University of Wisconsin freshman Sam Bolstad said he was disappointed by Dennett’s lecture.Okay, so they had their expectations, and they weren't met. Another person not quite satisfied was... me. Not that I was there, but no need (I can be judgmental from a distance). Here's what he said:
“He argues for evolution, but he didn’t argue against intelligent design. He didn’t demonstrate how evolution knocked intelligent design out of the ranks, and I thought he would,” Bolstad said.
UW freshman Alex Plunkett agreed the lecture was a disappointment and said he expected more from the speaker.
Dennett added he believes humans have a purpose on earth made evident by our ability to use language, have culture and be able to reflect on our purpose.And evident purpose? Wield a paintbrush? Trickle-down theory?
He continued by telling students human beings “wield a paintbrush” because of our unique capacity to understand the significance of our future and ability to represent it.
Dennett also discussed the trickle-down theory of evolution, explaining “big fancy smart things [make] less smart things” in contrast to the bubble up theory of creation that argues things are created from the bottom up.
Sigh. What a load of hogwash.
He is free to have any belief that he chooses, but advocating that humans have purpose, basing such belief on the existence of language, culture, and our ability to reflect is just too silly to take seriously. However, Dennett is a staunch atheist and prominent advocate of evolution (e.g. watch The Four Horsemen on YouTube, or read Darwin's Dangerous Idea), and it is sort of expected that what he says then makes some sort of sense. In the light of science, the notion that humans have a purpose isn't supported. I'm sure he would counter that that's not what he meant, but that's the quote, nonetheless.
"Wielding a paintbrush" means... what? Something, I'm sure, but what of it? Bah! No comment.
And then this trickle-down theory of evolution. I'm seriously considering if the reporter misquotes Dennett here, because it really should be exactly the other way around. But then, why would he name it the trickle-down theory? Evolution generally makes things from the bottom up (there are exceptions), and these become more complex as time goes on. Bubble-up theory of creation? That would make more sense if put on its head, too, since the idea is that the creator, from above (also in terms of complexity), made every creature, big and small.
As for the term 'Brights', I predict it's not going to catch on.
A noted atheist and advocate for the Brights movement, a term coined in 2003 to put atheist philosophers and their followers in a positive light,One commenter to the article put it perfectly:
"Brights, a term coined to put atheist[s]in a positive light."And good night.
Ya, that should do it. "I'm a bright and you're not." Good plan.