More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Thursday, November 25, 2021, 09:16 (185 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your position is your God changes legs to flippers, thereby creating a new species. The change is designed to improve chances of survival, but apparently survival is NOT the purpose. God’s purpose is to design humans and their food (you forgot the food), and so changing legs to flippers, like every act of speciation and every natural wonder, is a step on the way to designing humans and their food, although the majority had nothing to do with humans and their food. And for good measure, flippers instead of legs are part of progress towards greater complexity (you forgot that too).

DAVID: Yes, I have God in charge.

And you haven't a clue why he would choose your idea of his method to fulfil your idea of his purpose. But at least you believe that your God designed flippers in order to improve the pre-whale’s chances of survival in new surroundings. I think that is enough to demonstrate that survival is the purpose of the new structures that constitute speciation. Whether speciation itself has a purpose - and what that purpose might be - is another matter.

Genome complexity
DAVID: And what is the source of the universe that seems to have a beginning? No wonder Einstein fought against it!! It raises your question to requiring an answer.

dhw: The answer has to be that the “beginning” (the big bang, if it happened) was not the beginning, because nothing can come of nothing. And so instead of a sourceless conscious mind, we have a sourceless mass of matter and energy forever readjusting itself.

DAVID: Back to Einstein. Eternal something from ?????? nothing??? Not a solution, if one exists.

Of course it’s not a solution. That’s why we have the alternatives: an eternal, first-cause conscious mind, or an eternal first-cause mindless mass of matter and energy.

How T cells are triggered

DAVID: Shapiro, whose bacterial findings I accept fully, studied free-living bacteria, nothing beyond that in the process of evolution to more complexity. He theorized all of evolution might work that way. And you have swallowed that as probable fact since it helps you avoid God arranging for automaticity as He has done in His biological designs.

dhw: We're talking about cellular intelligence, and I’m sorry you think Shapiro would have formulated his theory without studying the work of other scientists in the field, and that you think they are as ignorant as you think he is. I haven’t swallowed the theory, but I consider it far more reasonable than your own. And yes, it helps me to avoid the illogicality of yours – ... and (theistic version) by substituting your God “arranging for” cells to possess an autonomous ability to do their own designing.

DAVID: Your insistence upon cell intelligence and your previous reference to panpsychism show you recognize mental activity is obviously present in our universe and manages the designs we see. Our only difference is how we describe the source. You see it scattered among all living matter, source unknown, while I offer a working mind.

I do not insist on cell intelligence, but I do strongly object to your attempts at belittling Shapiro and all those scientists in the field who share his opinion that cells are intelligent. Of course at some stage in eternity there has been mental activity, but we have no idea when it began or in what form. You always forget that as an agnostic I do NOT reject your theory of a working mind (God). I present the alternatives, but am unable to choose between them.

Reality: God is a mathematician
DAVID: "Is God a Geometer" is a book published many years ago recognizing this approach. Our minds can see the inherent conceptual math which this article shows is a necessary part of reality. But this does not mean reality is psychic.

dhw: I would suggest that the world has many parts, and we can chuck in as many nouns as we like and they will all fit: I shall now, as usual, apply for a grant to investigate what part is played in the real world by matter, mathematics, information, consciousness, geography, geology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biology, panpsychism, the human imagination and bubblegum. I hope I can rely on your support.

DAVID: I will always support you, as you study how information runs the universe.

Strange. I thought you thought your God ran the universe. But I welcome your support.

Theoretical origin of life
DAVID: note in the bold the miraculous appearance of necessary parts of the protocell. The obvious objections were quite strong, but note the final paragraph trying to justify this foolishness.

I may apply for another grant to support my research on the origin of life. In the course of my long life, I have collected a whole herd of bleating explanations, and if I can get the requisite funding, I shall publish them under the title The Origin of Wool by Means of Unnatural Reflection.


This may be my last post for a few days. My elder son has terminal cancer, and has just had an emergency operation on his brain. I will try to keep up or catch up as and when I can.

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