Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, February 09, 2021, 12:43 (344 days ago) @ David Turell

For some reason, I forgot to post the first two replies yesterday! My apologies.

Spiders lasso

DAVID: I view the strong webs as God's gift to spiders.

dhw: […] if you believe your God preprogrammed spiders and their strong webs 3.8 billion years ago, or alternatively popped in to operate on pre-spiders, so be it.

DAVID: Evolution is still a steady process from simple to complex, and the more complex reek of design, which you actively recognize and keeps you solidly agnostic. You are still all questioning with no answers. I'm happy with my answers and positions.

You have missed out at least half of our discussion! I have questioned your illogical interpretation of your God’s purpose (to design H. sapiens) and method (to design millions of individual life forms etc. unconnected with humans), and I have offered you several alternative theistic answers (including experimentation, God getting new ideas as he goes along, a free-for-all governed by possibly God-given cellular intelligence). You have accepted that they are all logical, and we have now finally managed to jettison your “humanization” objection, since you agree that human characteristics are possible. But I know you are happy with your illogical theory of evolution and your lack of any answer to the problem of theodicy. I don’t want you to be unhappy, so perhaps we should leave it at that.

Fin to limb genes

DAVID: Your God 'cell intelligence' is really God one step removed.

dhw: More than one step. If God exists, I would remove the millions and millions of steps you make him take, either through individual programmes for every life form, econiche etc., or through individual operations carried out or courses given to millions of living creatures as he changes them from one species to another, or instructs them on how to perform their wonders.

DAVID: Easier to take first hand control then drawing up second hand instructions.

What on earth do you mean by “second hand instructions”? Why is it easier to draw up millions of individual programmes and to perform millions of operations and give millions of lessons than to create a single mechanism which will enable all life forms to do their own designing? You even have a ready-made analogy here. Would it have been easier for your God to have designed furniture, telephones, computers, cars, planes, rockets etc. himself instead of giving humans the ability to do their own designing?


QUOTE: Sensitive states are sensation, perception, imagination, memory, and sensitive appetites (emotions), among others. These are tightly linked to matter and may be considered material powers. Human beings also have rational mental states, which are the powers of the intellect and the will. These abstract powers are immaterial — they are not caused by matter — and thus the will is not determined by the brain.

As usual, Egnor only tells half the story. His approach is all about dualism versus materialism. Has he never heard of the cause-and-effect argument against free will? Namely, that every decision we take is influenced by factors beyond our control – not just the brain but our whole genetic makeup, our upbringing, our environment, chance events etc. We have dealt with this subject over and over again, and belief in free will depends on what the will is supposed to be free from. The above makes the case against the concept. The argument in defence of the concept is that all the influences combine to make the unique person that is me, and nobody else takes my decisions.

Balance of nature

QUOTE: We’ve warmed the atmosphere, raised sea levels, erased countless species and forged an uncertain future for humankind and the planet.

DAVID:…. human stupidity or hubris? We not smart enough to leave alone the structure God have us to start with. With this evidence of stupidity and poor analysis of consequences who are we to judge God's works critically?

I’d say it’s human stupidity AND hubris, but who is judging your God’s works critically in our discussions? You raised the problem of errors and of theodicy, and you also have no idea why your God would have designed millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, even though he only wanted to design humans! Discussing theodicy and criticising your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method is a criticism of your interpretation, not of your God!

Highest speed claw snapping

QUOTE: Intriguingly, the observations also revealed that sometimes the resulting water jets caused “cavitation”, where rapid changes in water pressure cause bubbles to form – and when they pop, they release an immense amount of energy, enough to degrade the steel of boat propellers. (David’s bold for emphasis)

But why do amphipods snap their claws in the first place?

DAVID: Is this a slowly developed adaptation, and if so 'why' as the authors pose? If it appeared all at once it had to designed to make everything work and be protected from such force.

Of course we have no idea how it developed – or even why. What I would like to know is why your God would specially design all this claw-snapping if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. Do you think high-speed claw snapping is an essential part of our food supply?

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