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The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will Kindle Edition
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Customers who bought this item also bought
“Following in Darwin’s footsteps, Miller makes the slam-dunk case for why, in light of our origins, humans are still special.” (Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific)
“Absorbing, lucid, and engaging. An ELOQUENT and deeply grounded case that it was evolution that gave us our humanity.” (Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Lewis and author of The Sacr)
“Here is a clear-eyed look at the use and sometime misuse of evolutionary theory.” (Kevin Padian, professor of biology at the University of California, Berkeley)
“Fascinating.... [The Human Instinct] confronts both lay and professional misconceptions about evolution from both scientific and philosophical perspectives.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Insightful.... [Miller’s] universe is a kaleidoscope of dazzling evolutionary possibilities.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
About the Author
- File size : 5643 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 305 pages
- Publication date : April 17, 2018
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 17, 2018)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B074ZLPNKK
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #807,690 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Accordingly there is not much about creationism/intelligent design. I consider all such arguments flimsy and unworthy of consideration. Of course evolution could have been guided by a Creator, but there is no evidence for this. There are strong speculations, but I don't live my life by speculations. It is equally silly to claim that science proves the non-existence of God. I know a lot more physics that most of the people who claim this (who limit ther knowledge to pop culture book by Hawking or whomever). I can assure the reader that such claims are posturing and hand-waving.
There are two serious issues dealt with in this book. First, the nature of consciousness. Second the status of free will. Let me deal with the second first. This is Miller's finest and most informative chapter. My argument for free will is, like Miller's, that the critiques of free will are all faulty, and free will is as self-evident as anything else in our lives. Of course it might be an "illusion" but so might anything else, including my having a body. Miller's most considered argument FOR free will, though is faulty. He claims that the idea is self-contradictory because if there is no free will there is not justification for trying to convince others of this fact. This is just false. If there is no free will people will still try to convince others of all sorts of things, and their endeavors may be effective according to the laws of physics.
Is there free will? Who knows? The argument that everything must have cause is no argument against free will. I am the cause of my actions. That is all there is to it. Asserting that an action was the product of free will means "people in the position of the actor might have made a different decision." That is all we need to assert free will as a descriptive attribute.
The second substantive issue Miller treats is the nature of consciousness. As an evolutionist, he wants to explain the appearance of conscious minds in biota as a wholly natural, physical process. However, no one has any idea how consciousness could appear in a wet chemical brain. Miller has no answer except to call consciousness an "emergent property" of physical cells. This is a poor excuse for an explanation. Of course there are emergent properties---the Second Law of thermodynamics is an emergent property of the laws of physics as we know them. I do agent based simulations that exhibit emergent properties. But "emergent property" is not an explanation in these cases either. It is a signal of our ignorance. So Miller has nothing to contribute to our understanding of consciousness.
The book is much fluff, but it made me think a bit. Kudos.Try it. You'll like it, maybe.