Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, July 04, 2021, 09:21 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

Big brain evolution
DAVID: As usual, wrong. Cells are not the source of consciousness, but the receivers. […]

dhw: […] I don’t know how you can claim with such authority that cells are NOT the source of consciousness, when there is also evidence that any number of material factors can change the identity and behaviour – and hence the consciousness – of those affected.

DAVID: You miss the obvious point that damaged brain cells will not receive or use consciousness properly.

So if the brain cells of a normally placid man become diseased, are you telling us that the placid conscious "soul" tells him not to beat his wife, but the cells have a mind of their own, misread the received message and decide otherwise? Ugh, I wonder what his "soul" is thinking all this time! (I’m defending the case for materialism because as usual you only see one side of the argument. I remain neutral, as I’m fully aware of the evidence for dualism.)

Neutron star black hole merge
dhw: You accept that your God can create a system (the mechanics of the universe) in which he does not control the consequences of his design. I have proposed the same for evolution: once he has set the process in motion, he leaves it to run itself.

DAVID: As usual a directionless purposeless God not in exact control of evolution, which is required to achieve purpose.[…]

dhw: You refuse to consider enjoyment of creation and interest in an ever changing bush of life as his possible purpose, and you refuse to consider the possibility that autonomous beings might be more interesting than a puppet show in which he pulls all the strings. Your refusal, however, does not make such a God directionless or purposeless.

DAVID: No. it makes Him very human, not God-like with very human-like intentions.

Thank you for withdrawing your silly argument that my proposal makes him directionless and purposeless. No thanks for your assumption that God is not God-like unless he conforms to your own humanized concept of him, as summarized yesterday:

dhw: How can you possibly talk about purposes without “humanizing” him? And do you honestly imagine your God as an emotionless mind simply creating without any feelings – although elsewhere you have expressed your certainty that he enjoys creating and is interested in what he creates? When pushed, you even come up with possible “humanized” reasons why he wanted to design humans, [to recognize his works, and to have a relationship with him] and you have him kindly providing possible antidotes to the diseases his specially created viruses and bacteria have created - because he has "good intentions".
You object to my "humanizing" him because some of my humanizations conflict with your own, though you can find no fault in the logic which explains those parts of your theories which you can't explain.

DAVID: Your humanized God has logical intentions.

Correct. This in my view makes my humanized God considerably more believable than yours, which leaves you with no idea how to explain your interpretation of his intentions and means of fulfilling them.

Ant raft movements
dhw: Why are you so averse to the idea of your God giving ants the intelligence to analyze, create and pass on concepts? […] What is your alternative? Preprogramming 3.8 billion years ago, or God popping in to give courses in bridge-building? […]

DAVID: […] You still miss the point of my answers to your questions re' ants. Each individual ant has a limited program of action and it is those actions that create the swarms and the bridges. Stated by studies' authors!

Stated by the authors:
QUOTE: Alone, a fire ant is nothing spectacular. But lump them together, and the insects behave with what is called swarm intelligence; individuals work as a team, obeying simple rules to give rise to far more complex collective behavior.

Even your authors call it “swarm intelligence”, which covers their behaviour after the strategy has been invented. I am simply proposing that “swarm intelligence” devised the simple rules in the first place, when ants were first confronted with the problem of the gap. Now please answer my questions.

Heme
dhw: I have already agreed that the complexity of living designs requires a designing mind or minds, but I distinguish between the origin of life and the process of evolution. I propose that the latter is carried out by intelligent cells (designing minds), but their origin remains a mystery. I understand why they and their possible intelligence are so complex that they can inspire faith in the existence of the designing mind you call God, and I have no objections to the argument itself. […]

DAVID: You must split origin of life from evolution to avoid God. Darwin did the same. They are a continuum.

How can it possibly be “to avoid God”, when I am proposing that the originator of the cellular intelligence might have been God? As for the agnostic Darwin, he could see “no good reason why the views given in this book should shock the religious feelings of any one” (On the Origin of Species…). Please stop pretending that a theistic alternative to your version of evolution and God makes the proposer an atheist.


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