Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 10:59 (591 days ago) @ David Turell

Fine tuning

DAVID: No backpedal. My staunch position: God chose to evolve all stages by designing each one.

dhw: All stages of what? Your staunch position is that his sole purpose was to design H. sapiens and food supply, but first of all he designed millions of life forms and food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens, and you have no idea why he did so. But still you continue to present sections of your theory in isolation as if they somehow justified your staunch faith in the inexplicable and illogical COMBINATION of your different beliefs.

DAVID: Evolution proceeds in stages, of which God was the designer of everyone.

However, you have no idea why, if his sole purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, he would have directly designed every individual life form, econiche etc. that preceded humans, 99% of which had no connection with humans. You agreed to leave it at that. I will stick to the agreement if you will.

DAVID: The personality of God is where we always differ. Yours is humanized.

dhw: Firstly, that does not alter the fact that your own theory presents you with a problem of logic, and you have no idea how to solve it.

It is your logic problem, not mine.

If you have no idea how to explain the above, you can hardly claim that it is logical.

dhw: Secondly, it is no more “humanizing” to propose that God experiments, or has new ideas as he goes along, or wanted a free-for-all, than it is to claim that he had one fixed purpose right from the start (H. sapiens), knew how to get it, and wanted total control of everything. Thirdly, there is no reason whatsoever to dismiss your own firmly stated belief that God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: My view of God's intentions and personality are opposite yours. Therefore we differ about God's actions. That will not change.

Fair comment: but in that case, you should stop dismissing my different views (plural) as “humanizations”, when your own are also humanizations and you accept the probability that your God has human attributes similar to ours.

Every Life Is on Fire

DAVID: My non-materialist approach requires that any emergence requires an extra spark of energy from God.

dhw: Your explicit, materialist statement that “consciousness is an emergent product of the living brain” does not exclude the possibility that your God designed the living cell to produce the consciousness which emerges from the vast community of cells that make up all brains and bodies. See the Egnor thread.

DAVID: A dead brain has no consciousness, but the same material as a live brain with consciousness. That difference materialism cannot explain. God created the mechanism to absorb energy and use it to be alive.

Nobody can explain the difference. Life and consciousness are a complete mystery to everyone on this planet. The mystery is not solved by claiming that some mysterious unknown conscious being created life and consciousness – but see the Egnor thread for a compromise.

Cambrian Explosion

DAVID: What the article shows is that very late Edicarans and very simple early Cambrians are related. It doesn't solve the major gap posed by the full blown Cambrians of a little later time. This is a finding that is fully expected, at the boundary of the two periods. There certainly isn't an abrupt dividing line in evolution.

dhw: This finding and your final sentence greatly reduce the strength of the argument that the Cambrian did create a gap or dividing line, and did produce totally new life forms without antecedents. What you call “a little later time” covers a period of 55 million years. Peanuts in geological terms, but it “only” took at most four million years for the earliest hominids to evolve into H. sapiens, so I reckon a vast assortment of changes could have taken place in 55 million years, especially if we replace the theory of random mutations with the theory of (possibly God-given) cellular intelligence as the driving force of all the changes.

DAVID: Later Cambrians are enormously different from the organisms of this article. You are right to compare it to the rapid appearance of humans from apes, as life is probably 3.8 byo, and six million years of advance to humans is a drop in the bucket.

I thought it was 4 million years from first hominids to H. sapiens, and 55 million years is approximately 14 times longer, so the unexplained Cambrian leap to new species is not such a big deal as was previously thought.

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