Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 09:15 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

Opossum
dhw: I agree that my own proposal (the first opossum to use the strategy was either very clever, or discovered it by accident, and then passed it on to others who passed it on...) in no way fits yours [preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or the result of your God giving personal tuition to that first opossum]. But I have to admit, I actually find it more believable than your theories!

dhw: This is a constant thread throughout our discussions on evolution. I can't help wondering if you have dropped the subject because you have realized how much more convincing my proposal is.

Ah well, I’ll keep the opossum in mind for the next time we discuss the origin of survival strategies.

DAVID: Yes we have animal bodies, but our bodies can make exceptional moves (gymnastics) and our brains are extraordinary. Stop diminishing the differences.

dhw: How can I be diminishing the differences when I say that the degree of development etc. makes us exceptional? You only want to point out the differences, while I point out the similarities and the differences. You need two things to balance, and you only want to focus on one.

DAVID: Your comparisons tend to diminish the differences.

dhw: I’ve answered above, so here are two further questions. Do you or do you not agree that in one way we are NOT exceptional, because our bodies, culture, morality, rationality and language have their origins in those of our animal ancestors? Do you or do you not agree that we ARE exceptional because we have developed all of these to a degree which is vastly greater than theirs? If you do not agree, please tell us why.

DAVID: The bold is astonishingly wrong. Each characteristic listed is vastly different at the human level. We did evolve from them so there is some thin relationship, nothing more. It is all God's fault since He evolved us from lesser forms.

I asked if you agree that we are exceptional because we have developed each of these characteristics to a degree that is vastly greater than those from which they have evolved. And you now tell me that this is totally wrong because although these characteristics evolved from those of our ancestors, they are vastly different. So your “vastly” is greater than my “vastly”, is it? This is becoming a new form of argument, as also demonstrated on the time thread. You disagree with me completely although you agree with me.

Panpsychism:
QUOTE: Future non-local quantum gravity theories and deeper understanding of what consciousness is may allow new forms of mind to emerge from networks of biological consciousnesses or that do not require matter in the first place. The upper limit of energy in the universe that can self-organize into conscious systems and networked systems of conscious systems is 100% of the energy. (David’s bold)

I am applying for a grant to investigate the future possibilities of biological and non-biological consciousnesses, and the exact proportions of the universe’s energy that may be used in these future self-organizing conscious systems, and networked systems of conscious systems, and networked networks of systems of conscious systems, and consciously networked and systematized networked consciousnesses. I hope you will support my application.

Genome complexity: does variation in species drive evolution?
QUOTE: On one hand, despite dramatic mutations in individuals’ genes and diverse environments in which they grow, members of a species develop into strikingly similar creatures.

DAVID: variation in fruit fly's wings is tiny. Darwin theory demands enough variation to allow evolution to advance to more complex forms. If the variations are this tiny, Darwin's theory is constrained. Small species adaptations are changes in degree. A completely new species is a change in kind. That possibility requires new design, not offered by the small variations seen in this study.

I’m only quoting you in order to agree with you. As the quote states explicitly, such tiny variations clearly DON’T drive evolution. But you won’t agree with my next proposal! What does drive it is the quest for survival, triggered by major changes in conditions which require or allow for major changes in the anatomy: for instance, life on land switching to life in the water, or vice versa.


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