More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Thursday, August 04, 2022, 09:29 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

Just right oxygen
Michel Denton's view:

dhw: A vivid example of how life forms (in this case humans) use their intelligence to exploit environmental conditions. I see our technical advances as an illustration of the same processes that led to speciation: the cells/cell communities use their intelligence to invent new methods of survival (innovation) just as we use ours to improve our living conditions. But our uniquely complex form of intelligence has, of course, taken us far beyond the need to improve our chances of survival.

DAVID: But you still cannot tell me how cells got so bright.

dhw: See above. And you are still avoiding discussing the logic of the argument.

DAVID: There is no logic except obvious design requires a designer.

I have used Denton’s example as an illustration of how intelligence (whether human or cellular) uses new conditions to improve chances of survival. You seem to think that your God is incapable of giving his creations the ability to do their own designing, although you have example after example of this autonomous ability.

DAVID: We all know living organisms can do minor adaptations, but that does not answer the question of how full speciation occurs.

dhw: It is a theory to explain speciation. Just as your belief in your God’s 3.8-billion-year-old book of instructions or performance of endless individual operations on countless individual organisms (= dabbling) is a theory. Now please tell me why you find my theory illogical.

DAVID: It assumes cell committees are brilliant designers of new species with complex altertions.

It proposes that cell communities pool their intelligence to do just that. If your God can endow humans with the autonomous ability to design rockets to the moon, why do you think he is incapable of endowing cells with the autonomous ability to change their structures in order to cope with or exploit new conditions?

Whale series: how they see

DAVID: Conceiving of where food might be is conceptual thinking.

dhw: If you can’t find food in your immediate surroundings, I’d have thought it was obvious that you'd look for it further afield. Our fellow creatures are not so stupid as to say to themselves: “No food, so I’ll have to stay here and starve to death.”

DAVID: An exact example of conceptualization!

If you think that hunting for food entails conceptualization, then of course animals can conceptualize. No problem there.

Big bang

QUOTE: More than most laymen, physicists are floored by the idea of the Big Bang. We know too much not to feel mystified. Let me make sure we all understand what we do not understand. The universe began as an isolated event. So far, so good. But it was not an event in either space or time. Time and space began at the Big Bang. There was no time before time began.
Once this central absurdity is accepted….

dhw: Why should we accept such a central absurdity?

DAVID: Remember Guth et. al. made the same point mathematically. With a universe popping into existence there must be a cause that can create something from nothing. Science gives us nonnatural event process. Why not consider a supernatural one?

dhw: We agreed to disagree with Guth et al, and since nobody can possibly know what preceded our universe, it is just as reasonable/unreasonable to consider a natural process (endless combinations of first cause energy and matter) as it is to consider a first cause supernatural one.

DAVID: I don't disagree with Guth et al. Both Guth and this professor agree we appeared from nothing.

And you disagreed, even to the point of allowing for the possibility that your God (who must have existed before the Big Bang in order to engineer it) might well have created other universes before ours (and time = the sequence of before/now/after). Please let’s not repeat that recent discussion. Meanwhile, I like this professor’s description of the current interpretation of events as “an absurdity”. I always find it hard to accept absurdities.

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