autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, January 20, 2018, 13:56 (31 days ago)

DAVID’s comment (under “parasite controls plants’ defense"): The evolution of this arrangement must have been stepwise with the Dodder partially independent until it worked out a way to silence the plant's defenses and then become totally obligate. Living organisms show purposeful behavior. I think that was programmed into life when life originated. God at work.

dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! [/b](David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.

Excellent news. After all these years you have finally abandoned your hypothesis that cells/cellular communities (= living organisms) are automatons whose innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago (or had to be personally dabbled by your God). It now fits your theory perfectly that cells/cell communities like the weaverbird, the monarch butterfly, the skull-shrinking shrew, bacteria and even a brainless plant work out their own solutions with the inventive mechanism (= autonomous intelligence) that may have been given to them originally by your God. Another red-letter day in the history of the Agnosticweb. But hold on:

DAVID: (under “control of synapse transmission”): I'm impressed that you can tell from outside the cell, where we all must be as we study cells, that they are intrinsically intelligent, rather than operating with automaticity from onboard intelligent instructions.

You agree that living organisms work out their own solutions to problems, as opposed to being preprogrammed, and that this autonomy may have been given to them by your God, but you believe they operate “with automaticity from onboard intelligent instructions”, which can only mean they are preprogrammed. I am not impressed by your ability to “tell from outside the cell, where we must all be as we study cells”, that although in Post Number One cells/cell communities (living organisms) work out their own solutions (autonomy), using their inventive mechanism (intelligence), in Post Number Two you appear to be saying that they do not work out their own solutions, using their inventive mechanism (autonomous intelligence), but automatically obey instructions. However, it may be that your second post simply means that nobody can tell from the outside which of the two hypotheses is correct. I agree. In that case, I am simply delighted that you have now opted for autonomous intelligence instead of automatic preprogramming.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 20, 2018, 18:03 (31 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Excellent news. After all these years you have finally abandoned your hypothesis that cells/cellular communities (= living organisms) are automatons whose innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago (or had to be personally dabbled by your God). It now fits your theory perfectly that cells/cell communities like the weaverbird, the monarch butterfly, the skull-shrinking shrew, bacteria and even a brainless plant work out their own solutions with the inventive mechanism (= autonomous intelligence) that may have been given to them originally by your God. Another red-letter day in the history of the Agnosticweb.

You forget I've always maintained that the inventive mechanism (IM) was under full control of God's instructions and automatic mechanisms. God is always in control.


DAVID: (under “control of synapse transmission”): I'm impressed that you can tell from outside the cell, where we all must be as we study cells, that they are intrinsically intelligent, rather than operating with automaticity from onboard intelligent instructions.

dhw: You agree that living organisms work out their own solutions to problems, as opposed to being preprogrammed, and that this autonomy may have been given to them by your God, but you believe they operate “with automaticity from onboard intelligent instructions”, which can only mean they are preprogrammed.

Yes, no change from my theory of preprogramming.

dhw: I am not impressed by your ability to “tell from outside the cell, where we must all be as we study cells”, that although in Post Number One cells/cell communities (living organisms) work out their own solutions (autonomy), using their inventive mechanism (intelligence), in Post Number Two you appear to be saying that they do not work out their own solutions, using their inventive mechanism (autonomous intelligence), but automatically obey instructions. However, it may be that your second post simply means that nobody can tell from the outside which of the two hypotheses is correct. I agree. In that case, I am simply delighted that you have now opted for autonomous intelligence instead of automatic preprogramming.

Don't be so delighted. I've not changed, but simply brought up prevoius discussions of IM.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, January 21, 2018, 13:29 (30 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment (under “parasite controls plants’ defense"): The evolution of this arrangement must have been stepwise with the Dodder partially independent until it worked out a way to silence the plant's defenses and then become totally obligate. Living organisms show purposeful behavior. I think that was programmed into life when life originated. God at work.
dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! [/b] (David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.

dhw: Excellent news. After all these years you have finally abandoned your hypothesis that cells/cellular communities (= living organisms) are automatons whose innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago (or had to be personally dabbled by your God). It now fits your theory perfectly that cells/cell communities like the weaverbird, the monarch butterfly, the skull-shrinking shrew, bacteria and even a brainless plant work out their own solutions with the inventive mechanism (= autonomous intelligence) that may have been given to them originally by your God. Another red-letter day in the history of the Agnosticweb.

DAVID: You forget I've always maintained that the inventive mechanism (IM) was under full control of God's instructions and automatic mechanisms. God is always in control.

I have not forgotten it. That is why I have drawn your attention to the fact that after all these years you claimed on Friday 19 January under “parasite controls plant’s defense” that the bolded sentence fitted your theory perfectly. And yet on Saturday 20 January you appear to have forgotten your hallelujah acceptance of my hypothesis. I have reproduced the exchanges which you seem to have forgotten. I feel that currently I am discussing these matters with two people – the David who agrees with me on a Friday, and then argues the opposite on a Saturday.
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DAVID (under “Plant awareness”): A new study of how plants are aware of the world and what might affect them:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180119190358.htm

DAVID’s comment: It is not surprising plants have these automatic molecular mechanisms to sense the outside world. They must be able to defend themselves to survive.

Plant “awareness” provides further evidence that even brainless organisms have the ability, to use your very own words, to “work out” their own ways (= autonomously) of solving problems, as opposed to being preprogrammed and as acknowledged on 19 January in your endorsement of the sentence you bolded with such enthusiasm.[/i]

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 21, 2018, 14:51 (30 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: You forget I've always maintained that the inventive mechanism (IM) was under full control of God's instructions and automatic mechanisms. God is always in control.

dhw: I have not forgotten it. That is why I have drawn your attention to the fact that after all these years you claimed on Friday 19 January under “parasite controls plant’s defense” that the bolded sentence fitted your theory perfectly. And yet on Saturday 20 January you appear to have forgotten your hallelujah acceptance of my hypothesis. I have reproduced the exchanges which you seem to have forgotten. I feel that currently I am discussing these matters with two people – the David who agrees with me on a Friday, and then argues the opposite on a Saturday.
xxxxxxxxxxx
DAVID (under “Plant awareness”): A new study of how plants are aware of the world and what might affect them:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180119190358.htm

DAVID’s comment: It is not surprising plants have these automatic molecular mechanisms to sense the outside world. They must be able to defend themselves to survive.

dhw: Plant “awareness” provides further evidence that even brainless organisms have the ability, to use your very own words, to “work out” their own ways (= autonomously) of solving problems, as opposed to being preprogrammed and as acknowledged on 19 January in your endorsement of the sentence you bolded with such enthusiasm.[/i]

You fully know my view of the IM God-given characteristics. Plant awareness is use of automatic molecular mechanisms to pick up signals. The responses are also automatic, as in heliotropism. Your conflation that awareness proves an ability to 'work out' as if plants slowly evolve/suddenly invent/'think' of a response is simply more Darwin-speak. The authors you love to quote are all Darwin-infected scientists, with a slanted objectivity.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, January 22, 2018, 13:29 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (under “Plant awareness”): A new study of how plants are aware of the world and what might affect them:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180119190358.htm

DAVID’s comment: It is not surprising plants have these automatic molecular mechanisms to sense the outside world. They must be able to defend themselves to survive.

dhw: Plant “awareness” provides further evidence that even brainless organisms have the ability, to use your very own words, to “work out” their own ways (= autonomously) of solving problems, as opposed to being preprogrammed and as acknowledged on 19 January in your endorsement of the sentence you bolded with such enthusiasm.

DAVID: You fully know my view of the IM God-given characteristics. Plant awareness is use of automatic molecular mechanisms to pick up signals. The responses are also automatic, as in heliotropism. Your conflation that awareness proves an ability to 'work out' as if plants slowly evolve/suddenly invent/'think' of a response is simply more Darwin-speak. The authors you love to quote are all Darwin-infected scientists, with a slanted objectivity.

The authors I quote – McClintock, Margulis, Shapiro, Bühler – (have) all spent a lifetime studying cellular behaviour, and I have no idea why you should think their unequivocal conclusions are “infected” by Darwin. I don’t recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence, let alone proposing my own hypothesis that cellular intelligence was the mechanism that enabled evolution to advance. Perhaps you can give me a reference. The term “work out” was your own, used in relation to the behaviour of a parasite plant, and was emphatically confirmed by you, as below:

DAVID’s comment (under “parasite controls plants’ defense"): The evolution of this arrangement must have been stepwise with the Dodder partially independent until it worked out a way to silence the plant's defenses and then become totally obligate. Living organisms show purposeful behavior. I think that was programmed into life when life originated. God at work. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! (David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.

What fitted your theory perfectly on a Friday was rejected on the Saturday.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, January 22, 2018, 15:22 (29 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You fully know my view of the IM God-given characteristics. Plant awareness is use of automatic molecular mechanisms to pick up signals. The responses are also automatic, as in heliotropism. Your conflation that awareness proves an ability to 'work out' as if plants slowly evolve/suddenly invent/'think' of a response is simply more Darwin-speak. The authors you love to quote are all Darwin-infected scientists, with a slanted objectivity.

dhw: The authors I quote – McClintock, Margulis, Shapiro, Bühler – (have) all spent a lifetime studying cellular behaviour, and I have no idea why you should think their unequivocal conclusions are “infected” by Darwin. I don’t recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence, let alone proposing my own hypothesis that cellular intelligence was the mechanism that enabled evolution to advance. Perhaps you can give me a reference.

Darwin scientists, like those above, try to squeeze their findings into a preconceived Darwin schemata. You might see my point by reading the following:

http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/12/elliott-sober-and-enemy.html

Quoting Elliot Sober: "This last result provides a reminder of how important the contrastive framework is for evaluating evidence. It seems to offend against common sense to say that E is stronger evidence for the common-ancestry hypothesis the lower the value is of [the probability of E given the common-ancestry hypothesis]. This seems tantamount to saying that the evidence better supports a hypothesis the more miraculous the evidence would be if the hypothesis were true. Have we entered a Lewis Carroll world in which down is up? No, the point is that, in the models we have examined, the ratio [the probability of E given the common-ancestry hypothesis divided by the probability of E given the separate-ancestry hypothesis] goes up as [the probability of E given the common-ancestry hypothesis] goes down. … When the likelihoods of the two hypotheses are linked in this way, it is a point in favor of the common-ancestry hypothesis that it says that the evidence is very improbable. [Evidence and Evolution, p. 314]"

dhw: The term “work out” was your own, used in relation to the behaviour of a parasite plant, and was emphatically confirmed by you, as below:

DAVID’s comment (under “parasite controls plants’ defense"): The evolution of this arrangement must have been stepwise with the Dodder partially independent until it worked out a way to silence the plant's defenses and then become totally obligate. Living organisms show purposeful behavior. I think that was programmed into life when life originated. God at work. (dhw’s bold)

You artfully did not bold my italics above: God at work!


dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! (David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.

dhw: What fitted your theory perfectly on a Friday was rejected on the Saturday.

Only in your interpretation of my written words.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 12:56 (28 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The authors I quote – McClintock, Margulis, Shapiro, Bühler – (have) all spent a lifetime studying cellular behaviour, and I have no idea why you should think their unequivocal conclusions are “infected” by Darwin. I don’t recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence, let alone proposing my own hypothesis that cellular intelligence was the mechanism that enabled evolution to advance. Perhaps you can give me a reference.

DAVID: Darwin scientists, like those above, try to squeeze their findings into a preconceived Darwin schemata. You might see my point by reading the following:
http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/12/elliott-sober-and-enemy.html

Quoting Elliot Sober: "This last result provides a reminder of how important the contrastive framework is for evaluating evidence. It seems to offend against common sense to say that E is stronger evidence for the common-ancestry hypothesis the lower the value is of [the probability of E given the common-ancestry hypothesis]. etc. etc.

No, this does not help me to see your point. I am not denying that some “Darwin scientists” try to squeeze their findings into preconceived schemata, just like some theist scientists. The scientists I quote believe that cells are intelligent. Please give me a reference in Darwin to indicate that he believed in cellular intelligence, and please tell me what preconceived Darwin schemata their belief fits into, bearing in mind the fact that my own hypothesis allows for the existence of God - though not for your preconceived schema that God either personally dabbled or preprogrammed the first cells with every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

dhw: The term “work out” was your own, used in relation to the behaviour of a parasite plant, and was emphatically confirmed by you, as below:
DAVID’s comment (under “parasite controls plants’ defense"): The evolution of this arrangement must have been stepwise with the Dodder partially independent until it worked out a way to silence the plant's defenses and then become totally obligate. Living organisms show purposeful behavior. I think that was programmed into life when life originated. God at work. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: You artfully did not bold my italics above: God at work!

Nothing artful about it. In the context of our discussion I have no objection if you say that right from the start it was God’s work to provide all forms of life with the means of working out their own solutions (= autonomous intelligence) and behaving purposefully (as opposed to him programming them all with given solutions). And you then went on to confirm that this was exactly what you meant:

dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! (David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.
dhw: What fitted your theory perfectly on a Friday was rejected on the Saturday.
DAVID: Only in your interpretation of my written words.

