Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 12:53 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

Extreme extremophiles

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

DAVID: To make living easier.

“Easier”? All the home comforts? Please stop messing about with language. What do you mean here by “living” if not survival?

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”?

DAVID: 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.

If your conscious life is affected by your sick brain, how can that mean “nothing that happens in my body [which includes the brain] entails or is entailed by what happens to my conscious life”?”

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.

DAVID: 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!!!!!

I didn’t need to quote you! I am delighted at your agreement with the article that there is a mechanism which enables organisms to act intelligently even though they do not have a brain or a nervous system.

How algae find light

QUOTE: The question of how a cell makes these types of precise decisions can be a matter of life or death. It's quite a remarkable feat of both physics and biology, that a single cell with no nervous system to speak of is able to do this...It's an age-old mystery that my group is currently working hard to solve."

DAVID: it doesn't take intelligent analysis by the algae, just an intelligently designed built-in response system. I'm sure a little more molecular research will find it.

You are always sure that further research will confirm all your assumptions. Meanwhile, may I suggest that the “built-in response system” is actually a form of intelligence whereby all life forms “make these types of precise decisions”, as opposed to your God having had to programme every decision 3.8 billion years ago, or to keep popping in to deliver lessons or perform operations.

cetaceans get much less cancer

DAVID: These most unusual animals that obviously require the most designing might have this designed also. I wonder if this applies to manatees and other aquatic mammals.

And there was me thinking you thought we were the unusual animals that required the most designing. Don’t you think it’s a bit unfair that your God designed cetaceans to have built-in protection against cancer, and left us out, even though we were apparently his only goal in creating life?

red light stimulates moth sex

DAVID: No explanation of why it is important:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2268874-moth-species-becomes-more-sexually-active-...

QUOTE: "An Asian-Australian moth becomes more sexually active under red light than under another colour of light or in the dark.”

I have a theory. The Asian-Australian moth is actually descended from European moths (American as well?) who frequent various districts in towns and cities in which certain buildings are dedicated to sexual activities frowned on by the authorities (many of whom nevertheless make use of them). The moths will subconsciously have associated the red light with the activity associated with the red light. I am applying for a research grant to investigate this extremely important evidence of causative links between human and insect behaviour, and I do hope you will support my application.


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