Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 20, 2021, 14:39 (39 days ago) @ dhw

A.N. Whitehead

DAVID: I don't accept Whitehead either, but Whitehead doesn't describe an active God as you do.

dhw: I'm not sure how active his God is, but why is my active God weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy, whereas you regard an inactive God as equal to yours?

It is the image your God presents to me, as you describe His probably wishes and works.


Even our White matter is different

DAVID: But I've got a villa on the Riviera and you are living on the dole.

dhw: Our extra white matter has led to our intellectual superiority, as in your analogy. That does not make the dollars or the white matter different. We simply have more of them/it.

All I meant is our amount is different.


Human evolution: no time for chance

DAVID: The papers are filled with higher math formulas that I cannot follow and the conclusions seem to come out of thin air. This presentation is not that, but quite clear. Mutational changes seem driven and compressed into less time than current estimated mutation rates allow. And this can be applied to the Cambrian complexity gap in spades. Totally new complex body forms with a full complement of organ systems, including eyes with complex bifocal lenses.

dhw: There are no precedents or analogies. Nobody knows how speciation happened, and “current mutation rates” won’t help us to know what happened millions of years ago. However, you and I are agreed that all these organs and organisms – whether human or animal – are too complex to be the result of pure chance, regardless of time. We are therefore left with the same choices we have been left with since we began our discussions over 13 years ago: 1) there is a supermind (God) without a source who is simply there and designed it all; 2) the first cells were possessed with an intelligence that enabled them to rearrange their own structures as and when conditions required or allowed; 3) the source of that intelligence was the sourceless supermind, chance (not to be dismissed in an infinite and eternal universe which produces an infinite number of combinations of materials), or an innate rudimentary intelligence in materials (a form of panpsychism). Although I find cellular intelligence the most likely explanation of evolution itself (see above), the source is an absolute sticking point for me, and I find NONE of the explanations credible. Hence my agnosticism.

An excellent review of your thoughts.>


We learn to see
DAVID: Just as we learn to walk we learn to see, and obviously we learn to feel, to hear, to taste, etc. Our brain is designed as quite helpful to build up an encyclopedia of recorded knowledge to help us navigate living. This is the blank slate aspect of the newborn brain, I have referred to in the past. What is not blank is our congenital inheritance and our experiences as we develop from infanthood.

dhw: I can only add that even newborn babies react differently to their immediate surroundings, so we have no idea oF the extent to which our reactions are governed by our “congenital inheritance”. This is an important factor in our discussions on free will. […]

I can only agree. we do that now and then!


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