he believed in intelligent design.
do you think he worked himself into illness and beyond, to get his works out, to publish his books, for you to say he actually believes that it all had a plan.
do you think he flew in the face of establishment, to have you, years and years after he died, decide you know him well enough to make decisions about his mental processes?

*  from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church.
*  in 1879 he wrote that "I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally ... an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind." (that means he will believe it when he sees it, in case you were looking for a loophole)
*  The "Lady Hope Story", published in 1915, claimed that Darwin had reverted back to Christianity on his sickbed. The claims were repudiated by Darwin's children and have been dismissed as false by historians
*  he (darwin)thought of religion as a tribal survival strategy
*  He (darwin)considered it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist"

stop trying to fit this genius man into your hokey pokey ideas of the world.  he didnt work his ass off his whole life so people like you can abuse and misinterpret his work for your own gains.
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mdg
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2010, 10:46:49 AM »

Quote from:  Mefiante
Quote
Quote from: Jacques on Yesterday at 10:11:53
So, in short, thanks for confirming once more that it's a waste of time to engage with you further.
You are of course free to interpret my withdrawal whichever way you see fit.

Mefi, I'm confused. I think Jaques was talking about Teleological and not you - perhaps I'm reading it wrong??

Quote from: GCG
you know, if darwin was alive today, he would bitchslap you tele.

@GCG, your replies always make me smile.  Grin

mdg
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Teleological
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2010, 11:01:12 AM »

There you go, contradicting your own position once again, Teleological.  On the one hand, paraphrased, you imply (twice) that the findings and successes of modern science hold no sway over the validity of the metaphysical theories that underpin science.  On the other hand, you point (many times) to our present ignorance concerning certain aspects of some of those results (e.g. evolution, biochemical processes, studies in cognition, etc.) in an obvious and broad hint that an exclusively materialist foundational metaphysic is inadequate.  You can’t, by your own assertions, have both.
I think you missed the point by miles... unsurprisingly. Now see if you can understand this:
1) EVEN IF the successes of modern science are due in part or even as a whole to materialistic metaphysics, it still does not impart any truth to materialism and the same goes for others.
2) I am arguing that materialism is IN PRINCIPLE inadequate (meaning, whatever science finds, materialism will be inadequate) at describing phenomena such as intentionality. That has been one of the stock standard objections (in various forms of course) since anybody tried to sell materialism thousands of years ago. Trying to find a square circle is like trying to find a materialistic explanation for certain phenomena in reality.
3) You would like to acknowledge that materialism "might" have no convincing account for some phenomena at present, but you appeal to "materialism-of-the-gaps" type of argumentation by saying it is an incomplete metaphysics. You show no understanding of your own about materialism and what it is, yet still tout it as some magical metaphysics that helped science so much.

In essence, you like to ascribe the successes of modern science to materialism without having a (well, I am waiting for you to demonstrate any king of understanding) proper understanding of materialism and claim it is because it is an incomplete metaphysics. So, I'll ask you again:
Could you perhaps describe what you think materialism and the materialist position refers to in your mind in your words?
Also, after articulating this, describe why you think this metaphysics and which particular elements of this metaphysics can be held responsible for the successes of modern science.

I am also waiting for an argument of any sort as to why Aristotle's metaphysics is incompatible with modern science's understanding of motion...



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Jacques
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2010, 11:03:37 AM »

Quote from:  Mefiante
Quote
Quote from: Jacques on Yesterday at 10:11:53
So, in short, thanks for confirming once more that it's a waste of time to engage with you further.
You are of course free to interpret my withdrawal whichever way you see fit.

Mefi, I'm confused. I think Jaques was talking about Teleological and not you - perhaps I'm reading it wrong??

Was talking about Tele, yes.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2010, 11:05:56 AM »

Mefi, I'm confused. I think Jaques was talking about Teleological and not you - perhaps I'm reading it wrong??
I think you misunderstood my intent – I’m sorry for giving the wrong impression.  I merely used Jacques’s reply to Teleological because I thought it succinctly captures all that is wrong here.  I won’t engage any further with Teleological on the present matter because he is neither open to anything that calls his ideas into question, nor does he actually know his oats anywhere near as well as he would have his Punch-and-Judy act suggest.

