Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, May 22, 2021, 11:34 (250 days ago) @ David Turell

Different types of neurons
DAVID: The extra ones sapiens got caused the present civilization to appear.

dhw: Well, I must say this is a remarkable volte face from your previous insistence that the new neurons had no function and were jettisoned 2500 years later – but in fairness, you had already rejected that. Now, however, within a single exchange, after “we cannot know if the new neurons added a different function”, they have become so essential that our whole civilization depends on them. I will go back to my original proposal: the new neurons would not have been added if they had not performed a new function. We don’t know what that was, and we don’t know which neurons were discarded when enhanced complexification took over from expansion.

DAVID: And i state god added the extra neurons with some early use but primarily for the future use that happened.

And you also stated “we cannot know if some different kind of functional neuron was added to sapiens”. I suggest that even if your God did come down and operate on the sleeping Moroccans, it would make more sense for him to have done so because the extra neurons were needed for a new function at that time. All this will lead to yet another discussion on stasis and shrinkage, which we covered amply on the “brain expansion” thread. Do we really need to go over it all again?

Species differentiation
dhw: [..] I agree with you: variations in beak sizes do not solve the problem of how “species” – as opposed to varieties – evolve. I think “organisms capable of interbreeding” may be the closest we can get to a satisfactory definition of "species".

DAVID: Hybridization is certainly one way.

dhw: For the definition, I was thinking in terms of eagle versus elephant versus herring versus ant….What would your own definition be?

DAVID: Yours are obvious. Finch beak size silliness is the point.

I have agreed. That is why I illustrated my preferred definition with obvious examples.There is no dispute here. I've asked you for your own definition of species in the hope that you might have a better idea than organisms with the ability to interbreed.

Giant black hole
DAVID: […] dhw has wondered in the past why God created all these events when all He wanted was humans. I don't know and I don't wonder. I assume God did this for His own reasons and they are a reasonable part of the process.

dhw: This is the process whereby someone has a theory and “assumes” that everything will be found to fit in with it, which of course is the process behind preconceptions and prejudices. In relation to God, it raises the question you asked so eloquently elsewhere: “Why do humans guess at God's designs before they have the full story?”

DAVID: I am prejudiced for God. I prefer to wait for research to explain the questions.

Your belief in God is not the subject of our current disagreements, because all my objections to your theory of evolution, and all my alternatives, allow for his existence. I object to your theory of evolution because you are adamant that your God must have had a logical reason for designing “de novo” the 99% of life forms that had no connection with the only form he wanted to design, and he must have had a “good” reason for designing the “bad” bacteria and viruses. These are your “guesses”, nothing will shake you from your belief that they are correct, and yet you ask: “Why do humans guess at God’s designs before they have the full story?”

Fungi helped plants

DAVID: How did plants latch onto fungi? Luck or design? Looks designed to me.

dhw: […] Whether God designed the original cells or not, it seems to me that the basis of plant and animal evolution has been cooperation between cells. In view of your occasional “full” acceptance that some of our fellow animals are actually “very intelligent”, I’m surprised that you cannot bring yourself to accept that maybe – it’s only a theory – the earliest forms of life (e.g. plants, fungi, bacteria) might also be intelligent, albeit on a far lower level.

DAVID: And I believe God designs and speciates and provides intelligent information for organisms to use.

I have never understood the difference between information and “intelligent” information, and I have no idea what you mean by the latter. Could it mean that he provides the intelligence (my proposal) to organize cooperation and solve problems, or does it mean that he provides detailed formulas for all cooperation, and detailed solutions to every single problem that every single life form has faced and will face throughout the thousands of millions of years of life’s history past present and future?

Gamma rays
DAVID: as with yesterday's entry, it shows the universe is filled with dangerous activity. And luckily where we live the Earth is tucked into a safe spot in our galaxy. I still presume God knows what He is doing and don't question it.

If God exists, I would also presume he knows what is doing. What I question is your fixed belief that in the context of evolution, you know precisely what he wanted to do and did, and you refuse to question your illogical presumptions about his purpose and his method of achieving it.

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