autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, January 20, 2018, 13:56 (181 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 (181 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 (180 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 (180 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 (179 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 (179 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 (178 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 (178 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 (177 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 (177 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 (175 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 (175 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 (174 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 (174 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 (173 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 (173 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 (172 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 (172 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 (171 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 (171 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 (170 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 (170 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 (169 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 (169 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 (168 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 (168 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 (167 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 (167 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 (166 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 (166 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 (165 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 (165 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 (164 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 (164 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 (163 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 (163 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 (163 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 (162 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 (162 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 (162 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 (161 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 (161 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 (160 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 (160 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 (159 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 (159 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 (158 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 (158 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 (157 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 (157 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 (156 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 (156 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 (155 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 (155 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 (154 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 (154 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 (153 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 (153 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 (152 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 (152 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 (151 days 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 (151 days 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 (150 days 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 (150 days 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, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 13:21 (149 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

DAVID: 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.

Balance of nature has CHANGED throughout evolution, according to which species survive and which do not! When one species goes extinct, it affects other species – chain reaction. Yes, that is a simple evolutionary process which you have drawn attention to by quoting this article, and which applies whether there are humans or not. It has nothing to do with your theory that your God specially designed every species, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so solely for the purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 14:32 (149 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 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.

dhw: Balance of nature has CHANGED throughout evolution, according to which species survive and which do not! When one species goes extinct, it affects other species – chain reaction. Yes, that is a simple evolutionary process which you have drawn attention to by quoting this article, and which applies whether there are humans or not. It has nothing to do with your theory that your God specially designed every species, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so solely for the purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens.

You keep ignoring the time evolution took to reach the sapiens. Divesity in nature supplies the food supply for all those years.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, February 22, 2018, 12:37 (148 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 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.

dhw: Balance of nature has CHANGED throughout evolution, according to which species survive and which do not! When one species goes extinct, it affects other species – chain reaction. Yes, that is a simple evolutionary process which you have drawn attention to by quoting this article, and which applies whether there are humans or not. It has nothing to do with your theory that your God specially designed every species, lifestyle and natural wonder, and did so solely for the purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: You keep ignoring the time evolution took to reach the sapiens. Divesity in nature supplies the food supply for all those years.

Cart before horse. Life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years and with a bit of luck may continue for a few more billion years, and regardless of what forms of life there are, were and will be, nature has supplied, does supply and will supply food until it stops supplying food. Nothing whatsoever to do with the hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest (times a few million other natural wonders) in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. May I suggest you drop this approach to your anthropocentric hypothesis and confine “balance of nature” to ecology, where you quite rightly point out the dangers human interference is posing to all forms of life.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 22, 2018, 18:00 (148 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: You keep ignoring the time evolution took to reach the sapiens. Divesity in nature supplies the food supply for all those years.

dhw: Cart before horse. Life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years and with a bit of luck may continue for a few more billion years, and regardless of what forms of life there are, were and will be, nature has supplied, does supply and will supply food until it stops supplying food. Nothing whatsoever to do with the hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest (times a few million other natural wonders) in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. May I suggest you drop this approach to your anthropocentric hypothesis and confine “balance of nature” to ecology, where you quite rightly point out the dangers human interference is posing to all forms of life.

My explanation of nature's diversity is food supply. Yours has been a spectacle for God to enjoy. Seriously?

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, February 23, 2018, 12:10 (147 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You keep ignoring the time evolution took to reach the sapiens. Divesity in nature supplies the food supply for all those years.

dhw: Cart before horse. Life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years and with a bit of luck may continue for a few more billion years, and regardless of what forms of life there are, were and will be, nature has supplied, does supply and will supply food until it stops supplying food. Nothing whatsoever to do with the hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest (times a few million other natural wonders) in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. May I suggest you drop this approach to your anthropocentric hypothesis and confine “balance of nature” to ecology, where you quite rightly point out the dangers human interference is posing to all forms of life.

DAVID: My explanation of nature's diversity is food supply. Yours has been a spectacle for God to enjoy. Seriously?

Your explanation of diversity is food supply in order to keep life going until your God can fulfil his one and only purpose, which is to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. As if he could not have produced the brain of Homo sapiens without designing the weaverbird’s nest, the monarch butterfly’s lifestyle and migration, the eight stages of whale, the wasp that lays its eggs on the spider’s back etc. etc. Seriously? Meanwhile, what is wrong with the concept of a creator creating something for his own delight? Why must (not to mention how does) the complexity of the weaverbird’s nest serve the purpose of providing food to keep life going for the sake of producing the brain of Homo sapiens? Aw shucks, you can do better than that, David. Leave “balance of nature” to ecology – which has been the point of every illustration you have given us.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, February 23, 2018, 22:15 (147 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You keep ignoring the time evolution took to reach the sapiens. Divesity in nature supplies the food supply for all those years.

dhw: Cart before horse. Life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years and with a bit of luck may continue for a few more billion years, and regardless of what forms of life there are, were and will be, nature has supplied, does supply and will supply food until it stops supplying food. Nothing whatsoever to do with the hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest (times a few million other natural wonders) in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. May I suggest you drop this approach to your anthropocentric hypothesis and confine “balance of nature” to ecology, where you quite rightly point out the dangers human interference is posing to all forms of life.

DAVID: My explanation of nature's diversity is food supply. Yours has been a spectacle for God to enjoy. Seriously?

dhw: Your explanation of diversity is food supply in order to keep life going until your God can fulfil his one and only purpose, which is to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. As if he could not have produced the brain of Homo sapiens without designing the weaverbird’s nest, the monarch butterfly’s lifestyle and migration, the eight stages of whale, the wasp that lays its eggs on the spider’s back etc. etc. Seriously? Meanwhile, what is wrong with the concept of a creator creating something for his own delight? Why must (not to mention how does) the complexity of the weaverbird’s nest serve the purpose of providing food to keep life going for the sake of producing the brain of Homo sapiens? Aw shucks, you can do better than that, David. Leave “balance of nature” to ecology – which has been the point of every illustration you have given us.

