Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It is the new book by physiologist J. Scott Turner, author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself.
The book may make some “skeptics” uncomfortable, but maybe they should read it anyways.
From the book:
I have come to believe that there is something presently wrong with how we scientists think about life, its existence, its origins, and its evolution.
Without a coherent theory of life, whatever we think about life doesn’t hold water. This applies to the major contribution we claim that the modern science of life offers to the popular culture: Darwinism.
… there sits at the heart of modern Darwinism an unresolved tautology that undermines its validity.
… do we have a coherent theory of evolution? The firmly settled answer to this question is supposed to be “yes” …
I intend to argue in this book that the answer to my question might actually be “no.”
Darwinism is an idea of intoxicating beauty, and yet there has been for many years a muddle at the heart of it, at least in its modern form.
… what it cannot explain is coming into stark relief, making it impossible any longer to ignore the muddle.
The problem for modern Darwinism is, I argue, that we lack a coherent theory of the core Darwinian concept of adaptation.
This type of reasoning is known formally as a tautology…
For Darwinism to make sense (and I want deeply for it to make sense), the tautology somehow needs to be resolved.
… the obstacle to resolving the tautology is not that we know too little — far from it — but that we aren’t thinking properly about what we do know. In short, the obstacle is largely philosophical, and the stumbling block is the frank purposefulness that is inherent in the phenomenon of adaptation.
… the uncomfortable question is this: what if phenomena like intentionality, purpose, and design are not illusions, but are quite real — are in fact the central attributes of life? How can we have a coherent theory of life that tries to shunt these phenomena to the side? And if we don’t have a coherent theory of life, how can we have a coherent theory of evolution?
– Turner, J. Scott. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It. HarperCollins. 2017.
Biology, we have a problem. He wants Darwinism to make sense, but the book just doesn’t start out well for the Darwin disciples. Maybe someone else here will actually read it and explain how misguided this poor author is. He’s a Christian. Maybe he’s just lying for Jesus.
Another nail in the coffin.