Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, July 16, 2021, 13:02 (195 days ago) @ David Turell

Bacterias’ role in human biomes
Shifted to Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

Proper Big Bang view
DAVID: If we are sure the universe had a beginning,therefore we have absolute proof of God. […] Combined with the designed complexity of living biochemistry, the probability of His existence becomes very strong.[dhw’s bold]

dhw: […] We don’t know if the Big Bang happened, and we don’t know what preceded it if it did happen. If it did, I have no idea how you can possibly claim it provides absolute proof of God. […]Why do you think a sourceless conscious before is possible but a sourceless unconscious before is impossible? But yes, the complexity of biochemistry is indeed a good argument for the existence of a designing mind or minds.[…]

DAVID: Back to design. Only a designing mind could have created our reality. You have, previously, raised the issue of a chance mulling together of energies to do it.

dhw: I challenged your statement that the BB provides absolute proof of God. How can it possibly do so? But I agreed with your good design argument. So you proceed to ignore my bolded question, and repeat the design argument! Yet more dodging!

DAVID: Your favorite 'dodging' complaint. You accept highly complex designs and then somehow illogically propose 'a sourceless unconscious' is possible. Anything is possible, but not every possibility is logical as you then note: "the complexity of biochemistry is indeed a good argument for the existence of a designing mind or minds". You just sit on your fence wanting it both ways!!!

The design argument was your SECOND “proof” of God. Once more, I accept the logical proposal that biological complexity provides a “very strong” argument for your God’s existence. I do not accept that the Big Bang provides “absolute proof” of God because nothing can provide “absolute proof” unless he pops in to introduce himself to us. We don’t know the source of our own life and consciousness, and so you propose sourceless life and consciousness as the source of life and consciousness. I do not “want” anything both ways. I find both explanations equally unconvincing. More fool me, as one must be closer to the truth than the other, but that does not justify your claim that if the BB happened, you have “absolute proof” that your guess is correct. You don’t.

Humans correcting errors
QUOTE: The results also suggest the brain has an unexpected ability to make new connections once a missing enzyme is restored." (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: we have the brains to help when molecular mistakes happen.

Yes indeed. Aren’t you impressed by the way in which the cells of the brain are able to adjust themselves to new factors? Or do you think it’s part of a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for brain adjustment, or your God dabbling?

Detergent defenses
QUOTE: “'The really interesting finding is how the APOL3 is able to distinguish between bacterial membranes and host membranes,” she says. That evolution found such an elegant way to control this powerful tool “is a beautiful thing.'”

DAVID: As usual, an attacking molecule must come designed from the beginning with protections for the cells that produce the molecule. Only design of the whole mechanism can produce this.

Strange comment. The article suggests that this was an evolutionary process. Sounds to me like a case of intelligent cells being confronted with new problems and using all their components to work out a solution.

Slime mold
"'Our discovery of this slime mold's use of biomechanics to probe and react to its surrounding environment underscores how early this ability evolved in living organisms, and how closely related intelligence, behavior, and morphogenesis are. In this organism, which grows out to interact with the world, its shape change is its behavior. Other research has shown that similar strategies are used by cells in more complex animals, including neurons, stem cells, and cancer cells. This work in Physarum offers a new model in which to explore the ways in which evolution uses physics to implement primitive cognition that drives form and function."

DAVID: this study shows the slime mold can sense the stresses and respond. I think the response are automatic to what is sensed. As the authors note an early step in setting up responses in more complex cells and structures.

The authors could hardly make it clearer that they attribute changes in form and function to intelligence and “primitive cognition”. One up for Shapiro.

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