Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, June 25, 2021, 11:28 (216 days ago) @ David Turell

A.N. Whitehead
DAVID: Whitehead's God might be evolving, but His works are still the works of my God. No word of experimenting or allowing secondhand evolution with the inmates in charge of the asylum.

I didn’t say Whitehead’s God was any of the alternative Gods I am proposing. I am simply objecting to your silly dismissal of them as “weak” and “namby-pamby”, whereas you view an evolving, “becoming” God as equal to a know-it-all, control-it-all God. I would regard all the alternatives as both feasible and worthy of the utmost respect.

Insect smell receptors
dhw: Analysis and “endowing patterns with meaning through learning and experience” are hallmarks of natural intelligence.

DAVID: As a surface analysis. Intelligently-run automaticity looks exactly the same. The same 50/50.

How does an automaton create meaning through learning and experience? I am simply pointing out that the terminology of the article favours intelligence. I know you don’t.

Plant cell regulators
DAVID: The rudiments of our immune system came through God's evolutionary process.

dhw: They certainly came through the evolutionary process, so what is all this about God arranging the human baby’s solutions in advance of the problems? The human baby’s immune system is the result of a long evolutionary process in which problems arose, and solutions were found and passed on.

DAVID: As usual you skip over the complexity of the arrangement for newborn protection system. Not by chance evolution.

I have never proposed chance evolution, and I do not skip over the complexity. I am pointing out that the complexity is the result of millions of years of complexification, as the cell communities of all organisms learn to solve new problems and pass their solutions on. The difference between our theories is that you insist that your God either preprogrammed every solution to every problem 3.8 billion years ago, or is constantly present and dabbling whenever a new problem arises. I find your theory somewhat far-fetched.

Cosmic filaments spin
dhw: The question is WHY your God would do all these strange things if his one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch. Even if scientists discover the cause of the spinning effect, it will not answer dhw, who “wants to know why God [did] so many strange things” that apparently have no connection with humans and their lunch.

DAVID: The bold is your usual guesswork 'something might be wrong' or 'why do we need it?' God has his reasons, and bit by bit we figure them out.

The something that might be wrong is your inexplicable insistence that your God specially designed all these “strange things” although his one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch. We may figure out sequences of cause and effect, but if you cannot find reasons for your dislocated theory of evolution, whereas you find my own alternatives logical, you can hardly expect me to be convinced by “God has his reasons” for doing and thinking what you say he does and thinks.

Jupiter and Saturn have fevers
DAVID: The Earth is very, very special, but hope springs eternal that we inhabit something that is not so special. Why?

dhw: I would put it down to our natural curiosity rather than hope. And my own curiosity makes me wonder why, if God exists and his only purpose was to design humans and their lunch, he also designed billions and billions of other galaxies extant and extinct, which apparently have no life but simply exist until they stop existing.

DAVID: As above God has all the answers, and we try to figure them out, while you remain a doubting Thomas.

Since you have not figured out a single reason why God would act the way you think he acts, of course I doubt your theory. And please remember that my own alternatives always include the possibility of your God as the creator, so don’t try to use my agnosticism as an excuse for your rejecting them.

The Denisovan cave
QUOTE: The cave also contains sophisticated stone tools and jewelry at higher, later levels. But no modern human fossils have been found there.

What an amazing find – especially the mixed race Neanderthal/Denisovan child. This really sparks the imagination, as does the above quote. We know that Neanderthals were sophisticated, but it sounds as if the Denisovans were too. I wonder what kind of society they built together. Many thanks as always for keeping us so well informed about these discoveries.

Sleep length

QUOTE: Yet mice, and presumably humans with the short sleep gene mutation, remember quite well on little sleep, whereas most people won't remember much of anything if you deprive them of sleep," she said.

My younger son is perfectly OK with very few hours, my daughter sleeps like a log for about eight hours and is perfectly OK, and my elder son snatches a few hours when allowed to by his 4-year-old twins, but seems OK. As for me, I sometimes get about 5 hours in between trips to the bathroom, but make up for it later, stretched out on the sofa (deliberate sleep) or nodding off in front of the telly (involuntary sleep). I seem to be OK in between. Though come to think of it, I often forget...um...er...what was I going to say?

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