Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, April 03, 2021, 09:33 (503 days ago) @ David Turell

Introducing the brain

dhw: [Egnor] simply takes the existence of a soul for granted, and tries to use the half-second gap to show us how the soul works. You asked how else one could explain the time delay of half a second, and I told you. Please tell me why you reject my explanation.

DAVID: I can tell the difference in a half-second of time. Touching a hot pan or a pinprick. Watching the phlebotomist take blood, instantaneous pain.

What is your point? And what was Egnor’s point?

Tectonics and environment

DAVID: You always struggle with the concept of information.[…].

dhw: I find its double use confusing and totally unnecessary. Information itself is passive. It achieves nothing. It has to be used. The cells process information from the new environment and work out what changes they need to make in order to adapt. What could be clearer? You believe your God planted instructions which cells automatically switched on. Why do you have to call them “instructional information”?

DAVID: Still confusion: sensory information is not instructional information. Both exist. Sensory is passive, while instructional describes actions to be taken.

I understand perfectly that you want to jump on the “information” bandwagon, which at one time led you to create a thread with the absurd title: “Information as the source of life”! I think that in the end you grudgingly acknowledged that you thought God and not information was the source of life. Instructions describe actions to be taken. Why do you need to call them instructional information? I am not confused. I am objecting to the unnecessary use of a term which creates the confusion vividly illustrated by the above heading.

Nasty butterflies

dhw: What sort of mind deliberately designs life forms that eat and rape their siblings? Or is it possible that your God DIDN’T deliberately design them, but that they are the product of a free-rein evolution in which all life forms devise their own strategies and lifestyles?

DAVID: God designed "red in tooth and claw". Everyone has to eat. Eating is the purposeful free-for-all.

dhw: Yes, indeed. All the organisms find their own ways of obtaining food, and all their strategies for eating and for avoiding being eaten, are part of a purposeful free-for-all in the quest for survival. Sounds like a convincing theory to me. Thank you for your support.

DAVID: I'm only describing the war for eating.

But you are suggesting that the war is a free-for-all. So do you think your God preprogrammed/dabbled all the methods of obtaining food (and avoiding becoming food), or did he give life forms the means of working their methods out for themselves in a “purposeful free-for-all”?


DAVID: Gerald Schroeder in his books about science and God wondered if God sent Chixculub. So do I.

dhw: And I wonder if either of you asks why he would have created the dinosaurs and their habitat in the first place, and then destroyed them all, if his one and only goal was to design sapiens and he was always in total control.

DAVID: Perhaps you can learn to consider the real God who knows exactly what He is doing.

I have no doubt that if God exists, he always knows exactly what he is doing. That is why I keep asking why he would have directly designed and then killed off all these life forms that had no connection with humans, if his sole purpose was to design humans. You have no idea why. Whereas I propose a number of theories, all of which have your God knowing exactly what he is doing and why, and all of which fit in logically with Chixculub and the rest of life’s history. Your only objection to all of them is that they entail your God having some of the “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours”, which you think he possibly/probably has.

Genome complexity

DAVID: I do not expect the reader to be able to fully understand this presentation. It requires deep training in the subject. Viewing the illustrations would help. My real point is these molecules have jobs to do and perform them as if each molecule had a mind and had memorized its function in the production line. Innate Intelligence or intelligent design? Design is obvious.

These do not have to be alternatives. Your God could have designed the innate intelligence.

Introducing the eye

DAVID: Its complexity is equal only to our brain:

DAVID: No need to comment on the need for a designer. Not by chance development from ancient eye sports

The human eye is indeed a wonderful instrument, but no more wonderful than the eyes of many of our fellow animals (and birds), whose vision in fact is even better than ours under some conditions. All these different eyes may well be the consequence of the different cell communities adapting the original light-sensitive cells to their own living conditions. Definitely not by chance. Interesting that Darwin also picks on the eye as an organ “of extreme perfection and complication”. And he wisely adds: “How a nerve came to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated.”

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