You can humanize God. I'll stick to my viewpoint. Yes, God might have created us much earlier in Earth's history by providing diverse life much earlier, but history shows us He chose to evolve life over a long time..

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, February 24, 2018, 12:24 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You can humanize God. I'll stick to my viewpoint. Yes, God might have created us much earlier in Earth's history by providing diverse life much earlier, but history shows us He chose to evolve life over a long time..

History does not show us that your God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest in order to provide food to keep life going until your God could fulfil his sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. History does show us that life has so far evolved for approx. 3.8 billion years, and the “balance of nature” has continually changed over that period, without and with humans. Once again, please leave “balance of nature” to ecology, which has been the point of every illustration you have given us.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 21:30 (142 days ago) @ dhw

Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, is one of the most original thinkers in neuroscience today. Recently, he sat down with The WorldPost to discuss his new book, “The Strange Order of Things.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/02/28/culture/?utm_term=.f3860...

An excerpt from the interview:

"..... the imperative of homeostasis that was already hard at work in creatures without nervous systems, minds, consciousness or feelings. Bacteria are a good example of such simple creatures. In violation of what could be logically expected, those creatures already exhibited social strategies that were laying the groundwork for what became feelings and cultures in the proper sense.

***

"WorldPost: Do creatures such as bacteria know what they are doing or why?
Damasio: No, they do not. They do what they do because they are made to, imperiously, by nature, under the mandate of their homeostasis.

***

"WorldPost: But isn’t the fact that all living creatures share the same biological roots a way of denying human exceptionalism?
Damasio: Not at all. It is a fact that we share homeostatic regulation and genetic systems with all other living creatures. Still, there are many reasons to consider humans exceptional. For example, we experience pain, suffering or pleasure to a degree that has been amplified and deepened by memories of our individual past and by memories of what we anticipate for the future. That particular capacity to feel in the context of individual, acquired experience, along with our unique capacity to invent, sets us apart from all other living creatures."

Comment: My point of view, exactly.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, March 01, 2018, 12:54 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: "WorldPost: Do creatures such as bacteria know what they are doing or why?
Damasio: No, they do not. They do what they do because they are made to, imperiously, by nature, under the mandate of their homeostasis.

QUOTE: "WorldPost: But isn’t the fact that all living creatures share the same biological roots a way of denying human exceptionalism?
Damasio: Not at all. It is a fact that we share homeostatic regulation and genetic systems with all other living creatures. Still, there are many reasons to consider humans exceptional. For example, we experience pain, suffering or pleasure to a degree that has been amplified and deepened by memories of our individual past and by memories of what we anticipate for the future. That particular capacity to feel in the context of individual, acquired experience, along with our unique capacity to invent, sets us apart from all other living creatures."

DAVID’s comment: My point of view, exactly.

I have no idea how my experience of pain, suffering and pleasure can be amplified by memories of what I anticipate for the future, or indeed how I can even have memories of what I currently think might happen later on in my life. However, I would not dispute the fact that while we have lots and lots of features in common with our fellow organisms (e.g. the experience of pain, suffering and pleasure), our additional degrees of consciousness have resulted in major differences that make us exceptional.

The assumption that bacteria don’t know what they’re doing because imperious nature imperiously instructs them to maintain their equilibrium is imperious.

Xxxxxx

DAVID (re "fat cells"): I know only they only appear intelligent and we are. See today's entry on homeostasis and automaticity in bacteria.

You don’t “know” it. You believe it.

DAVID (re "beetle camouflage"): The beetles didn't find the mutations to do it. And a hunt and peck attempt would not have meant survival.

Another imperious assumption. It is perfectly possible for a species to survive and then to find new methods to improve its chances of survival. Different types of ants have worked out different strategies to cope with different situations. Why shouldn’t beetles do the same? Why do you think your God had to provide the first living cells 3.8 billion years ago with a programme to create beetles and then to enable a particular type of beetle to camouflage itself in a particular way?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 01, 2018, 15:09 (141 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: "WorldPost: Do creatures such as bacteria know what they are doing or why?
Damasio: No, they do not. They do what they do because they are made to, imperiously, by nature, under the mandate of their homeostasis.

QUOTE: "WorldPost: But isn’t the fact that all living creatures share the same biological roots a way of denying human exceptionalism?
Damasio: Not at all. It is a fact that we share homeostatic regulation and genetic systems with all other living creatures. Still, there are many reasons to consider humans exceptional. For example, we experience pain, suffering or pleasure to a degree that has been amplified and deepened by memories of our individual past and by memories of what we anticipate for the future. That particular capacity to feel in the context of individual, acquired experience, along with our unique capacity to invent, sets us apart from all other living creatures."

DAVID’s comment: My point of view, exactly.

dhw: I have no idea how my experience of pain, suffering and pleasure can be amplified by memories of what I anticipate for the future, or indeed how I can even have memories of what I currently think might happen later on in my life. However, I would not dispute the fact that while we have lots and lots of features in common with our fellow organisms (e.g. the experience of pain, suffering and pleasure), our additional degrees of consciousness have resulted in major differences that make us exceptional.

The assumption that bacteria don’t know what they’re doing because imperious nature imperiously instructs them to maintain their equilibrium is imperious.

The requirement for homeostasis is essential, not imperious for life to continue living.


Xxxxxx

DAVID (re "fat cells"): I know only they only appear intelligent and we are. See today's entry on homeostasis and automaticity in bacteria.

You don’t “know” it. You believe it.

