Monday, August 18, 2008

The New and Improved Evolution, Now With Added Meaning!

Why don't I post on Sundays and take Mondays off? Mondays are always a squeeze. And why is that? Because there is insufficient time to find my end, and therefore my beginning.

You see, these posts only discover what they are about in the process of being written. They are definitely about something, there's no doubt about that. But unlike my competitors, they are completely improvised and omade, so it can take awhile for me to get what I'm driving at. I can't just get to the point if I don't know what it is. Unless I actually do know what it is, only implicitly instead of explicitly. If that is the case, then what we call evolution, or developmental time, is a function of an implicate order becoming explicate, perhaps as understood by David Bohm.

This, of course, is the whole point of psychoanalysis, where it is assumed that by free associating -- that is, by saying whatever pops into your melon -- a deeper order will emerge from the seeming chaos. However, it generally takes a trained professional to recognize this order, but not always, any more than you need a literary critic to understand the deeper meaning of a novel. But you do need to disable your left brain, so to speak, in order to allow the right brain to give its deposition. You will notice that that is something with which the scientistically minded always have great difficulty, which is why they habitually confuse their mental abstractions with reality.

So that's what we do here, in the "faith" that order will emerge from chaos, and the post will find its attractor state before it's time to go to work. Which means that the future is in some sense implicit in the present, at least as it pertains to thought. As Brand Blanshard writes, "So intimately are end and process bound up with each other, that thought can be defined only with reference to its end; indeed, it is that end in the course of realization."

Now, what if the cosmos is more like a giant thought than a giant object? If looked at in that way, then many of the most paradoxical aspects of existence will suddenly make a lot more sense, including evolution. Because as it stands, biologists can only pretend that evolution makes sense, so long as they place it in the matrix of an outmoded 19th century scientism. But nothing whatsoever aside from prejudice, convention, and lack of imagination prevents them from understanding evolution in a more cosmic context. As mentioned a couple of posts back, much of the problem results from placing arbitrary, manmade lines where there are none.

Or, as I put it in my book, who can actually say what a mature cosmos looks like, unless you either already have an implicit idea already, or ignore the question altogether? Physics operates under the assumption that all time slices are equivalent (or value neutral), but in a developing cosmos, that can't possibly be true. I mean, no physicist actually lives his life as if one slice of time is no different than any other slice. There are people who do live that way: they are called autistic or psychotic. Or sometimes even just a severe depression can do this to you: suddenly time is devoid of all of the qualities that render it meaningful. Rather, life becomes just meaningless duration, which is to say, a living death.

Likewise, the biologist assumes that evolution is a wholly lateral reshuffling of genes, so that any vertical development is illusory. It's just our opinion, say, that a human being is higher than an ape -- and even there, a lot of people, such as PETA members, are at least philosophically consistent in insisting that human beings are not more valuable than animals, and that "murdering" 6 million chickens is morally equivalent to the Holocaust. Colonel Sanders really is as evil as Adolf Hitler. But these moral retards obviously don't denigrate Colonel Sanders, only trivialize Hitler. In so doing, they actually make genocide more likely, because if murdering a human being is no worse than eating a chicken, what's the big deal? (I know it sounds crazy, but Dennis Prager had on a PETA spokesman who insisted that one could draw no intrinsic distinction between humans and chickens.)

It all makes no sense, for any normal human being knows implicitly, and with absolute veracity, that human beings are infinitely more valuable than animals -- if only because we can know how valuable animals are! I'll join PETA the day that animals open up hospitals to take care of humans, or when mosquitos get together to try to eliminate malaria.

But most human beings are not normal. True, they are average, but average is not normal. The average Palestinian wants to murder every last Jewish man, woman, and child, but that is not normal. But what is human normality? Here again, if you attend a major university, you will learn that there is no such thing -- that what we call normal is abnormal for another culture. Values are a function of culture, not a reflection of timeless truth, since the latter is strictly impossible on any Darwinian/materialistic basis. One person gives their daughter a sweet sixteen party, while another person chops off her head because she held hands with a Christian boy. We are in no position to condemn the latter.