If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 15:00 (28 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: No, this does not help me to see your point. I am not denying that some “Darwin scientists” try to squeeze their findings into preconceived schemata, just like some theist scientists. The scientists I quote believe that cells are intelligent. Please give me a reference in Darwin to indicate that he believed in cellular intelligence, and please tell me what preconceived Darwin schemata their belief fits into,

They firmly adhere to methodological materialism in their science.
>

dhw: Thank you for another fascinating natural wonder, and also for the long awaited acknowledgement that the Dodder must have worked out a way to silence the plant’s defences. Yes, indeed, living organisms show purposeful behaviour, and it may well be that when life originated, your God gave them the means to behave purposefully and to work out their own solutions to life's problems, as opposed to preprogramming their behaviour and all the solutions. Hallelujah! (David’s bold)

DAVID: Hallelujah ha! The bolded sentence fits my theory perfectly. "Gave them the means" simply implies that God preprogrammed them with an inventive mechanism, as we have discussed before.
dhw: What fitted your theory perfectly on a Friday was rejected on the Saturday.
DAVID: Only in your interpretation of my written words.

dhw: If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

I said my usual preprogrammed IM, which acts in the present, not 3.8 billion years ago programming.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 14:17 (27 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: No, this does not help me to see your point. I am not denying that some “Darwin scientists” try to squeeze their findings into preconceived schemata, just like some theist scientists. The scientists I quote believe that cells are intelligent. Please give me a reference in Darwin to indicate that he believed in cellular intelligence, and please tell me what preconceived Darwin schemata their belief fits into,

DAVID: They firmly adhere to methodological materialism in their science.

Please give me a reference in Darwin to indicate that he believed in cellular intelligence. Belief in cellular intelligence does not in any way confine anyone to methodological materialism. On the contrary, that criticism is far more applicable to your insistence that the actions of cells and cell communities are purely biochemical. You have left out what followed in my sentence: “...bearing in mind the fact that my own hypothesis allows for the existence of God.” Darwin’s theory of evolution also allowed for the existence of God, as he expressly stated over and over again.

dhw: If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

DAVID: I said my usual preprogrammed IM, which acts in the present, not 3.8 billion years ago programming.

Of course intelligence acts in the present. It is present in the organism, enabling it to solve its problems, except when it fails to do so and the organism dies! Your alternatives have always been direct dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder passed down by the first cells to every organism that ever existed. If you now recognize how much more logical it would be that what was passed down was the autonomous God-given (theistic version) ability (IM) to work out solutions as and when problems arise, then hallelujah! If, however, you now wish to withdraw your historic agreement to my hypothesis and go back to your old beliefs - preprogramming or dabbling - then please say so, and we'll move on.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 15:33 (27 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

DAVID: I said my usual preprogrammed IM, which acts in the present, not 3.8 billion years ago programming.

dhw: Of course intelligence acts in the present. It is present in the organism, enabling it to solve its problems, except when it fails to do so and the organism dies! Your alternatives have always been direct dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder passed down by the first cells to every organism that ever existed. If you now recognize how much more logical it would be that what was passed down was the autonomous God-given (theistic version) ability (IM) to work out solutions as and when problems arise, then hallelujah! If, however, you now wish to withdraw your historic agreement to my hypothesis and go back to your old beliefs - preprogramming or dabbling - then please say so, and we'll move on.

I've always accepted an onboard IM with God's guidelines could help an organism solve problems without 3.8 byo preprogramming. Our disagreement is you want it totally autonomous and I insist on God's guidelines, making it semiautonomous.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, January 26, 2018, 13:37 (25 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

DAVID: I said my usual preprogrammed IM, which acts in the present, not 3.8 billion years ago programming.

dhw: Of course intelligence acts in the present. It is present in the organism, enabling it to solve its problems, except when it fails to do so and the organism dies! Your alternatives have always been direct dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder passed down by the first cells to every organism that ever existed. If you now recognize how much more logical it would be that what was passed down was the autonomous God-given (theistic version) ability (IM) to work out solutions as and when problems arise, then hallelujah! If, however, you now wish to withdraw your historic agreement to my hypothesis and go back to your old beliefs - preprogramming or dabbling - then please say so, and we'll move on.

DAVID: I've always accepted an onboard IM with God's guidelines could help an organism solve problems without 3.8 byo preprogramming. Our disagreement is you want it totally autonomous and I insist on God's guidelines, making it semiautonomous.

We have discussed this many times before, and we have always ended up with you telling me that the onboard IM is God’s instructions (= no autonomy). Your two divine methods are preprogramming and dabbling. Here is a concrete example: do you think your God preprogrammed the first living cells to pass on instructions for the building of the weaverbird’s nest (no autonomy)? Or do you think he stood by the weaverbird giving it instructions/guidelines (no autonomy). Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 27, 2018, 00:35 (25 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If it fits your theory perfectly that God gave organisms the means to work out their own solutions, as opposed to preprogramming all the solutions himself, I doubt if there is an English-speaker in the whole wide world who would interpret that as meaning you believe in preprogramming.

DAVID: I said my usual preprogrammed IM, which acts in the present, not 3.8 billion years ago programming.

dhw: Of course intelligence acts in the present. It is present in the organism, enabling it to solve its problems, except when it fails to do so and the organism dies! Your alternatives have always been direct dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder passed down by the first cells to every organism that ever existed. If you now recognize how much more logical it would be that what was passed down was the autonomous God-given (theistic version) ability (IM) to work out solutions as and when problems arise, then hallelujah! If, however, you now wish to withdraw your historic agreement to my hypothesis and go back to your old beliefs - preprogramming or dabbling - then please say so, and we'll move on.

DAVID: I've always accepted an onboard IM with God's guidelines could help an organism solve problems without 3.8 byo preprogramming. Our disagreement is you want it totally autonomous and I insist on God's guidelines, making it semiautonomous.

dhw: We have discussed this many times before, and we have always ended up with you telling me that the onboard IM is God’s instructions (= no autonomy). Your two divine methods are preprogramming and dabbling. Here is a concrete example: do you think your God preprogrammed the first living cells to pass on instructions for the building of the weaverbird’s nest (no autonomy)? Or do you think he stood by the weaverbird giving it instructions/guidelines (no autonomy). Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

I have no idea which is correct, which is why I have preprogramming from the beginning and dabbling as equally probable. And I have always prefered an IM as under guidelines, if an IM is actually present, but we have no proof of it. It would seem the nest was dabbled as the best expectation.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, January 27, 2018, 13:28 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've always accepted an onboard IM with God's guidelines could help an organism solve problems without 3.8 byo preprogramming. Our disagreement is you want it totally autonomous and I insist on God's guidelines, making it semiautonomous.

dhw: We have discussed this many times before, and we have always ended up with you telling me that the onboard IM is God’s instructions (= no autonomy). Your two divine methods are preprogramming and dabbling. Here is a concrete example: do you think your God preprogrammed the first living cells to pass on instructions for the building of the weaverbird’s nest (no autonomy)? Or do you think he stood by the weaverbird giving it instructions/guidelines (no autonomy). Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

DAVID: I have no idea which is correct, which is why I have preprogramming from the beginning and dabbling as equally probable. And I have always prefered an IM as under guidelines, if an IM is actually present, but we have no proof of it. It would seem the nest was dabbled as the best expectation.

No progress then since our previous discussions. What you mean by semiautonomous is either preprogrammed or dabbled – i.e. no autonomy at all. And what you mean by guidelines is also preprogramming or dabbling – i.e. no autonomy at all. And when you say my (theistic) hypothesis of autonomous as opposed to preprogrammed or dabbled solution-finding fits in perfectly with your theory, you actually means it’s the precise opposite of your theory. These obfuscations and blatant contradictions will not help us much in our joint quest to explain the inexplicable!

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 27, 2018, 15:12 (24 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've always accepted an onboard IM with God's guidelines could help an organism solve problems without 3.8 byo preprogramming. Our disagreement is you want it totally autonomous and I insist on God's guidelines, making it semiautonomous.

dhw: We have discussed this many times before, and we have always ended up with you telling me that the onboard IM is God’s instructions (= no autonomy). Your two divine methods are preprogramming and dabbling. Here is a concrete example: do you think your God preprogrammed the first living cells to pass on instructions for the building of the weaverbird’s nest (no autonomy)? Or do you think he stood by the weaverbird giving it instructions/guidelines (no autonomy). Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

DAVID: I have no idea which is correct, which is why I have preprogramming from the beginning and dabbling as equally probable. And I have always prefered an IM as under guidelines, if an IM is actually present, but we have no proof of it. It would seem the nest was dabbled as the best expectation.

dhw: No progress then since our previous discussions. What you mean by semiautonomous is either preprogrammed or dabbled – i.e. no autonomy at all. And what you mean by guidelines is also preprogramming or dabbling – i.e. no autonomy at all. And when you say my (theistic) hypothesis of autonomous as opposed to preprogrammed or dabbled solution-finding fits in perfectly with your theory, you actually means it’s the precise opposite of your theory. These obfuscations and blatant contradictions will not help us much in our joint quest to explain the inexplicable!

My statement above is complete restatement of my postions. Semiautonomous has always meant that God provides guidelines. Shall we argue ove the word guidelines? Guidelines offer some latitude in results, boundaries within organisms can create.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, January 28, 2018, 13:26 (23 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

DAVID: I have no idea which is correct, which is why I have preprogramming from the beginning and dabbling as equally probable. And I have always prefered an IM as under guidelines, if an IM is actually present, but we have no proof of it. It would seem the nest was dabbled as the best expectation.

dhw: No progress then since our previous discussions. What you mean by semiautonomous is either preprogrammed or dabbled – i.e. no autonomy at all. And what you mean by guidelines is also preprogramming or dabbling – i.e. no autonomy at all. And when you say my (theistic) hypothesis of autonomous as opposed to preprogrammed or dabbled solution-finding fits in perfectly with your theory, you actually means it’s the precise opposite of your theory. These obfuscations and blatant contradictions will not help us much in our joint quest to explain the inexplicable!

DAVID: My statement above is complete restatement of my postions. Semiautonomous has always meant that God provides guidelines. Shall we argue ove the word guidelines? Guidelines offer some latitude in results, boundaries within organisms can create.

It’s not the word we are arguing about – it’s the nature of the guidelines. I asked you which half of the nest-building was autonomous, and what FORM the guidelines might take. You did not answer then, and I am none the wiser now. If guidelines are merely boundaries which limit organisms’ creations, these are clearly set by the nature of the organism and of the environment. I doubt if a weaverbird would try to build its nest at the bottom of the ocean, but is that what you mean by “boundaries”? “Guidelines offer some latitude in results…” So what is the autonomous half of the nest-building? Did your God preprogramme the bird to tie half a knot, or did he stop halfway in the Knot-Tying Course for Beginners, and then leave Willy the Weaver to figure the rest out for himself? Or was it: “OK guys, I’ll tell you how to tie the knots, but you can choose the tree”?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 28, 2018, 19:03 (23 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Please tell us as clearly as you can which half of the weaverbird’s building you think was autonomous, and what form you think your God’s guidelines take.

DAVID: I have no idea which is correct, which is why I have preprogramming from the beginning and dabbling as equally probable. And I have always prefered an IM as under guidelines, if an IM is actually present, but we have no proof of it. It would seem the nest was dabbled as the best expectation.

dhw: No progress then since our previous discussions. What you mean by semiautonomous is either preprogrammed or dabbled – i.e. no autonomy at all. And what you mean by guidelines is also preprogramming or dabbling – i.e. no autonomy at all. And when you say my (theistic) hypothesis of autonomous as opposed to preprogrammed or dabbled solution-finding fits in perfectly with your theory, you actually means it’s the precise opposite of your theory. These obfuscations and blatant contradictions will not help us much in our joint quest to explain the inexplicable!

DAVID: My statement above is complete restatement of my postions. Semiautonomous has always meant that God provides guidelines. Shall we argue ove the word guidelines? Guidelines offer some latitude in results, boundaries within organisms can create.

dhw: It’s not the word we are arguing about – it’s the nature of the guidelines. I asked you which half of the nest-building was autonomous, and what FORM the guidelines might take. You did not answer then, and I am none the wiser now. If guidelines are merely boundaries which limit organisms’ creations, these are clearly set by the nature of the organism and of the environment. I doubt if a weaverbird would try to build its nest at the bottom of the ocean, but is that what you mean by “boundaries”? “Guidelines offer some latitude in results…” So what is the autonomous half of the nest-building? Did your God preprogramme the bird to tie half a knot, or did he stop halfway in the Knot-Tying Course for Beginners, and then leave Willy the Weaver to figure the rest out for himself? Or was it: “OK guys, I’ll tell you how to tie the knots, but you can choose the tree”?

