More "miscellany" PART ONE (General)

by dhw, Friday, May 26, 2023, 08:22 (6 days ago) @ David Turell


The human brain

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: The extra neurons were alive and likely had minor tasks for the simple times in which they arrived.

Thank you again for confirming that the extra neurons were not excessive and the brain was not oversized. Only the bold to go (new cells are added in response to and not in anticipation of new requirements), and we shall be in complete agreement! :-)

Cellular intelligence: the cancer problem

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.

dhw: 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: I do not believe chance mutations which cause cancer are within God's controls. These are the mistakes we have discussed under theodicy in the past. The mutations allowed the cancer cells to act as they do intelligently.

Now what are you saying? Normal cells are not intelligent, but chance mutations change them into intelligent entities? And your God had no control over this extraordinary metamorphosis! And as your God is all-knowing, he knew it would happen, but despite his being all-powerful, he was powerless to stop it? Well, at least that lets him off the theodicy hook, but it makes your version of him even more messy, cumbersome, inefficient, and self-contradictory.

DAVID: Truly intelligent cancer cells would have written their own nasty mutations.

I thought you thought it was their nasty, chance mutations that had made them intelligent. But of course it makes far more sense if all cells are intelligent, and some cells decide to do nasty things to us instead of doing nice things. That would be another example of your God giving cells the autonomous intelligence to work things out for themselves.

More on nasty cancer

DAVID: One might guess that design processes, hidden in DNA for controlled use are found by the rogue mutations and subverted to uncontrolled use. Cancer cells are only as intelligent as the code they twist through those mutations.

I don’t expect cancer cells or any other cells to be writing books or debating the existence of God. All cells would use their intelligence to perform specific tasks, whether beneficial or harmful to us, and their aim, whether “good” or “bad” in our eyes, is to survive.

Role of the centromere

dhw: 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?

DAVID: The centromere has disappeared as the cells were studied by newer methods.

The article you quoted was on the role of the centromere. I’m surprised to hear that it’s disappeared. My reference to Buehler was made because of my faulty memory. It was the centrosphere that he suggested was the seat of cellular intelligence.

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum