Cellular intelligence: (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, January 08, 2022, 12:55 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: How do you know that! My point is the current system is the only one that will work.

dhw: And how do you know that? Neither of us “knows” anything. We can only theorize. But it is absurd to argue that an all-powerful God is incapable of producing a system without errors, let alone errors which he cannot rectify. That means he is not all-powerful. Why won’t you consider the possibility that he IS all-powerful, and designed the system precisely as he WANTED it?

DAVID: I'll be blunt. You do not understand the nuances of the biochemistry that makes us live. It works and does so because trillions of reactions occur every second correctly. Unfortunately the molecules 'know' how to fold and/or join but for speeds sake do it freely, not under tight control. You've again left out all-knowing. Why? God knows what will work and what won't. It certainly works.

I’ll be equally blunt. I am not disputing the way it works! I’m disputing your insistence than an all-powerful, all-knowing God is incapable of designing a system free from what you call “errors” which he doesn’t want and can’t control. I’m suggesting that instead of him being forced by conditions of his own making, he has deliberately designed a system in which components are free to diverge from what you might call the norm. That is to say, he did not WANT every single organism to remain exactly the same, and what you call the errors are in fact the result of a far broader freedom which enables cells to diversify not only into diseases but also into new organs and organisms. I am going to give you a quote referring to DNA, which you may or may not recognize: “Those molecules literally act as if they have minds of their own…” Maybe they do.

dhw: […] the fact remains that we have cells combining and communicating for the purpose of survival, which I propose is the pattern that continues throughout evolution. Memory and long-distance communication are essential for such cooperation, and are characteristics of intelligence, no matter how simple it may be by comparison with ours.

DAVID: Yes, cells designed by God to act automatically in just those says.

The ability to absorb information, remember it, pass it on to other cells and cooperate with them, and reach decisions relating to countless different situations, may have been designed by God. It would be interesting to know what other attributes you consider necessary before you accept that the possessor is autonomously intelligent.

Zebrafish inner ear
DAVID: An experimenting God is a weak humanized form. My God sets His goals and designs them step by step.

dhw: You only allow him ONE goal (all life forms etc. are/were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus food), and you have him step by step designing every life form, econiche, natural wonder etc. that had no connection with humans plus food. I will never understand why you regard a God who experiments as “weak”, or why you complain if I attribute “human” characteristics to a God who you have said probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, whom we mimic, who loves creating and watches his creations with interest, and perhaps wants us to recognize his work and form a relationship with him.

DAVID: Same distortion of my guesses about God.

I have quoted your own words. Please explain what has been distorted.

DAVID: [..] He creates whatever He wishes for His own reasons and likely watches humans who can do all sorts of surprising things with the God-given free will since they are now unpredictable compared to all previous organisms He designed.

dhw: You are gradually beginning to cotton on. An all-powerful God does what he wants. […] So maybe he created surprising, unpredictable humans and “likely watches” them, because he wanted to create something surprising and unpredictable to watch. Ditto the rest of evolution. Welcome to one of my theories.

DAVID: I can't disagree to this form.

I’m delighted to hear it. So please stop this silly “weak”, “humanized” nonsense.

DAVID: I've always said God wanted a necessarily large bush with humans as an endpoint.

“Necessary” for what, since the majority of the branches had no connection with humans? You keep switching from “goal” and “purpose” to the word “endpoint”. If all you mean is that humans are the latest and possibly the last species your God designed, that is very different from saying that all other life forms and foods were “part of the GOAL of evolving [= designing] humans” plus our food. In any case, this is totally separate from the suggestion that your God might have wanted the whole bush, and especially humans, because “he wanted something surprising and unpredictable to watch”. Once again, I’m delighted that you agree to this “form”.

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