Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 10:59 (333 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I know what I believe. I know your views are amorphous.

dhw: Congratulations on your knowledge of what you believe, even though you’re not sure what was planned 3.8 billion years ago, and what was dabbled. The alternative views that I present are absolutely not amorphous – they are very precise and, as you agree, totally logical. But I don’t believe or disbelieve any of them, just as I don’t believe or disbelieve in God.

DAVID: I know and your view of God describes several types.

Correct. And none of them are amorphous, and you accept that they are all logical.

Function in cells
dhw: In the quote, they say that the molecular changes are key to all cellular processes, including cell “fate determination”, which I take to mean “function”. If the article does describe how cells change their function, that would surely help us enormously in our efforts to understand how evolution happens.

DAVID: This is within single cells.

dhw: But single cells form combinations.

DAVID: Not covered in this paper.

dhw: Worth exploring, then?

DAVID: How, in theory?

If cells can change their function, it is worth considering the possibility that cell communities can autonomously change their function in response to new conditions. This is already apparent from the changes by which some organisms adapt to conditions that kill others. And so theoretically, it is possible that the cell communities not only adapt, but can also invent (i.e. change their function).

DAVID: Cells are fixed in their functions […]

dhw: But stem cells are not fixed. They can develop into different types and different organs. That is why I am suggesting that the process described above may be highly relevant to the manner in which evolution works.

DAVID: But in embryology certain stem cells are programmed to become different parts of the body or receive differing stimuli to guide their change.

Differing stimuli would be the key: changing conditions might demand or allow major changes of function.

Covid and politics
dhw: I’ve struggled through the whole article, but as is so often the case with Feser, I have difficulty putting all the bits and pieces together. There is no fixed knowledge on the best way to tackle Covid. Scientists themselves are divided. Whatever methods are used will create problems for some members of the community. It’s politicians that have to take the decisions, so of course the issues are politicized, and if scientists and politicians disagree among themselves as well as with one another, of course there is scepticism towards all of them. And that’s without even considering the rival but perfectly legitimate concerns of the economists, sociologists, educationalists and health services. It’s the usual problem: your left-wingers and your right-wingers, your believers and your unbelievers, all think they know best, and they just cannot see that there is more than one point of view on any issue that has not been definitively settled by a known truth.

DAVID: […] The problem is that liberal or conservative is in the brain of every scientist, so factual thought is constantly distorted.

If the solution to a problem, or the answer to a question, is unknown, you will get different solutions or answers – not just from liberals or conservatives, theists and atheists, but also from many other perspectives, as listed above. Until there is actual proof, it takes a good pair of blinkers for anyone to assume that theirs is the right solution/answer.

Consciousness: a universal mind?
DAVID: And my approach is we receive the mechanism of consciousness from the universal consciousness for our brains to use. There is an article that the brain does this as a transducer, an interesting comment.

Dualists believe that the brain “transduces” messages from the soul, which is part of the universal consciousness, and materialists believe that the brain is both the source of the message and of its “transduction”. I’m afraid the article hasn’t enlightened me!

DAVID: The most efficient flying predator known:

Different wing muscle controls allows flying backward 360 degree compound eyes and many other wonderful engineering.

DAVID: about 15 minutes is worth it.

It certainly is! Thank you, as always, for these wonderful wonders!

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