I may have to re-surrect the "set on edge" theme for a blog - but twist it.... sigh... Apparently the D in TED stands for "design" ... (Technology, Education, Design... yes?). Well, I find it sooo hard to listen to introductions in TED lectures and elsewhere where the speaker gushes on and on about how "nature" designed these amazing things!
Here's the Wikipedia intro to the word "Design" (emphasis mine)...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Design, usually considered in the context of applied arts, engineering, architecture, and other creative endeavors, is used both as a noun and a verb. As a verb, "to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component. As a noun, "a design" is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan (e.g. object produced, result of the process). More recently, processes (in general) have also been treated as products of design, giving new meaning to the term "process design".
Designing normally requires a designer to consider the aesthetic, functional, and many other aspects of an object or a process, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.
To speak of Nature designing is at least anthropomorphic and at worst self-deceptive. The language used throughout these presentations is full of intentionality, philosophic and aesthetic judgments that render one outcome better than another, ... on and on it goes... unavoidably using language requiring a designer, conscious decisions and AT LEAST a value system to evaluate the outcomes.
Speakers so often ascribe all this to a process supposedly driven by chance, with no consciousness, no self-awareness, no mind, no personality. This just doesn't make sense to me. It violates normal use of language and logic. And it seems rather apparent to me - that if every thing in our own experience is formed by choices and through thoughts and efforts (and this is what is being CELEBRATED and deemed worthy in the TED lectures) then why should the Universe Itself be any different? Surely the one simply reflects the other... ?
If the FIRST CAUSE is accidental then I do not understand how anything following on from that can be imbued with meaning. But if the FIRST CAUSE is purposeful and meaningful then Everything following on from that can also be meaningful (but doesn't have to be).
Call me stupid, but I can't wrap my mind around this un-God prejudice. Just as I can't look at Terri's blogs or Paul's Machinima or France's Doll's and cry out "Wow! Look what the internet designed all by itself!"