In sketching here what I have called the science of purpose, I have argued that the best way to topple the materialist paradigm is to reverse the fundamental concepts of structure and function. (See, most recently, “Replacing Chemistry with Purpose.”) The framework of materialism is based on randomness, from which, combined with natural selection, any structure theoretically can arise. In this way of thinking, over billions of years, randomly generated structures accidentally began to perform functions, resulting in life on Earth as we know it. That is, all the seemingly designed function in the biosphere is simply a result of randomly generated structures. The appearance of design is an illusion.
What is not an illusion, not even to materialists, is the nearly unfathomable complexity of function carried out, nanosecond by nanosecond, in every living creature since life first arose. From the time you started reading this article, perhaps 60 seconds ago, trillions upon trillions of discrete exquisitely tuned chemical reactions took place in your body. And that has been going on since the time that your father’s sperm met your mother’s egg.
And so of course no one argues the fact that function is real.
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