To a Darwinian evolutionist, the mind is the product of unguided mutations and random environmental pressures acting on material forces. This raises questions about the mind and morals: do they have any validity? Evolutionists need to “mind” their matter. The following examples show how they try to justify these non-material entities arising from matter in motion.
The smart thing: Intelligence is an immaterial property that, to an evolutionist, must be an epiphenomenon or illusion arising from particles in motion. New Scientist asked whether intelligence – “what distinguishes humans from the myriad other species with which we share our planet” – can be explained in evolutionary terms. The article is more a question than an answer about intelligence:
It is a key factor in everything from our anatomy to our technology. To ask why we are intelligent is to ask why we are human; it admits no discrete answer. But let’s ask it here anyway. Why are we, alone in nature, so smart?
One answer is that maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are. “Maybe our anthropocentric conceit prevents us from fully appreciating the intelligence of other animals, be they ants, cephalopods or cetaceans.” This approach however, invokes one immaterial concept, conceit, to dodge another, intelligence. It seems the article is marching in place so far. Time for another tentative step:
So let’s rephrase the question. There is a cluster of abilities that seems unique to humans: language, tool use, culture and empathy. Other animals may have rudimentary forms of these abilities, but they do not approach humans’ sophistication and flexibility. Why not?
Again, though, language, tool use, culture and empathy are immaterial, so this approach suffers the same shortcomings. Appeals to variations of intelligence within species doesn’t solve the problem….
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