We are talking past each other. You have brought up the weaver nest as part of the concept of IM. I don't view it that way. An IM, if it exists, has to do with advancing evolution by having the organism change form or function under guidelines for direction nad size of change or limits of change. The creation of a complex nest full of intricate knots require a dabble or direct aid. I thought I'd been clear before but this current statement should be clear.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, January 29, 2018, 13:32 (22 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are talking past each other. You have brought up the weaver nest as part of the concept of IM. I don't view it that way. An IM, if it exists, has to do with advancing evolution by having the organism change form or function under guidelines for direction nad size of change or limits of change. The creation of a complex nest full of intricate knots require a dabble or direct aid. I thought I'd been clear before but this current statement should be clear.

You have always maintained that evolutionary innovations (changing form or function), lifestyles (the monarch butterfly), and natural wonders (weaverbird’s nest) were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or directly dabbled. When challenged, you have brought in the terms “semiautonomous” and “guidelines”, and I keep asking how these nebulous concepts work in practice. You never answer. In my hypothesis, the “IM” that governs all these developments is intelligence: the monarch and the weaverbird work out their own lifestyle/nest-building technique, and changes of form and function are determined by the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of the cell communities of which every organism is composed. I have taken one example in order to find out how your “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” work. Now you appear to be withdrawing those terms for natural wonders and lifestyles – these are all 100% dabbled. So let’s go back to evolutionary advances as being semiautonomous or guided. Please tell me what you think the autonomous half of the pre-whale’s IM contributed to its evolution, and what you think were the guidelines your God gave it.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, January 29, 2018, 15:31 (22 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We are talking past each other. You have brought up the weaver nest as part of the concept of IM. I don't view it that way. An IM, if it exists, has to do with advancing evolution by having the organism change form or function under guidelines for direction nad size of change or limits of change. The creation of a complex nest full of intricate knots require a dabble or direct aid. I thought I'd been clear before but this current statement should be clear.

dhw: You have always maintained that evolutionary innovations (changing form or function), lifestyles (the monarch butterfly), and natural wonders (weaverbird’s nest) were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or directly dabbled. When challenged, you have brought in the terms “semiautonomous” and “guidelines”, and I keep asking how these nebulous concepts work in practice. You never answer. In my hypothesis, the “IM” that governs all these developments is intelligence: the monarch and the weaverbird work out their own lifestyle/nest-building technique, and changes of form and function are determined by the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of the cell communities of which every organism is composed. I have taken one example in order to find out how your “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” work. Now you appear to be withdrawing those terms for natural wonders and lifestyles – these are all 100% dabbled. So let’s go back to evolutionary advances as being semiautonomous or guided. Please tell me what you think the autonomous half of the pre-whale’s IM contributed to its evolution, and what you think were the guidelines your God gave it.

As you well know an IM is a theoretical construct to approach the idea that an organism might have some ability at self-design of a newer form or function. As such it does not have the specifics you now demand. I stand by my pre-programming or dabble concept as primary to evolution as run by God, and organismal IM as a possibility, not probability. Your: "you never answer" observation is correct. I can't be specific any more than can all of us explain speciation. Nor can you specifically explain how cell committees design a new form or function.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 12:13 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell me what you think the autonomous half of the pre-whale’s IM contributed to its evolution, and what you think were the guidelines your God gave it.

DAVID: As you well know an IM is a theoretical construct to approach the idea that an organism might have some ability at self-design of a newer form or function. As such it does not have the specifics you now demand. I stand by my pre-programming or dabble concept as primary to evolution as run by God, and organismal IM as a possibility, not probability. Your: "you never answer" observation is correct. I can't be specific any more than can all of us explain speciation. Nor can you specifically explain how cell committees design a new form or function.

Then I see no point in your using terms like “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” when you stand by your preprogramming and/or dabbling hypothesis, which precludes any kind of autonomy. My own hypothesis does have specifics, namely that cells/cell communities are intelligent: we can observe them communicating, solving problems, taking decisions etc., which enable them to adapt to changing conditions. But we do not know if this intelligence can stretch as far as invention of new forms and functions (innovation), and so of course it remains a hypothetical explanation of speciation.

However, your inability to provide specifics does not end here. The reason why the weaverbird’s nest is my favourite example is that it throws the brightest possible light on the massive hole in your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution’s history. You now have God 100% responsible for tying the knots. How can this conceivably be motivated by the need to provide energy to keep life going for the purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 17:58 (21 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: Then I see no point in your using terms like “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” when you stand by your preprogramming and/or dabbling hypothesis, which precludes any kind of autonomy. My own hypothesis does have specifics, namely that cells/cell communities are intelligent: we can observe them communicating, solving problems, taking decisions etc., which enable them to adapt to changing conditions. But we do not know if this intelligence can stretch as far as invention of new forms and functions (innovation), and so of course it remains a hypothetical explanation of speciation.

However, your inability to provide specifics does not end here. The reason why the weaverbird’s nest is my favourite example is that it throws the brightest possible light on the massive hole in your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution’s history. You now have God 100% responsible for tying the knots. How can this conceivably be motivated by the need to provide energy to keep life going for the purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

The answer to the first comment is God is in control by whatever means He needs to be for evolution to continue. The weaver bird is part of balance of nature which provides the energy for life to continue evolving through time. It took time to get to the human brain, which you acknowledge.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 13:58 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Then I see no point in your using terms like “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” when you stand by your preprogramming and/or dabbling hypothesis, which precludes any kind of autonomy. My own hypothesis does have specifics, namely that cells/cell communities are intelligent: we can observe them communicating, solving problems, taking decisions etc., which enable them to adapt to changing conditions. But we do not know if this intelligence can stretch as far as invention of new forms and functions (innovation), and so of course it remains a hypothetical explanation of speciation.
However, your inability to provide specifics does not end here. The reason why the weaverbird’s nest is my favourite example is that it throws the brightest possible light on the massive hole in your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution’s history. You now have God 100% responsible for tying the knots. How can this conceivably be motivated by the need to provide energy to keep life going for the purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

DAVID: The answer to the first comment is God is in control by whatever means He needs to be for evolution to continue. The weaver bird is part of balance of nature which provides the energy for life to continue evolving through time. It took time to get to the human brain, which you acknowledge.

If you have no idea what form “semiautonomy” or “guidelines” might take, and the only possibilities you can see are divine dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder (both meaning no autonomy at all), then there is no point in your introducing such terms. How the knots in a nest can provide energy to keep life going so that your God can produce the human brain I really don’t know. Evolution of everything takes time. That doesn’t mean that God taught the weaverbird to tie knots so that he could have enough time to produce the human brain.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 15:21 (20 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: The answer to the first comment is God is in control by whatever means He needs to be for evolution to continue. The weaver bird is part of balance of nature which provides the energy for life to continue evolving through time. It took time to get to the human brain, which you acknowledge.

dhw: If you have no idea what form “semiautonomy” or “guidelines” might take, and the only possibilities you can see are divine dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder (both meaning no autonomy at all), then there is no point in your introducing such terms. How the knots in a nest can provide energy to keep life going so that your God can produce the human brain I really don’t know. Evolution of everything takes time. That doesn’t mean that God taught the weaverbird to tie knots so that he could have enough time to produce the human brain.

The nest is a clever construction to protect young weavers. By surviving, that is how they provide energy in a balance of nature, even though you cannot see the connection to ongoing evolution.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, February 01, 2018, 13:53 (19 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The answer to the first comment is God is in control by whatever means He needs to be for evolution to continue. The weaver bird is part of balance of nature which provides the energy for life to continue evolving through time. It took time to get to the human brain, which you acknowledge.

dhw: If you have no idea what form “semiautonomy” or “guidelines” might take, and the only possibilities you can see are divine dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder (both meaning no autonomy at all), then there is no point in your introducing such terms. How the knots in a nest can provide energy to keep life going so that your God can produce the human brain I really don’t know. Evolution of everything takes time. That doesn’t mean that God taught the weaverbird to tie knots so that he could have enough time to produce the human brain.

DAVID: The nest is a clever construction to protect young weavers.

All nests are clever constructions to protect all nest-building birds, and some are cleverer than others. So do you think your God preprogrammed/dabbled every nest, or did he just pick on the weaverbird and leave other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to work out how to interweave the component parts and attach them to the branches?

DAVID: By surviving, that is how they provide energy in a balance of nature, even though you cannot see the connection to ongoing evolution.

All organisms provide energy. The balance of nature is constantly changing and means nothing more than the fact that whatever species exist at the time exist at the time. Evolution is an ongoing process, but that fact provides no link whatsoever to your hypothesis that your God designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the human brain.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 01, 2018, 18:07 (19 days ago) @ dhw

dhw:That doesn’t mean that God taught the weaverbird to tie knots so that he could have enough time to produce the human brain.[/i]

DAVID: The nest is a clever construction to protect young weavers.

dhw: All nests are clever constructions to protect all nest-building birds, and some are cleverer than others. So do you think your God preprogrammed/dabbled every nest, or did he just pick on the weaverbird and leave other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to work out how to interweave the component parts and attach them to the branches?

You don't know your nests. Some are simple shallow cups of twigs and open to all sorts of predators. Eagle nests (which I've seen) are wide open but who would approach an angry eagle? Weaver's are completely enclosed as a hanging sack made of intricate knots that would put a Boy Scout to shame.


DAVID: By surviving, that is how they provide energy in a balance of nature, even though you cannot see the connection to ongoing evolution.

dhw: All organisms provide energy. The balance of nature is constantly changing and means nothing more than the fact that whatever species exist at the time exist at the time. Evolution is an ongoing process, but that fact provides no link whatsoever to your hypothesis that your God designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the human brain.

And the balance of nature provided the energy as you state.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, February 02, 2018, 13:33 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw:That doesn’t mean that God taught the weaverbird to tie knots so that he could have enough time to produce the human brain.

DAVID: T[i]he nest is a clever construction to protect young weavers.[/i]

dhw: All nests are clever constructions to protect all nest-building birds, and some are cleverer than others. So do you think your God preprogrammed/dabbled every nest, or did he just pick on the weaverbird and leave other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to work out how to interweave the component parts and attach them to the branches?

DAVID: You don't know your nests. Some are simple shallow cups of twigs and open to all sorts of predators. Eagle nests (which I've seen) are wide open but who would approach an angry eagle? Weaver's are completely enclosed as a hanging sack made of intricate knots that would put a Boy Scout to shame.

I am perfectly aware of the uniqueness of the weaverbird’s nest. The human brain is vastly more complex than a single cell, but that does not mean the single cell is simple. Have you ever examined the construction of what you call “simple” cups? They are intricately interwoven and firmly attached, and even some of the weak little birds that make them have survived without sacks and knots. So now perhaps you will tell us a) whether you think your God left other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to build their nests, and (b) why you think he specially selected the weaverbird for private lessons in knot-tying.

DAVID: By surviving, that is how they provide energy in a balance of nature, even though you cannot see the connection to ongoing evolution.

dhw: All organisms provide energy. The balance of nature is constantly changing and means nothing more than the fact that whatever species exist at the time exist at the time. Evolution is an ongoing process, but that fact provides no link whatsoever to your hypothesis that your God designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the human brain.

DAVID: And the balance of nature provided the energy as you state.

That’s not what I stated at all. All organisms provide energy and depend on energy to exist. The balance of nature changes according to which organisms are able to get enough energy to survive. This has no connection whatsoever with the argument that the ever changing balance of nature was designed to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. There has been and will continue to be a “balance of nature” so long as there is life on the planet, with or without humans.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 03, 2018, 00:46 (18 days ago) @ dhw


dhw" I am perfectly aware of the uniqueness of the weaverbird’s nest. The human brain is vastly more complex than a single cell, but that does not mean the single cell is simple. Have you ever examined the construction of what you call “simple” cups? They are intricately interwoven and firmly attached, and even some of the weak little birds that make them have survived without sacks and knots. So now perhaps you will tell us a) whether you think your God left other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to build their nests, and (b) why you think he specially selected the weaverbird for private lessons in knot-tying.

The open simple cupped nests might well have been developed by the birds who wanted a soft spot to lay eggs and became instinctual. The weaver woven sack appears to be beyond the bird's design ability.


DAVID: And the balance of nature provided the energy as you state.

dhw: That’s not what I stated at all. All organisms provide energy and depend on energy to exist. The balance of nature changes according to which organisms are able to get enough energy to survive. This has no connection whatsoever with the argument that the ever changing balance of nature was designed to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. There has been and will continue to be a “balance of nature” so long as there is life on the planet, with or without humans.

I agree that balance of nature does not require human existence, as you state. Which is why I think they are the goal of God's evolution, and supports my point exactly, which you also support by agreeing life needs energy to live and take time to evolve. Our brain is the last important step to arrive! Thanks for your support.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, February 03, 2018, 11:22 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] So now perhaps you will tell us a) whether you think your God left other birds to use their autonomous intelligence to build their nests, and (b) why you think he specially selected the weaverbird for private lessons in knot-tying.

