Is purpose necessary to acquire any apparently purposeful effects?

For purposes of this discussion.

Chance = non-teleological causes that happen to result in particular effects via regularities referred to as “lawful” and stochastic in nature.

Purpose = teleological causes that are intended to result in particular effects; the organization of causes towards a pre-defined future goal.

My question is: can chance causes generate all of the effects normally associated with purpose,but without purpose? IOW, is purpose necessary to produce all, most, or some apparently purposeful effects, or is purpose, in effect, only an associated sensation by-product or side-effect that isn’t necessary to the generation of any particular effect normally associated with it?

210 thoughts on “Is purpose necessary to acquire any apparently purposeful effects?

  1. Joe G: “I don’t know” should go hand-in-hand with the “theory” of evolution. How did the mammalian inner ear evolve? “We don’t know but we know that it did”How do you know it did? “Are you a creationist?”

    How did the designer fabricate, Joe?

  2. William J Murray,

    Robin: “It’s much more simple than that: computers are made by humans. Period.”


    WJM, what made life?

    Show us.

    We can show you what made computers and how.

  3. …(because, as described, they are mutually exclusive, all-encompassing categories).

    Wait…”it’s not a false dichotomy because the terms as I define them encompass all possible conditions”? C’mon William…you can do better than that.

  4. William J. Murray: I’m not planning on demolishing it in any way. You are apparently ascribing motivations behind my posts that do not exist.

    Problem resolved.

    A post at this site is an apparently purposeful activity.

    WJM asserts that his posts are without purpose.

  5. Joe,


    Your position doesn’t have any experiments- you admitted it relies solely on vast amounts of time, as if time was magic.

    Solely? Magic? You’re gibbering again. A sufficiency of time for a process to occur is a necessary prerequisite for direct investigation of that process. If I gave you a box of computer parts, and 10 seconds to assemble a working computer, would you be insisting on a bit more time for its magical qualities, or would that time simply be a necessary background for the processes involved?

  6. It keeps us from wasting time trying to figure out how a computer came to be by referring to volcanic forces, erosion, etc., and gets us looking for purposeful cause (like we already do in forensics and archaeology). We can also then attempt to discern the purpose of the computer and try to reverse engineer it to glean design concepts and manufacturing techniques.

    Therefore we shouldn’t waste time referring to physical explanations in the aforementioned example of solar system formation — and by implication the whole of astronomy and cosmology is a pointless. Thus if we truly want to understand how stars and planets form, we ought to discover their purpose. Only then will we have the knowledge to build clean, nuclear fusion plants.

    WJM, please help me make sense of your logic.

  7. But if evolution is “capable”, what is the point of the whole ID position?

    Experiments demonstrate that evolution doesn’t appear to be capable of much of anything.

  8. William J. Murray: If one is going to argue that chance causes generated purpose, then they must explain how purpose operates, if it is not guided by chance (natural law & deterministic & stochastic extrapolations thereof)

    Who said that if natural law (& deterministic & stochastic extrapolations thereof) generated purpose, that this purpose must operate independently from natural law (& deterministic & stochastic extrapolations thereof)?
    As a matter of fact, I would like to know how you think purpose operates, since you seem to think it is independent from natural law?

  9. Allan,

    All you do is gibbering- that is what the “theory” of evolution is all about- gibbering + time = the diversity of life.

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