Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, August 13, 2021, 10:44 (71 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I don’t know why you keep inserting “instructions” – which at one time you called algorithms, which are instructions designed to solve particular problems (the exact opposite of an autonomous ability to solve problems). But since you now say that what you mean is your God gave cells the autonomous ability to come up with new solutions to new problems, we are indeed in agreement…

DAVID: We do not agree because you twist my explanations. The only reason the cells seem to act autonomously is because they can, based on the mechanisms God coded/designed into them. As a result they recognize foreign invaders and can produce killing antibodies, all automatically, no thought involved, just God's.

The twisting is entirely yours. You wrote: “The immune cells have a God-given ability to recognize invaders and a God-given ability to make antibodies to fight them”. You agreed enthusiastically that “he gave our cells the ABILITY to recognize each new threat and to respond to it by creating new antibodies de novo without him having to intervene”. An ABILITY to do something independently of outside intervention is the opposite of automatically following instructions, “no thought involved”! The autonomous ABILITY to recognize threats, process information, make decisions and produce new ideas to meet new requirements, can be summed up in one word: intelligence.

dhw: I keep repeating that it is the QUEST for survival that leads to the changes in anatomy which ARE speciation, no matter how many exclamation marks you use.

DAVID: I'm delighted only you know how speciation occurs. When is your breakthrough book coming out?

dhw: You keep moaning that the role played by the quest for survival is pure Darwinism, so I really don’t think I am all alone.

DAVID: You are in bed with the committed Darwinists, who connive to make it work.

Then stop pretending that I am alone in my proposal that the quest for survival is the purpose behind the changes that lead to speciation. What on earth is there to “connive” about? Even you admit that when your God changed pre-whale legs into flippers, the purpose was to enable the animals to improve their chances of survival in the water. You simply refuse to acknowledge the logical conclusion that if changes take place in order to improve chances of survival, and those changes result in speciation, then speciation (evolution) is a direct result of the quest for survival.

Retinal design allows prediction of movement
dhw: I wonder how many even of your ID-ers would support your theory.

DAVID: Irreducible complexity (IC) is their confirming theory.

dhw: That “confirms” their theory that life forms must have been designed. Now please tell us if they reject the idea that different degrees of vision etc. developed gradually, and if they accept the idea that your God designed all major mutations before they were required.

DAVID: IC means all at once!!!

So once more: do your ID-ers believe that different degrees of vision etc. were all created at once? And do they believe that your God designed all major mutations before they were required?

Back to theodicy: fixing genome mistakes
dhw: I really can’t see any good intentions behind the idea that your God designed bad bacteria (which caused untold damage to life forms long before humans were around), so that humans could come along and solve some of the problems while others continue to cause untold suffering.

DAVID: Bacteria are doing good everywhere, remember?! Only in teh wrong places are they bad. I view the good as substantially outweighing the bad.

The proportion of good to bad does not explain why your God specially designed the bad, and that is the problem of theodicy.

Neil Thomas
DAVID: Your rigid mindset is showing. Darwin's modifications show his response to the backlash he experienced, chronicled at great length by Thomas.

dhw: Many of Darwin’s arguments were opposed because of religious prejudice. He has been vindicated by the fact that so many religious folk now accept his theory of common descent (as opposed to separate creation) and realize that it does NOT exclude God as the creator. Why do you call agnosticism a “rigid mindset”, when it allows for the possibility of God and of no God, whereas atheists and theists rigidly reject one or other of those possibilities?

DAVID: Do you recognize how rigidly you oppose a God of purpose?

I certainly don’t. I have told you over and over again that all my versions of God are just as purposeful as yours – but I do not accept your rigid theory that your God’s one and only purpose was to design humans plus food, and therefore he designed countless life forms and foods that had no connection with his one and only purpose. And once more, why do you consider open-minded agnosticism to be more rigid than fixed belief in God or no God?

Smart animals
dhw: But we should never underestimate the intelligence and sentience of our fellow animals.

DAVID: You should not overestimate as a way of reducing our enormous difference.

I doubt if anyone on this planet would deny the enormous difference. But that should not blind us to the intelligence and sentience of our fellow animals.


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