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Bertvan's picture

non-theistic skepticism of RM&NS

I am an agnostic who does not believe in a personal God, but I do not believe evolution is driven by “natural selection” doing something to a collection of genetic accidents. Why should I have to state that disclaimer? If I am allowed to voice skeptical of RM&NS, shouldn’t religious people enjoy the same privilege?

The only alternative to accidental assembly would be some sort of intelligent, purposeful organization. I, personally, view the organizing intelligence of living systems as perfectly natural force of nature. Other people believe in multiple universes, but I believe in the reality free will and intelligent choice right here in this universe. I see evidence of the ability to make purposeful choices in myself and in other mammals. In fact I see evidence that even single cultured cells have some limited ability to make simple choices and respond creatively. Since I don’t believe in miraculous appearance anything, including intelligence, I believe that organizing intelligence of living systems has always been an aspect of reality. As Shelldrake suggests, the laws of nature are entrenched habits, and universe is in the process of designing itself. The laws that apply to inert matter are so entrenched that deviation is undetectable by our present measuring methods – except perhaps at the quantum level. However living systems are still an observable design in process.

Applying this to evolutionary theory, biological innovations would originate in individual living systems, not their genomes. The genome would be the record of past adaptations; not the origin of new ones. Used organs develop and unused ones atrophy. Individual organisms make limited adaptations to changes in temperature and altitude, learn to utilize new food sources and invent new behaviors during growth and development. Such adaptations are inherited epigenetically, as they develop, and are only incorporated into the genome if persistent over generations. Please don’t tell me Lamarckism was disproved by cutting the tails off of a few generations of mice. No one ever suggested that mutilations might be heritable. (Questions about materialism)


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