DAVID (re "beetle camouflage"): The beetles didn't find the mutations to do it. And a hunt and peck attempt would not have meant survival.

dhw: Another imperious assumption. It is perfectly possible for a species to survive and then to find new methods to improve its chances of survival. Different types of ants have worked out different strategies to cope with different situations. Why shouldn’t beetles do the same? Why do you think your God had to provide the first living cells 3.8 billion years ago with a programme to create beetles and then to enable a particular type of beetle to camouflage itself in a particular way?

Changing the way you look to others is camouflage. Ants don't change their looks. Lots of insects are built to do it. Think of eye spots on butterflies. Why not a God-given program as one of the patterns of evolution that He uses in managing evolution

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 02, 2018, 12:21 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The assumption that bacteria don’t know what they’re doing because imperious nature imperiously instructs them to maintain their equilibrium is imperious.
DAVID: The requirement for homeostasis is essential, not imperious for life to continue living.

You have missed the point. What is imperious is the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing and are merely following instructions.

Xxxxxx
DAVID (re "fat cells"): I know they only appear intelligent and we are. See today's entry on homeostasis and automaticity in bacteria.

You don’t “know” it. You believe it.

DAVID (re "beetle camouflage"): The beetles didn't find the mutations to do it. And a hunt and peck attempt would not have meant survival.
dhw: Another imperious assumption. It is perfectly possible for a species to survive and then to find new methods to improve its chances of survival. Different types of ants have worked out different strategies to cope with different situations. Why shouldn’t beetles do the same? Why do you think your God had to provide the first living cells 3.8 billion years ago with a programme to create beetles and then to enable a particular type of beetle to camouflage itself in a particular way?

DAVID: Changing the way you look to others is camouflage. Ants don't change their looks. Lots of insects are built to do it. Think of eye spots on butterflies. Why not a God-given program as one of the patterns of evolution that He uses in managing evolution

These are all strategies for survival, and you continue to educate us with more and more of these natural wonders, for which many thanks. But according to you, 3.8 billion years ago your God specially preprogrammed each and every one to be passed on by the first living cells so that they could keep life going until he could at last produce the only thing he really wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. You seem to have God saying to himself:” I need this beetle camouflage trick because otherwise life might die out before I can give the sap his brain.” I find this increasingly absurd. Why can’t your God have endowed all these creatures with the autonomous means of devising their own strategies?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 02, 2018, 14:46 (140 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The assumption that bacteria don’t know what they’re doing because imperious nature imperiously instructs them to maintain their equilibrium is imperious.
DAVID: The requirement for homeostasis is essential, not imperious for life to continue living.

dhw: You have missed the point. What is imperious is the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing and are merely following instructions.

Homeostasis is following instructions. See new entry on feedback loops.


Xxxxxx


DAVID: Changing the way you look to others is camouflage. Ants don't change their looks. Lots of insects are built to do it. Think of eye spots on butterflies. Why not a God-given program as one of the patterns of evolution that He uses in managing evolution

dhw: These are all strategies for survival, and you continue to educate us with more and more of these natural wonders, for which many thanks. But according to you, 3.8 billion years ago your God specially preprogrammed each and every one to be passed on by the first living cells so that they could keep life going until he could at last produce the only thing he really wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. You seem to have God saying to himself:” I need this beetle camouflage trick because otherwise life might die out before I can give the sap his brain.” I find this increasingly absurd. Why can’t your God have endowed all these creatures with the autonomous means of devising their own strategies?

God may have endowed them with an IM. You have always objected to my assertion that the IM has God's guidelines. And again,as usual, you brush off balance of nature, which must exist to support a lengthy evolutionary process, the only one history provides. I'll use your deist reasoning: if God exists He obviously used a long evolutionary process.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, March 03, 2018, 13:26 (139 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have missed the point. What is imperious is the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing and are merely following instructions.
DAVID: Homeostasis is following instructions. See new entry on feedback loops.

DAVID:[re feedback loops] You may think my brain is rigid, but in medical school I was raised on feedback loops. That is how life works, and it creates reactions and responses that are automatic even as environmental challenges change.[…] But the entire structure is designed to work harmoniously by God.

I’m not denying that the material world works through feedback loops! As usual, you forget you are a dualist. If humans and our fellow animals use their s/s/c to respond to problems such as environmental challenges, using their material selves to implement their thoughts, why do you imperiously assume that microorganisms cannot do the same (though to a vastly different degree)? And you can still believe your God creating the entire autonomous structure.

TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.

How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?

dhw: [to David] You seem to have God saying to himself:” I need this beetle camouflage trick because otherwise life might die out before I can give the sap his brain.” I find this increasingly absurd. Why can’t your God have endowed all these creatures with the autonomous means of devising their own strategies?
DAVID: God may have endowed them with an IM. You have always objected to my assertion that the IM has God's guidelines. And again,as usual, you brush off balance of nature, which must exist to support a lengthy evolutionary process, the only one history provides. I'll use your deist reasoning: if God exists He obviously used a long evolutionary process.

Evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years, whether you’re a theist, a deist, or an atheist. Your "balance of nature" merely means life keeps going until it stops, regardless of which forms survive – totally irrelevant to our discussion. My hypothesis is an AUTONOMOUS IM, i.e. the weaverbird worked out how to build its nest without any instructions from your God, and with absolutely no role to play in the production of the human brain.

QUOTE [from ant post]: “'We describe army ants as simple, but we don’t even understand what they’re doing. Yes, they’re simple, but maybe they’re not as simple as people think,” said Melvin Gauci, a researcher at Harvard University."
DAVID’s comment: Each ant follows a built-in algorithm, but there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.

Not as simple as some people think. Maybe ants think. And maybe bacteria think. Intelligent behaviour in humans and dogs and crows is attributed to autonomous intelligence. So maybe we might just consider the possibility that intelligent behaviour in other organisms can also be attributed to autonomous intelligence, if only we could put our 'large organisms chauvinism' (Shapiro) behind us.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 03, 2018, 14:47 (139 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You have missed the point. What is imperious is the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing and are merely following instructions.
DAVID: Homeostasis is following instructions. See new entry on feedback loops.

