The Intelligence Behind Evolution?

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We already have a long running thread on evolution but a kind of secondary debate has developed in which we have been discussing the nature of the intelligence driving evolution - if any. Now, I say "if any" and the assertion or doubt of that is the meat of the other discussion but, for the sake of this one, I suggest we assume that there is some kind of intelligence in the system and debate how that operates. That doesn't mean that the other discussion has been decided, just that this one gives a platform for ideas on the nature of intelligence applied to evolution should that be true in some way.

Quite a few ideas have already been proposed but I think it would be useful for those who have such ideas to bring them to this discussion for debate. I have some of my own but will need a little time to organise my thoughts so please, don't wait for me. Sciborg has already posted some thoughts in the other thread and is willing to explain them here too.

Nothing is off the table. If you think that God is the designer in chief and even, perhaps, that the book of Genesis is broadly true even if couched in mythological language, please feel free to say so. I can't guarantee that you won't get some lively push-back on that but it is nonetheless interesting to know that faith in the Genesis story may be alive and well on this forum. Likewise, if you think that intelligence is inherent in every living thing but is a purely physical phenomenon without any spiritual or supernatural component, that too would be an interesting position to elucidate.

Hopefully this will generate some lively though good-natured debate. I look forward to your comments.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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Everybody knows my background as a Christian.  I don't believe the Bible is infallible or entirely literal but I do believe that God created the world as we know it and that the Kingdom of Heaven existed in union with the material world until the fall of man, after which natural laws such as entropy took over and many serious problems, including genetic disorders, cancer etc became destructive, not only to mankind, but to all creation.  I also believe, as the Bible says, that all creation longs for the sons of God to be revealed, for then it will be liberated from its bondage to decay. 

Thanks for giving me a preaching platform @Kamarling. Tongue

Ok, let's pretend I have no beliefs and only some logic and the presumption that intelligence was in some way involved.  Focused, goal-oriented intelligence IMO would have to involve some kind of awareness.  I cannot see it functioning any other way. Beyond that I'm truly lost. Huh
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(2021-01-26, 07:36 PM)Brian Wrote: Everybody knows my background as a Christian.  I don't believe the Bible is infallible or entirely literal but I do believe that God created the world as we know it and that the Kingdom of Heaven existed in union with the material world until the fall of man, after which natural laws such as entropy took over and many serious problems, including genetic disorders, cancer etc became destructive, not only to mankind, but to all creation.  I also believe, as the Bible says, that all creation longs for the sons of God to be revealed, for then it will be liberated from its bondage to decay. 

Thanks for giving me a preaching platform @Kamarling. Tongue

Ok, let's pretend I have no beliefs and only some logic and the presumption that intelligence was in some way involved.  Focused, goal-oriented intelligence IMO would have to involve some kind of awareness.  I cannot see it functioning any other way. Beyond that I'm truly lost. Huh

I was going to question you on this, Brian because it doesn't make any sense to me personally but thinking about it, in many ways, the universe is so bizarre maybe it is controlled by a deity who has a literal 'Kingdom', who knows. Maybe 'Summerland' is the outskirts and so on.  

I'm wondering if this post (my post) is even allowed ?
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-26, 09:56 PM by tim.)
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(2021-01-26, 09:29 PM)tim Wrote: I was going to question you on this, Brian because it doesn't make any sense to me personally but thinking about it, in many ways, the universe is so bizarre maybe it is controlled by a deity who has a Kingdom, who knows. 

I'm wondering if this post (my post) is even allowed ?

The Fall...it's a bit beyond our usual boggle threshold for events in the terrestrial world...but something might have happened between the past and present in terms of what seems possible or at least common place. 

Probably a thread unto itself but the basic idea of the Fall, or perhaps continuous "Falls"...it makes a certain kind of sense...
'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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(2021-01-26, 09:58 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: The Fall...it's a bit beyond our usual boggle threshold for events in the terrestrial world...but something might have happened between the past and present in terms of what seems possible or at least common place. 