DAVID: The open simple cupped nests might well have been developed by the birds who wanted a soft spot to lay eggs and became instinctual. The weaver woven sack appears to be beyond the bird's design ability.

We don’t know to what extent nest-building is instinctual or learned, but everything has to have an origin. I’m glad you think the birds that first designed their far-from-simple open cupped nests might well have done so using their own autonomous intelligence. However, you think the weaverbird’s nest plus every other natural wonder you have treated us to is beyond the design ability of the various organisms concerned. I have more respect for their abilities than you do, and I have no doubt that if God exists he would be perfectly capable of endowing them with the intelligence to work out their own methods of coping with the environment. And you still haven’t told us why your God would specially select the weaverbird for classes in knot-tying, leaving all the other birds to use their autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: And the balance of nature provided the energy as you state.
dhw: That’s not what I stated at all. All organisms provide energy and depend on energy to exist. The balance of nature changes according to which organisms are able to get enough energy to survive. This has no connection whatsoever with the argument that the ever changing balance of nature was designed to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. There has been and will continue to be a “balance of nature” so long as there is life on the planet, with or without humans.

DAVID: I agree that balance of nature does not require human existence, as you state. Which is why I think they are the goal of God's evolution, and supports my point exactly, which you also support by agreeing life needs energy to live and take time to evolve. Our brain is the last important step to arrive! Thanks for your support.

Stop kidding yourself. The balance of nature does not require the existence of ANY particular species. According to your logic, then, the balance of nature does not require the duck-billed platypus, and so the duck-billed platypus must be the goal of God’s evolution! We know that life needs energy, and evolution takes time. That proves nothing except that life needs energy and evolution takes time. The argument that our brain is the latest important step to arrive proves nothing except that our brain is the latest important step to arrive. (I prefer "latest” to “last”, since unlike you I have no idea what will develop in the next two or three thousand million years.) It does not prove that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest so that he could produce the human brain.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 03, 2018, 18:53 (17 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: However, you think the weaverbird’s nest plus every other natural wonder you have treated us to is beyond the design ability of the various organisms concerned. I have more respect for their abilities than you do, and I have no doubt that if God exists he would be perfectly capable of endowing them with the intelligence to work out their own methods of coping with the environment. And you still haven’t told us why your God would specially select the weaverbird for classes in knot-tying, leaving all the other birds to use their autonomous intelligence.

Stop kidding yourself. The balance of nature does not require the existence of ANY particular species. According to your logic, then, the balance of nature does not require the duck-billed platypus, and so the duck-billed platypus must be the goal of God’s evolution! We know that life needs energy, and evolution takes time. That proves nothing except that life needs energy and evolution takes time. The argument that our brain is the latest important step to arrive proves nothing except that our brain is the latest important step to arrive. (I prefer "latest” to “last”, since unlike you I have no idea what will develop in the next two or three thousand million years.) It does not prove that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest so that he could produce the human brain.

Your lack of appreciation of the balance of nature is something I have pointed out to you many times by bringing up many instances where humans (think of Australia and New Zealand especially) have introduced foreign species to an active balance and totally upset it. Balance is balance and requires a top predator, as shown when wolves were taken out of Yellowstone. For some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem. The reasearch to show it is not done, so I can 't quote anything but I fully believe that. I see the reason for the weaver knots. You don't with yhour blinkers on.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, February 04, 2018, 10:48 (16 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The balance of nature does not require the existence of ANY particular species. According to your logic, then, the balance of nature does not require the duck-billed platypus, and so the duck-billed platypus must be the goal of God’s evolution! We know that life needs energy, and evolution takes time. That proves nothing except that life needs energy and evolution takes time. The argument that our brain is the latest important step to arrive proves nothing except that our brain is the latest important step to arrive. (I prefer "latest” to “last”, since unlike you I have no idea what will develop in the next two or three thousand million years.) It does not prove that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest so that he could produce the human brain.

DAVID: Your lack of appreciation of the balance of nature is something I have pointed out to you many times by bringing up many instances where humans (think of Australia and New Zealand especially) have introduced foreign species to an active balance and totally upset it. Balance is balance and requires a top predator, as shown when wolves were taken out of Yellowstone. For some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem. The reasearch to show it is not done, so I can 't quote anything but I fully believe that. I see the reason for the weaver knots. You don't with yhour blinkers on.

You have indeed used this diversionary tactic many times, and I keep giving you the same answer. When you say the balance is upset, you assume there is a right and a wrong balance. No, the balance simply changes. And if humans don’t like it, we say it’s been upset. And if the weaverbird and its nest and humans disappeared from the planet, you would simply have a different balance of nature. The give-away is your sentence “for some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem”. Then you say you see the reason. “For some reason” is not a reason. And “for some reason” gives not one iota of support to the hypothesis I am disputing, which is your claim that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder including the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed by your God in order to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 04, 2018, 16:04 (16 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: For some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem. The reasearch to show it is not done, so I can 't quote anything but I fully believe that. I see the reason for the weaver knots. You don't with your blinkers on.[/i]

dhw: You have indeed used this diversionary tactic many times, and I keep giving you the same answer. When you say the balance is upset, you assume there is a right and a wrong balance. No, the balance simply changes. And if humans don’t like it, we say it’s been upset.

I have presented information from Yellowstone studies to show how human intervention spoils ecosystems and reduce s food supply. You just don't want to see the importance of balance.

dhw: And if the weaverbird and its nest and humans disappeared from the planet, you would simply have a different balance of nature. The give-away is your sentence “for some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem”. Then you say you see the reason. “For some reason” is not a reason.

Re-read my sentence above in light of the Yellowstone material. When I have material I can quote I do it, but I can imagine the reason from what I have learned about ecosystems.

dhw: And “for some reason” gives not one iota of support to the hypothesis I am disputing, which is your claim that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder including the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed by your God in order to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

Paul Davies and I view the human brain as something very special. It's appearance is an amazing achievement and must have special significance. I view it as God's goal. You don't have to.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, February 05, 2018, 14:11 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have presented information from Yellowstone studies to show how human intervention spoils ecosystems and reduce s food supply. You just don't want to see the importance of balance.

We all know human intervention is changing the balance of nature! But that has absolutely nothing to do with your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and billions of other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to keep life going just for the sake of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. That is why I complain, when I challenge your “balance of nature” defence of this hypothesis, that you use the obvious truth about human interference as a diversionary tactic.

dhw: And if the weaverbird and its nest and humans disappeared from the planet, you would simply have a different balance of nature. The give-away is your sentence “for some reason weavers required special protection in their ecosystem”. Then you say you see the reason. “For some reason” is not a reason.

DAVID: Re-read my sentence above in light of the Yellowstone material. When I have material I can quote I do it, but I can imagine the reason from what I have learned about ecosystems.

Re-read my sentence above, and then tell me why your God had to give the weaverbird private lessons in knot-tying in order to keep life going until he could produce the human brain. “For some reason” is no better a reason that the fact that humans are changing the balance of nature.

DAVID: Paul Davies and I view the human brain as something very special. It's appearance is an amazing achievement and must have special significance. I view it as God's goal. You don't have to.

Do you think you and Paul Davies are alone in regarding the human brain as a special and amazing achievement? Of course it’s special and amazing! (Out of interest, does he share your belief that it was God’s one and only purpose?) However, you also think that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder you name on this website is a special and amazing achievement – though nowhere near as special and amazing as the human brain – because according to you, your God specially designed every single one of them. Neither of us has to believe anything, but the whole point of these discussions is to test ALL the different hypotheses, to see what does and doesn’t make sense. And if you can’t think of reasons for your own, maybe your reasoning is wrong.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, February 05, 2018, 15:31 (15 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have presented information from Yellowstone studies to show how human intervention spoils ecosystems and reduce s food supply. You just don't want to see the importance of balance.

dhw: We all know human intervention is changing the balance of nature! But that has absolutely nothing to do with your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and billions of other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to keep life going just for the sake of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. That is why I complain, when I challenge your “balance of nature” defence of this hypothesis, that you use the obvious truth about human interference as a diversionary tactic.

No diversion. I use the damage we do to balance as an example of showing in a reverse way the importance of continuing balance. Sorry you don't see that. Yellowstone shows it.

dhw: Re-read my sentence above, and then tell me why your God had to give the weaverbird private lessons in knot-tying in order to keep life going until he could produce the human brain. “For some reason” is no better a reason that the fact that humans are changing the balance of nature.

For me the complex weaver nest offers special protection for young weavers. Therefore it is obvious to conclude weavers are important to the ecosystem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.


DAVID: Paul Davies and I view the human brain as something very special. It's appearance is an amazing achievement and must have special significance. I view it as God's goal. You don't have to.

dhw: Do you think you and Paul Davies are alone in regarding the human brain as a special and amazing achievement? Of course it’s special and amazing! (Out of interest, does he share your belief that it was God’s one and only purpose?)

You know he doesn't.

dhw: However, you also think that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder you name on this website is a special and amazing achievement – though nowhere near as special and amazing as the human brain – because according to you, your God specially designed every single one of them. Neither of us has to believe anything, but the whole point of these discussions is to test ALL the different hypotheses, to see what does and doesn’t make sense. And if you can’t think of reasons for your own, maybe your reasoning is wrong.

I given you weaver reasoning above. Your problem is the only way you will accept God is if you understand His exact reasoning, which I view as impossible. I'll stick with Adler: reasoning beyond a reasonable doubt. You can keep on doubting.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, February 06, 2018, 15:49 (14 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have presented information from Yellowstone studies to show how human intervention spoils ecosystems and reduce s food supply. You just don't want to see the importance of balance.

dhw: We all know human intervention is changing the balance of nature! But that has absolutely nothing to do with your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and billions of other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to keep life going just for the sake of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. That is why I complain, when I challenge your “balance of nature” defence of this hypothesis, that you use the obvious truth about human interference as a diversionary tactic.

DAVID: No diversion. I use the damage we do to balance as an example of showing in a reverse way the importance of continuing balance. Sorry you don't see that. Yellowstone shows it.

There is no such thing as continuing balance! Throughout the history of life, the balance has changed. 99% of species have gone extinct. That means that with each change the new balance has been bad for them and good for the survivors. It has no connection whatsoever with your hypothesis that your God designed the weaver’s nest (plus billions of other natural wonders extant and extinct) in order to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: For me the complex weaver nest offers special protection for young weavers. Therefore it is obvious to conclude weavers are important to the ecosystem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.

All nests provide protection for all young birds. The 99% of species that are now extinct were also important to their ecosystem until their ecosystem changed and they died out and the balance of nature changed. Now apparently God’s purpose is to preserve one particular ecosystem, although all he actually wanted was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens, which can survive all types of ecosystems, with or without weaverbirds’ nests.

DAVID: I given you weaver reasoning above. Your problem is the only way you will accept God is if you understand His exact reasoning, which I view as impossible. I'll stick with Adler: reasoning beyond a reasonable doubt. You can keep on doubting.

Another diversionary tactic. It is not a matter of “accepting God”. The subject under discussion is your personal interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. I offer a different interpretation which you agree fits in with the history of life. Out of interest, does Adler support your hypothesis that God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens? And does he regard that hypothesis as being “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 06, 2018, 17:53 (14 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: No diversion. I use the damage we do to balance as an example of showing in a reverse way the importance of continuing balance. Sorry you don't see that. Yellowstone shows it.

dhw: There is no such thing as continuing balance! Throughout the history of life, the balance has changed. 99% of species have gone extinct. That means that with each change the new balance has been bad for them and good for the survivors.

Of course balance changes but it can be for the good or for the bad, as I have presented.

dhw: It has no connection whatsoever with your hypothesis that your God designed the weaver’s nest (plus billions of other natural wonders extant and extinct) in order to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

Out of original balance generally reduces the food supply for some species in a specific econiche, which can interfere with the balance in related econiches, leading to loss of energy supply in a more general way. You cannot avoid the need for energy for life to survive long enough to evolve.


DAVID: For me the complex weaver nest offers special protection for young weavers. Therefore it is obvious to conclude weavers are important to the ecosystem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.

dhw: All nests provide protection for all young birds.

Simple cup nests offer no protection

dhw; The 99% of species that are now extinct were also important to their ecosystem until their ecosystem changed and they died out and the balance of nature changed. Now apparently God’s purpose is to preserve one particular ecosystem,

I'm sure God protected many systems. I'm not singling out one as you imply!

dhw: although all he actually wanted was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens, which can survive all types of ecosystems, with or without weaverbirds’ nests.

Yes, we humans are most unusual.