Nor can we condemn Putin for invading a small country to secure oil for itself, since we did the same thing in Iraq. Which is odd, because we don't see nearly the kind of hysteria emanating from the left over the Georgia bashing as we do over George Bush. All leftists know that George Bush is an evil liar who invaded Iraq in order to enrich the oil companies. But why then is their rhetoric so muted, so nuanced, with regard to Putin? Because leftism not only lies, it is a lie.

That is, once you eliminate objective truth and virtue, then whatever you say is merely arbitrary. It is said in order to achieve an end, which ultimately comes down to power, because that is all there is in a Darwinian and materialist cosmos. Never ask why leftist thought is so inconsistent and ad hoc. It has no principles except that there are no principles. Which means that there actually is one principle: power, or survival.

When a leftist says that he cannot say when human life begins, because it is "above my pay grade," one can only laugh. Since when do leftists refrain from making sweeping moral condemnations? They do when it is a matter of power and convenience. They can never openly disclose the first principles that animate them, for to know their beginning would be to know their devious ends. Obviously, in actual practice, the secular leftist has no difficulty whatsoever in insisting that a human fetus is of no more intrinsic value than a decayed tooth. A woman has an absolute right to do whatever she pleases with "her" body, so the fetus doesn't even properly exist. Why not just say so?

Again, because if a leftist just blurts out their first principles in mixed company, people -- spiritually normal people, anyway -- will be repelled. A leftist cannot say in polite company that there is no moral distinction between the U.S. and Russia, even though their every word and deed would actually have you believe that the U.S. is worse.

A conservative is inconsistent in the application of his principles, which is called "hypocrisy." But a true leftist is inconsistent in the articulation of his principles, because they are rooted in convenience and are therefore not even principles, just nihilism by another name. One day the left can fight against racial discrimination, the next day they are the only organized ideology that openly defends it. Why? Because they don't actually care about racial discrimination per se, unless it can result in the acquisition of political power. That is the only consistent thread that unifies the otherwise irreconcilable opposites.

The other day, Dennis Prager published an essay entitled Why I Am Not a Liberal. Agree or disagree, you can see how easy it is for a conservative to lay out their first principles in an open and transparent way, something that a liberal can never do, on pain of never being elected. Hence the need for nuance. "Nuance" is a word invented by liberals to cover the rhetorical divide between what liberals actually believe and what they must say in order to get elected. "Simplistic" is the word they use for people who can articulate moral truth in an unambiguous manner.

For example, a conservative can come right out and say, like Prager, that "I believe that the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the threat to individual liberty and the greater the likelihood that evil will ensue. In the 20th century, the powerful state, not religion, was the greatest purveyor of evil in the world." In contrast, the leftist believes that "the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the enhancement of equality and the greater the likelihood that social justice will ensue. In all of history, religion, not the powerful state, has been the greatest purveyor of evil in the world." Again, that's what they actually believe. But what they say is a different matter, at least outside college classrooms or Kucinich campaign headquarters.

Likewise, for me it is a commonplace to say that "the American military has done more to preserve and foster goodness and liberty on Earth than all the artists and professors in America put together." In fact, there are actually no courageous leftist artists, despite their constant self-flattery about "speaking truth to power." Speaking truth to power is what Solzhenitsyn did, not what Sean Penn, George Clooney, or the Dixie Chicks do. I mean, imagine the courage of George Clooney to condemn Joe McCarthy! How do you explain such uncommon valor, especially in a cynical age in which young American fascists join the military to advance George Bush's evil empire! For years, I heard the left complain about how Saddam and so many other authoritarian regimes were our responsibility. If that were true, then one would think they would be pleased that someone finally came along and did something about it. Fat chance.

One could go on and on. My point is....

Uh oh. What is my point?

Well, one point is that when listening to the left, you must always read between the lyin'. But that's not much of a point. No need to champion the bobvious.

