Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, April 23, 2021, 13:38 (271 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Initial life used information to run itself.

dhw: Initial life means living organisms. And I’m delighted to hear that living organisms used information to run themselves. Welcome to the Land of Shapiro.

DAVID: Shapiro never told us who or what supplied the necessary information.

Good for him. Like Darwin, he offers a theory of evolution (Chapter 2 of life), not of origins. And I wish you would stick to the belief expressed above that living organisms use information to run themselves, instead of them mindlessly obeying your God’s instructions. But I know you will call that overinterpretation!

dhw: […] There is no question that living organisms use information to produce their reactions and processes. How else could they respond to the world they live in? But information is passive. It produces nothing. It can only be used by a living organism. I object to what I see as an unnecessarily confusing use of language.

DAVID: You are just editorially picky.

Yes, I am. I want people to express their ideas as clearly as possible, and not to obfuscate through woolly use of language, which all too frequently masks woolly thinking.

Little Foot
dhw: I do have a problem with the idea that every branch of the vast bush of life was divinely preprogrammed or dabbled for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens’ brain.

DAVID: All we know is that they did descend and then surprisingly grew huge brains and transformed the Earth.

100% agreed! Our existence and our wondrous if frequently disastrous use of our comparatively large brains are indeed one of the many astonishing things we know about life on Earth. Your fascinating list of Nature’s Wonders barely scratches the surface. But how it all happened remains a mystery which is not solved by the theory bolded above!

Homo luzonensis
DAVID: our evolution is convoluted and obviously our ancestors wandered all over the place, even across oceans. But the main line is still erectus to sapiens.

dhw: And this compounds the problem I have with your fixed beliefs. Why all the different lines, not only of the millions of organisms and lifestyles and econiches and natural wonders that had nothing to do with humans, but even of hominins and homos? Could all of them really have been necessary for God to specially design before he specially designed H. sapiens?

DAVID: Look at the example of evolution, a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction.

Well done for at last recognizing that evolution is not one straight line leading from bacteria to H. sapiens.

DAVID: Why not hominins? We arrived as the sole survivor in the end. You love to an analyze God's methods and criticize. Remember, God never thinks exactly like you think He does your continuous mistake about Him.

It is not God’s methods, purpose, nature etc. but your interpretation of them that I analyze and criticize, and since another human quality you attribute to your God is logic, I keep challenging you to explain the logic behind your image of him as all-powerful, always in control, knowing precisely what he wanted and how to get it, and designing every extinct life form plus food supply, including every extinct hominin and homo plus food supply, because the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens plus food supply.

Chixculub luck or aimed?
QUOTE: It stands to reason, then, that without the asteroid impact the dinosaurs that had reigned for more than 100 million years would likely still be here, and therefore the primates would not be, and so neither would we.

DAVID: We are here. Luck or God's aim? It depends upon whether you are a theist or a materialist/naturalist.

Thank you for asking and not telling. :-)

Some ant brains shrink and grow
QUOTE: "It tells us that brains are a lot more plastic and have a lot more abilities to change back and forth between their size than we knew,” Penick says. "And ants, their brains have some shared traits with humans, believe it or not.”

DAVID: Some branches in evolution have strange results, but this is a logical result as a tradeoff. Brains take lots daily energy requirements (20% in humans), and egg production is very energy demanding. It doesn't mean any other species brain can learn to do it.

The one example is enough to show that our brains are not unique in having the ability to RESPOND to different requirements. Do you think that 3.8 billion years ago your God preprogrammed this special ability in a particular form of ant, or that he popped in to do a dabble? Any alternative explanation?

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