DAVID: I given you weaver reasoning above. Your problem is the only way you will accept God is if you understand His exact reasoning, which I view as impossible. I'll stick with Adler: reasoning beyond a reasonable doubt. You can keep on doubting.

dhw: Another diversionary tactic. It is not a matter of “accepting God”. The subject under discussion is your personal interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. I offer a different interpretation which you agree fits in with the history of life. Out of interest, does Adler support your hypothesis that God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens? And does he regard that hypothesis as being “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

My interpretation always differs from yours because I view God differently. As for Adler, he is dead and I can't ask him.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 13:21 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There is no such thing as continuing balance! Throughout the history of life, the balance has changed. 99% of species have gone extinct. That means that with each change the new balance has been bad for them and good for the survivors.

DAVID: Of course balance changes but it can be for the good or for the bad, as I have presented.

dhw: It has no connection whatsoever with your hypothesis that your God designed the weaver’s nest (plus billions of other natural wonders extant and extinct) in order to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: Out of original balance generally reduces the food supply for some species in a specific econiche, which can interfere with the balance in related econiches, leading to loss of energy supply in a more general way. You cannot avoid the need for energy for life to survive long enough to evolve.

All of this is true, and none of it has the slightest connection with your hypothesis that your God designed every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so in order to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens. So please stop using “balance of nature” as a defence of the hypothesis.

DAVID: For me the complex weaver nest offers special protection for young weavers. Therefore it is obvious to conclude weavers are important to the ecosystem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.
dhw: All nests provide protection for all young birds.
DAVID: Simple cup nests offer no protection

So the eggs and new born birds can perch on the branches all day and all night, can they? And most nests are built high up, to provide protection from predators. Your answers make it sound as if it’s a miracle any bird other than the weaver manages to survive!

dhw: The 99% of species that are now extinct were also important to their ecosystem until their ecosystem changed and they died out and the balance of nature changed. Now apparently God’s purpose is to preserve one particular ecosystem,
DAVID: I'm sure God protected many systems. I'm not singling out one as you imply!

Your reason for God’s special design of the weaverbird’s nest was that it must be “important to the ecosytem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.” So God singled out the weaverbird’s ecosystem for special protection. But you are right. If he designed every innovation and lifestyle and natural wonder, he must have singled out every member of every ecosystem for special protection. Except those members that he didn’t specially protect, which = 99%. I can’t help wondering why he bothered if all he wanted was...

dhw: ...to produce the brain of Homo sapiens, which can survive all types of ecosystems, with or without weaverbirds’ nests.
DAVID: Yes, we humans are most unusual.

But that doesn’t mean he had to design the nest in order for us to evolve.

DAVID: Your problem is the only way you will accept God is if you understand His exact reasoning, which I view as impossible. I'll stick with Adler: reasoning beyond a reasonable doubt. You can keep on doubting.

dhw: Another diversionary tactic. It is not a matter of “accepting God”. The subject under discussion is your personal interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. I offer a different interpretation which you agree fits in with the history of life. Out of interest, does Adler support your hypothesis that God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens? And does he regard that hypothesis as being “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

DAVID: My interpretation always differs from yours because I view God differently. As for Adler, he is dead and I can't ask him.

Yes, you view your God as being in total control except when he is not in control, as having no human attributes apart from the human attributes you think he has, as having a single purpose which raises questions you can’t answer except by saying that he must have good reasons though you can’t think what they are. As for Adler, I presume you have read his books, since you are so devoted to him, and so I would have thought he would have mentioned your hypothesis if he had believed in it.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 14:59 (13 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Out of original balance generally reduces the food supply for some species in a specific econiche, which can interfere with the balance in related econiches, leading to loss of energy supply in a more general way. You cannot avoid the need for energy for life to survive long enough to evolve.

dhw: All of this is true, and none of it has the slightest connection with your hypothesis that your God designed every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so in order to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens. So please stop using “balance of nature” as a defence of the hypothesis.

My entire theory has intertwined threads: God used evolution to produce sapiens. Evolution took time. Time requires continuing energy for life to continue. The bush of life supplies the balance of nature for a continuing energy supply. All connected. Sorry.

dhw: All nests provide protection for all young birds.

DAVID: Simple cup nests offer no protection

dhw: So the eggs and new born birds can perch on the branches all day and all night, can they? And most nests are built high up, to provide protection from predators. Your answers make it sound as if it’s a miracle any bird other than the weaver manages to survive!

How about the bird species that take over other birds open nests?

dhw: Your reason for God’s special design of the weaverbird’s nest was that it must be “important to the ecosytem in which they belong, and therefore God helped.” So God singled out the weaverbird’s ecosystem for special protection. But you are right. If he designed every innovation and lifestyle and natural wonder, he must have singled out every member of every ecosystem for special protection. Except those members that he didn’t specially protect, which = 99%. I can’t help wondering why he bothered if all he wanted was...

99% loss is part of God's pattern of advancing from less complex to more complex to the ultimate complexity of rthe sapiens brain.


DAVID: My interpretation always differs from yours because I view God differently. As for Adler, he is dead and I can't ask him.

dhw: Yes, you view your God as being in total control except when he is not in control, as having no human attributes apart from the human attributes you think he has, as having a single purpose which raises questions you can’t answer except by saying that he must have good reasons though you can’t think what they are. As for Adler, I presume you have read his books, since you are so devoted to him, and so I would have thought he would have mentioned your hypothesis if he had believed in it.

I've read only two books. One quoted in Science vs. Religion which you've seen which guides my reluctance to define God as you keep trying to do. The other book is a long philosophical look at "The Difference of Man and the Diffference It Makes" which makes the/my point that we are not like any other living organism and only God could have done this, that is our immaterial mind. See pages 247 and 396 in Atheist Delusion.

autonomy v. automaticity; addendum

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 20:06 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All nests provide protection for all young birds.

DAVID: Simple cup nests offer no protection

dhw: So the eggs and new born birds can perch on the branches all day and all night, can they? And most nests are built high up, to provide protection from predators. Your answers make it sound as if it’s a miracle any bird other than the weaver manages to survive!


David: How about the bird species that take over other birds open nests?

this is what I referred to:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/5785233/nest-stealing-cuckoo-birds-are-locked-in-evolutionary-w...

"Cuckoos don't bother building their own nests - they just lay eggs that perfectly mimic those of other birds and take over their nests. But other birds are wising up, evolving some seriously impressive tricks to spot the cuckoo eggs.

"Cuckoos are what's known as brood parasites, meaning they hide their eggs in the nests of other species. To avoid detection, the cuckoos have evolved so that their eggs replicate those of their preferred targets. If the host bird doesn't notice the strange egg in its nest, the newly hatched cuckoo will actually take all the nest for itself, taking the other eggs on its back and dropping them out of the nest.

"To avoid this nasty fate for their offspring, the other birds have evolved a few nifty ways to spot the fakes, which we're only now beginning to fully understand. One of the most intriguing finds is that birds have an extra color-sensitive cell in their retinas, which makes them far more sensitive to ultraviolet wavelengths and allows them to see a far greater range of colors than we humans can. This allows wary birds to detect a counterfeit egg where to our eyes they're all identical.

"Fascinatingly, we're actually able to observe different bird species at very different points in their evolutionary war with the cuckoos. For instance, some cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of the redstart. The blue eggs these cuckoos lay are practically identical to those of the redstarts, and yet they still sometimes get rejected. Compare that with cuckoos who target dunnocks. While those birds lay perfectly blue eggs, their cuckoo invaders just lay white eggs with brown splotches. And yet dunnocks barely ever seem to notice the obvious forgery.

"Biologists suspect these more gullible species like the dunnocks are on the same evolutionary path as the redstarts, but they have a long way to go until they evolve the same levels of suspicion. What's remarkable is that the dunnock fakes are so bad and the redstart forgeries so good, and yet cuckoos are still more successful with the former than the latter.

"It speaks to just how radically a species's behavior can be altered by the pressures of natural selection, or it might just be a bit of strategic cooperation on the part of the dunnocks. Biologists have suggested that these birds are willing to tolerate a parasite every so often because they don't want to risk accidentally getting rid of one of their own eggs."

Comment: Interesting evolutionary battle.

autonomy v. automaticity; addendum II

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 08, 2018, 15:15 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

More human damage to balance of nature, Removing dams restores balance along rivers:

http://nautil.us/issue/57/communities/how-the-elwha-river-was-saved?utm_source=Nautilus...

"The Elwha dams were built without fish ladders, gently sloping structures that connect waters on either side of the dam. These ladders are important for anadromous fish, meaning stream-born fish that live part of their lives in the ocean and later return to their natal streams to spawn. Salmons are anadromous, and carry with them marine-derived nutrients that are important to the entire Elwha watershed ecosystem. Salmon carcasses provide nutrients for other wildlife and fertilizer for riparian vegetation.

"Without fish ladders, the dams blocked access by salmon to 90 percent of their historic spawning grounds, halted the flow of marine-derived nutrients into the ecosystem, and dramatically reduced salmon populations. They also negated agreements in the tribe’s 1855 Point No Point Treaty, which stated that it would have permanent fishing rights on the Elwha River.

"The history of the dam was tightly woven in the history of my own family. My grandfather worked for the company that ran the dams for his entire career, while my grandmother was an activist working to remove the dams and restore the salmon populations. Then, on Sept. 17, 2011, the largest dam removal and river restoration project in United States history was set into motion. Both dams were removed, and the Elwha River began to flow freely again for the first time in 100 years.

***

"My work has strengthened my ties to my home. In the years since I’ve returned, I’ve become closer with my tribal and scientific communities, and have grown an even stronger appreciation for the Elwha River ecosystem. The river restoration has been a major success for the Klallam people, and proves the effectiveness of methods for ecosystem restoration that will hopefully be used as a model in other restoration efforts worldwide. And for me personally, the experience of working on this restoration project and seeing firsthand the regeneration of the former lakebeds and of the historic lands of my people has been incredibly reaffirming."

Comment: Same story as work in the Yellowstone Park. Balance maintains life.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, February 08, 2018, 13:32 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My entire theory has intertwined threads: God used evolution to produce sapiens. Evolution took time. Time requires continuing energy for life to continue. The bush of life supplies the balance of nature for a continuing energy supply. All connected. Sorry.

Of course evolution takes time! I would assume that it will continue to take time until it finishes and there is no life left. But you keep acknowledging that you don’t know WHY your always-in-control God chose to fulfil his one and only purpose in this roundabout way, and your final “logic” is that God’s logic is different from ours. Sorry, I don’t regard that as a logical explanation, especially when there are alternative hypotheses that ARE logical. (See below)

dhw: So the eggs and new born birds can perch on the branches all day and all night, can they? And most nests are built high up, to provide protection from predators. Your answers make it sound as if it’s a miracle any bird other than the weaver manages to survive!
DAVID: How about the bird species that take over other birds open nests?

So why didn’t your God design closed nests for all the other birds? Do you really believe we wouldn’t be here if your God hadn’t specially designed a knotty nest for weavers? (Re your addendum, I know all about cuckoos, and have even written a children’s play based on their subterfuge!)

dhw: But you are right. If he designed every innovation and lifestyle and natural wonder, he must have singled out every member of every ecosystem for special protection. Except those members that he didn’t specially protect, which = 99%. I can’t help wondering why he bothered.
DAVID: 99% loss is part of God's pattern of advancing from less complex to more complex to the ultimate complexity of the sapiens brain.

As if an always-in-control God couldn’t find a more straightforward way of producing the one thing he wanted to produce. Or could it be that your God didn’t actually know how to produce it and so had to keep experimenting? Or didn’t think of producing it until later on? Or actually wanted to produce an ever-changing bush of life, including humans? Can you fault the logic of these theistic explanations for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

dhw: I would have thought [Adler] would have mentioned your hypothesis if he had believed in it.
DAVID: I've read only two books. One quoted in Science vs. Religion which you've seen which guides my reluctance to define God as you keep trying to do.

You show little reluctance to define your God as a universal consciousness who created life with the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens so that his works could be studied, he could have a relationship with us, and could watch us with interest.

DAVID: The other book […] makes the/my point that we are not like any other living organism and only God could have done this, that is our immaterial mind…

In many respects we are just like lots of other living organisms, and I don’t see how a dualist can claim that other organisms don’t have immaterial minds, but of course I agree that our degree of immaterial consciousness is vastly greater than theirs. Yes, we are special. But I’m pleased to hear that you don’t actually know if Adler believed that God created the weaverbird’s nest plus all other innovations etc. in order to keep life going just for us.

dhw (under “chimps”): I suggest that your reluctance to dig deeper refers to this hypothesis, because you can’t find any logic in its workings other than “he preferred to do it this way”. I have dug deeper and have proposed a different hypothesis whose workings are completely logical.
DAVID: All of which tries to understand God from a humanizing standpoint. I'll stick with Adler as recognizing that impossibility.

Questioning the logic of your hypothesis does not mean humanizing. Suggesting that your God created the initial mechanism and left organisms to work out their own solutions, is not humanizing. The above interpretations of the “gap” are no more humanizing than the proposal that he is in control, created life so that humans would study his works, and “preferred to do it this way”.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 08, 2018, 15:09 (12 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But you keep acknowledging that you don’t know WHY your always-in-control God chose to fulfil his one and only purpose in this roundabout way,

'Roundabout' is your human interpretation. Perhaps it is necessary. I accept God's works at face value: this is what He wanted

dhw: and your final “logic” is that God’s logic is different from ours. Sorry, I don’t regard that as a logical explanation, especially when there are alternative hypotheses that ARE logical.

