More "miscellany" PART ONE (General)

by dhw, Thursday, May 25, 2023, 09:01 (7 days ago) @ David Turell


The human brain

DAVID: You admit our brain has been complexifying for 315,000 years, handling complex jobs now, not anticipated at the time. That requires starting up new circuits of many neurons that, of course, exist in the brain.

Yes, new circuits for existing neurons. The existing neurons were not “excess”.

DAVID: The issue is simple. How many neurons are available for new circuits. At some point not enough neurons will limit complexification.

Good. You are beginning to cotton on. Past brains reached a point where there were not enough neurons for the complexification that was needed, and so the brain needed more neurons – hence enlargement.

DAVID: Our brain was given 'enough' neurons to provide enough networks for 315,000 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Logic refutes your objection. Our brain came with necessary extra size and neurons.

Yes, our brain came with the necessary extra size and neurons to meet the new requirements, after which it went on complexifying, and it has continued to complexify. The extra size and neurons were not excessive, and the brain was not oversized. Thank you for confirming what I have been repeating over and over again. Perhaps you will add that it makes perfect sense to assume that in the past, the additional neurons were needed in response to a new requirement, and were not added so that they could lie around doing nothing until they were needed.

Cellular intelligence: the cancer problem

DAVID: It seems you have forgotten cancer cells are not normal living cells, but cells gone wild in uncontrolled growth. They have twisted their lives because their DNA is contaminated with bad mutations.

dhw: It seems you have forgotten your statement that “this is obvious evidence of cellular intelligence in cancer cells”. They are living cells, whose mutations are bad for us, but good for them, and they use their intelligence to pursue their wicked ways. Why must baddies be intelligent and goodies can’t be intelligent? If your God is first cause, where did the baddies’ intelligence come from? If your God is all-powerful, all-knowing and in full control, why did he give them their intelligence, and why can’t he control them?

DAVID: Cancer cells are abnormal and do not represent all living cells. They got away from God's controlling instructions, and we can debate how that happens under God's watch. (In your second post, you accidentally attributed this comment to me.

It seems you have once again forgotten your statement that “this is obvious evidence of cellular intelligence in cancer cells”. So now we have intelligent baddies, but the goodies are automatons. “Got away”? Are you saying, then, that your all-powerful, all-knowing, always-in-control God did not design their intelligence, but somehow they managed to outwit him because he messed things up and…what?...accidentally made them intelligent without realizing it? Yes indeed, we can debate how such a ridiculous combination of ideas could possibly be true.

DAVID: Read this:

DAVID: the article then has a long section describing drugs that can specifically damage these oncogenes. God did not make these genes. They appear from accidental changes in DNA, i.e., random accidental mutations. My view is these genes represent specific instructions, not intelligence. It appears as if cancers are intelligent, because of the….

That is where your sentence ends. But the gist is clear. Last week it was obvious that cancer cells were intelligent, and this week they only appear to be intelligent. The article sheds no light whatsoever on your shilly-shallying, and you have avoided answering all my questions.:-(

Role of the centromere

DAVID: Buehler's old light microscope observations are supplanted by todays' advanced methods of observation of much more than centromeres.

dhw: […] As regards the theory of cellular intelligence, you keep agreeing that the behaviour looks intelligent from outside, and the odds are 50/50. Have modern instruments disproved it?

DAVID: The new studies show such complex reactions, they must be designed.

dhw: You can say the same about the old discoveries. But we are talking about whether or not cells are autonomously intelligent. Have new studies shown that they are not?

DAVID: My view is the massive complexity requires a designer.

Yes, I know. Buehler’s book explains why he believes in cellular intelligence, and you have dismissed it because you think that new instruments have shown things he couldn’t see. And so I’m asking if the new instruments have disproved his theory?

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