Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 11:52 (208 days ago) @ David Turell

Possums and penguins
dhw: You keep asking me how the possum communicates his trick to other possums, so I’m asking how your God codes the genome. Do you think he inserted a possum-play-dead programme into the first cells 3.8 billion years ago, or did he pop in to perform an operation on the genome of a group of possums?

DAVID: Either way is logical for God to code behavior.

Thank you. I can’t help feeling that a far simpler procedure would have been for your God to give an autonomous mechanism to the cell communities of which possums and all other life forms are made, enabling them to work out their own strategies for survival. But of course we can agree to differ on this.

Introducing the brain
DAVID: The soul operates as in the bold is what Egnor feels he proves. You don't have to accept it.

dhw: So we must simply take it for granted that we have a soul, and he is merely proving that the soul feels pain immediately, and the brain feels it half a second later. Oh well, let’s leave it at that then.

DAVID: How else to explain the time delay in the brain?

The tiny time delay (half a second) might just possibly be explained by the fact that the sensation of pain has to travel from the finger to the brain, but the tiny time delay is so tiny that most people would think the sensation was immediate.

Horizontal gene transfer: plant to insect pest
DAVID: I've admitted I have no complete explanation or solution for Theodicy problems. I think future research will solve much of it.

dhw: Fair enough. Nobody has a “complete explanation” for any of our main subjects of discussion. All we can do is discuss the possibilities. But I must confess, I prefer possibilities that hang together logically to those that either contradict themselves or rely solely on hopes that future research will confirm their inherent preconceptions.

DAVID: As in the past future research clears up problem issues.

So do you think we should now stop discussing all these issues?

Tectonics and environment
QUOTE: "The first eukaryote cells – which today make up every plant, animal and fungi today – evolved at the very beginning of the Boring Billion. Then, around 1.6 billion years ago, plants diverged from animals and fungi and 1.5 billion years ago animals and fungi split.”

dhw: It’s an amazing thought that all animal and plant life evolved from cooperation between cells, and that we ourselves are built of the same materials.

DAVID: All developed by design from the designer.

Or all designed by cell communities whose talents for design may have been created by your God.

DAVID: (under “Plant responses to drought”: Animals came on Earth first and plants followed. It looks s if plants borrowed an animal protein controller to use for their own preservation. Perhaps God, the designer, makes His job easier by reusing His designs.

dhw: Please note that yet again we have evolutionary development for the purpose of survival (“to use for their own preservation”). Perhaps this is an example of how, over millions of years, every cell community has intelligently selected and used information gathered by other cell communities in the process that has resulted in the vast diversity of living forms past and present, including humans.

DAVID: Using information that exists runs the process of living, and new forms are based on new information. The issue the source of the new information, more complex than the old info. I choose God.

The source of new information would seem to be changes in living conditions which either demand or allow changes in behaviour and/or the anatomy. Plants would not need to develop responses to drought if there was no drought.

Controls for splitting DNA
DAVID: Obviously there is much more to be learned, and my bold above again points to the problems that can happen as molecules are free to make mistakes. It is obvious there are various forms of control, but never 100% perfect. Certainly a complexly designed system.

If the system was “complexly designed” with the freedom to make mistakes, then maybe it was also designed with the freedom to make beneficial changes to itself.

Engulfing adds function
DAVID: It was important for the evolutionary process to develop wide spread photosynthesis to free up enough oxygen to reach 21% of our atmosphere. And thanks to Lynn Margolis for recognizing the way to add a function by ingulfing another organism.

I’m delighted by your acknowledgement of Lynn Margulis’s theory of endosymbiosis. You will of course remember that she was also a champion of cellular intelligence.

Power laws
DAVID: It seems patterns guide evolutionary developments. I said before God likes to use and follow patterns.

It makes perfect sense that if life forms build on the “patterns” of their predecessors, the basic patterns will be preserved. That in fact was the basis of Darwin’s theory of common descent, since organisms displayed common patterns.


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