Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, August 14, 2021, 07:10 (367 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: The twisting is entirely yours....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.

DAVID: Same 50/50 appearance discussion is back. It is all automatic molecular reactions. Organic molecules have thousands of amino acids with regions of negative and positive electrical charges, hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, and these electrophysical characteristics influence all the proper foldings, and all orchestrated by giant enzymes. A cell is a churning factory of these reactions, many of which I have shown singly in research design articles of single processes. Try and imagine thousands of these reactions going on in split-seconds constantly in each cell. This is the biochemical view of emergent life. This is what we are usually superficially discussing. At these micro-second speeds it must be automatic or the cell crashes. We have discussed this superficially in theodicy, because of the required speed God knew in advance mistakes would happen and put in editing mechanisms.

A wonderfully detailed account of how cells function in all organisms including ourselves. But biochemistry does not explain how organisms, including ourselves, recognize new situations, process information, take decisions, and come up with new solutions to new problems. Of course many actions are automatic - it's only when things go wrong or new problems arise that autonomous intelligence is required. The above account of the biochemical manifestations of an ABILITY is simply a gigantic red herring. You have agreed that your God gave cells the ABILITY to perform all the above actions. Now you are trying to backtrack and pretend that this autonomous ABILITY (without outside intervention) means obeying instructions. How can an autonomous (without outside intervention) ABILITY to respond to new problems and create new solutions mean automatically obeying instructions?

The role of survival in evolution
dhw: 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.

DAVID: Pure old Darwinism, undiluted. Survival is simply the onboard desire to stay alive. You don't know how speciation happens. My choice is God does it by design.

Nobody knows how it happens, but even if your God designs it, there is no escaping the fact that the quest to improve chances of survival leads to the physical changes which in turn lead to speciation. Please explain what other purpose you can see in your God’s transforming pre-whale legs into flippers before he told them to go into the water.

Retinal design allows prediction of movement
dhw: ..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?

DAVID: In my reading of ID, absolutely.

Please can you give us a reference from your reading where it is stated that the differences in degrees of vision, hearing and smell between different species were all designed at once, and that God performed operations on all species to change their bodies in anticipation of new conditions which did not yet exist.

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

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

DAVID: Once again, the theodicy theory I follow is so-called (by humans) bad bacteria are simply useful bacteria in the wrong place. Try having your usual E. coli in your colon enter your peritoneum. all hell breaks loose.

So your all-powerful, always-in-control God specially designed them to be good, but he designed them in such a way that he couldn’t stop them from turning bad, though he did his best, and when he failed, he left it to humans to do what he couldn’t do.

Neil Thomas
dhw: […] why do you consider open-minded agnosticism to be more rigid than fixed belief in God or no God?

DAVID: You have every right to be doubtful and I am totally comfortable in my beliefs.

So why are your fixed beliefs less rigid than my open-mindedness?

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Their tiny abilities are recognized. A billion chimps at typewriters will not produce one of your plays or even one sentence.

There is no disagreement between us.

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