June 30th, 2008


50 reasons (NOT) to believe in god

#14 How could the complexity of the human mind possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Where does our consciousness come from?

This is essentially a restatement of the previous question. It merely focuses on a slightly different aspect of the complexity of life. The underlying premise here is the Argument from Complexity. But very simply, god is supposed to be more complex from human consciousness, yes? Okay, so what have you explained by saying 'god did it'?

Hint: Nothing.

But as I said yesterday, there is nothing about a question that qualifies as a proof in the definition we mean here. The fact that consciousness is essentially an illusion is beside the point. How does any complex system emerge from elements which are themselves less complex?

An analogy from Irreligion comes to mind: what about the free market capital distribution system? The free market is complex, so who designed it? How does the system know that three tubes of toothpaste are needed in this convenience store this week? Who decides? Who set it up?

The answer is very simple: no one. All the of the parts work together to do their own particular thing. Those things which don't follow the rules, either have to change or are not a part of the system. Those things that assist one part of the system to integrate with another are adopted, preserved, and passed around... but there is no one "Free Market Designer", and the system would likely not fuction nearly as well if there was one.

Consciousness is no different. It is complex, but that does not mean it was designed. And even if it was, that doesn't mean it was Jesus, or any other particular "god" you can name.