I’m almost bursting from anxiety, on the edge of my seat…will you just say it already?! But alas, you don’t…I get to the last paragraph and ‘it’s‘ not there…I ‘control-F’ the page to search for key terms I could’ve missed, but to no avail. What a sad, sad predicament we are in folks.
I’ve just been reading about the exciting new developments and opinions in a budding field of biology called eco-evo-devo…sounds complicated, right? Basically, if you didn’t know already, there is much talk about extending the Neo-Darwinian theory of evolution (the ‘New Synthesis’) into something which actually tries to answer questions in life, rather than simply looking at genetic code.
I’m going to continue using the car analogy from my previous post, in an attempt to explain the whole issue in more detail. Here goes…
“Do you make your vehicle move?”
It’s such a simple question, but I think that it encapsulates the pickle that us scientists have found ourselves in. Let’s pull out the four main components:
- You – the subject (the person driving)
- Make – the cause (could be distal and proximal causes) of an action (desire to get somewhere)
- Vehicle – the object of the action (complicated machine that was designed with a specific goal in mind)
- Move – the action (the machine moves)
We can clearly see that in one sense, you do make the vehicle move…your intention to go somewhere is transferred into an action (sticking your foot on the clutch etc.), and this then makes the vehicle move. This is just one example, but we could apply it to any behaviour of living organisms (although on an empirical level we can only speak for our own individual conscious intent).
However, we could also look at it another way…your vehicle allows you to move. Yes, you might put in the conscious intent and stick your foot on the pedals, but what about all the stuff happening in that marvellous machine? So yes, your vehicle does allow you to move…however, there is an important distinction…your vehicle does not cause you to move.
I think that’s fair to say, and no sane person would disagree. Now, let’s take this analogy into biology:
“Do you make your body move?”
Here comes the problem, because despite our every day common experience of being a conscious entity, the doctrines of scientism refuse to even acknowledge words such as subject, consciousness, conscious intent etc. So here’s how it subsequently translates:
- You – sorry, there is no ‘you’; it’s just your brain acting up somehow (no empirical evidence given however)
- Make – because there is no ‘you,’ it must be that the blind forces of evolution are the ‘motive’ for biological entities to do stuff
- Vehicle – the body is a machine (it is seriously complicated). Here, we’re mainly talking about genetic components (genotypes), which somehow interact seamlessly with all other hereditary systems (including epigenetic, ecological and behavioural)
- Move – phenotype refers to observable characteristics of an individual
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not doubting that phenotype and genotype are related…after all, vehicles do move…we can’t doubt that our body moves in all sorts of molecular and observable ways. Yet, if you deny the existence of conscious entities who have goals, you’re kind of left with a strange situation whereby a car is moving, seemingly with intention…but it hasn’t really got a driver or motive.
And yes…you smart alecs will say, ‘well you’ve just described the driver-less Google car.’ You’re right, except for the fact that this car was designed by somebody, and didn’t pop out of an explosion…if you want to go down that line, it’s fine, but don’t delude people (including yourself most likely) and call it science…call it by it’s real name – faith. OK, it might be possible to include chance in the realm of philosophy, but I very much doubt you’d stand a chance defending it.
Wow, it really riles me up you know…flocks of us are being irrationally herded over the edge of a cliff, diving head first into a bleak and ultimately unreal and unsatisfying world of impersonalism…on a positive note, the truth is that we all really are real, and who we actually are is much more awesome than even this impressive machine called the body. If you don’t have any idea what you are other than a body, and you’re looking for that answer, I will hopefully give you some good ideas in the next coming posts 🙂
“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” — Rosa Luxembourg