"I'd like to cover the matter of teleology. Which is defined as 'the
doctrine of final purpose'. Basically, teleology erects the assertion
(hand in hand with supernaturalism) that the universe and its contents
are subject to an externally applied overarching 'purpose'. This is
merely another example of the pervasiveness of the human tendency to
project our own intentionality upon our surroundings, a process that our
species applied from prehistoric times onwards. The operation thereof
is very simple. Humans are beings who think about their actions (well,
at least some of us are), and who frequently engage in activities with a
specific end goal in mind. As a consequence, when our prehistoric
ancestors saw natural forces at work, and saw that those natural forces
shaped the landscape (and their own populations), they considered it
entirely natural to conclude that this was the work of some entity
similar to themselves, namely an entity with internally generated
thoughts and goals, acting to achieve those goals. Basically, our
prehistoric ancestors fabricated invisible magic men of various species
because they didn't know any better, and in the absence of substantive
scientific knowledge, doing so was the only way that they could make
sense of a complex, dynamic world. It would take our species a good
200,000 years to reach the point where we could make sense of the world
in a proper, rigorous, quantitative manner without erecting such
fabrications, and thus, said mythological fabrications have enjoyed far
more persistence and persuasiveness than their complete absence of
genuine explanatory power warrants.

Teleology is merely an extension of this. Because we have end goals and
act to achieve those end goals in the real world, our ancestors assumed
that the events around them arising from natural forces had a like
origin, and that some sentient intent and planning lay behind them.
However, this is merely another of those presuppositions that, in the
fullness of time, was found severely wanting when subject to proper,
intense critical scientific test. NO evidence has EVER arisen supporting
the idea of an externally applied teleology governing the universe and
its contents, indeed, with several physical systems, the idea that this
is even possible looks decidedly nonsensical, in the light of the fact
that those systems are best represented by systems of equations that are
highly non-linear, exhibit extreme sensitivity to initial conditions,
and wildly bifurcating behavior. There is an entire branch of
mathematics devoted to the study of such systems, namely the mathematics
of chaotic dynamical systems, and even relatively simple, supposedly
deterministic systems of equations have been demonstrated to exhibit
wide variance in behaviour with only tiny changes in initial conditions.
The Verhulst Equation that is used to model population dynamics is a
prime example - even small changes in the fecundity parameter in this
equation will lead, once the equation enters the bifurcating régime, in
wildly different outcomes even if one starts with the same initial
conditions. Indeed, once that equation enters the chaotic régime, our
ability to predict future behaviour of the system is severely truncated.

Now, if a simple ordinary differential equation can manifest this
diversity of behaviour, it doesn't take much imagining, at least amongst
those who paid attention in the requisite classes, to realise that a
physical system such as the weather, which is best modelled using the
Navier-Stokes Equations among others, is not going to be in any sense
'directable', no matter what delusions of grandeur any sentient entity
has with respect to this. The Navier-Stokes Equations are not only
highly non-linear interlinked partial differential equations (and in the
most general case, tensor differential equations to boot, involving at
least one second order tensor quantity), but have proven to be so
intractable to attack by mathematicians, that the very existence of a
general analytical solution to them remains unknown, despite a century
or more of intense labour by the world's best mathematicians to answer
this question. Indeed, anyone who succeeds in this endeavour will win
themselves a $1 million prize courtesy of the Clay Mathematical
Institute, and immediately find themselves receiving lucrative job
offers from aerospace companies such as Boeing to come and help them
streamline their supercomputer models of fluid flow. At the moment,
Navier-Stokes turbulent flow modelling requires expensive teams of
top-class mathematicians, computer scientists, and a $50 million
supercomputer as baseline pre-requisites, and those operating in this
field will readily tell you that there are limits to how far in future
time one can push the models, particularly those using these tools for
weather modelling. The idea that the behaviour of a physical system,
governed by equations of this sort, is 'directable' by any sentience
will result in considerable mirth amongst those who know. So if you
think your magic man is capable of imposing an overarching teleology
upon the universe and its contents, and micro-managing the entire show,
those two gentlemen called Navier and Stokes flushed that presupposition
down the toilet over 100 years ago.

As a corollary, if there is hard evidence from 300 years of continued
scientific endeavour, that an externally applied overarching teleology
is not only conspicuous by its absence, but wholly absurd in the light
of the divergent behaviour of key physical systems (and that's before we
enter the world of quantum indeterminacy), then likewise, the idea that
there exists one, single, overarching set of ethical precepts applied
externally to the universe from the same source, a set of precepts that
remains unconditionally valid for all time, is similarly ludicrous.
Nietzsche castigated philosophers who erected grand, assertion-laden
metaphysical systems for the purpose of imposing their pet ethics upon
the universe even without the benefit of the latest scientific
knowledge, and recognised the basic fallacy underlying this exercise.
Modern physics simply propels the fallacy into the realms of Pythonesque
absurdity. Apart from the cosmic level of anthropocentric conceit
required to erect the notion, that the affairs of one small collection
of primates on one small planet, orbiting an average star situated in a
nondescript galaxy, are the central reason for the universe being here,
there is the central absurdity involved in imposing an overarching set
of ethical precepts upon a universe in which the supposedly central
characters don't put in an appearance for over 13 billion years. The
monumental metaphysical profligacy this assumes would make William of
Ockham barf"

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