Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 09:13 (109 days ago) @ David Turell

I summarized David’s two explanations of how plants developed heat resistance: 1) God’s 3.8-billion-year-programme for all species and all such adaptations; 2) God’s constant dabbling.

DAVID: […] You agree to design, but how about wonderment over the magic enzyme, JUMONJ2 […]

I will give you blanket agreement on wonderment at the whole of life. Let’s get back to the subject.

dhw: A theistic alternative to these two theories is that he endowed the first cells with a mechanism of almost infinite flexibility that would enable some organisms to adapt to or exploit new conditions, using their intelligence to work out suitable ways of using that mechanism. If the cells couldn’t cope, then of course the organism became extinct. I remain baffled by your firm embrace of the first two, and your outright rejection of the third.

DAVID: God has designed mechanisms of 'almost infinite flexibility'. I fully accept that. But that is not intelligence, just automatic responses to built in instructions. […]

Intelligence is what USES the mechanism! Why “built-in” instructions? Back you go to your 3.8-billion-year-old programme. You know perfectly well that the theistic version of my theory is that your God created the mechanism and gave organisms the intelligence to use it. Your only reason for rejecting this is that it does not coincide with your personal image of God, who always wishes to maintain total control over evolution.

Danish is difficult
DAVID: This still doesn't negate the theory of a universal syntax The Hawaiian language has lots of vowels all of which are pronounced. I doubt their kids have a problem.

The article has nothing to do with Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar, which as I understand it is all about grammatical structures, not vowel sounds pronounced or unpronounced.

Human evolution
DAVID: We are not chimps despite the similar DNA totals of bases:

QUOTE: "Humans and chimps diverged from a common ancestor perhaps about 7 million years ago, and their hands now look very different."

Having been to the zoo, I agree that we are not chimps, and I’m not surprised that when we and chimps diverged from an unknown common ancestor, there would have been differences between us and chimps as well as between us and the common ancestor. I’m applying for a grant to do research that will prove conclusively that whenever species diverge from other species, there are differences. I hope you will support my application.

Big brain evolution
DAVID: one gene appears to make our brain. Again, God at work? And the other issue is folks with almost no brain are normal humans with consciousness. Why? Again God at work His favorite created/evolved organisms?

One solution to the mystery of “folks with almost no brain” might be the fact that the brain, like all our organs, is a community of cells. Perhaps in some cases, the functions of the missing cells are taken over by other cells through the same process of adaptation that enables cells to change their structure in response to new conditions.

Aquatic beetle
DAVID: another weird discovery. Note the scientists try to see how the beetle fits into its econiche. dhw always tries to ignore this important aspect of all phases of past and present evolution.

Why do you spoil such fascinating articles with such silly comments? ALL organisms must fit into their econiche – if they don’t, they will not survive. And it is you who downplay the role of survival in the process of evolution. What you “always try to ignore” is the absurdity of claiming that every life form (presumably including this beetle) is or was part of your God’s one and only “goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch.

Interoception
QUOTES: “past studies suggest that those with a stronger and more stable concept of self are more entuned with their inner bodily signals, particularly their heartbeat and breath, and are less prone to sensory illusions."
"[…] we claim that it is the cyclic physiology of the viscera that provides the self-concept with a firm foundation […] We argue that this stabilizing role of interoception on the self-concept is not limited to the material self, but also extends to the social and spiritual self."
“ […] humans' abstract concept of self is not merely embodied; it is deeply embodied."

I must be exceptional. I am only “deeply” aware of my heartbeat and breath when something goes wrong. By contrast I am always deeply aware of my emotions and my responses to my environment and to other people (the social and spiritual self). I do not believe that my abstract concept of myself is given a firm foundation by awareness of my breathing and my heartbeat.

Supernova
DAVID: This discovery should reassure dhw not every event in the universe is especially designed by God. This event is an obviously natural result of His designs. Supernovas deliver the life-required elements needed for life […]

I don’t believe that every supernova delivered the elements needed for life. The concept of events that are a natural result of his designs, and are not controlled by him for the sole purpose of designing humans plus lunch, fits in perfectly with the concept of evolution as a free-for-all, in which species emerge “as a natural result of his design” of the intelligent cell. Thank you.


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