The other point -- a more implicit metapoint -- is that, as Errol Harris writes, "if anything is to be what it is, the whole must be. Because of this implicit presence in every finite being, every finite being proclaims the existence of God." In other words, "the final emergent is logically prior to the undeveloped forms. They can be rightly conceived only in terms of what they are becoming, and so can the process itself. The finally mature is the key to the nature of every immature phase. The developed form, therefore, is logically prior, even when it is temporally posterior, to every other form."

Now, don't you know, this goes to the heart of my beef with Schuon, who believed that the cosmos was necessarily "winding down" into increased evil, chaos, and disorder, the further time takes us from the ideal. But if this were true, we would live in a very different kind of cosmos on every level. Unfortunately, I don't have time to fully make this point, but I think I've finally resolved my painful dilemma between the entropic cosmos of Schuon and the evolutionary one of Aurobindo. In a sense, it is the "third way" for which man has been searching ever since the scientific revolution began to oust him from his comforting religious framework some 400 years ago. Virtually every -ism, -ology, and -osophy since then has been an attempt to resolve this tension, usually at the expense of eliminating one side of the dialectic. But the third way would unify science and religion at a much deeper level, and reveal the One from which they are both an omanation.

57 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

Searching . . .

Searching . . .

A-and the Third Way is ________? Did I overlook something? I know it's implicitly in Now/Here somewhere! Is this the birth of The B'obhanger?

The Arc of Salvation certainly has it's exciting moments!

I hope you will explicate your understanding!

8/18/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It has to do with this book on HItler I'm reading.... A lot of things are coming together in what is called a simultaneous Ogasm. But I need more time to make sense of it....

8/18/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote of the left's true basis:

"Which means that there actually is one principle: power, or survival."

Bingo. Now, why is power/survival the left's core?

The root cause is fear. And the root cause of fear is ignorance.

The root cause of ignorance is, paradoxically, God's insistence that humans be created in a state where they forget their true origin and status.

The God-created schism produces ignorance, fear, and the inevitable by-products, power seeking and survival.

The lefties have to put out an effort to find Source or they will be forever power-seeking.

So how do we shake out the responsiblity for the mess?

God=50% The incarnated Jiva who is ignorant=50% The two must work together to make contact, which eliminates ignorance, which eliminates fear, which elimanates power seeking and survival modes.

That's how I see it.

8/18/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

"The finally mature is the key to the nature of every immature phase. The developed form, therefore, is logically prior, even when it is temporally posterior, to every other form."

It is an idea I can't quite flesh out in words, but I think I get it. It is not entropic or evolutionary, but emergent into its maturity. Its ultimate Point, that gives meaning to all the squalling childhood and stupid teenage assumptions of The Meaning of Life.

To assume evolution as the endgame is to laughably look at a teenager of 13 and assume an entire adult from the evidence. Scary. Or to condemn one to eternal teenage status: awkward growth phases and acne forever. Teenagers can't think for the sheer metabolic energy it takes to grow another 4" in height in a year. They interpret things incorrectly, and assume that just being able to see something equates to understanding something.

The entirety of maturity must assume the entropic and approaching death, as well as the developing adolescence; The complete understanding of the Whole of a life that has been given, must include evolution and entropy together. It is not all change. It is not all death. But it is all there, and the End is constantly giving meaning to the Now.

Or something like that...?

8/18/2008 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Joan--

Yes. I need to leave for work, but Christ is not just word made flesh, but future made present or end made middle, so to speak.

8/18/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Skippy said...

Great post - man am I glad someone turned me on to this site!

This is what passes for profound for about 90% of Western "intellectuals":

Daniel Dennett's Darwinian Mind: An Interview with a 'Dangerous' Man wherein
Dennet claims "“There are no factual assertions that religion can reasonably claim as its own, as off limits to science”.

What a maroon!

8/18/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous skippy said...

BTW, what happend to LGF? Every fourth post seems to be Charles railing against "creationism".

