Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, July 12, 2021, 10:47 (200 days ago) @ David Turell

Ant raft movements
DAVID: As I have studied ant articles, as in describing termite mounds, what I think God designed was the organization of those mounds, while rafts and bridges are simple results of individual ants limited responses, clearly described in the articles, over-emphasized by human interpretations.

dhw: You yourself regard the rafts and bridges as “wonders”, but when authors attribute them to “swarm intelligence”, they become simple responses.

DAVID: I view the issue as human interpretation in which we assume a lot about the ants.

I know you do. You cannot stand the thought of tiny organisms being intelligent, although their behaviour and their astonishing “wonders” are evidence to the contrary. Instead you insist that all their achievements were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or taught to them in special classes by your dabbling God.

Bacterial motors 1
DAVID: So you propose little minds can make great designs. Not logical.

dhw: Are you talking about size or quality? Of course that is what I'm proposing, in both senses...why do you think he is incapable of creating little animal minds that can build their own little cities and their own little rockets to “fly” them to the nearest source of food?

DAVID: You are using the anything is possible argument. I don't think those little brains are that bright.

I know you don’t. "Large organisms chauvinism" (Shapiro). See above for your alternative explanations.

Phase precession

DAVID: The non-sequiturs are your invention, slicing and dicing evolution, while it is obviously a continuous process. God evolved us from bacteria is a simple concept, easy to understand.

dhw: It is indeed a simple concept to understand. The non-sequiturs are that God only wanted to design humans and lunch (= evolve us from bacteria), and therefore he designed all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. And you don’t know why.

DAVID: Same totally illogical complaint. Evolution from bacteria to us is shown in the known history you seem reject. My God creates this history you reject.

Evolution from bacteria to every other life form that ever existed is shown in the known history, but you claim that every other life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” plus their lunch, and you have no idea why your God chose specially to design all those that had no connection with humans and their lunch. That is why you continue to edit your theory by leaving out those parts of it which make no sense even to you.

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

DAVID: Yes, the possibility of gradual epigenetic adaptation was presented by me above.

dhw: Does your “yes” mean that at last you agree that epigenetic adaptation is brought about by the intelligence of cells?

DAVID: Cells are simply following instructions for epigenetic changes.

dhw: The suggestion was that intelligent cells designed the adaptations, and you said yes. Now you are saying no. Please clarify what your "yes" refers to.

DAVID: My statement just above, my always view.

So it’s yes, your God designed the intelligent cells that designed the adaptations, but no, he didn’t design intelligent cells, he gave them instructions on what to do. I find your logic pretty baffling.

Dying cells protect living ones
dhw: Self-organizing and communicating with one another. Some would say these are signs of intelligence.

DAVID: Or intelligently designed processes.

dhw: I can understand the argument that the tools for self-organization and communication may have been designed, but perhaps you can explain how do-it-yourselfers’ actions, plus all the necessary messages between all the doers, can have been designed beforehand. The article itself says there is no need for a conductor to give instructions – so that would leave you with your 3.8-billion-year-programme for every dying cell to come. A little far-fetched even for you?

DAVID: Your imagination of my God is He cannot program as He wishes the intelligently designed instructions and processes. Remember God is the designer of reality.

For argument’s sake, I am leaving aside my agnosticism and discussing a possible God’s possible purpose and nature. In my view, a possible God would be perfectly capable of designing instructions and programmes etc. But if his one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch, I don’t understand why he would first programme or dabble [= individually design] vast numbers of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. I even doubt whether the current weaverbird’s nest and ant bridges and termite mounds and the Covid virus are essential for the existence and nourishment of us humans. And so I propose that a possible God might possibly have given life forms and viruses the ability to design their own means of survival. But “your imagination” of a possible God is that he cannot or would not design anything with an inventive mind of its own, apart from us humans. Why not?

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