An afterthought from Bob:
Contrary to the promise I made early in this diavlog, John and I never got around to discussing what I mean by a "larger purpose unfolding through the workings of nature." But here's
a five-year-old video conversation with Daniel Dennett in which I lay out what I mean. Dennett seems to accept my logic, agreeing, albeit reluctantly, that (a) my argument about what kind of evidence would corroborate the hypothesis of higher purpose is sound; (b) some of the evidence I invoke in that regard seems valid (though he's clearly not acknowledging that I've found nearly enough such evidence to convince him of higher purpose). However, Dennett later denied that he had accepted my argument, insisting I'd misunderstood him. This denial struck me as implausible, and the more he protested, the more implausible it seemed. (Here
is my exegesis of the whole controversy, in case you've got lots of free time on your hands.) But maybe one of our commenters can enlighten me as to what Dennett could mean here other than what I claim he meant. I'll give a free copy of my book--complete with elaborate inscription--to the commenter who comes closest to convincing me that my interpretation is wrong. (And if you actually *convince* me, you get two books, one of them--uninscribed, alas--by Dennett!) In order to qualify, entries have to be less than 125 words and begin, "What Dennett meant is…." You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please put 'What Dennett meant' in the subject heading. Godspeed.