Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 25, 2021, 18:52 (300 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I'm seriously putting myself in the possum's position and my questions are entirely valid. Did the possums do it naturally to create the instinct? Your hopeful answer is not an answer but filled with suppositions that assume some sort of communication. I think God arranged the instinct, as the weaver bird nest.

Of course I assume communication. How else can information be passed on? And I assume the strategy came about "naturally", i.e. through the luck or skill of possums themselves. “God arranged the instinct” is no answer to my question! You have given us two possibilities in the past: a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme to be passed on for possums and for the strategy of playing dead, or direct intervention (we have called it dabbling), which must somehow entail direct communication with all possums. What sort of communication would that be? Please answer.

I can't answer the natural communication question, nor can you or did you. I'll stick with God pre-programming or dabbling or somehow instructing or designing origin of instincts.

DAVID: When penguins took to water for food, they had to develop webbed feet and other characteristics. My thought is God helped with these designs.

dhw: My thought is that just like the whales, when penguins took to water, the cell communities used their perhaps God-given intelligence to cooperate in restructuring parts of the body. I’m delighted to see that you think they “had to develop webbed feet” etc. Very different from your theory that your God operated on pre-whale legs to turn them into flippers BEFORE the pre-whale entered the water.

DAVID: My God designed the penguin changes including the new biochemistry of hemoglobin.

dhw: And do you think he operated on penguin feet before they entered the water, or could they have developed their web feet after they had taken to the water?

I haven't changed. God designs adaptations for major environmental requirements in an new form of living style such as birds getting into ocean water and mammals into far ranging ocean travels

Introducing the brain
Quote: “He pricked volunteers’ fingers and measured the nerve impulses from the finger to the brain and timed everything. Libet found that it took about a half second for any electrical activity to register in the brain after the finger prick. But the volunteer reported feeling the finger prick the moment it happened. In other words, the volunteers felt the prick a half second before the brain showed any activity corresponding to it.

dhw: Frankly, I don’t know how any normal person would feel the difference between “immediately” and after half a second. And if it takes half a second for the pain to travel from finger to brain, I cannot for the life of me see what that has to do with the “soul”, whether that exists or not.

You are disagreeing with Egnor as I expected. Aren't you surprised at Libet's discovery of the time delay by the brain. When I prick a finger the pain seems instantaneous to me with no noticeable brief delay. Libet's finding surprised me, but thinking of the axon transmission times I know the time required is not instantaneous, like it would seem over electric wires. I accept that Egnor has a definite point, and no surprise your mind is closed.

Philosophy of science dead? Realism vs. empiricism
DAVID: We should stick to solid realistic research, rather than pursuing fantasies like the multiverse string theory that has no physical basis.

dhw: I’m sorry to say this, but what you have just said would provide the death knell to most of your own theories. And so I will leap to your defence: I do not for one moment accept any claim that science can or one day will be able to explain all the mysteries of the universe. But that needn’t stop scientists or theologians from “pursuing fantasies”, so long as they don’t claim their imaginings are based on science. And who knows - one of the many fantasies may be the truth.

Thanks for saving me!!! String theory has reached no conclusion after 50+ years of frustrating work. It just doesn't work, as Woit and Smolin's books show. Multiverse is an unproveable conjecture. We need to leave this universe to prove any of it. We should stick with thoughts/theories that allow a proof.

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