9 Answers

  1. Many observable phenomena in evolution are illogical from the point of view of the goal. Examples:

    1) if evolution had a goal to make an upright human, we wouldn't have such problems with the spine,

    2) if evolution had pre-planned the eye, the retina wouldn't be backwards,

    3) if evolution aimed at the whale, it would not completely remove the gills that were common with the fish ancestor,

    thousands of them

    At the same time, there are no examples of phenomena that cannot be explained WITHOUT a goal, by heredity+variability+selection alone.

    Why does no one put the topic “biology” in questions about evolution? Is this some kind of conspiracy?)

  2. Why is the question so oddly worded? Do you have to call minds “science-oriented” to ask a question about evolution?

    By the way, in what sense is this word used? =))

    Since ancient times, people usually call randomness something unpredictable, but natural. What does it mean? This means that they either can't, don't want to, or deliberately avoid predicting something. They are left out of the law.

    A classic example with dice. With dice. Each cube falls on a specific trajectory, which is completely predictable. At any given time, all the dice are arranged exactly according to known formulas. However, this does not prevent us from considering their fall as random, and the result as probabilistic. This is convenient.

    Moreover, if you leave no room for randomness at all, many things simply cannot be understood; the corresponding theories or models will remain unbuilt. And if you bring this idea to the point of absurdity, control everything, predict everything, there will be nothing to understand-and understanding will become impossible in principle.

    Because even the simplest image does not capture reality “as it is”. It can be moved, shifted, filled with a different content-and remain itself. That's why it's valuable. What's inside it is “random“.

    Goal what is it? What does this word mean for you? A rhetorical question. In one case, even an amoeba will have a goal, in the other-not every person.


  3. “Scientific orientation” in this case means a passion for empirical research methods – and for an empirical fact, its cause is not important: whether the fire was caused by lightning, short circuit or arson, fire spreads according to the same laws.

    Most of those who have spent many years perfecting their minds in the sciences simply never think about the causes and purposes of what is happening, they do not need it, and even interfere with the observation of phenomena. These people should be treated with leniency, they also do important things for us.

  4. Evolution is a stochastic process… And despite the fact that it has a clear RESULT-an increase in adaptability and expediency, but it does not and cannot have a GOAL. Goal setting is a property of the human brain. It is not rational to extend this property to inert matter.

    “Science-oriented” minds, that is, rationally thinking people who have a scientific method of knowing the world, understand two things-evolution is a process that combines the NATURAL and the accidental. All the ways and means of accomplishing evolutionary processes are NATURAL. But the directions can be quite random.

    We know that from the point of view of genetics, evolution is a change in the concentration of allele frequencies, as part of increasing the adaptability of the entire system (population, etc.).

    An increase in adaptability is natural, and the mutation process is quite stochastic (although it also has its own limitations and patterns).

    N. O. minds-they understand that NON-scientifically oriented minds can immediately get involved in the discussion… Who will begin to impose on scientists THEIR idea of the (blind) randomness of the origin of Life… Etc. A bunch of their own ideas that THEY THINK scientists should stick to… Scientists get tired of pounding water in a mortar, and EACH TIME they RE-explain to the ignorant their misconceptions in this regard. But from the ignorant, this information bounces off like peas from a wall. The Dunning-Kruger effect.


    EVOLUTION is a process of “poking at” nowhere “(mutations are not directed), followed by retrospective approval (through feedback) of appropriate attempts.

    Easier in the Darwinian interpretation:


    “The mechanism of self-improvement of the system, proposed by Darwin, was ingeniously simple, and can be formulated in one phrase: “Random choice with memorization and reproduction of its results”; the key word here is “random”. And it will be another hundred years before the biochemist Henry Castler, who was the first to apply information theory methods to the study of self-replicating nucleotide systems, strictly proves: yes, cybernetics does not yet know any other ways to create new information.

    It is not surprising that the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Manfred Eigen remarked on this occasion: “Darwin was first of all a great physicist”; of course-after all, we are actually talking about one of the founders of cybernetics! “To. Eskov


    Despite the fact that any DISSIPATIVE system has a stochastic “probabilistic” basis, but this “probabilism” itself is subject to regularities (laws of nature), and is reduced only to increasing the selection for expediency.

    It would seem that everything is clear… But NOT SCIENTIFICALLY oriented minds-with enviable persistence they are looking for a GOAL… Because the “goal – setting” inherent in a person (not only in a person, but in a highly organized brain in general) inevitably leads them to a teleological error


    “One of the most common mistakes in the concepts of the evolutionary process is the position that it implies progress. People who have such an erroneous view of evolution may believe that fish will evolve into amphibians, reptiles into mammals, and great apes will eventually become humans. The belief that traits evolve to achieve some goal in the future is called a teleological error. When someone claims that birds have feathered wings to fly, or that humans have evolved complex brains to use tools, they are making a teleological mistake. A teleological fallacy is a logical fallacy, since it implies that events in the future cause events in the past.

    To understand how birds developed bodies capable of flight, it is necessary to study this process as a series of events that are not connected with any consequences in the future. The feathers were originally modified scales that had more pronounced insulating properties for warm-blooded animals. The low density of these modified scales and some random aerodynamic characteristics allowed some species to develop planning skills. Prostrate forelimbs covered in feathers are better suited for gliding than those covered in scales. The ability to fly with feathered wings evolved in birds as a result of natural selection based on planning skills.

