Reality: can science prove God? (General)

by dhw, Saturday, February 22, 2020, 10:37 (44 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Did you design your lovely home? Did you counsel with an architect? If so, you and he used aforethought in the design to make it have the new functions and livability you wanted. No crystal ball ever required, just designing brains as usual. No 'mastering' involved, just analysis of current uses and adaptations for changes desired. All requiring mentation.

dhw: I don’t know why you need to complicate the argument with this analogy, but it fits to a small degree, in so far as you do need designing brains to analyse current conditions (though these are new in the context of evolution) and make the changes required. Of course design requires mentation – hence the concept of the intelligent cell/cell community, which analyses the new conditions and either makes the changes required, or goes extinct. “No crystal ball required, just designing brains as usual.” Extension of the process: new conditions may allow for experiments in new forms of behaviour, leading to innovation. Still “no crystal ball required etc.”. The crystal ball is an image for foresight. No foresight required. Thank you for agreeing with me.

DAVID: What agreement? Please reread my answer. The entire discussion is about aforethought to be put into design. The 'crystal ball' is not hocus-pocus figments, but is attempting to answer future needs to the cover those forecast possibilities in the new design.

Your house is a poor analogy. The ‘crystal ball image’ is not hocus-pocus, it stands for looking into the future. My theory follows the same pattern that you have outlined: analysis of current conditions (in evolution, this involves changes to the environment), and adaptations for the changes required. Your architect knows from experience of possible future problems (flooding, subsidence etc.) but does not look into the future for unknown possibilities,and organisms don't either. They respond to current conditions. The only role played by the future is the obvious one that the changes are required in the present if the organism is to have a future!

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