DAVID:[re feedback loops] You may think my brain is rigid, but in medical school I was raised on feedback loops. That is how life works, and it creates reactions and responses that are automatic even as environmental challenges change.[…] But the entire structure is designed to work harmoniously by God.

dhw: I’m not denying that the material world works through feedback loops! As usual, you forget you are a dualist. If humans and our fellow animals use their s/s/c to respond to problems such as environmental challenges, using their material selves to implement their thoughts, why do you imperiously assume that microorganisms cannot do the same (though to a vastly different degree)? And you can still believe your God creating the entire autonomous structure.

TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.

How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?

Your 'may have' has no evidence in the facts of living biochemistry which show automatic loops.

DAVID: God may have endowed them with an IM. You have always objected to my assertion that the IM has God's guidelines. And again,as usual, you brush off balance of nature, which must exist to support a lengthy evolutionary process, the only one history provides. I'll use your deist reasoning: if God exists He obviously used a long evolutionary process.

dhw: Evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years, whether you’re a theist, a deist, or an atheist. Your "balance of nature" merely means life keeps going until it stops, regardless of which forms survive – totally irrelevant to our discussion.

But balance of nature allowed the stretch of 3.8 billion years. You constantly forget the time factor.

dhw: My hypothesis is an AUTONOMOUS IM, i.e. the weaverbird worked out how to build its nest without any instructions from your God, and with absolutely no role to play in the production of the human brain.

Look at the knots. Even you would have trouble tying them.


QUOTE [from ant post]: “'We describe army ants as simple, but we don’t even understand what they’re doing. Yes, they’re simple, but maybe they’re not as simple as people think,” said Melvin Gauci, a researcher at Harvard University."

DAVID’s comment: Each ant follows a built-in algorithm, but there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.

dhw: Not as simple as some people think. Maybe ants think. And maybe bacteria think. Intelligent behaviour in humans and dogs and crows is attributed to autonomous intelligence. So maybe we might just consider the possibility that intelligent behaviour in other organisms can also be attributed to autonomous intelligence, if only we could put our 'large organisms chauvinism' (Shapiro) behind us.

Read the whole article, not my summary. The experimentation clearly proved the individual ant was totally automatic. Talk of close minded!

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, March 04, 2018, 11:56 (138 days ago) @ David Turell

TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.
dhw: How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?
DAVID: Your 'may have' has no evidence in the facts of living biochemistry which show automatic loops.

I am not disputing that there are automatic loops. Our own bodies are full of them, but that doesn’t mean we are not conscious, sentient, decision-making beings. And perhaps I should point out that the facts of living biochemistry have not explained speciation and offer no evidence that an unknown universal intelligence preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens.

Tony: Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

I don’t have a problem with that. Nor did Darwin, who talks of life “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.” My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence would certainly not preclude the design of prototypes, with different cell communities coming up with different “patterns” (David’s term) that can subsequently be re-used with variations.

dhw: Evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years, whether you’re a theist, a deist, or an atheist. Your "balance of nature" merely means life keeps going until it stops, regardless of which forms survive – totally irrelevant to our discussion.
DAVID: But balance of nature allowed the stretch of 3.8 billion years. You constantly forget the time factor.

How can I have forgotten it when I’ve just pointed out that evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years? Balance of nature didn’t “allow” anything. Living organisms and changing environments have gone on producing an ever changing balance of nature all this time, and will continue to do so until there is no life left.

dhw: My hypothesis is an AUTONOMOUS IM, i.e. the weaverbird worked out how to build its nest without any instructions from your God, and with absolutely no role to play in the production of the human brain.
DAVID: Look at the knots. Even you would have trouble tying them.

I would also have trouble flying, climbing trees, living underwater, and doing the vast majority of things our fellow organisms do naturally. And they would have trouble typing messages to you. To each his own. It doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced the human brain.

QUOTE [from ant post]: “'We describe army ants as simple, but we don’t even understand what they’re doing. Yes, they’re simple, but maybe they’re not as simple as people think,” said Melvin Gauci, a researcher at Harvard University."
DAVID’s comment: Each ant follows a built-in algorithm, but there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.
dhw: Not as simple as some people think. Maybe ants think. And maybe bacteria think. Intelligent behaviour in humans and dogs and crows is attributed to autonomous intelligence. So maybe we might just consider the possibility that intelligent behaviour in other organisms can also be attributed to autonomous intelligence, if only we could put our 'large organisms chauvinism' (Shapiro) behind us.
DAVID: Read the whole article, not my summary. The experimentation clearly proved the individual ant was totally automatic. Talk of close minded!

Read Gauci: “Maybe they’re not as simple as people think.” Read Turell: “There could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.” Have you forgotten that all organs and organisms are groups of cells?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 04, 2018, 14:36 (138 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years, whether you’re a theist, a deist, or an atheist. Your "balance of nature" merely means life keeps going until it stops, regardless of which forms survive – totally irrelevant to our discussion.
DAVID: But balance of nature allowed the stretch of 3.8 billion years. You constantly forget the time factor.


How can I have forgotten it when I’ve just pointed out that evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years? Balance of nature didn’t “allow” anything. Living organisms and changing environments have gone on producing an ever changing balance of nature all this time, and will continue to do so until there is no life left.

Again forgetting that imbalance in nature has led to extinctions. Everyone has to eat. Nature's balance supplies that need. Nothing more to understand.


dhw: My hypothesis is an AUTONOMOUS IM, i.e. the weaverbird worked out how to build its nest without any instructions from your God, and with absolutely no role to play in the production of the human brain.
DAVID: Look at the knots. Even you would have trouble tying them.

dhw" I would also have trouble flying, climbing trees, living underwater, and doing the vast majority of things our fellow organisms do naturally. And they would have trouble typing messages to you. To each his own. It doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced the human brain.

