Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 18:16 (120 days ago) @ dhw

A.N. Whitehead

DAVID: Whitehead sees an evolving God and I see God evolving all creations. Sort of two sides of the same coin.

dhw: So an inactive, evolving, learning, “becoming” God is equal to a God who is active and in total control and knows everything in advance, whereas a God who is active but also capable of learning and experimenting is weak and namby-pamby. I find your standards very confusing.

An evolving God is not 'inactive'. You are confused because of your view of whom God might be.


Insect smell receptors

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Wrong take. The insects are given an amazing mechanism that can learn to know odors. No intelligence involved.

dhw: A mechanism that can endow patterns with meaning through learning and experience is what some of us would call a brain, which produces natural intelligence. If we humans were to create a machine that could endow patterns with meaning through learning and experience, we would call it artificial intelligence.

How much conceptual thought does AI do? Odor recognition is analysis, nothing more.


Plant cell regulators
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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: And babies are born without immunities, but with an immune system that can learn automatically to fight any invaders. To fill that immunity gap, breast milk contains IGG general antibodies in colostrum, present for 48 hours in the first days of feeding, but only that long. God has arranged that open pores in the baby's intestine allow the giant IGG to enter the blood stream for that period and then they close because of their inappropriate size. Solution first. Irreducible complexity requiring a designer.

dhw: You have forgotten that there is a process called evolution. The immune system is the product of millions and millions of years' development as cells have learned to cope with new problems. It all goes back to the bacteria from which we have evolved and which themselves had to learn to cope with problems as and when they arose. Are you now saying that your God created human baby immune systems “de novo”, or do you believe that they developed in and were passed on by our ancestors during the process called evolution?

The rudiments of our immune system came through God's evolutionary process.


Cosmic filaments spin
QUOTE: "Next, researchers want to tackle what makes these giant space structures spin, and how they get started. “What is that process?” Libeskind says. “Can we figure it out?'”

DAVID: At least the cosmologists are like dhw, who wants to know why God so many strange things in making the universe. They will find a cause and probably a reason. God knows what He is doing even if dhw doesn't think so. For life the Earth's rotation seems necessary.

dhw: I have no doubt that if God exists, he knew what he was doing. Even if, in the case of life forms, he was experimenting, he would still have known that he was experimenting and why. The cosmologists don’t seem to mention God. We all know that effects must have a cause, and that will be true even if there is no God. And so if the cosmologists do find the cause, I doubt very much that all of them will then cry “Hallelujah!” and rush off to church.

You know science uses science and not God. The complexity of God's works requires Him as designer.


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