Darwinism is indeed a "universal acid" as Dennet claims. However far from revealing truth by eatng away falsehood, it instead burns away the finer intellegince of both liberals AND conservatives...

8/18/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

The Left has already co-opted the phrase "third way" and turned it into a meterialists turd way. They see their third way as a compromise between Capitalism and Communism, a sort of European style soft Marxism, eventually leading to a European hard Marxism where the State regulates all aspects of a persons life. Of course they can't say that until such time that people are so used to it that the majority can't conceive of any other possibilities.

8/18/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

Yup, just as you leave for work you're wrestling with the unifying concepts... I'm with you there!

Can't wait to see where the pieces get put back together. Since I have no idea what Schuon nor Aurobindo are on about, I can only hope the friction and synthesis in Bob's bean are as fruitful as the teaser. Someday gotta buy the book. Thanks for the blog though. Fruit punch when not full grog. Rarely froth here, but almost always fun. Again thanks.

8/18/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

The finally mature is the key to the nature of every immature phase. The developed form, therefore, is logically prior, even when it is temporally posterior, to every other form.

What of a developmental process with many possible endpoints?

8/18/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Dear Leader says: One person gives their daughter a sweet sixteen party, while another person chops off her head because she held hands with a Christian boy. We are in no position to condemn the latter.

Joan said: Teenagers can't think for the sheer metabolic energy it takes to grow another 4" in height in a year. They interpret things incorrectly, and assume that just being able to see something equates to understanding something.

Kind of makes you think there's some developmental stagnation. I was reading some of the DU/KOS eruptions about NObama's meltdown at Saddleback. The thinking and expressions are so childish -- developmentally retarded. They are in a kind of extended adolescence (that's assuming, of course, that the posters are not really fourteen-year-olds in Mom's basement).

8/18/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Illustrations by Ray.

8/18/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A deep synthesis between science and religion is possible via the field of computing.

Computers are an external, manipulatable simalacrum of the human mind and generate all kinds of useful concepts relating to the spirit.

My prediction is a machine will make an unequivocal utterance "God is Real" and at that point all men will believe.

I predict the year 2050 or so.

8/18/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

A deep synthesis between anonymity and opinion is possible via the field of blogging.

Blogs are an external, manipulatable simalacrum of conversation and generate all kinds of useful concepts relating to the spirit.

My prediction is someone will make an unequivocal utterance "that won't happen" and at that point all readers will believe.

I predict the time 12: 30 or so.

8/18/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"The finally mature is the key to the nature of every immature phase. The developed form, therefore, is logically prior, even when it is temporally posterior, to every other form."

This is true as much for ideologies as for individual organisms. For today's example, I present this article about China's "Little Emperors." While I don't know if I agree with all of the conclusions the author makes (particularly the implication that the solution to their troubles is more psychologists; if only it were so simple), it is clear that the current state of China's youth is the fruit borne of communism and atheism. It was there from the start, an implication waiting to be fulfilled. Just as the adult tree is implied and contained within the seedling. Of course external factors will have a dramatic effect upon the final expression of those implications, the actual shape of the tree, but this does not change the fact that they existed all along.

Oh, and to fulfill Phil's prediction,
machines whose statements make men believe in God? Pfaugh. That won't happen.

Those who wooden't beleaf will simply chalk it up to a programming error, and try to find a way to "fix" the problem.

8/18/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Phil:

Excellent!

8/18/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe I'm being made fun of. I'll have you know I have predicted a number of things successfully and I'm not to be taken lightly.

Here's one for you: The war in Georgia will recrudesce in 5 days from today's date. Mark it and observe.

8/18/2008 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Dammit! I had to look up recrudesce. On a computer. I'm enlightened!

8/18/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

What do I care about predictions - the devil can do as much.

No no, I'm interested if you can help me understand that the mind doesn't slump. Or as Aristotle would say, "Mind is not at one time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more: this alone is immortal and eternal..."

I don't want knowledge of the future, I can't even handle knowing what is now.

8/18/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"I'll have you know I have predicted a number of things successfully and I'm not to be taken lightly."