We do all the things you describe, just differently with our amazing brains supplied by God.

dhw: Not as simple as some people think. Maybe ants think. And maybe bacteria think. Intelligent behaviour in humans and dogs and crows is attributed to autonomous intelligence. So maybe we might just consider the possibility that intelligent behaviour in other organisms can also be attributed to autonomous intelligence, if only we could put our 'large organisms chauvinism' (Shapiro) behind us.
DAVID: Read the whole article, not my summary. The experimentation clearly proved the individual ant was totally automatic. Talk of close minded!

dhw: Read Gauci: “Maybe they’re not as simple as people think.” Read Turell: “There could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.” Have you forgotten that all organs and organisms are groups of cells?

I did which is why I commented as I did. And each cell in an organ has its automatic duty, just like the automatic ants so beautifully outlined in the study.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, March 05, 2018, 12:32 (137 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: Balance of nature didn’t “allow” anything. Living organisms and changing environments have gone on producing an ever changing balance of nature all this time, and will continue to do so until there is no life left.
DAVID: Again forgetting that imbalance in nature has led to extinctions. Everyone has to eat. Nature's balance supplies that need. Nothing more to understand.

It’s not an imbalance, it’s a different balance. For the survivor it’s balanced, and for the non-survivor it’s imbalanced. You seem to think there is only one correct balance by which all other balances throughout the history of evolution must be judged! Yes, everyone has to eat, and if they can’t, the balance changes. Nothing more to understand, so why do you keep bringing it up? It’s only relevant to ecology, as all your examples make clear, and has nothing whatsoever to do with your hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: Look at the knots. Even you would have trouble tying them.
dhw" I would also have trouble flying, climbing trees, living underwater, and doing the vast majority of things our fellow organisms do naturally.
DAVID: We do all the things you describe, just differently with our amazing brains supplied by God.

Yes, we are very clever, but that doesn’t mean the weaverbird can’t also be clever in its own way, and it certainly doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced the human brain.

DAVID: Read the whole article, not my summary. The experimentation clearly proved the individual ant was totally automatic. Talk of close minded!
dhw: Read Gauci: “Maybe they’re not as simple as people think.” Read Turell: “There could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.” Have you forgotten that all organs and organisms are groups of cells?
DAVID: I did which is why I commented as I did. And each cell in an organ has its automatic duty, just like the automatic ants so beautifully outlined in the study.

And “there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered”. Of course there are automatic actions, but how did they originate, and what happens when the automatic processes are disrupted? Must all innovations, lifestyles, natural wonders and problem-solving be divinely preprogrammed or dabbled, or do single cells (e.g. bacteria)/cell communities (“group think”) work things out for themselves? I like the quotes from Gucci and (much though he may regret it) my friend David Turell.:-)

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, March 05, 2018, 14:11 (137 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again forgetting that imbalance in nature has led to extinctions. Everyone has to eat. Nature's balance supplies that need. Nothing more to understand.

dhw: It’s not an imbalance, it’s a different balance. For the survivor it’s balanced, and for the non-survivor it’s imbalanced. You seem to think there is only one correct balance by which all other balances throughout the history of evolution must be judged! Yes, everyone has to eat, and if they can’t, the balance changes. Nothing more to understand, so why do you keep bringing it up? It’s only relevant to ecology, as all your examples make clear, and has nothing whatsoever to do with your hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

The weaverbird makes the point you miss. Balance is attained by the vast diversity we see in the bush of life. The bush is a requirement for evolution.


dhw: Yes, we are very clever, but that doesn’t mean the weaverbird can’t also be clever in its own way, and it certainly doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced the human brain.

There is no explanation as to why that brain appeared except for rapid human mutation zones demonstrated in our genome. Not by chance. reeks of design.

DAVID: I did which is why I commented as I did. And each cell in an organ has its automatic duty, just like the automatic ants so beautifully outlined in the study.

dhw: And “there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered”. Of course there are automatic actions, but how did they originate, and what happens when the automatic processes are disrupted? Must all innovations, lifestyles, natural wonders and problem-solving be divinely preprogrammed or dabbled, or do single cells (e.g. bacteria)/cell communities (“group think”) work things out for themselves? I like the quotes from Gucci and (much though he may regret it) my friend David Turell.:-)

Offering sweet comments are appreciated but will not stop me from explaining how God designs.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 15:34 (136 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again forgetting that imbalance in nature has led to extinctions. Everyone has to eat. Nature's balance supplies that need. Nothing more to understand.

dhw: It’s not an imbalance, it’s a different balance. For the survivor it’s balanced, and for the non-survivor it’s imbalanced. You seem to think there is only one correct balance by which all other balances throughout the history of evolution must be judged! Yes, everyone has to eat, and if they can’t, the balance changes. Nothing more to understand, so why do you keep bringing it up? It’s only relevant to ecology, as all your examples make clear, and has nothing whatsoever to do with your hypothesis that God designed the weaverbird’s nest to keep life going until he could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

DAVID: The weaverbird makes the point you miss. Balance is attained by the vast diversity we see in the bush of life. The bush is a requirement for evolution.

And you continue to miss the point that the balance constantly changes, and the vast diversity and the changing environment are the CAUSES of the ever changing balance, and the bush is the RESULT of evolution, i.e. of diversity and changing environments, and this would be true even if there was no such thing as a weaverbird and its nest or a human and its brain. Please leave “balance of nature” to discussions on ecology.

dhw: Yes, we are very clever, but that doesn’t mean the weaverbird can’t also be clever in its own way, and it certainly doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced the human brain.
DAVID: There is no explanation as to why that brain appeared except for rapid human mutation zones demonstrated in our genome. Not by chance. reeks of design.

