Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 14:02 (121 days ago) @ David Turell

A.N. Whitehead
DAVID: It is the image your God presents to me, as you describe His probably wishes and works.

dhw: I describe different possibilities – experimenting to get what he wants, designing new things because he enjoys designing them, creating a free-for-all to see what will happen. All are active and condemned by you as weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy. You say Whitehead’s “becoming” God is inactive but equal to yours, who specially designs everything and knows everything in advance. I don’t understand your criteria for “equality”.

DAVID: Your description is a very humanized God. You have an experimenting Creator who must try things out to see what He wants or allows an free-for-all with no known ending.

You don’t need to repeat what I have just described in the post you have quoted. I just want to know why you regard these versions of an active God as weak and namby-pamby, whereas Whitehead’s “becoming God”, who you say is inactive and therefore clearly does NOT control evolution, is equal to your humanized control freak with good intentions.

Insect smell receptors
QUOTE: “Effectively, olfactory systems have evolved to take arbitrary patterns of receptor activation and endow them with meaning through learning and experience,” Ruta said. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Amazingly complex as suggested. Note my bold. Odors are learned over time. Literally these receptors fondle the shape of the protein molecules they receive and gradually learn to understand what teh odor means and signifies.

Yes, endowing patterns with meaning through learning and experience is a process integral to evolution and indicative of autonomous intelligence. It is the exact opposite of obeying instructions already planted at the beginning of life or implanted through a divine dabble.

Plant cell regulators
QUOTE: However, a large number of a plant cell's genes in its mitochondria and chloroplasts can develop defects, jeopardizing their function. Nevertheless, plant cells evolved an amazing tool called the RNA editosome (a large protein complex) to repair these kinds of errors. It can modify defective messenger RNA that result from defective DNA by transforming (deamination) of certain mRNA nucleotides.

DAVID: We have previously discussed God's error correction mechanisms. What is obvious is that they must be present when the plant is initially evolved. Chance evolution by chance mutation won't do that.

Yes, we have discussed the extraordinary idea that an all-powerful God with the best of intentions cannot avoid building errors into his creations but provides correction mechanisms that sometimes work and sometimes don’t (e.g. the diseases caused by some of the errors). We have also discussed the extraordinary idea that solutions are already present when problems first arise. The quote suggests something very different: plant cells evolved a tool to repair the errors. Of course the development of a cure is not done by chance. Cells are confronted by a problem, and so they develop a solution. If they don’t, the species will become extinct. You seem to think that every problem that arises should automatically and immediately kill off every individual. This strange thinking is perhaps best illustrated through bacteria. We develop a means of killing them. Billions of them die. But some survive and in due course develop their own means of combating our deadly weapons. Problem first...followed by solution.


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