*snork*

First of all, if you want to be taken even remotely seriously, you have to get a more interesting moniker than "anonymous." Since you're a predictor of dire things to come, howzabout "Sylvia," or "Fred?"

Second of all, if you want to be taken seriously you paradoxically must not take yourself so seriously. You're human (unless you're not), and I've yet to meet any human being who wasn't at least a little ridiculous. The ones I respect the most are aware of this fact, and generally refrain from such ludicrous statements as "I'm not to be taken lightly." If there's any truth to what they say, such statements tend to be unnecessary.

Thirdly, your prediction about the war in Georgia doesn't really come across as particularly insightful. There are a lot of possible outcomes, but I'd be far more surprised if a serious peace process were underway five days from now than if the war were to recrudesce. Now if you were to predict with any accuracy what I'll be procuring for dinner tonight, I'd be suitably impressed, and willing to trumpet your praises across the Raccoonosphere.

Good luck with that last one, though; I won't be holding my breath. Even I have no idea what it'll be.

8/18/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

"In the order of operation, as we have seen already, the new science asks man to completely renounce thinking as a power peculiar to him, and to persuade himself that he stands on the same level with his own tools, that is, of the complex tools called machines. We have come a long way from non serviam, at any rate, since the only thing tools actually can do is to serve, and in the strict sense of the word, as a hammer serves to drive nails; for a tool, like any instrument, is of its nature movens motum. Hence Aristotle held that we ourselves, in one way or another, are the agent and final cause of artificial things." Charles DeKoninck.


No effect is greater than its cause.

8/18/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

Phil says:

"Hence Aristotle held that we ourselves, in one way or another, are the agent and final cause of artificial things."

Although if you want to base your major life decisions off of the answers provided to you by a Magic 8 ball, there is really nothing stopping you from doing that.

8/18/2008 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

In my realm, we don't cotton to "anonymous" predictions. Another one and Ivan will be over to fulfill a prediction regarding your kneecaps.

8/18/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,

Have you ever contemplated the mega-dollars you could be making with a job on the Psychic Network?
And if you're interested in decloaking here, I hear the moniker "Miss Cleo" is no longer in use.

8/18/2008 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well then. I am Artemisia, 24 years old, and I live in Thessalonika. I am a descendant from a long line of seers all connected to the legendary Oracle at Delphi. I serve the main priests of our line as a concubine and I channel the Oracle as well.

I am not so bad looking. I like to wear lots of beads, silk, yes I drive the men wild around here.

I was directed to this blog by a vision, and was told to transmit certain impressions, which I have carried out my duty, thank you.

I will not linger to take any more abuse from rude Amerikans. Godbye.

8/18/2008 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Godbye.

8/18/2008 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous shantisha said...

Girl...... this blog ain't big enough for TWO concubines.

8/18/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't think you have to worry, Shantisha - I'm pretty sure this:

"I am not so bad looking. I like to wear lots of beads, silk, yes I drive the men wild around here."

is netspeak for

"I live in my parents' basement, roleplaying about ancient Greece with a bunch of guys who like to dress like the characters in 300 (but really, really shouldn't), and all the boys in my WoW guild think my avatar is smokin' hot."

Okay, I'm done mocking for the day - my own acerbity is giving me heartburn.

8/18/2008 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Good mocking Julie. You deserve a Rolaid.

Hope we don't have a Artemisia recrudesce. Recrudesces in general do not surprise me, but just for future grins, "Georgia Recrudesce" now in iCal - my external memory bank, 'cause as our new cuddlable raccoon nPhil said: "I don't want knowledge of the future, I can't even handle knowing what is now."

8/18/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, QP. I'd wash the Rolaids down with some cake, but on second thought, maybe just a glass of water.

