Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, April 05, 2021, 11:47 (289 days ago) @ David Turell

Introducing the brain
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.

dhw: Please explain why, without the existence of the soul, it is impossible for a person to believe that he feels the prick immediately even though in fact it has taken half a second for the sensation to travel from fingertip to brain to reach a sensory appreciation area.

DAVID: Because the sensory impulse from the finger tip must travel almost three feet to have the brain receive it and the soulless person feel it.

So why do you think it is impossible for the soulless person to think that half a second = immediately? Is half a second really such a long time? However, if you claim that you yourself really are aware of this gap, (i.e. that the pain is not immediate), all it means is that the brain is the source of awareness! This discussion is pointless.

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Only God can be the source of the information is DNA code.

dhw: That means that God is the source of information in the DNA code. How does that make the information into the source of life? You might as well say that the instructions enclosed with your bottle of medicine are the source of your medicine.

DAVID: You are so confused about instructions with your analogy. God's instructions create the dance of the molecules that bring the emergence of life into fruition.

Thank you for using the simple term “instructions” instead of “instructional information”. But you are still “so confused”. Instructions do not create anything. Something has to write the instructions, and something has to obey the instructions before there is a “dance”. According to you, your God wrote the instructions and also designed the molecules. And so it is patently absurd to refer to “information as the source of life”, when by information you mean instructions.

Nasty butterflies
dhw: It’s never been clear to me where you draw the line between your God’s total control and lack of control. He can’t control the errors that occur in his system of life, he deliberately gives up control in allowing free will, he doesn’t control brain complexification but absolutely has to control brain expansion, and now he has given up control to allow caterpillars to eat one another, but he absolutely has to control the possum’s strategy of playing dead. And to add to the confusion, deliberately giving up control makes him “human”, but maintaining total control (although sometimes not maintaining control) does not make him “human”. […] You simply want to pick and choose which human attributes he may or may not have, and you can’t even find any consistency in your own concept of total control.

DAVID: You are in total confusion as to how and why God uses control. He doesn't control possums more than He controls us. Possums have free will to use his trick as we have free will. My God doesn't control where my dog poops. Don't you see that most creatures have oodles of free will in action and thought. God has given up control in many logical ways. He doesn't have to control brain expansion, He must do that as designer or He would be derelict in His creationing.

We are not talking about WHEN or WHERE organisms play dead, migrate, build nests or bridges, but about the ORIGIN of all the strategies and lifestyles. You have suddenly decided that strategies relating to the “war for eating” are “simple adaptations” which God leaves to the organisms themselves to design (e.g. caterpillar cannibalism and rape). But the possum can’t design his trick of “playing dead” in order to avoid being a victim in “the war for eating”! All the same, I’m glad you now concede that your God has given up control in many logical ways. This may be a fruitful concession. I’m not sure what your reference to brain expansion means. You say he doesn’t have to control it (thank you for agreeing with me), but the rest of your sentence seems to say that he does have to control it! A bit of confusion there. In any case, what are your criteria for criticizing God as being “derelict” if he doesn’t do what you think he ought to do? And we shouldn’t forget your agreement that he doesn’t control complexification. I agree that I’m in “total confusion” when I read in one post that your God is in total control, but in another he is not in total control. Perhaps you can sort it all out for me, beginning with caterpillars that work out their own cannibalistic means of survival (by eating) and possums that rely on your God to help them survive (by not being eaten).

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