'Luthon64
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Teleological
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« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2010, 11:06:28 AM »

you know, if darwin was alive today, he would bitchslap you tele.
do you think, this oke spent years travelling accross the globe, spending his years in the dust and much, researching evolution for an asshat like you to say he believed in intelligent design.
do you think he worked himself into illness and beyond, to get his works out, to publish his books, for you to say he actually believes that it all had a plan.
do you think he flew in the face of establishment, to have you, years and years after he died, decide you know him well enough to make decisions about his mental processes?
Perhaps you did not see the link to the article that argues WHY Darwin possibly held certain creationist (which is considered ID today) views.
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Teleological
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« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2010, 11:11:02 AM »

I won’t engage any further with Teleological on the present matter because he is neither open to anything that calls his ideas into question,
I am open to anything that calls my ideas into question, stop lying.

Now how about those arguments and at least some form of response to show you actually have clue about the subject of materialism when tout it so much as the backbone of modern science...
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2010, 11:15:33 AM »

Quote from: Mefiante
I think you misunderstood my intent – I’m sorry for giving the wrong impression.

My bad  Wink

Quote from: Mefiante
I won’t engage any further with Teleological on the present matter because he is neither open to anything that calls his ideas into question, nor does he actually know his oats anywhere near as well as he would have his Punch-and-Judy act suggest.

Understandable. You deserve an award for patientence.  Smiley
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Mefiante
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« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2010, 12:12:12 PM »

I am open to anything that calls my ideas into question, stop lying.
Lead by example, Father. Roll Eyes Start with the above.



Understandable. You deserve an award for patientence.  Smiley
Thanks, but what I really deserve is a bit of ribbing or worse for being silly enough to allow myself to be drawn again into an entirely predictable situation, one that we have seen all too often before.

'Luthon64
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GCG
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2010, 12:25:21 PM »

tele, your link is a bit short.

darwin started off giong to church, being xtian, but the older, and wizer, he got, he started to veer away the church.

i see the teleogy people like to pin darwin as a ID because he said :To suppose that the eye [...] could have been formed by
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natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. (The Origin of Species(1859)

darwin freely admits that some things still boggled his mind, and that it's beyond him to understand it all:

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the respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.— I am bewildered.– I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I [should] wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.— Let each man hope & believe what he can (letter to Asa Gray, 1860)

he continues to doubt ID as ge grew older
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I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came from and how it arose. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to me to be that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man's intellect; but man can do his duty (In a letter to a correspondent at the University of Utrecht in 1873)

September 1881, darwin had a guest in the form of Freethinker Doctor Ludwig Büchner
in discussions after dinner Darwin asked his guests:
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"Why do you call yourselves Atheists?"
they responded that they "did not commit the folly of god-denial, [and] avoided with equal care the folly of god-assertion"
Darwin gave a thoughtful response, concluding that "I am with you in thought, but I should prefer the word Agnostic to the word Atheist."
Aveling replied that, "after all, 'Agnostic' was but 'Atheist' writ respectable, and 'Atheist' was only 'Agnostic' writ aggressive."
Darwin smiled and responded "Why should you be so aggressive? Is anything gained by trying to force these new ideas upon the mass of mankind? It is all very well for educated, cultured, thoughtful people; but are the masses yet ripe for it?"

i find darwin quite happy to equate agnosticism and atheism.  atheism being the militant wing of agnosticism.  his choice being, to be the guy to pushes the flower into the barrel of the gun.  and not pushing anybody into anything they are not ready for.  i can totally respect and follow that.