(QP is responsible for that link, btw. And thank you - I laughed for a good 20 minutes, scrolling through the archives. But I'll never be able to look at cake the same way again)

8/18/2008 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"That is, once you eliminate objective truth and virtue, then whatever you say is merely arbitrary. It is said in order to achieve an end, which ultimately comes down to power, because that is all there is in a Darwinian and materialist cosmos. Never ask why leftist thought is so inconsistent and ad hoc. It has no principles except that there are no principles. Which means that there actually is one principle: power, or survival."

Yes indeedy.

"A conservative is inconsistent in the application of his principles, which is called "hypocrisy." But a true leftist is inconsistent in the articulation of his principles, because they are rooted in convenience and are therefore not even principles, just nihilism by another name. "

Ooh... nailed it. They are unprincipled on principle.

"Now, don't you know, this goes to the heart of my beef with Schuon, who believed that the cosmos was necessarily "winding down" into increased evil, chaos, and disorder, the further time takes us from the ideal. But if this were true, we would live in a very different kind of cosmos on every level. "

Yes, and

"Virtually every -ism, -ology, and -osophy since then has been an attempt to resolve this tension, usually at the expense of eliminating one side of the dialectic. But the third way would unify science and religion at a much deeper level, and reveal the One from which they are both an omanation."

Excellent post! But why do I have this sneaking suspicion that in the next few posts, you're going to say in a few words what I've been trying to stuff into a barrel full of 'em for years, neatly tied up with the elusive thoughts I'm still struggling to get thought? Oh, yeah, that's right... because that keeps happening over and again here....

Cool.

8/18/2008 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"It has no principles except that there are no principles. Which means that there actually is one principle: power, or survival."

See here.

8/18/2008 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Thanks for the link to Peep'sCube Julie.

Stand-out truth alert from the bottom of the web page:

"The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other - until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country's official ideology." ~ Ayn Rand

8/18/2008 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“When a leftist says that he cannot say when human life begins…”

…lemme finish, “…he is telling the truth.”

Because he can’t say it (out loud).

“A woman has an absolute right to do whatever she pleases with "her" body, so the fetus doesn't even properly exist.”

“…the final emergent is logically prior to the undeveloped forms. They can be rightly conceived only in terms of what they are becoming…”

A decayed tooth will not grow into a human being. Neither will the healthiest tooth on its best day. Everyone knows this.

8/18/2008 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“…but I think I've finally resolved my painful dilemma between the entropic cosmos of Schuon and the evolutionary one of Aurobindo.”

This reminds of our Unknown Friend’s spiritual exercise to find (resolve) the “third” term by “neutralization of the binaries.” His spiritual exercise is illustrated by "positions" or "perspectives" on Ostwald’s “colored body.” The north pole is the absolute “white point” or synthesis of all colors, the south pole “black point” or confusion of all colors, while the equator is the maximum distinction between the colors –- the third term –- “prudence” which is the constant awareness of being between the two darknesses (absolute white being too bright…). MOTT Letter 9.

8/18/2008 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Jesus, the Absolute Normal Man, said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Doesn't leave much room for anything else -except perhaps our evolution in the middle (thankfully).

Ahhh, to be normal. My highest aspiration.

8*)

8/18/2008 09:21:00 PM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

Julie reveals the truth about anon:

"I live in my parents' basement, roleplaying about ancient Greece with a bunch of guys who like to dress like the characters in 300 (but really, really shouldn't), and all the boys in my WoW guild think my avatar is smokin' hot."

LOL! Spot on, most probably.

/Johan

8/19/2008 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Just as the adult tree is implied and contained within the seedling.

What if "trees" are not a useful (or at least, universal) metaphor? Just in the biological world, there are creatures that (repeatedly) change sex, that take on multiple forms depending on their environment, that can be profoundly different depending on the circumstances of development.

Of course, the key example is new species arising over time. If that happens, biological teleology becomes much harder to hold on to. I guess I can see why speciation is accepted (at best) ambivalently here. :-/

8/19/2008 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Interesting thought here...

... an unrepentant transhumanist/atheist (as far as I know) explains how he thinks that evolution (now he is getting closer to real evolution) does select for more and more complex systems, because complexity allows for more 'positive sum' ecosystems and thus creates more robust and enduring systems... he goes so far as to note that natural selection is a blind tool in a larger system...

hmm... he's getting closer! Something bigger than natural selection 'calling' life towards it?

nah....

