Thread: Dawkins Speaks
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Unread September 5th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Dawkins Speaks

Hey JimB, wadddup? Where is everybody?

My son recently linked me to a Dennett video on Darwinism / evolution (http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...47403945995297 ), noting that Dennett isn’t as unfriendly as Dawkins, and asked what I thought. Here’re my comments:
First, I suppose I’m a bit negative on Dennett since he seems to think that he has actually explained conscious in his Consciousness Explained book. I doubt he begins to appreciate human consciousness and our ability to discover and comprehend objective mathematical truth; that the kind of consciousness/thinking required to discern and understand such things requires more than algorithmic processes.

Be that as it may, at the end of his talk (in the video) he tells us what the acronym is in his Darwin fish: “Destroy the author of things in order to understand the infinite universe.” And I’d say that pretty much tells us his core belief, his bias, how he sees things.

He's an atheist and apparently believes in an infinite universe, a multiverse of sorts (whether he realizes/acknowledges it or not); and in such a scenario, the probability of a universe just like ours—where, by his reckoning, a blind directionless algorithmic process, evolution by natural selection, results in the creation of life and us sentient beings—is 1.

The thing about infinite universes and/or an infinite multiverse is that all universes are 100% probable. Inevitable. I don’t doubt that infinities exist within the objective truth of mathematics—e.g. infinite primes—but there doesn’t seem to be convincing evidence or proof for infinite material universes or an infinite multiverse.

And of course natural selection is his holy grail, which, IMHO, is little more than a circular notion which ultimately doesn’t truly explain or predict much of anything. Darwin himself acknowledged that “survival of the fittest” was more accurate than his own “natural selection,” and most Darwinians today tend to agree that “survival of the fittest” is circular (not to mention politically incorrect).

Darwin, in the fifth edition of his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, said:
"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term natural selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer, of the Survival of the Fittest, is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient." [from Wiki]
Also Dennett doesn’t believe that we humans are “moral agents” in any meaningful sense, that we humans are different in any intrinsic sense than any other living thing. IOW, we humans have no more inherent value, meaning, or purpose than say a cockroach. IOW, there is no right or wrong, good or bad; which is also Dawkins’s POV, and pretty much every atheist that’s halfway consistent. Atheism inevitably and unavoidably reduces to nihilism.

I tend to be contemptuous of atheists b/c they typically lack the intellectual honesty and/or rigor to acknowledge that their atheism inevitably and unavoidably reduces to nihilism. I find more honesty in nihilists that acknowledge their nihilism.
(BTW JimB, a bit of a tangent, and if you’ve not already heard, Dennis Miller now has his own more or less conservative radio talk show, 10AM to 1PM weekdays if you can get it. A witty fellow, and I tend to agree with his POVs. )

Last edited by Fred H.; September 5th, 2007 at 11:26 AM.
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