Yes only your humanizing logic.

DAVID: 99% loss is part of God's pattern of advancing from less complex to more complex to the ultimate complexity of the sapiens brain.

dhw: As if an always-in-control God couldn’t find a more straightforward way of producing the one thing he wanted to produce. Or could it be that your God didn’t actually know how to produce it and so had to keep experimenting? Or didn’t think of producing it until later on? Or actually wanted to produce an ever-changing bush of life, including humans? Can you fault the logic of these theistic explanations for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

Yes, it is your humanizing approach of looking for His logic, which is not yours.


dhw: You show little reluctance to define your God as a universal consciousness who created life with the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens so that his works could be studied, he could have a relationship with us, and could watch us with interest.

That is as far as I've ever gone in presupposing His motives. Might not be correct.


dhw: Questioning the logic of your hypothesis does not mean humanizing. Suggesting that your God created the initial mechanism and left organisms to work out their own solutions, is not humanizing.

Agreed. That theory of yours is not humanizing. No motives involved.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, February 09, 2018, 12:49 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: But you keep acknowledging that you don’t know WHY your always-in-control God chose to fulfil his one and only purpose in this roundabout way,

DAVID: 'Roundabout' is your human interpretation. Perhaps it is necessary. I accept God's works at face value: this is what He wanted

How do you know what he wanted? That is YOUR human interpretation, as is the whole of your hypothesis and your refusal to consider other hypothesis on the grounds that God’s logic is different from ours. Again, how do you know?

dhw: You show little reluctance to define your God as a universal consciousness who created life with the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens so that his works could be studied, he could have a relationship with us, and could watch us with interest.

DAVID: That is as far as I've ever gone in presupposing His motives. Might not be correct.

Of course your “humanizing” hypothesis might not be correct. My different explanations might not be correct either. I simply object to your dismissal of mine on the grounds that they are “humanizing”, while you offer “humanizing” explanations of your own. If God exists, we don’t know to what extent we reflect the characteristics of our maker, and it is an insult to human intelligence to dismiss logical explanations of his motives and methods, and to embrace illogical ones, solely on the grounds that he MIGHT not think like us.

dhw: Questioning the logic of your hypothesis does not mean humanizing. Suggesting that your God created the initial mechanism and left organisms to work out their own solutions, is not humanizing.

DAVID: Agreed. That theory of yours is not humanizing. No motives involved.

Thank you. Then perhaps I can persuade you to stop hiding behind the “humanizing” smokescreen and to use your considerable human intelligence in discussing the logic of the different hypotheses.

DAVID: More human damage to balance of nature, Removing dams restores balance along rivers:
http://nautil.us/issue/57/communities/how-the-elwha-river-was-saved?utm_source=Nautilus...

DAVID’s comment: Same story as work in the Yellowstone Park. Balance maintains life.

Yes, yes, humans can change the balance of nature, and the ever changing balance can maintain some forms of life while others die out, as has been the case throughout the history of life before humans ever walked the earth. By all means castigate humans for their interference, and praise them when they restore what we consider to be a better balance, but please don’t pretend this justifies your belief that God designed the weaverbird’s nest and every other natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, February 09, 2018, 14:47 (11 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: How do you know what he wanted? That is YOUR human interpretation, as is the whole of your hypothesis and your refusal to consider other hypothesis on the grounds that God’s logic is different from ours. Again, how do you know?

Look at what He produced. That is what He wanted. No reasons offered as to why He did it can be offered.


dhw: You show little reluctance to define your God as a universal consciousness who created life with the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens so that his works could be studied, he could have a relationship with us, and could watch us with interest.

DAVID: That is as far as I've ever gone in presupposing His motives. Might not be correct.

dhw: Of course your “humanizing” hypothesis might not be correct. My different explanations might not be correct either. I simply object to your dismissal of mine on the grounds that they are “humanizing”, while you offer “humanizing” explanations of your own. If God exists, we don’t know to what extent we reflect the characteristics of our maker, and it is an insult to human intelligence to dismiss logical explanations of his motives and methods, and to embrace illogical ones, solely on the grounds that he MIGHT not think like us.

See above. I'm convinced He does not think as we do. He is a person like no other person, per Adler.

DAVID’s comment: Same story as work in the Yellowstone Park. Balance maintains life.

dhw: Yes, yes, humans can change the balance of nature, and the ever changing balance can maintain some forms of life while others die out, as has been the case throughout the history of life before humans ever walked the earth. By all means castigate humans for their interference, and praise them when they restore what we consider to be a better balance, but please don’t pretend this justifies your belief that God designed the weaverbird’s nest and every other natural wonder in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

You clearly can't see that evolution took lots of time. Balance of nature provides the energy allowing life to evolve more complex life. Pristine clear.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, February 10, 2018, 13:07 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: How do you know what he wanted? That is YOUR human interpretation, as is the whole of your hypothesis and your refusal to consider other hypothesis on the grounds that God’s logic is different from ours. Again, how do you know?

DAVID: Look at what He produced. That is what He wanted. No reasons offered as to why He did it can be offered.

I have looked at what he produced: an ever changing higgledy-piggledy bush. That suggests to me that he wanted an ever-changing higgledy-piggledy bush. We can offer as many reasons as we like as to why he did it. You’ve offered the reason that he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and a few million other wonders to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the sapiens brain. I’ve offered the reason that (if he exists) he set the wheels of evolution in free motion because he wanted an ever-changing higgledy-piggledy bush (but could intervene if he felt like it).

dhw: If God exists, we don’t know to what extent we reflect the characteristics of our maker, and it is an insult to human intelligence to dismiss logical explanations of his motives and methods, and to embrace illogical ones, solely on the grounds that he MIGHT not think like us.

DAVID: See above. I'm convinced He does not think as we do. He is a person like no other person, per Adler.

The fact that you are convinced that your illogical explanation of evolution is correct because your God does not think like humans does not mean that your illogical explanation is correct or that your God does not think like humans. Would you accept an atheist's dismissal of your logical case for design on the grounds that nature doesn't follow your human logic?

DAVID: You clearly can't see that evolution took lots of time. Balance of nature provides the energy allowing life to evolve more complex life. Pristine clear.

I am as aware as you are that the current theory is that life has been going on for about 3.8 billion years. Yes, that’s lots of time. And life needs energy. And the balance of nature changes according to which organisms can get enough energy to keep going. And multicellularity has led to increasing complexity. None of this means that your God took thousands of millions of years to personally design every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, when all he wanted was the brain of Homo sapiens. You admit that it’s not logical, and so you convince yourself that your God’s logic must be different from ours.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 10, 2018, 15:24 (10 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Look at what He produced. That is what He wanted. No reasons offered as to why He did it can be offered.

dhw: I have looked at what he produced: an ever changing higgledy-piggledy bush. That suggests to me that he wanted an ever-changing higgledy-piggledy bush. We can offer as many reasons as we like as to why he did it. You’ve offered the reason that he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and a few million other wonders to provide energy to keep life going until he could produce the sapiens brain. I’ve offered the reason that (if he exists) he set the wheels of evolution in free motion because he wanted an ever-changing higgledy-piggledy bush (but could intervene if he felt like it).

I am convinced God operates with purpose. He created a universe fine-tuned for life, an Earth fine-tuned for life and then life itself. Then He saw to it that the human brain with consciousness arrived. Nothing like your interpretation.

dhw: The fact that you are convinced that your illogical explanation of evolution is correct because your God does not think like humans does not mean that your illogical explanation is correct or that your God does not think like humans.

How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.

dhw: Would you accept an atheist's dismissal of your logical case for design on the grounds that nature doesn't follow your human logic?

But it does appear designed as Dawkins admits, so what is illogical?


DAVID: You clearly can't see that evolution took lots of time. Balance of nature provides the energy allowing life to evolve more complex life. Pristine clear.

dhw: I am as aware as you are that the current theory is that life has been going on for about 3.8 billion years. Yes, that’s lots of time. And life needs energy. And the balance of nature changes according to which organisms can get enough energy to keep going. And multicellularity has led to increasing complexity. None of this means that your God took thousands of millions of years to personally design every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, when all he wanted was the brain of Homo sapiens. You admit that it’s not logical, and so you convince yourself that your God’s logic must be different from ours.

But the appearance of the human brain took 3.8 billion years. God may not need instant gratification for His purposes. I have never said what God does is illogical. What I have said is I have not understood why whales are here except for balance of nature in oceans, as an example of things I don't understand. In your attempt to humanize Him, He seems illogical to you.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, February 11, 2018, 12:56 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Look at what He produced. That is what He wanted…

dhw: I have looked at what he produced: an ever changing higgledy-piggledy bush. That suggests to me that he wanted an ever-changing higgledy-piggledy bush.

DAVID: I am convinced God operates with purpose. He created a universe fine-tuned for life, an Earth fine-tuned for life and then life itself. Then He saw to it that the human brain with consciousness arrived. Nothing like your interpretation.

If God exists, I would share all your convictions, and he may even have dabbled human consciousness. What doesn’t make sense is that he should take so much trouble personally designing millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, when all he wants is the brain of Homo sapiens. So what is wrong with the hypothesis that he WANTED the ever changing bush of life?

DAVID: How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.

No, we don’t, so why are you so firmly convinced that God does NOT think like us, and therefore your illogical explanation is more valid than my logical explanations?

dhw: Would you accept an atheist's dismissal of your logical case for design on the grounds that nature doesn't follow your human logic?

DAVID: But it does appear designed as Dawkins admits, so what is illogical?

Dawkins attributes what “appears” to be designed to natural causes, not to a God. Do you accept his logic on the grounds that Nature doesn’t follow your human logic?

DAVID: You clearly can't see that evolution took lots of time. Balance of nature provides the energy allowing life to evolve more complex life. Pristine clear.

dhw: I am as aware as you are that the current theory is that life has been going on for about 3.8 billion years. Yes, that’s lots of time. And life needs energy. And the balance of nature changes according to which organisms can get enough energy to keep going. And multicellularity has led to increasing complexity. None of this means that your God took thousands of millions of years to personally design every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, when all he wanted was the brain of Homo sapiens. You admit that it’s not logical, and so you convince yourself that your God’s logic must be different from ours.

DAVID: But the appearance of the human brain took 3.8 billion years. God may not need instant gratification for His purposes. I have never said what God does is illogical. What I have said is I have not understood why whales are here except for balance of nature in oceans, as an example of things I don't understand. In your attempt to humanize Him, He seems illogical to you.

“Instant gratification” suggests pleasure in the fulfilment of one’s desires. Very human. Maybe the ever changing bush was the desire he gratified. It is not God who seems illogical to me, but your explanation of his motives and methods! If you don’t understand his logic yourself, that means for you it is illogical. He wanted it that way (your usual response) does not provide a logical explanation. I even offer you logical theistic explanations, and your only response is that God’s logic is different from ours. Maybe it isn’t.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 11, 2018, 15:08 (9 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am convinced God operates with purpose. He created a universe fine-tuned for life, an Earth fine-tuned for life and then life itself. Then He saw to it that the human brain with consciousness arrived. Nothing like your interpretation.

dhw: If God exists, I would share all your convictions, and he may even have dabbled human consciousness. What doesn’t make sense is that he should take so much trouble personally designing millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, when all he wants is the brain of Homo sapiens. So what is wrong with the hypothesis that he WANTED the ever changing bush of life?

I agree with you. The bush of life tells me He wanted it. But I see a purpose in the unnecessary appearance of the human brain with consciousness.


DAVID: How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.

dhw: No, we don’t, so why are you so firmly convinced that God does NOT think like us, and therefore your illogical explanation is more valid than my logical explanations?

Because they are logical at a human level, which probably is not at a God level.


dhw: It is not God who seems illogical to me, but your explanation of his motives and methods! If you don’t understand his logic yourself, that means for you it is illogical. He wanted it that way (your usual response) does not provide a logical explanation. I even offer you logical theistic explanations, and your only response is that God’s logic is different from ours. Maybe it isn’t.

His logic could certainly be the same as ours, but we do not know that. I give the best explanations I see from the standpoint of God's purpose. I don't see you using purpose or God's goals in your thinking. And certainly not spectacle for His pleasure. I think He is beyond that level of purpose.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, February 12, 2018, 10:29 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am convinced God operates with purpose. He created a universe fine-tuned for life, an Earth fine-tuned for life and then life itself. Then He saw to it that the human brain with consciousness arrived. Nothing like your interpretation.

dhw: If God exists, I would share all your convictions, and he may even have dabbled human consciousness. What doesn’t make sense is that he should take so much trouble personally designing millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, when all he wants is the brain of Homo sapiens. So what is wrong with the hypothesis that he WANTED the ever changing bush of life?

