Evolution of Evolution

Today I searched Google News for “evolution of” to see how the phrase gets used. Titles of headlines included:


Evolution: It’s even an amusement park ride!

evolution of athletes
evolution of US-Cuba policy
evolution of Raspberry Pi
evolution of basketball
evolution of the digital director
evolution of menswear
evolution of information management
evolution of the music industry
evolution of weather forecasting
evolution of Indiana’s fantasy sports bill

Halfway down Page 2, an article about a 500 million year old fossil. “Evolution of the nervous system.”

“Evolution” is a household word. We use it every day. Most of the time we’re not talking about biology.

Have you ever noticed… whenever we use the word “evolution” in everyday experience, we’re always talking about an intentional competition.

No exceptions.

The only time the word evolution supposedly means “blind, purposeless and unintentional” is in the old-school Darwinian hymn book.

So… are we really to believe that everything we do in life from baseball to world affairs to hip-hop music is always intentional… but life itself isn’t?


19 Responses

  1. Sly says:

    What does it mean ,to say ,life has “Intention”? When an animal kills it’s prey is that intention ? Is instinct intention or a goal?When water creates snowflakes is that intention or a goal?

    • Killing prey – absolutely, yes that is intention.

      Snowflakes – not a goal. That is simply obeying rules. The former adjusts its strategy to achieve a goal. The latter simply obeys a fixed rule.

      • Sly says:

        So has intention been selected for by the ” intentional ” competition of selfish genes? Evolution in this sense should then be considered intentional!
        Why does a snowflake have to “obey” a fixed rule and genes not??

        • You can make a snowflake spontaneously in your own freezer. Nothing mysterious about how that works whatsoever.

          Nobody knows how to spontaneously make a cell or a code.

          if you disagree, show me one example.

          • Sly says:

            You are saying that snowflakes follow a fixed rule.How do you know this?Why would snowflakes follow a fixed rule and genes not?

            • Snoflakes are created by a very well known process of crystallization.

              Codes, every time we observe them being created, are generated by intelligent beings. Codes are not generated by fixed rules. If you disagree, show me one example.

              • Sly says:

                This does not answer the question.HOW do you know that snowflakes obey fixed rules.How do the flakes “know” how form? Where are the rules written?If they can form without a rule maker, why couldn’t genes?
                By the way that is my name.Everyone calls me that.It is short for Silvester.If you choose not to post my comment because of that I can’t stop you.But I will be very suspicious about what this blog is really about?

                • I do not argue with anonymous cowards.

                  • Silvester says:

                    No need to get nasty.I posted numerous times previously with the same name.You had no problem with that. It IS my name
                    so I’m not being anonymous as you say.I am generally a cautious person and I believe my questions have been in a respectful tone.It is just that your answers to me seemed like hand waving.The snowflake question was a serious question and you said just look in the fridge??So If this blog is about searching for truth wherever it leads , all questions should be free to be asked.

            • And by the way, from now on use your real first name and last name. Otherwise your posts will not be approved.

          • Richard Morgan says:

            “Nobody knows how to spontaneously make a cell or a code.”
            By definition, something that appears “spontaneously” has not been “made”. “Made” implies a “maker”; “spontaneous” denies teleology.
            The snowflake in your freezer did not appear spontaneously. You intentionally used the laws of physics. Your statement could read, “Nobody knows how to intentionally do something unintentionally.”
            It would be helpful if you could reword that statement in a way which avoids internal contradictions. Thank you.

  2. pat says:

    More teleological baggage courtesy of evo 2.0

    • Carol Sperling says:

      ….And more pareidolia and confirmation bias as well.

      • Carol if you’re right, then why isn’t there a single software program that’s ever been developed by a non-teleological, purely “darwinian” process?

        Show me one example. All you need is one.

        • Carol Sperling says:

          Because software is something that only humans do. And DNA is not software.

          Now, show me an example of a mind that is not associated with a physical brain. All you need is one.

          • DNA is code. Software is also code. Therefore the same principles of communication (a la Shannon 1948) apply equally to both. The two are isomorphic (ref. Yockey 2005).

            If the principle of RM+NS worked in DNA it would work in software too. It doesn’t.

            Smoking gun.

          • According to Daniel Dennet, Darwin had this dangerous idea. That all you needed was replication, variation and selection and you would get “endless forms most beautiful.”

            Except it never works without teleology.

            Why not?

          • Joe says:

            The hardware was made by a mind, as was the brain.

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