And according to you there is no explanation as to how the weaverbird could tie such complicated knots unless your God did it. But I agree – neither nest nor brain is the result of chance. Both “reek” of design. So here’s an alternative theory to chance. Their respective cell communities (using their possibly God-given intelligence and inventiveness) cooperated to produce these designs.

dhw: And “there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered”. Of course there are automatic actions, but how did they originate, and what happens when the automatic processes are disrupted? Must all innovations, lifestyles, natural wonders and problem-solving be divinely preprogrammed or dabbled, or do single cells (e.g. bacteria)/cell communities (“group think”) work things out for themselves? I like the quotes from Gucci and (much though he may regret it) my friend David Turell.:-)

DAVID: Offering sweet comments are appreciated but will not stop me from explaining how God designs.

It’s not a sweet comment. You have said there could be a degree of “group think”, which supports the whole hypothesis of cellular intelligence which you have always been so desperate to deny. The smile is because you have acknowledged that this may have been “how God designs”.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 17:32 (136 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And according to you there is no explanation as to how the weaverbird could tie such complicated knots unless your God did it. But I agree – neither nest nor brain is the result of chance. Both “reek” of design. So here’s an alternative theory to chance. Their respective cell communities (using their possibly God-given intelligence and inventiveness) cooperated to produce these designs.

Thank you for recognizing design over chance. But if it didn't come from God what is its source? I can't think of one since design requires a planning mind.


dhw: And “there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered”. Of course there are automatic actions, but how did they originate, and what happens when the automatic processes are disrupted? Must all innovations, lifestyles, natural wonders and problem-solving be divinely preprogrammed or dabbled, or do single cells (e.g. bacteria)/cell communities (“group think”) work things out for themselves? I like the quotes from Gucci and (much though he may regret it) my friend David Turell.:-)

DAVID: Offering sweet comments are appreciated but will not stop me from explaining how God designs.

dhw: It’s not a sweet comment. You have said there could be a degree of “group think”, which supports the whole hypothesis of cellular intelligence which you have always been so desperate to deny. The smile is because you have acknowledged that this may have been “how God designs”.

We have had long discussions about the possibility of species consciousness a la' Sheldrake. This is the sort of group think I referred to. I don't think it leads to the birds inventing the knots to tie. But God might work through group consciousness to direct processes.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, March 07, 2018, 11:56 (135 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And according to you there is no explanation as to how the weaverbird could tie such complicated knots unless your God did it. But I agree – neither nest nor brain is the result of chance. Both “reek” of design. So here’s an alternative theory to chance. Their respective cell communities (using their possibly God-given intelligence and inventiveness) cooperated to produce these designs.

DAVID: Thank you for recognizing design over chance. But if it didn't come from God what is its source? I can't think of one since design requires a planning mind.

There are two separate issues: 1) whether cell communities (organisms) are intelligent enough to produce their own innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, or all these have to be preprogrammed or dabbled by your God; 2) whether your God exists. In relation to 1), I am quite happy to debate the issue on your theistic terms, since it relates solely to Chapter 2 of life, i.e. how evolution works. As regards 2) we have been through the alternatives (God, chance, atheistic panpsychism) many times, and you know that I am unable to accept any of them. More fool me.

dhw: It’s not a sweet comment. You have said there could be a degree of “group think”, which supports the whole hypothesis of cellular intelligence which you have always been so desperate to deny. The smile is because you have acknowledged that this may have been “how God designs”.

DAVID: We have had long discussions about the possibility of species consciousness a la' Sheldrake. This is the sort of group think I referred to. I don't think it leads to the birds inventing the knots to tie. But God might work through group consciousness to direct processes.

Nothing to do with Sheldrake’s species consciousness, which does not explain evolutionary innovation. We were talking about the inventiveness of ants, which in my hypothesis I extend to cell communities of all kinds. Insects, birds, animals, including ourselves, are all communities of cooperating cell communities, i.e. groups of groups. Much of their/our behaviour is automatic, but I do not accept that the invention of those behaviours and the ability to solve problems are automatic. Nor do I understand why your God should find it necessary to direct weaver knot-tying and ant bridge-building when apparently all he wants to do is produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 07, 2018, 17:52 (135 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Thank you for recognizing design over chance. But if it didn't come from God what is its source? I can't think of one since design requires a planning mind.

dhw: There are two separate issues: 1) whether cell communities (organisms) are intelligent enough to produce their own innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, or all these have to be preprogrammed or dabbled by your God; 2) whether your God exists. In relation to 1), I am quite happy to debate the issue on your theistic terms, since it relates solely to Chapter 2 of life, i.e. how evolution works. As regards 2) we have been through the alternatives (God, chance, atheistic panpsychism) many times, and you know that I am unable to accept any of them. More fool me.

Intelligence involves being able to handle constructional information and informational stimuli with proper responses. Since biological research shows only automatic responses I do not accept your theory. As layer after layer of genome controls is uncovered, that is all that is found. I admit that the future might bring some evidence to help you. Only time will tell.


DAVID: We have had long discussions about the possibility of species consciousness a la' Sheldrake. This is the sort of group think I referred to. I don't think it leads to the birds inventing the knots to tie. But God might work through group consciousness to direct processes.

dhw: Nothing to do with Sheldrake’s species consciousness, which does not explain evolutionary innovation. We were talking about the inventiveness of ants, which in my hypothesis I extend to cell communities of all kinds. Insects, birds, animals, including ourselves, are all communities of cooperating cell communities, i.e. groups of groups. Much of their/our behaviour is automatic, but I do not accept that the invention of those behaviours and the ability to solve problems are automatic. Nor do I understand why your God should find it necessary to direct weaver knot-tying and ant bridge-building when apparently all he wants to do is produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

God wanted to produce humans. He used a process of evolution which produced a bush of life, not just a tree. The weavers are simply a stop on the way.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, March 08, 2018, 13:55 (134 days ago) @ David Turell

I’m combining different threads, as they centre on the same topic.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/social-amoebae-reach-for-the-sky

DAVID’s comment: Single celled organisms had to start cooperating if multicellularity was destined to appear. God guided them.