    Even more often, a teleological error is made when studying the origin of human morphology. A typical example of such a mistake is the claim that our ancestors began to walk on two legs so that they could use tools. The tendency to teleological errors can be considered a byproduct of the evolution of human mental abilities. The human mind has been adapted by natural selection to purposeful behavior. Our psychology is so well adapted to achieving the desired result that we naturally see goals and purpose where they do not exist. Our purposeful management of mental constructs allows us to come up with a large number of solutions to any problem without significant time investment, as well as to assess the risk of consequences of these alternative solutions. This quality gives our species a distinct advantage over other life forms. We use it whenever and wherever, from cleaning the room to planning military strategy. The problem, as William James pointed out, is that we are so caught up in this mental process that it determines our perception of reality, or in most cases interferes with that perception. Because of this blindness in perception, many people do not understand that such a complex structure as the human brain, and such a subtle and wonderful system as the human psyche, could have been created as a result of repeated natural selection, without any plans.” Palmer

  5. There are two polar views of Nature:

    1) nature-a fool in principle can not have a goal, only man-the King of nature-can have goals; this is a very outdated scientific and dead-end worldview;

    2) Nature, living and intelligent, necessarily has a list of goals, and man-a part and instrument of Nature-is one of the goals of Nature; the goals of Nature are secrets and the most complex scientific and practical problems of knowledge.

  6. Studying the goals of what is happening in reality is not a subject of science. The meaning of science, especially the natural sciences , is to fix facts and explain the mechanisms of their work. A scientist-physicist studies gravity, and records the fact of a falling apple. A botanist studies what happens when an apple falls to the ground, and how the apple tree multiplies. A chemical scientist studies how the composition of an apple changes after falling to the ground and what chemical reactions occur. They don't study the whole process, and they don't have to. Because to study the process in a complex, in a system, is not the task of science, but of philosophy and metaphysics.

    So when a biologist says that evolution is random, he is right, because evolution is a mechanism of action, not a goal.

    Another example. You get in the car and start it. The combustion of gasoline inside an internal combustion engine cylinder does not have an ultimate goal for a physicist, he simply studies the force of the explosion, the change in this force at different saturations of the mixture, and the ultimate strength of the piston. Exhaust from a pipe has no purpose for an ecologist who studies the effects of automobile exhaust on bee behavior. Yes, there is a goal for you – you have started a car to go to work. But this goal is not essential for studying individual aspects of the machine's operation.

    The main thing is that scientists do not automatically transfer the aimlessness of the mechanism to the aimlessness of the whole process.

  7. Because you're asking the wrong question. For example, do not specify-the evolution of who or what? On Earth, there are about a million species of living things (maybe more, it doesn't matter here), each has its own evolution, and the goal of such microevolution was formulated by Darwin – to achieve maximum adaptation to environmental conditions. Or maybe by “the goal of evolution” you mean something else? But then formulate your question in more detail. Neither the word “evolution “nor the word” goal ” belong to words that are instinctively understandable with a single definition. For example, in biology, the word “goal “is understood as the word” determinism”, i.e.”predestination”. In philosophy, there may be a different understanding of both the word “goal “and the word”determinism”.

  8. The fact is that the absence of a goal is the basic principle on which the theory of evolution is built; moreover, the theory of evolution was built precisely and exclusively in order to show the possibility of the existence of apparent expediency in nature in the absence of real goal-setting in the development of living nature. Pre-evolutionary biology was extremely teleological, as was pre-European physics; physics became a science, rejecting the teleological way of reasoning (the question ” why?” Since the time of Galileo and Newton, only the question “how” is forbidden in natural science.the fundamental step for turning biology into a science on a par with physics was the rejection of the teleological method of reasoning. But to do this, it is necessary to somehow explain why all living things are arranged and behave as if they were created precisely for the life they lead. The answer to this question is variability + natural selection + heredity .

    Variability is provided precisely by random changes that occur sporadically in the offspring of a living organism ( and randomness is fundamentally important here, because otherwise – teleology); that is, the thesis postulating the variability of all living beings states that in every living being the offspring will differ somewhat from the creature itself, and the way in which it will differ is generally random.

    The thesis of natural selection states that those creatures that, due to a random change in their phenotype compared to their parents, have received a new trait that turns out to be a competitive disadvantage in their living conditions, will be rejected by the natural environment and will not give offspring (or give little of it), while those that have received a trait that turned out to be a competitive advantage will be more successful and will give more offspring, consolidating their random but useful trait in the population.

    Finally, the thesis of heredity clarifies the last point-why the trait is fixed in the population: in addition to variability, which, in addition to the fact that it is random, also gives, as a rule, very insignificant changes in the phenotype at a distance of one generation, there is heredity, which ensures the fact that in most traits the offspring of an individual turns out to be similar to the parent. Due to this, a useful trait is fixed in the population: a successful individual has more offspring, which also turns out to be more successful than its competitors, and each individual in which also has more offspring, etc., until the trait spreads to the entire population.

    Thus, by postulating these three principles of the development of living organisms, we can successfully explain how the apparent expediency of all living things is possible in the absence of any real goal-setting on the part of nature, God, or anything else. And the point here is not that the thesis of the existence of rational design is in itself absurd or absurd – the point is that it is superfluous within the framework of this system, moreover, as already mentioned, this very method of explaining the origin of living beings was designed precisely to make such a thesis redundant. Then there is Occam's simple razor-you should not produce additional postulates unnecessarily; any scientist, as long as he remains a scientist, will prefer to reduce the number of basic principles of the theory to a minimum. That is why rational design is left out.

  9. Ask yourself: Does gravity have a purpose? The reaction of oxygen with iron?

    “Evolution” is simply a description of the history of the development of a huge number of physical and chemical processes over millions of years. Of course, they don't have a “purpose”. But they can have a fairly predictable result (of course, as long as observing the system doesn't start to affect it or it doesn't become too complex to describe and predict).

    Such a result (for example, the emergence of complex life forms) can in principle be considered the” goal ” of evolution, but no more than circles on water can be considered the goal of flying a stone over a pond.

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