More "miscellany" PART ONE (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 09:30 (127 days ago) @ David Turell


dhw: [The new neurons] were never “not needed”, i.e. the new neurons were never excessive, and the brain was never oversized.

DAVID: I use excessive as meaning extra, spare or redundant, thus alive but hardly used at first.

Excessive means not used at all. They would not have been added if they were not needed!

DAVID: We both agree the new brain can be used for some time in complexification before new neurons are necessary, thus, existing neurons are used up. That implies there were extra neurons in the beginning.

Extra = "additional", not "excessive". Stop dodging. The new neurons were added because they were needed at the time. The new and old neurons then became the existing neurons, and when their capacity for complexification proved inadequate, new neurons were added, and the process was repeated. No neurons were added and left to do nothing. And so they were not excessive.

dhw: […] You have the modern hippocampus autonomously providing itself with new cells to enhance its powers, so once more: why do you think your all-powerful God was incapable of providing earlier brains with the same autonomous ability to add to their number?

DAVID: Go by known fact: only the hippocampus has the known ability. Could God have given brains that ability? Yes, but there is no evidence He did.

dhw: […] There is no evidence that your God performed countless past operations. So we have two theistic theories: your God operated, or your God gave the same autonomy to past brains as we know exists in current brains. At least you now accept that the latter is possible, and I'd have thought that the modern brain provided more evidence for autonomy than for divine surgery.

DAVID: God speciates is still my theology.

You now agree that your God could have given past brains the same autonomy for expansion as he gave them for complexification. I’ll settle for that.

Cellular intelligence (and "the cancer problem")

DAVID: When molecules are free to act as well as humans with free will, bad mistakes will happen as well as deliberate evil.
DAVID: God's DNA code is built to allow many amazing alterations with chance mutations. Cancer seems to encourage them.

dhw: Let’s substitute “cell” for “molecule”, and what do you get: cells are free to act – they have free will. […] So it’s not just cancer cells that are intelligent but all cells. And if they can do bad things, they can also do good things, using their intelligence to improve their chances of survival. And oh good heavens, the code also allows amazing alterations through chance mutations. Welcome to your new part Darwin, part Shapiro God of evolution.

DAVID: Wow!!! A wilsonoid apparition if a real cell. Cells are under rigid instructions to do what they must do. Some liver cells detoxify, others make bile, but all cooperate to make their liver function properly. On the other hand, molecules have fixed instructions on how to change folds for a new reaction, but mistakes in folding occur since the molecule is on its own to make the fold.

dhw: Intelligence only comes into play when new conditions require or allow cells to make changes. Why do you think cancer cells are intelligent, but cells that fight diseases are not?

DAVID: Cancer cells appearance of intelligence is because they have subverted DNA into abnornal actions.

“Appearance”? You said they were intelligent. I’d have thought their ability to counter our attempts to destroy them was evidence enough to support your statement. Meanwhile, you seem to have dropped the concept of random mutations, and you have ignored the point that intelligence only comes into play when conditions change.

Role of the centromere

dhw (re Buehler): I don’t know why you think you can dismiss a theory supported by other experts in the field, just because you have never heard of the cell biologist concerned.

DAVID: You have simply dug up views supporting your preconceived views.

dhw: […]. Why do you think that scientific support for a theory you don’t like entails prejudice? Do you object to your own references to ID science as denoting “preconceived views”?

DAVID: Yes, I had a preconceived view of biochemistry being so complex before I found ID, which agreed with my views.

So if a scientist agrees with your existing views, you are not prejudiced, but if a scientist disagrees with your views, anyone who believes them is prejudiced.This is called “double standards”.

bacterial motors

dhw: If single cells (bacteria) are intelligent and are able to make changes to themselves in the quest for survival, why do you think multicellular communities can’t pool their intelligences to do the same?

DAVID: They are very busy doing their assigned jobs.

dhw: Of course they are. And if their assigned jobs involve responding to conditions, processing information, communicating with other cells, making decisions etc., how does that come to mean that they are not intelligent?

DAVID: Because it is all automatic.

dhw: Your usual authoritative statement – which some folk might even describe as “preconceived views”!

DAVID: Yes, preconceived from my own knowledge of biochemistry.

Which you believe to be greater than that of the specialists I have named.

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