Wonderful to see how cell communities form and cooperate – a reminder that all multicellular organisms consist of groups cooperating with groups to create the astonishing diversity of the evolutionary bush. God “guided” them – i.e. every single detail divinely dabbled, or preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago? All for the sake of the human brain?

The forminifera “wonder” is doubly fascinating because of the following quote:
“'This mode of construction ... seems to require either an extraordinarily selective trial-and-error process at the site of cementation or an active sensory and decision-making system within the cell,” the researchers write.
"Charles Darwin apparently felt as Lam and I do […] “One cannot believe that they have mental power enough to do so, and how any structure or kind of viscidity can lead to this result passes all understanding.”
"With due respect to Mr. Darwin, “mental power” is probably the wrong phrase to use in talking about foraminifera. With just a single cell to speak of, forams don't have a nervous system with which to make decisions […]A foram architect is not “smart” in the same manner as a human one."

Of course not “smart” in the same manner as a human one. Why do humans think that only human “smartness” counts as smart? Clearly the author agrees with your rejection of smartness, and even Darwin couldn’t believe that these organisms might actually be intelligent. What a shame that he never lived to see the research done and the conclusions drawn by such experts in the field as McClintock, Margulis, Albrecht-Bühl, and in our own day James Shapiro. But yes, it remains a hypothesis.
Xxxx
DAVID: Intelligence involves being able to handle constructional information and informational stimuli with proper responses. Since biological research shows only automatic responses I do not accept your theory. As layer after layer of genome controls is uncovered, that is all that is found. I admit that the future might bring some evidence to help you. Only time will tell.

Biological research shows that even bacteria have the ability to solve problems, which means they are able to handle all kinds of information and come up with “proper responses”, i.e. fulfil your criteria for intelligence. See above for some biological researchers who disagree with your dismissal of bacterial intelligence. And I don’t know of any biological research that has yet brought any evidence of a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme installed by your God or even, if it comes to that, of the human soul you believe in. How could it if intelligence is immaterial?

dhw: Nor do I understand why your God should find it necessary to direct weaver knot-tying and ant bridge-building when apparently all he wants to do is produce the brain of Homo sapiens.
DAVID: God wanted to produce humans. He used a process of evolution which produced a bush of life, not just a tree. The weavers are simply a stop on the way.

Why do you think your God had to stop and design the nest “on the way”? No, don’t tell me: “balance of nature” – life could not possibly have continued without the nest and the ant bridge, and without them we would never have had humans.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 08, 2018, 17:03 (134 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: "With due respect to Mr. Darwin, “mental power” is probably the wrong phrase to use in talking about foraminifera. With just a single cell to speak of, forams don't have a nervous system with which to make decisions […]A foram architect is not “smart” in the same manner as a human one."[/i]

Of course not “smart” in the same manner as a human one. Why do humans think that only human “smartness” counts as smart? Clearly the author agrees with your rejection of smartness, and even Darwin couldn’t believe that these organisms might actually be intelligent. What a shame that he never lived to see the research done and the conclusions drawn by such experts in the field as McClintock, Margulis, Albrecht-Bühl, and in our own day James Shapiro. But yes, it remains a hypothesis.

Please remember from the outside we cannot tell if the cells are using automatic responses or act intelligently because they have intelligence. It is either or, and I've chosen my side based on my training.

Xxxx

DAVID: Intelligence involves being able to handle constructional information and informational stimuli with proper responses. Since biological research shows only automatic responses I do not accept your theory. As layer after layer of genome controls is uncovered, that is all that is found. I admit that the future might bring some evidence to help you. Only time will tell.

dhw: Biological research shows that even bacteria have the ability to solve problems, which means they are able to handle all kinds of information and come up with “proper responses”, i.e. fulfil your criteria for intelligence. See above for some biological researchers who disagree with your dismissal of bacterial intelligence. And I don’t know of any biological research that has yet brought any evidence of a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme installed by your God or even, if it comes to that, of the human soul you believe in. How could it if intelligence is immaterial?

Intelligence is immaterial. What we see in bacterial responses is a series of molecular reactions, all automatic and material. I've produced article after article showing this.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 09, 2018, 10:15 (133 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Please remember from the outside we cannot tell if the cells are using automatic responses or act intelligently because they have intelligence. It is either or, and I've chosen my side based on my training.

Yes, it is either/or. Others have opted for intelligence, based on their lifetime of research. You are right that we cannot tell from the outside. That makes it 50/50. Some people even think that we humans are automatons.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. What we see in bacterial responses is a series of molecular reactions, all automatic and material. I've produced article after article showing this.

If intelligence is immaterial, it cannot be seen. All we can see is molecular reactions, both in bacteria and in humans. You believe in immaterial human intelligence, and in the immaterial (though lesser) intelligence of larger organisms, because their behaviour indicates that they are intelligent. You do not believe in the immaterial (though lesser) intelligence of smaller organisms, in spite of the fact that their behaviour indicates that they are intelligent. That is probably as far as we can go in this discussion, but whenever you insist that bacteria and ants are robots, I shall feel obliged to point out to you that that is a subjective opinion and not a fact.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 09, 2018, 15:53 (133 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Please remember from the outside we cannot tell if the cells are using automatic responses or act intelligently because they have intelligence. It is either or, and I've chosen my side based on my training.

dhw: Yes, it is either/or. Others have opted for intelligence, based on their lifetime of research. You are right that we cannot tell from the outside. That makes it 50/50. Some people even think that we humans are automatons.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. What we see in bacterial responses is a series of molecular reactions, all automatic and material. I've produced article after article showing this.

dhw: If intelligence is immaterial, it cannot be seen. All we can see is molecular reactions, both in bacteria and in humans. You believe in immaterial human intelligence, and in the immaterial (though lesser) intelligence of larger organisms, because their behaviour indicates that they are intelligent. You do not believe in the immaterial (though lesser) intelligence of smaller organisms, in spite of the fact that their behaviour indicates that they are intelligent. That is probably as far as we can go in this discussion, but whenever you insist that bacteria and ants are robots, I shall feel obliged to point out to you that that is a subjective opinion and not a fact.

