Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 12:53 (541 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution: always advancing or not?

DAVID: Why can't you accept the logic that God chose to evolve us from bacteria?

How often do I have to repeat that the problem is why, if he only wanted to evolve [design] us, he also designed millions of life forms that had no connection with us? Please stop dodging, and let’s move on.

DAVID: Of course move on as we will never agree on the points in question.

dhw: Done – until the next time you raise the issue!


Extreme extremophiles

dhw: What do you think is the purpose of adaptation, if it is not to survive? What do you think is the purpose of innovations if it is not to improve chances of survival?

DAVID: I differ in a nuance you avoid. God created life so it would always survive, so of course it adapts, but as above, I do not see adaptation as driving evolution.

Of course not. Adaptation alone enables organisms to survive as themselves. But the argument goes that the same process that enables organisms to change their own structures may have enabled them to innovate as well as adapt. But innovation too would be motivated by the drive to improve chances of survival. Please tell us what other driving force you believe would motivate innovation.

Physical change in speciation

DAVID: My point is most of us die of wearing out, not mistakes.

dhw: I’m sure that will provide great consolation for those who do die because of mistakes (i.e. the list of horrendous diseases). My point is that there ARE mistakes, so there is no point in dismissing the cellular theory just because it would make mistakes.[…]

DAVID: My response to God's creation of life and the inherent mistakes that occur are unavoidable from the model of biochemistry that life must use in actively living.

You dismissed the theory of cellular intelligence because it would make mistakes. The model of biochemistry you say your God used produced “unavoidable” mistakes. Maybe the model of biochemistry your God used is the intelligent cell. With the same result.

How roots fight compacted soils

DAVID: How did the plant find this so-called remedy? Considering Darwinist 'fitness' theories, this is a mistake and a reduction in plant growth. It seems as if evolutionary mechanisms for adaptation didn't work. And from my viewpoint God didn't bother to fix it. Of course it is obvious slower growth prevented root tip damage as a sort of partial solution.

It seems as if one of the evolutionary mechanisms did work. Slower growth. So if your God didn’t bother about it, are you saying that the plant found this “partial remedy” all by itself? Sounds like some form of cellular intelligence then. One must always bear in mind the extinction of species – cellular intelligence does not solve all the problems. Hence the 99% extinction rate. No need to faff around trying to explain why God designed a system full of errors, plus bad bacteria and bad viruses. Let’s just assume he designed what he wanted to design – the system that led to the great and ever changing bush of life. What could be more interesting?


DAVID: We know that transposons jump around, but not what controls the jumping. Chance or programmed?

I have read that the person who first discovered transposons was the Nobel-prize-winning Barbara McClintock. She was also a firm believer in cellular intelligence.Just thought it was worth mentioning.


QUOTE: the identity of me does not consist in what happens to my body, but in what happens to my conscious life, and so I am who I am in virtue of what happens to my conscious life. Nothing that happens in my body entails or is entailed by what happens to my conscious life. So being me must consist in being a substance separate from my body.

QUOTE: my brain largely determines which properties my soul has at any time. Hence my childhood interactions with the world form my childhood brain which forms my childhood outlook on the world; and my old age interactions with the world form my old age brain, which in turn forms my old age outlook on the world.

It seems to me that if the brain largely determines the properties of the soul at any time, it is absurd to claim that “nothing in my body entails or is entailed by what happens to my conscious life”. Unless he thinks the brain is not part of the body....

QUOTE: Epiphenomenalism, which I understand more precisely as the view that brain events cause conscious events, but conscious events never cause brain events, is self-defeating.

I don’t know what he means by “self-defeating”, but I would have assumed that if there is a soul, its thoughts will depend very largely on information delivered by the brain, and after processing the information, the soul will then use the brain to give material implementation to its conscious thoughts.

DAVID: I view the brain as a physical instrument the soul must use to form my immaterial conscious 'me'.

For once we agree on this description of dualism, following the process I have summarized above.

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