Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 15:53 (329 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 15:59

Extreme extremophiles

dhw: That is not what I meant. What was and is the purpose of organisms adapting and innovating?

To make living easier.

How roots fight compacted soils

DAVID: Back to a human God who needs interesting events.

dhw: Why “needs”? Why not “wants” or, to use your own word: “desires”, as in your belief that he seems to be “full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

The quote stands on it own. God 'desires' are not equivalent to human desires.

Dualism (Swinburne)

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.

dhw: 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....

DAVID: The soul which uses the brain for information and expression is not part of the physical body.

dhw: That has nothing to do with the blatant contradiction between his two statements. If the material brain determines the properties of the immaterial soul, how can it be said that nothing in the body “entails what happens to my conscious life”?

The qualities of the material brain determines how the soul can work. He is only stating my statement you cannot seem to follow. Your soul can only work with the brain it must use. A senile brain produces senility, not the soul's fault. A soul free from a sick brain will think normally.

Slime mold

dhw: David, you have often dismissed the concept of cellular intelligence because cells do not have what we recognize as a brain. This entry clearly suggests that brain and nervous system are NOT prerequisities for intelligent behaviour.

Why did you erase my comment? "Comment: A physical-chemical mechanism is shown to easily replace a complex neuron network to create a mechanism of memory. This is much more understandable attribute than how slime mold solves mazes, but offers an answer: Thick and thin tubules respond to faint chemical traces from the maze goal and draws it forward by following intensity of the trace chemical." I obviously knew a brain is not needed!!!!!


DAVID: What this seems to mean is that viruses are not an aberrant life form but necessary to the overall balance scheme for living organisms. That tells us there are good and bad viruses just like good and bad bacteria, good and bad predator animals, and good and bad humans, all playing a role in our reality.

Yes indeed. This is the great problem of theodicy. Your Swinburne tells us of God’s omnipotence and “perfect goodness” (though I don’t know how he knows, or even what his criteria are), so how come God created so much that has turned out to be bad? If he’s omnipotent, he could have created whatever he wanted to create. So he must have wanted to create the bad. But if he’s all good, why would he want to create the bad? Out of interest, may I ask you whether your concept of God includes “perfect goodness” (whatever that may mean)?

It's your British Swinburne, not mine. As a Christian theologian he has extremes of belief I
ignore, using only parts of his ideas I agree with. God is good is acceptable to me. Viruses are so common and numerous God obviously created and used them for his purposes. The 'bad' forms are our interpretation of them. There may be good involved.

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