Free Will: Egnor shows neurological proof - PART ONE (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, January 09, 2021, 08:47 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: So you want cells to forge ahead on their own designing for the future to make new different species? God doesn't need a book of instructions. He always knows exactly what to do.

dhw: As usual, you insist that evolution requires a crystal ball. In my theory, cells react to current conditions – they do not design for the future. For example, pre-whales’ legs do not turn into fins before they enter the water, but they turn into fins as a result of their adaptation to new conditions. As regards instructions, of course your God would not need them! Your theory is that he provided the first cells with instructions for every undabbled life form, econiche, natural wonder etc. in the history of life! You wrote, however, that my intelligent cells would have to have “an enormous set of instructions”, whereas in fact they would not need any instructions at all, because (theistic version) your God gave them the intelligence to do their own designing.

DAVID: Knowing the complexity of the physiological changes needed to solve most of the gap advances in the whale series we recognize, and recognizing how current animals adapt, we have no reason to accept your theory. I view it as wishful thinking with no basis in the biological science of evolution. Knowing needs in the future is always part of designing.

I wonder how many evolutionary biologists maintain that God changed pre-whale legs into fins before they entered the water, or that current animals adapt in anticipation of conditions that do not yet exist. I hope you will never attempt to present your theory to a gathering of evolutionary biologists or indeed to any gathering of scientists of any ilk.

DAVID: […] if life and consciousness exist we have clearly dualism, and it does come out of material substance. To repeat, life itself is an immaterial phenomenon, and consciousness certainly is.

dhw: That's fine with me. There is no dispute over the immateriality of life and consciousness. The dispute is over their source. The most obvious illustration of this is the belief that the soul is a separate entity which lives on after the death of the body. According to you, the source is your God’s own immaterial consciousness, to which it returns after death. That is pure dualism. A materialist will tell you that there is no separate entity, and when the body dies, the immaterial product of its materials also dies. However, I’m pleased that you have no objection to my compromise,which removes the sharp dichotomy between the two approaches. Proposal: Life and consciousness emerge from material substances (= materialism) but they constitute the immaterial components of our identity (= dualism). Whether the mechanism whereby the immaterial emerges from the material was designed by your God or not is a matter of faith, as is belief in an afterlife of what you called "an emergent product of the living brain".

DAVID: Yes to each his own. I'll stick to faith in God.

I’m delighted that you accept my compromise solution to the dualism v materialism debate, which fits in so perfectly with your own firmly stated belief that consciousness is “an emergent product of the brain”, and of course I accept your faith in God as the designer of this remarkable machine.


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