Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, September 03, 2021, 10:49 (340 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have now understood that when you say autonomy, you mean following instructions.

DAVID: Exactly.

I hope you will understand why it is difficult to hold discussions with someone who uses terms that mean the exact opposite of their normal definitions. But perhaps this explains why some of your other arguments about one goal and individual design and good intentions and time seem so illogical.

New amphibious whale
dhw: […] Why could your God not have “straightly” designed the intelligence of cells? And why do you think he was incapable of making them intelligent enough to form all the combinations that have resulted in all the different life forms, including humans?

DAVID: A designer directly using His mental powers to design is much easier to accomplish than teaching cells how to design a required design to cover future needs for the next species.

Who said anything about teaching cells how to design a required design? That means giving them instructions!!! Intelligent cells would work out their own designs – not to cover future needs, but to respond to current needs! Why do you think your God is incapable of designing such cells?

Introducing the brain
QUOTES: Both kinds of neurons receive incoming signals and, based on that information, decide whether to send their own signal to other neurons.
In most of the networks, that equated to about 1,000 artificial neurons for just one biological neuron.

DAVID: This study from AI shows how very complex a single neuron is in its potential activities. Not by chance.

I’d say that with all these potential activities, the neuron needs a fair degree of intelligence to decide what signals to send to the other members of the cell community. Wouldn’t you?

Back to New amphibious whale
dhw: As for “you have no idea why we are here”, do please tell us. In the past you have suggested that he wanted us to recognize and admire his work, and perhaps to have a relationship with us. Nice and human. I’ve suggested that maybe he created all life forms because he enjoys creating and watching his creations, and a free-for-all is more interesting than a puppet show, and the human free-for-all is the most interesting one to watch. But you dismiss the theory because my human proposal is somehow more human than your human proposal. Anyway, do please give us your other reasons for why we are here.

DAVID: It all revolves about our unique exceptional mental powers, which mirror His in some way and for His own reasons He created us. And then we guess at His reasons as you describe. I see His obvious purposeful activity, and try to go no further.

Nice to hear that our powers “mirror” his in some way. I’ll add that to my collection. You told me I had no idea why we are here, and so I asked you for his purpose, and you tell me he’s purposeful! The question is WHAT is the purpose, so what was the point of you telling me I have no idea, when I keep offering you ideas and you refuse to do so?

DAVID: If you are correct, it is counter to today's linguist theories. I can only read the opinions along with yours.

dhw: It is obvious from the article I quoted that there are different theories. I do wish you would tell us why you disagree with the above observations instead of suggesting that today’s linguists are all Chomsky fans. Have you done a survey?

DAVID: We've covered the arguments about the importance of recursion, and the one language without it.

No we haven’t, and what on earth has that got to do with your claim that today’s linguists agree with Chomsky that the brain is “hard-wired for syntax”? Some do and some don’t. Now please tell us why you disagree with the “copying” theory so vividly demonstrated by feral children.

dhw: Are you really saying that our brains have raced infinitely far ahead of all other brains because you can’t think of any reason why they should? How about the idea that our greater intelligence initially gave us better chances of survival? And are you suggesting that our brains “appeared” out of nowhere, or do you accept the theory of common descent, i.e. that our brains developed from earlier brains?

DAVID: Same old problem. Our ape ancestors prove our brain was not needed or necessary naturally to drive evolution.

Since bacteria have survived so successfully, there was no necessity for any other life form, but since we both believe in common descent, may I suggest that all subsequent life forms evolved by improving their chances of survival through different combinations of their cells? That would also have been the “good natural reason” for our amazing brains: some apes found new ways of surviving while others went on happily surviving with what they had.

Junk DNA
dhw: [..] every time you mention “junk”, I have to point out that if all of DNA is useful, it simply provides a demonstration of natural selection at work, since NS would remove anything that wasn’t useful.

DAVID: We still have about 20% junk, not removed.

So what does that prove?

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