DAVID: I agree with you. The bush of life tells me He wanted it. But I see a purpose in the unnecessary appearance of the human brain with consciousness.

Thank you for your agreement. As we keep repeating, EVERY organism post bacteria is “unnecessary” if by necessary you mean for life to survive. I know you see a special purpose in the appearance of the human brain with its additional degrees of consciousness, and you would not be human if you didn’t wonder what that purpose might be. You have therefore speculated that maybe he wants a relationship with us (but remains hidden), and that he wants us to study his works, and also that he watches us with interest. However, if in turn I dare to suggest that he watches us with interest, as he does the rest of the ever-changing bush of life, you tell me that is “humanizing”. Your other excuse is below.

DAVID: How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.

dhw: No, we don’t, so why are you so firmly convinced that God does NOT think like us, and therefore your illogical explanation is more valid than my logical explanations?

DAVID: Because they are logical at a human level, which probably is not at a God level.

Why “probably”? Nobody knows.

dhw: It is not God who seems illogical to me, but your explanation of his motives and methods! If you don’t understand his logic yourself, that means for you it is illogical. He wanted it that way (your usual response) does not provide a logical explanation. I even offer you logical theistic explanations, and your only response is that God’s logic is different from ours. Maybe it isn’t.

DAVID: His logic could certainly be the same as ours, but we do not know that. I give the best explanations I see from the standpoint of God's purpose. I don't see you using purpose or God's goals in your thinking. And certainly not spectacle for His pleasure. I think He is beyond that level of purpose.

You don’t see me thinking about God’s purpose, but you do see me thinking about God’s purpose! And you think it’s not his purpose, even though it’s not only the same as one of those you suggest (I’m quite happy to say he watches with “interest” rather than “pleasure”) but also offers a logical explanation for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush. And I would add that humans are probably much more “interesting” for him than any other species.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, February 12, 2018, 14:54 (8 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I agree with you. The bush of life tells me He wanted it. But I see a purpose in the unnecessary appearance of the human brain with consciousness.

dhw: Thank you for your agreement. As we keep repeating, EVERY organism post bacteria is “unnecessary” if by necessary you mean for life to survive.

Which of course should raise the issue, as I always do, of why multicellularity ever appeared. Therefore something or someone pushed evolution. Chance didn't do it. God isan obvious answer.

dhw: I know you see a special purpose in the appearance of the human brain with its additional degrees of consciousness, and you would not be human if you didn’t wonder what that purpose might be. You have therefore speculated that maybe he wants a relationship with us (but remains hidden), and that he wants us to study his works, and also that he watches us with interest. However, if in turn I dare to suggest that he watches us with interest, as he does the rest of the ever-changing bush of life, you tell me that is “humanizing”. Your other excuse is below.

And why not. That is what you do constantly.


DAVID: How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.

dhw: No, we don’t, so why are you so firmly convinced that God does NOT think like us, and therefore your illogical explanation is more valid than my logical explanations?

DAVID: Because they are logical at a human level, which probably is not at a God level.

dhw: Why “probably”? Nobody knows.

So why try? Just accept His works.

DAVID: His logic could certainly be the same as ours, but we do not know that. I give the best explanations I see from the standpoint of God's purpose. I don't see you using purpose or God's goals in your thinking. And certainly not spectacle for His pleasure. I think He is beyond that level of purpose.

dhw: You don’t see me thinking about God’s purpose, but you do see me thinking about God’s purpose! And you think it’s not his purpose, even though it’s not only the same as one of those you suggest (I’m quite happy to say he watches with “interest” rather than “pleasure”) but also offers a logical explanation for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush. And I would add that humans are probably much more “interesting” for him than any other species.

I'm sure they are.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:36 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As we keep repeating, EVERY organism post bacteria is “unnecessary” if by necessary you mean for life to survive.
DAVID: Which of course should raise the issue, as I always do, of why multicellularity ever appeared. Therefore something or someone pushed evolution. Chance didn't do it. God is an obvious answer.

And I always respond that evolution has progressed through a drive for survival and/or improvement, and that I too am opposed to chance, and that my cellular intelligence hypothesis (unproven, as is your anthropocentric, God-planned it-all hypothesis) allows for the existence of God as the originator. So you can stop using the “necessity” argument now. It is irrelevant.

dhw: You have…speculated that maybe he wants a relationship with us (but remains hidden), and that he wants us to study his works, and also that he watches us with interest. However, if in turn I dare to suggest that he watches us with interest, as he does the rest of the ever-changing bush of life, you tell me that is “humanizing”.
DAVID: And why not. That is what you do constantly.

Of course. We both do, in our attempts to understand your God’s possible motives and methods. So you can stop using the “humanizing” argument. It is irrelevant.

DAVID: How do you/we know how God thinks. We don't.
dhw: No, we don’t, so why are you so firmly convinced that God does NOT think like us, and therefore your illogical explanation is more valid than my logical explanations?
DAVID: Because they are logical at a human level, which probably is not at a God level.
dhw: Why “probably”? Nobody knows.
DAVID: So why try? Just accept His works.

In theistic mode, I accept his works. We disagree about his possible motives and methods. According to you, one of his motives is for us to study his works. Now you’re saying just accept them. So why don’t you just accept the higgledy-piggledy bush without imposing your anthropocentric, God-planned-it-all hypothesis? Neither of us can know his logic and we can only speculate with our own. So you can stop using the “God’s logic is different from ours” argument. It is irrelevant.

DAVID: I give the best explanations I see from the standpoint of God's purpose. I don't see you using purpose or God's goals in your thinking. And certainly not spectacle for His pleasure. I think He is beyond that level of purpose.
dhw: You don’t see me thinking about God’s purpose, but you do see me thinking about God’s purpose! And you think it’s not his purpose, even though it’s not only the same as one of those you suggest (I’m quite happy to say he watches with “interest” rather than “pleasure”) but also offers a logical explanation for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush. And I would add that humans are probably much more “interesting” for him than any other species.
DAVID: I'm sure they are.

So since (in theistic mode) I agree that your God must have had a purpose, and we even agree on one possible purpose, you can stop using the “I don't see you using purpose” argument. It is irrelevant.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 14:23 (7 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Which of course should raise the issue, as I always do, of why multicellularity ever appeared. Therefore something or someone pushed evolution. Chance didn't do it. God is an obvious answer.

dhw: And I always respond that evolution has progressed through a drive for survival and/or improvement, and that I too am opposed to chance, and that my cellular intelligence hypothesis (unproven, as is your anthropocentric, God-planned it-all hypothesis) allows for the existence of God as the originator. So you can stop using the “necessity” argument now. It is irrelevant.

dhw: if in turn I dare to suggest that he watches us with interest, as he does the rest of the ever-changing bush of life, you tell me that is “humanizing”. [/i]
DAVID: And why not. That is what you do constantly.

dhw: Of course. We both do, in our attempts to understand your God’s possible motives and methods. So you can stop using the “humanizing” argument. It is irrelevant.
DAVID: So why try? Just accept His works.

dhw: In theistic mode, I accept his works. We disagree about his possible motives and methods. According to you, one of his motives is for us to study his works. Now you’re saying just accept them. So why don’t you just accept the higgledy-piggledy bush without imposing your anthropocentric, God-planned-it-all hypothesis? Neither of us can know his logic and we can only speculate with our own. So you can stop using the “God’s logic is different from ours” argument. It is irrelevant.

DAVID: I give the best explanations I see from the standpoint of God's purpose. I don't see you using purpose or God's goals in your thinking. And certainly not spectacle for His pleasure. I think He is beyond that level of purpose.
dhw: You don’t see me thinking about God’s purpose, but you do see me thinking about God’s purpose! And you think it’s not his purpose, even though it’s not only the same as one of those you suggest (I’m quite happy to say he watches with “interest” rather than “pleasure”) but also offers a logical explanation for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush. And I would add that humans are probably much more “interesting” for him than any other species.
DAVID: I'm sure they are.

dhw: So since (in theistic mode) I agree that your God must have had a purpose, and we even agree on one possible purpose, you can stop using the “I don't see you using purpose” argument. It is irrelevant.

I can easily accept that in your 'theistic mode' you and I are in general agreement.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 13:17 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So since (in theistic mode) I agree that your God must have had a purpose, and we even agree on one possible purpose, you can stop using the “I don't see you using purpose” argument. It is irrelevant.

DAVID: I can easily accept that in your 'theistic mode' you and I are in general agreement.

Well, yes, in relation to many religious beliefs, I think we are. But your illogical insistence that your God personally designed every natural wonder etc. in the history of life, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens...no, I don't think I shall ever accept that this must be true because God's logic is different from ours.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 19:02 (6 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So since (in theistic mode) I agree that your God must have had a purpose, and we even agree on one possible purpose, you can stop using the “I don't see you using purpose” argument. It is irrelevant.

DAVID: I can easily accept that in your 'theistic mode' you and I are in general agreement.

dhw: Well, yes, in relation to many religious beliefs, I think we are. But your illogical insistence that your God personally designed every natural wonder etc. in the history of life, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens...no, I don't think I shall ever accept that this must be true because God's logic is different from ours.

My reasoning is not God's logic difference. My logic: The human brain is a total surprise based on your contention that improvement and survival drive evolution. I don't believe they do based on bacterial survival without brains. I firmly believe in a drive to complexity, which is a clear and obvious choice, supplied by God. We've been over all this.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, February 15, 2018, 11:18 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I can easily accept that in your 'theistic mode' you and I are in general agreement.

dhw: Well, yes, in relation to many religious beliefs, I think we are. But your illogical insistence that your God personally designed every natural wonder etc. in the history of life, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens...no, I don't think I shall ever accept that this must be true because God's logic is different from ours.

DAVID: My reasoning is not God's logic difference. My logic: The human brain is a total surprise based on your contention that improvement and survival drive evolution. I don't believe they do based on bacterial survival without brains. I firmly believe in a drive to complexity, which is a clear and obvious choice, supplied by God. We've been over all this.

I don’t know why you always pick on survival and leave out improvement! So don’t you regard the human brain as an improvement over, say, the chimp brain? And you have missed out the first part of the problem, which is the sheer illogicality of your God taking all the trouble to personally design the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders extant and extinct over 3.x thousand million years, when all he wants to do is produce sapiens’ brain. (That's when you defend your hypothesis by claiming God's logic is different from ours.) And you have already agreed that complexity for its own sake without a purpose makes no sense.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 15, 2018, 14:44 (5 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can easily accept that in your 'theistic mode' you and I are in general agreement.

dhw: Well, yes, in relation to many religious beliefs, I think we are. But your illogical insistence that your God personally designed every natural wonder etc. in the history of life, and did so for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens...no, I don't think I shall ever accept that this must be true because God's logic is different from ours.

DAVID: My reasoning is not God's logic difference. My logic: The human brain is a total surprise based on your contention that improvement and survival drive evolution. I don't believe they do based on bacterial survival without brains. I firmly believe in a drive to complexity, which is a clear and obvious choice, supplied by God. We've been over all this.

dhw: I don’t know why you always pick on survival and leave out improvement! So don’t you regard the human brain as an improvement over, say, the chimp brain? And you have missed out the first part of the problem, which is the sheer illogicality of your God taking all the trouble to personally design the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders extant and extinct over 3.x thousand million years, when all he wants to do is produce sapiens’ brain. (That's when you defend your hypothesis by claiming God's logic is different from ours.) And you have already agreed that complexity for its own sake without a purpose makes no sense.

There is obvious improvement within any drive for complexity. Complexity explains the arrival of the unexpected (human brains) and unreasonable (whales), which you ignore. Complexity has purpose, the human brain, and no sense, the whales. You are cheerry picking my comments.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, February 16, 2018, 12:59 (4 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I don’t know why you always pick on survival and leave out improvement! So don’t you regard the human brain as an improvement over, say, the chimp brain? And you have missed out the first part of the problem, which is the sheer illogicality of your God taking all the trouble to personally design the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders extant and extinct over 3.x thousand million years, when all he wants to do is produce sapiens’ brain. (That's when you defend your hypothesis by claiming God's logic is different from ours.) And you have already agreed that complexity for its own sake without a purpose makes no sense.

DAVID: There is obvious improvement within any drive for complexity. Complexity explains the arrival of the unexpected (human brains) and unreasonable (whales), which you ignore. Complexity has purpose, the human brain, and no sense, the whales. You are cherry picking my comments.

I have never ignored the complexity of whales, and am continually disputing what you claim to be its unreasonableness. There is nothing unreasonable about an animal changing its environment in order to improve its chances of survival, and then stage by stage adapting itself to the new conditions. You simply refuse to countenance that reasoning because you are fixed in your belief that your God transformed the pre-whale in advance of its entering the water, and so the different stages make no sense to you (= “unreasonable”).

