Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, July 09, 2021, 11:28 (404 days ago) @ David Turell

Dualism versus materialism again
DAVID: […] Malfunctioning neurons are material and misfiring receivers of an immaterial consciousness. Thus two-part dualism. Neurons don't create consciousness as dhw seems to imply.

dhw: I do not “seem to imply” – I state categorically that any instance in which materials or material actions affect someone’s character and consequent behaviour […] can be taken as evidence for materialism. Conversely, I would argue that many psychic experiences, including NDEs, can be taken as evidence for dualism. You simply refuse to recognize that in nearly all our discussions, there are opinions which are just as understandable as your own.

DAVID: I'll keep refuting your approach.

My approach presents both sides, and your method of “refuting” it is to repeat one side as if it were a fact. (See bold above)

Ant raft movements
DAVID: […] Bridges and rafts are dependent on individual specific limited actions. That creates the swarm activities as interpreted by humans watching.

As in any team, individuals perform their own role in a communal activity. No one would deny this! The question is how the strategy first came about! I propose that the individuals pooled their intelligences (= “swarm intelligence”) to work it out, and once they had found the solution, the strategy was passed on to subsequent generations. I find this more convincing than your divine 3.8-billion-year-old programme for ant speciation followed by ant-rafting, or your God giving courses for ants on the art of bridge-building. Do you have any other theories to explain the origin of such strategies?

Bacterial motors 1
DAVID: I know the theory I deleted. It is mental invention of possibilities without a smidgen of proof. All we can know for fact is a complete amazing machine that works and is obviously designed.

dhw: No one can “prove” that there is an eternal, sourceless, conscious mind called God, or if there is, there is not a smidgen of proof that it designed the amazing machine in one go, whereas so many other amazing machines developed in stages. If you are going to start playing the “proof” game, then all we can know for a fact is that there is a machine that works.

DAVID: And thinking humans can recognize it was designed.

Thinking humans can theorize that a God preprogrammed or dabbled the machine, motorless bacteria underwent random mutations, or intelligent motorless bacteria came up with a good idea. No proof available for any of these theories, so there is no point in your dismissing those that differ from yours just because there isn’t a smidgen of proof.

Root microbiome helps plants
Dealt with under “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature”.

One lubricant beats Teflon
DAVID: Nature is always way ahead of us. Or should I say God?

dhw: Why would your God, whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch, specially design the Zophobas morio beetle’s wonderful lubricant? Since when was the Zophobas morio or its lubricant on your lunch menu?

DAVID: God prefers superb design. Maybe He shows off now and then.

How very human of him.:-)

Phase precession
DAVID: Just to show all of us the brain is not a computer as AI folks are learning. Note we find early evidence of these systems in lesser brained animals. In evolution early working designs appear later in more advanced designs in more advanced forms. dhw take note.

dhw: That is indeed how evolution works. […] For some reason, you think EVERY advance (not just the human brain) from bacteria to every life form plus lunch plus strategy plus natural wonder that ever existed required a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or, alternatively, a personal dabble by your God. A simpler theistic explanation would be that your God endowed cells [...] with the intelligence to do their own designing. I think we’ve had this discussion before

DAVID: You just raised it again. I'm just pointing out how evolution must work, which you reject when you tell me my theory is irrational.

I have just agreed with your statement that “early working designs appear later in more advanced designs in more advanced forms”. Your irrational theory is that every single design and advancement was specially created as part of your God’s one and only goal to design humans (plus lunch), although 99% of them had no connection with humans (plus lunch).

Far out cosmology
DAVID: […] The oddball activities in the universe, for which dhw wonders about for God's reasons, all have purpose. Just wait for research to explain. Just because we don't know all the answers is no reason for doubt.

We don’t “know” any of the answers to the big questions, which is why discussions and new theories continue to emerge. Not knowing the answers is no reason for faith in one possible answer and rejection of every other possible answer.

QUOTE: "It’s not yet clear if otters inherit this trait or develop it with exposure to cold water.” (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: How did otters develop this? Hypothermia kills quickly. Two possibilities: otters developed in warm seas and changed/adapted as seas cooled. Or God designed them that way.

A theist might suggest that God designed the intelligent cells that designed the adaptation.

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