Egnor and Kastrup discuss Evolution of Consciousness

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The Evolution (or Not) of Consciousness

Quote:Did consciousness evolve? How do materialists deal with the definition of consciousness? Dr. Michael Egnor and Dr. Bernardo Kastrup discuss consciousness, evolution, and intelligent design.
Show Notes
  • 00:28 | Introducing Dr. Bernardo Kastrup
  • 01:05 | Did consciousness evolve?
  • 03:35 | Two alternatives for Darwinists
  • 05:00 | Intelligent design theory
  • 07:15 | Jerry Fodor on natural selection
  • 10:52 | Random mutations
  • 13:31 | Intelligent design evolution
Additional Resources
  • Bernardo Kastrup’s website
  • Jerry Fodor at Wikipedia
  • What Darwin Got Wrong by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatteli-Palmarini at Amazon

Podcast Transcript
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2020-09-07, 04:09 AM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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Evolution is true, but are mutations really random?

B.Kastrup

Quote:As a matter of fact, there are empirical suggestions of fundamental natural regularities—‘laws of nature’—irreducible to microscopic events. If so, such a precedent should compel one to avoid outright discarding, on the basis of mere intuition, the possibility of unknown macroscopic laws biasing the genetic mutations that drive evolution.

Finally, one could argue that we don’t need anything other than random mutations to explain the variety of life, so that postulating a pattern prior to natural selection would violate Occam’s proverbial razor. But we don’t really know that randomness is enough, do we? The only way to verify it would be to run a quantum-level simulation of the evolution of life to see if, with trendless genetic mutations as input, we could reproduce the biological variety empirically observed. Such simulation is, of course, impossible. Only toy models are feasible, but these aren’t representative of the complex reality we are trying to understand. If anything, the amazing richness of life seems to suggest precisely a natural bias in that direction.

Notice that I am not claiming that such bias exists; I don’t know it either way, this being precisely my point. I am simply pointing out that the hypothesis cannot be discarded. Moreover, I am not hypothesizing any deliberate intervention in natural affairs by some supernatural agency. I am simply raising the possibility of yet-unrecognized but natural regularities, which impart trends on genetic mutations. Nothing we know today precludes this possibility.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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