8/19/2008 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

What? Ray - the seed prefigures the final form, simple as that.

You won't know for certain what the final form could be unless you've seen it...

'speciation' is basically - a new seed, not just a new adult.

8/19/2008 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

for atheist Ray
seeing is not believing
forest for the trees

8/19/2008 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - The question is, is a "seed" the best metaphor for a universe?

8/19/2008 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ray, I give you a perfect 10 on consistency.

Congratulations!

8/19/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "Ray, I give you a perfect 10 on consistency. "

Uh-oh, no... sorry... I hear the new Olympic gymnastic rules forbid Perfect 10 scores... perfection being of course inadmissible.

So for his gyrations, Ray is going to have to have his high and low scores thrown out... and let’s see... that leaves him with... uh... sorry, the 11.5 year old Chinese girl pretending to be 16 aces him out because … they say so… and of course without perfection, there’s no recourse for that… so, sorry Ray, Johny Donovan has a consolation prize waiting for you, and thanks for playing darweenian gyrations!

8/19/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just boggles me. If you took away the political affiliations, and reassigned them based on what you define the people to be, your left would actually be your right. What kind of power-hungry leftist(according to you) wants to take the hard work of the rich and make sure everybody gets the same amount? I mean, by your own condemnation of the left, you've found yourself at odds with how you view the left. So which is it? The left is always just bad, or the left genuinely carries to negating traits?

That's sufficient proof that you're finding reasons to back up your conclusion, because your reasons negate each other. Boy would you ever be lost if the words left/right/conservative/liberal didn't exist, because you wouldn't know who to hate. But if you hated anybody, at least it would be on some logical credentials.

8/19/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

That was as clear as mud. Feel free to return and try again after you've learned basic grammar and syntax.

8/19/2008 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it is all political game. Don't you get that? Often you find completely different people have a lot in common, but politics is the only thing that can make two people with a lot in common completely different.

8/19/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your reading comprehension problems dupree.

8/19/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point out a grammar error if you would like, but even though I broke some rules none were to any outrageous extent.

8/19/2008 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godwin doesn't even use basic grammar(unless splicing words any way you please is a widely accepted practice) but please don't be hypocritical in your judgment.

8/19/2008 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

First we'll need some windshield wipers...

Also, there are plenty of things other than politics that divide people.. .like... air

Ho!

Faced.

8/19/2008 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, Bob - what's that word for when somebody makes a statement wrongly calling out another person for making a mistake while in the process making that very mistake him/herself?

Self-beclowning? Autorepercutioiunction?

That would be a really good word to know, if I could just remember it....

8/19/2008 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The most common word is "leftist."

8/19/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Agen-bitchin'!

8/19/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Another common word for it is 'anonymous'

8/19/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Prager said: I believe that the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the threat to individual liberty and the greater the likelihood that evil will ensue. In the 20th century, the powerful state, not religion, was the greatest purveyor of evil in the world.

And the prime example in the U.S. today of this problem is: George Bush and the current administration.

1. Decision to allow torture of prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, secret rendition sites, etc.

2. Claim that, through "signing statements," the President can ignore or redefine laws passed by the U.S. Congress.

3. Destruction of 4th amendment rights against government search and seizure through breaking of FISA laws, then demanding they be rewritten to justify previous law-breaking.

4. (Mis)Use of the CIA and other governmental agencies to fabricate rationale for war against Iraq (phony al qaeda links, phony WMD's, etc.)

5. Claim that U.S. citizens, DETAINED IN THE U.S., (e.g. Jose Padilla) have no rights to habeas corpus, fair trial, rule of law, etc.

But I suspect that these aren't the kind of "big government" problems that Prager (and gagdad Bob) had in mind with that statement ...

8/22/2008 07:21:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Woof.

8/22/2008 09:07:00 AM  

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