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, February 16, 2018, 14:57 (4 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I don’t know why you always pick on survival and leave out improvement! So don’t you regard the human brain as an improvement over, say, the chimp brain? And you have missed out the first part of the problem, which is the sheer illogicality of your God taking all the trouble to personally design the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders extant and extinct over 3.x thousand million years, when all he wants to do is produce sapiens’ brain. (That's when you defend your hypothesis by claiming God's logic is different from ours.) And you have already agreed that complexity for its own sake without a purpose makes no sense.

DAVID: There is obvious improvement within any drive for complexity. Complexity explains the arrival of the unexpected (human brains) and unreasonable (whales), which you ignore. Complexity has purpose, the human brain, and no sense, the whales. You are cherry picking my comments.

dhw: I have never ignored the complexity of whales, and am continually disputing what you claim to be its unreasonableness. There is nothing unreasonable about an animal changing its environment in order to improve its chances of survival, and then stage by stage adapting itself to the new conditions. You simply refuse to countenance that reasoning because you are fixed in your belief that your God transformed the pre-whale in advance of its entering the water, and so the different stages make no sense to you (= “unreasonable”).

And it makes no sense to me to assume that each stage (which are giant gaps in form and function)in whale evolution occurred by chance or by committees of whale cells working out the complex designs of the new forms on their own. Only God fits and I am 'fixed' there

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, February 17, 2018, 12:08 (3 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: There is obvious improvement within any drive for complexity. Complexity explains the arrival of the unexpected (human brains) and unreasonable (whales), which you ignore. Complexity has purpose, the human brain, and no sense, the whales. You are cherry picking my comments.

dhw: I have never ignored the complexity of whales, and am continually disputing what you claim to be its unreasonableness. There is nothing unreasonable about an animal changing its environment in order to improve its chances of survival, and then stage by stage adapting itself to the new conditions. You simply refuse to countenance that reasoning because you are fixed in your belief that your God transformed the pre-whale in advance of its entering the water, and so the different stages make no sense to you (= “unreasonable”).

DAVID: And it makes no sense to me to assume that each stage (which are giant gaps in form and function)in whale evolution occurred by chance or by committees of whale cells working out the complex designs of the new forms on their own. Only God fits and I am 'fixed' there.

But you have missed the point. You find whale evolution unreasonable. It doesn’t fit into your anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all, complexity-for-complexity’s sake hypothesis. Nor, let’s face it, do a million other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders. Chance is a straw man in our discussions, since you know I am equally sceptical. “God fits” is not the opposite of what you call “cell committees”, since I have always allowed for God as the originator of cellular intelligence. You have agreed that what does NOT fit is your interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. If you yourself can find no sense in it, perhaps you should consider a different interpretation.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 17, 2018, 14:50 (3 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: And it makes no sense to me to assume that each stage (which are giant gaps in form and function)in whale evolution occurred by chance or by committees of whale cells working out the complex designs of the new forms on their own. Only God fits and I am 'fixed' there.

dhw: But you have missed the point. You find whale evolution unreasonable. It doesn’t fit into your anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all, complexity-for-complexity’s sake hypothesis. Nor, let’s face it, do a million other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders. Chance is a straw man in our discussions, since you know I am equally sceptical. “God fits” is not the opposite of what you call “cell committees”, since I have always allowed for God as the originator of cellular intelligence. You have agreed that what does NOT fit is your interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. If you yourself can find no sense in it, perhaps you should consider a different interpretation.

Of course whales fit in if they are necessary to the balance of nature in oceans. I've said this before. Whales carcasses provide great food sources. The fact that whales puzzle me should not make me change my mind about the existence of God. I have too much evidence in favor of Him.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, February 18, 2018, 12:56 (2 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And it makes no sense to me to assume that each stage (which are giant gaps in form and function)in whale evolution occurred by chance or by committees of whale cells working out the complex designs of the new forms on their own. Only God fits and I am 'fixed' there.

dhw: But you have missed the point. You find whale evolution unreasonable. It doesn’t fit into your anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all, complexity-for-complexity’s sake hypothesis. Nor, let’s face it, do a million other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders. Chance is a straw man in our discussions, since you know I am equally sceptical. “God fits” is not the opposite of what you call “cell committees”, since I have always allowed for God as the originator of cellular intelligence. You have agreed that what does NOT fit is your interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. If you yourself can find no sense in it, perhaps you should consider a different interpretation.

DAVID: Of course whales fit in if they are necessary to the balance of nature in oceans. I've said this before. Whales carcasses provide great food sources. The fact that whales puzzle me should not make me change my mind about the existence of God. I have too much evidence in favor of Him.

Yet again: all organisms need and provide food. If organisms go extinct, the balance changes. Nothing whatsoever to do with the anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all hypothesis you cling to. And in my post I made it as clear as clear can be that the disagreement is not about the EXISTENCE of God but about your interpretation of his motives and methods. You trust your human logic concerning design as evidence of a designer (and I can’t argue against that), but the fact that whales puzzle you might possibly suggest that your particular human logic concerning your God’s motives and methods is at fault, rather than God’s logic being different from human logic.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 18, 2018, 14:49 (2 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And it makes no sense to me to assume that each stage (which are giant gaps in form and function)in whale evolution occurred by chance or by committees of whale cells working out the complex designs of the new forms on their own. Only God fits and I am 'fixed' there.

dhw: But you have missed the point. You find whale evolution unreasonable. It doesn’t fit into your anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all, complexity-for-complexity’s sake hypothesis. Nor, let’s face it, do a million other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders. Chance is a straw man in our discussions, since you know I am equally sceptical. “God fits” is not the opposite of what you call “cell committees”, since I have always allowed for God as the originator of cellular intelligence. You have agreed that what does NOT fit is your interpretation of your God’s motives and methods. If you yourself can find no sense in it, perhaps you should consider a different interpretation.

DAVID: Of course whales fit in if they are necessary to the balance of nature in oceans. I've said this before. Whales carcasses provide great food sources. The fact that whales puzzle me should not make me change my mind about the existence of God. I have too much evidence in favor of Him.

dhw: Yet again: all organisms need and provide food. If organisms go extinct, the balance changes. Nothing whatsoever to do with the anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all hypothesis you cling to. And in my post I made it as clear as clear can be that the disagreement is not about the EXISTENCE of God but about your interpretation of his motives and methods. You trust your human logic concerning design as evidence of a designer (and I can’t argue against that), but the fact that whales puzzle you might possibly suggest that your particular human logic concerning your God’s motives and methods is at fault, rather than God’s logic being different from human logic.

Whales are one minor issue in the consideration of the massive evidence for the existence of God. You make it a major inconsistency. It is a side issue.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, February 19, 2018, 13:38 (1 day, 7 hours, 24 min. ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course whales fit in if they are necessary to the balance of nature in oceans. I've said this before. Whales carcasses provide great food sources. The fact that whales puzzle me should not make me change my mind about the existence of God. I have too much evidence in favor of Him.

dhw: Yet again: all organisms need and provide food. If organisms go extinct, the balance changes. Nothing whatsoever to do with the anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all hypothesis you cling to. And in my post I made it as clear as clear can be that the disagreement is not about the EXISTENCE of God but about your interpretation of his motives and methods. You trust your human logic concerning design as evidence of a designer (and I can’t argue against that), but the fact that whales puzzle you might possibly suggest that your particular human logic concerning your God’s motives and methods is at fault, rather than God’s logic being different from human logic. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: Whales are one minor issue in the consideration of the massive evidence for the existence of God. You make it a major inconsistency. It is a side issue.

Once again, as bolded above: the issue is NOT the existence of God, but your interpretation of his possible motives and methods. The major inconsistency lies in your insistence that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct over the last 3.x thousand million years (e.g. whale evolution, the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration, the weaverbird’s nest) has been individually designed by your God, although his one and only purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, February 19, 2018, 15:43 (1 day, 5 hours, 19 min. ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course whales fit in if they are necessary to the balance of nature in oceans. I've said this before. Whales carcasses provide great food sources. The fact that whales puzzle me should not make me change my mind about the existence of God. I have too much evidence in favor of Him.

dhw: Yet again: all organisms need and provide food. If organisms go extinct, the balance changes. Nothing whatsoever to do with the anthropocentric, God-controls-it-all hypothesis you cling to. And in my post I made it as clear as clear can be that the disagreement is not about the EXISTENCE of God but about your interpretation of his motives and methods. You trust your human logic concerning design as evidence of a designer (and I can’t argue against that), but the fact that whales puzzle you might possibly suggest that your particular human logic concerning your God’s motives and methods is at fault, rather than God’s logic being different from human logic. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: Whales are one minor issue in the consideration of the massive evidence for the existence of God. You make it a major inconsistency. It is a side issue.

dhw: Once again, as bolded above: the issue is NOT the existence of God, but your interpretation of his possible motives and methods. The major inconsistency lies in your insistence that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct over the last 3.x thousand million years (e.g. whale evolution, the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration, the weaverbird’s nest) has been individually designed by your God, although his one and only purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

You cannot deny the human brain is the pinnacle of evolutionary development, and every development in evolution either leads there or supports it through balance of nature.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 10:45 (10 hours, 16 minutes ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Whales are one minor issue in the consideration of the massive evidence for the existence of God. You make it a major inconsistency. It is a side issue.

dhw: Once again, as bolded above: the issue is NOT the existence of God, but your interpretation of his possible motives and methods. The major inconsistency lies in your insistence that every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct over the last 3.x thousand million years (e.g. whale evolution, the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration, the weaverbird’s nest) has been individually designed by your God, although his one and only purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: You cannot deny the human brain is the pinnacle of evolutionary development, and every development in evolution either leads there or supports it through balance of nature.

If I were a dualist, I would say that in my opinion the human MIND is the most amazing product of evolution. Whether dualist or materialist I would and do flatly reject the idea that every development in evolution leads to it. In my opinion, there is no connection whatsoever between the vast majority of innovations (e.g. wings), lifestyles (e.g. the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration) natural wonders (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest) extant and extinct, and the development of Homo sapiens' brain. Since the balance of nature has constantly changed throughout the history of life, and there has always been and will always be some kind of balance of nature with or without humans, it is totally irrelevant to your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution.

Xxxxxxxx

We may as well include this post here:
Balance of Nature: Loss of species may bring extinction.

QUOTE: "New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of "extinction cascades", where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

Sorry, but I find this blindingly obvious.

DAVID’s comment: this is full support for my contention that maintaining balance of nature is of prime importance. I've presented all of this before but this is a forceful presentation of an extremely important concept.

If we wish to maintain the current balance of nature, then maintaining the current balance of nature is of prime importance. Otherwise we'll have a different balance of nature. Nothing controversial about that contention. By all means open a new thread on ecology, but please stop pretending that it has anything to do with – let alone supports - your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 17:33 (3 hours, 29 minutes ago) @ dhw

dhw:In my opinion, there is no connection whatsoever between the vast majority of innovations (e.g. wings), lifestyles (e.g. the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration) natural wonders (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest) extant and extinct, and the development of Homo sapiens' brain. Since the balance of nature has constantly changed throughout the history of life, and there has always been and will always be some kind of balance of nature with or without humans, it is totally irrelevant to your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution.

Xxxxxxxx

We may as well include this post here:
Balance of Nature: Loss of species may bring extinction.

QUOTE: "New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of "extinction cascades", where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

Sorry, but I find this blindingly obvious.

DAVID’s comment: this is full support for my contention that maintaining balance of nature is of prime importance. I've presented all of this before but this is a forceful presentation of an extremely important concept.

dhw: If we wish to maintain the current balance of nature, then maintaining the current balance of nature is of prime importance. Otherwise we'll have a different balance of nature. Nothing controversial about that contention. By all means open a new thread on ecology, but please stop pretending that it has anything to do with – let alone supports - your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution.

You've simply described evolution in your first comment and agreed that balance of nature has continued naturally throughout evolution. Of course they are intimately related and humans arrived at the pinnacle. Try accepting it at face value. it is an obvious anthropocentric story.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 12:22 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell me what you think the autonomous half of the pre-whale’s IM contributed to its evolution, and what you think were the guidelines your God gave it.

DAVID: As you well know an IM is a theoretical construct to approach the idea that an organism might have some ability at self-design of a newer form or function. As such it does not have the specifics you now demand. I stand by my pre-programming or dabble concept as primary to evolution as run by God, and organismal IM as a possibility, not probability. Your: "you never answer" observation is correct. I can't be specific any more than can all of us explain speciation. Nor can you specifically explain how cell committees design a new form or function.

Then I see no point in your using terms like “semiautonomous” and “guidelines” when you stand by your preprogramming and/or dabbling concept, which precludes any kind of autonomy. My own concept does have specifics, namely that cells/cell communities are intelligent: we can observe them communicating, solving problems, taking decisions etc., which enable them to adapt to changing conditions. But we do not know if this intelligence can stretch as far as invention of new forms and functions (innovation), and so of course it remains a hypothetical explanation of speciation.

As regards the whale, see the thread on "common descent".

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