Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Great Programmer

I have just read something which got me thinking about my old theory of The Great Programmer ;).

I started my today's reading with the following article (if you want to follow the links, I recommend skipping this one and going straight to the source - i.e. the next two): A world-famous chemist tells the truth: there’s no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution.

The first article refers to another article, by professor James M. Tour*, available here: Layman’s Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider’s View of the Academy; and a video recording of the professor giving a talk: Nanotech and Jesus Christ - James Tour at Georgia Tech.

It was all interesting and I do recommend checking out those sources (especially the last two).

My thoughts?  I am not really convinced by professor Tour's argument as I view macroevolution as just an emergent property of a complex system which means that chemistry is just a medium for this system and not really important to understand macroevolution as a whole (as long as we understand all the basic interactions between the simple elements (i.e. molecules) the system is composed of - which, as far as I know, we do). What follows is that the system may be too complex for us to ever be able to explain macroevolution on the level of abstraction professor Tour is talking about.

Of course it is possible that I just do not know enough about chemistry and/or macroevolution to fully appreciate professor Tour's thoughts on the subject.
I also do agree with him that the new dogmatism becoming so prevalent in academia is not only troubling but unbecoming to scholars.

Even if I am right though, it does not mean that evolution disproves intelligent design as both those theories are not mutually exclusive (unless one chooses an arbitrary (and probably least intelligent ;) ) definition of intelligent design).  In case you were bored, here are some of my thoughts about that (and The Great Programmer) I wrote down some time ago: On computer programming, atheism and human cognizance

* "Professor James M. Tour is one of the ten most cited chemists in the world. He is famous for his work on nanocars (pictured above, courtesy of Wikipedia), nanoelectronics, graphene nanostructures, carbon nanovectors in medicine, and green carbon research for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University. He has authored or co-authored 489 scientific publications and his name is on 36 patents."

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