Probably a thread unto itself but the basic idea of the Fall, or perhaps continuous "Falls"...it makes a certain kind of sense...

Are we presuming the 'fall' as in Eve successfully persuading Adam to eat from the forbidden tree on a paradisiacal earth, or God's creation in heaven being kicked out (of heaven) ?
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(2021-01-26, 10:13 PM)tim Wrote: Are we presuming the 'fall' as in Eve successfully persuading Adam to eat from the forbidden tree on a paradisiacal earth, or God's creation in heaven being kicked out (of heaven) ?

Ah no, I was thinking more that the world might have gotten steadily more "mundane" over time.

Which in turn could just be Psi's relationship to our own planet/solar system/galaxy rotation, given some research noting a correlation between the Psi ability and magnetic fields, geological location, etc.

But a lot of mythology talks about a kind of break between a "mythic time" and a more "mundane" time.
'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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(2021-01-26, 10:22 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Ah no, I was thinking more that the world might have gotten steadily more "mundane" over time.

Which in turn could just be Psi's relationship to our own planet/solar system/galaxy rotation, given some research noting a correlation between the Psi ability and magnetic fields, geological location, etc.

But a lot of mythology talks about a kind of break between a "mythic time" and a more "mundane" time.

Indeed, the Fall seems to be very important in mythology and in various biblical interpretations. Having to do with angels (in a state of grace) mixing with humans which led to that fall from grace. Other theories abound including ancient aliens who "seeded" the human race, etc., the so-called Watchers and Nephilim. Big subject but not, I think, too relevant to this one. Not that I'm playing moderator - just my opinion.

As for the biblical creator God, what keeps me away from that - and religion in general - is the idea that God is somehow separate from His creation. In my worldview, what I call God is literally everything that exists - there is no separation, no wise old man, no designer at his easel, no Kingdom. Where I do agree with Brian is here:

Quote:Focused, goal-oriented intelligence IMO would have to involve some kind of awareness.

Or, to put that the other way around: awareness would lead to creativity with purpose (which might be another way of saying "evolution").
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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(2021-01-27, 04:03 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Big subject but not, I think, too relevant to this one. Not that I'm playing moderator - just my opinion.

Yeah, I'll make a new thread as the Fall is it's own subject.
'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


Dunno what you guys are going on about with falls and shit.

Thing is about random darwinian evolution is it's fucking good at explaining shit, just like materialism. Does that mean it's the be all end all? I don't think so, but it's bloody enticing, you can understand why people say souls ect don't exist when you've seen how good a job it's done. 

The most I'm willing to give ID is maybe an intelligent agents can influence their own evolution but I'm not willing to bring any PSI or immaterial stuff into it, not until we know more. Most I feel like we can say is okay, here are our problems, there may be other potential answers, let's keep using this 1 method until it stops working. I don't feel like evolution is like thr hard problem in difficulty, except for maybe the very very beginning of life.
Can you often see the difference between somebody posting out of genuine curiosity or being thoughtful and adjusting their position as they go along on one hand, and on the other, the post might look on the surface like a real opinion but feels like the poster's certainty in their position is underpinned by an attitude of "I don't want  to believe that shit so here is my justification" ? 

That attitude is what caused the fall.  God built a world and said to us "Here is a gift.    If you trust me to guide you in how to look after it and each other, it will serve you well and we can all be happy.  If, however you decide to judge for yourself what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, then I can no longer sustain you and the whole creation will die."  (These are the tree of life vs. the tree of knowledge of good and evil)  Becoming a Christian involves inverting that attitude (repentance)  and having somebody else pay the price of death for the ill thoughts that you have had and ill deeds that you have done ( Jesus' crucifixion).  What more can God do or expect?

I am not up to answering lots of questions from people seeking to debunk me.  I'm on my own here.  I can only suggest that instead of seeking to debunk me, you seek to find if there is any value in anything I have said.  I am now out of this thread.
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-27, 01:06 PM by Brian.)

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