he published his autobiography, and initially his wife and son left out his more religious views, trying not to tarnish his reputation after he had died.
In 1958 Darwin's granddaughter Nora Barlow published a revised version which contained the omissions
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"The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection had been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell  must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws." (p.87)
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"At the present day (ca. 1872) the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. But it cannot be doubted that Hindoos, Mahomadans  and others might argue in the same manner and with equal force in favor of the existence of one God, or of many Gods, or as with the Buddhists  of no God...This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God: but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists." (p.91)
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"Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps as inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake." (p.93)

so
wheras darwin might have started off believing in god, and that god had designed nature as it is, he had been faced with evidence as his years of research passed, and as an old, wizened man, he knew the truth, and he was not shy about saying so. 

darwin died not being a teleologist.  he died an agnostic, not believing in the church, an afterlife or heaven.  and i tend to attach a label to someone's last word.  the fact that he made a point of making it clear that he didnt give credit to ID, in his autobiography of all things, tells me that he very much wanted his kids, grandkids, and the future to know that religion is bogus, as is ID, and the church.
maybe then stop making him out be something he isnt.

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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2010, 18:54:30 PM »

Quote
Well, you should read more about Darwin and you don't even need to be a Darwin scholar to understand it.


Link? Reference?

You can read the exchanges between Lennox and Ghiselin as a start. (Link, link, link)
Also read "Functions: new essays in the philosophy of psychology and biology By André Ariew, Robert Cummins, Mark Perlman"
Also read Natural Selection, Teleology, and the Logos: From Darwin to the Oxford Neo-Darwinists, 1859-1909.
And a new paper that might interest you: Darwin teleologist? Design in the Orchids

Heck, Darwin might have been an IDer today... Article: Was Darwin a creationist?, besides the point, but still fun to know..Tongue.



Erm... it's clear that Lennox uses the term 'teleological' quite differently than, say, Aristotle. Lennox defends himself from Ghiselin by conceding he doesn't use the term teleological in the traditional sense.

As for the creationist claim. Erm... yeah. Evolution /= abogionesis. Even if Darwin was an creationist wrt abiogensis (which he most certainly wasn't - again, he was an agnostic), that doesn't make him a creationist wrt evolution.
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Hermes
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« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2010, 19:08:01 PM »

A very informative post, GCG.

Beyond what Darwin might have privately believed, the salient issue is his work on natural selection.   Nobody who grasps the basic processes at work as described in The Origin of Species can possibly confuse it with teleology.   Obfuscating the issue by bringing in arguments about Aristotelian metaphysics and definitions of materialism will not invalidate this truth.   When numerous people claim that Darwin subscribed to teleology, it should come as no surprise: he was probably the most challenged scientist of all time and his views remain a threat to religious concepts.

Coming back to the thread topic then: Darwin did not by himself make teleology obsolete.   It had been rejected long before by enlightenment reformers such as Voltaire.   Darwin played a major role in its demise, though - what many people regard as the final straw that broke the camel's back.   
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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2010, 13:28:53 PM »

Tele???

Quote
Coming back to the thread topic then: Darwin did not by himself make teleology obsolete.   It had been rejected long before by enlightenment reformers such as Voltaire.   Darwin played a major role in its demise, though - what many people regard as the final straw that broke the camel's back. 

Yup - sort of. The person who came closest before Darwin was David Hume (see Dennett's superb Darwin's Dangerous Idea on this), but the problem is there was no proper alternative to teleological thinking before Darwin. (Lemarck was unsatisfactory for a whole bunch of reasons). A lot of people (including Darwin in his youth) found Paley's Natural Theology extremely convincing. It was natural selection that finally showed the watchmaker could be blind....
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Hermes
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2010, 21:36:12 PM »

Darwin's topic was evolution by natural selection.   Voltaire ridiculed teleology a century before.   I see Candide by Voltaire is available on kalahari.net for a mere R49,26.   If you have not read this hilarious satire on teleology, this is your chance.
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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2010, 17:44:47 PM »

Darwin's topic was evolution by natural selection.   Voltaire ridiculed teleology a century before.   I see Candide by Voltaire is available on kalahari.net for a mere R49,26.   If you have not read this hilarious satire on teleology, this is your chance.

Candide is just wonderful... I should re-read it one of these days.
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