And I will stick to the point that intelligently planned responses by a designer is information contained in bacteria and ants, providing automatic responses to stimuli and changing conditions for those organisms. PAX.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, March 10, 2018, 10:33 (132 days ago) @ David Turell

Tony: Well, in the creation account, it says he created certain groups, but does not indicate that every variation we know today was created initially. It also talks about being created according to a "kind". That would be a prototype from which future variants could develop from the base model.

dhw: I don’t have a problem with that. Nor did Darwin, who talks of life “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.” My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence would certainly not preclude the design of prototypes, with different cell communities coming up with different “patterns” (David’s term) that can subsequently be re-used with variations.

DAVID: I've commented today with an article on spider coloration in Hawaii.
DAVID’S comment: This is certainly an evidence of patterns of control in evolution, gain providing evidence that God guided evolution using patterns of control. Tony and I discussed this with a Biblical quote from Genesis, making them in their own kind. Thursday, March 08, 2018, 19:15

Tony’s emphasis was on prototypes, and this article emphasizes convergence, and both ideas are consistent with Darwin’s theory that all the variations sprang from a few forms or one. That includes similar patterns evolving as well as different ones. Why you should equate this with God “guiding” evolution I really don’t know. These spiders adapted to their different environments by using different coloured camouflage. If God exists and did not preprogramme each colour scheme 3.8 billion years ago or do a personal dabble so that these different colour schemes would balance life to keep it going before he was able to fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the sapiens brain, then he must have given them the mechanism to do it themselves.

dhw: […] whenever you insist that bacteria and ants are robots, I shall feel obliged to point out to you that that is a subjective opinion and not a fact.

DAVID: And I will stick to the point that intelligently planned responses by a designer is information contained in bacteria and ants, providing automatic responses to stimuli and changing conditions for those organisms. PAX.

It’s not a point, it’s a subjective opinion which you continually try to present as if it were a fact. I can no more disprove your subjective opinion than you can disprove that of the scientists who disagree with you. If you accept this, we can have pax.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 10, 2018, 15:05 (132 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’S comment: This is certainly an evidence of patterns of control in evolution, gain providing evidence that God guided evolution using patterns of control. Tony and I discussed this with a Biblical quote from Genesis, making them in their own kind. Thursday, March 08, 2018, 19:15

dhw: Tony’s emphasis was on prototypes, and this article emphasizes convergence, and both ideas are consistent with Darwin’s theory that all the variations sprang from a few forms or one. That includes similar patterns evolving as well as different ones. Why you should equate this with God “guiding” evolution I really don’t know. These spiders adapted to their different environments by using different coloured camouflage. If God exists and did not preprogramme each colour scheme 3.8 billion years ago or do a personal dabble so that these different colour schemes would balance life to keep it going before he was able to fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the sapiens brain, then he must have given them the mechanism to do it themselves.

I see it differently. If God used patterns and even gave organisms mechanisms, it makes
his job of creating a huge diversity bush easier. I believe God guided evolution. You don't.


dhw: […] whenever you insist that bacteria and ants are robots, I shall feel obliged to point out to you that that is a subjective opinion and not a fact.

DAVID: And I will stick to the point that intelligently planned responses by a designer is information contained in bacteria and ants, providing automatic responses to stimuli and changing conditions for those organisms. PAX.

dhw: It’s not a point, it’s a subjective opinion which you continually try to present as if it were a fact. I can no more disprove your subjective opinion than you can disprove that of the scientists who disagree with you. If you accept this, we can have pax.

We disagree. You can't present them as fact either. PAX.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, March 11, 2018, 13:03 (131 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Tony’s emphasis was on prototypes, and this article emphasizes convergence, and both ideas are consistent with Darwin’s theory that all the variations sprang from a few forms or one. That includes similar patterns evolving as well as different ones. Why you should equate this with God “guiding” evolution I really don’t know. These spiders adapted to their different environments by using different coloured camouflage. If God exists and did not preprogramme each colour scheme 3.8 billion years ago or do a personal dabble so that these different colour schemes would balance life to keep it going before he was able to fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the sapiens brain, then he must have given them the mechanism to do it themselves.

DAVID: I see it differently. If God used patterns and even gave organisms mechanisms, it makes his job of creating a huge diversity bush easier. I believe God guided evolution. You don't.

This depends on what you mean by “guided”. You now seem to regard his job as “creating a huge diversity bush”, which is a colossal switch from creating the brain of Homo sapiens – hitherto his one and only purpose. I am the one who suggests that if he exists, he actually WANTED a huge diversity bush, and I’m quite happy to accept Darwin’s proposal that this evolved from a few forms or one, which matches Tony’s and your own. Each twig, however, would not need “guidance” if he gave it an intelligent, AUTONOMOUS, inventive mechanism of its own – e.g. he did not have to design a particular nest, a particular camouflage, a particular migratory pattern etc. That is where your “guidance” goes way beyond my personal bounds of credulity, and of course my hypothesis leads precisely to him thus doing his “job” of creating a huge diversity bush.

DAVID: And I will stick to the point that intelligently planned responses by a designer is information contained in bacteria and ants, providing automatic responses to stimuli and changing conditions for those organisms. PAX.

dhw: It’s not a point, it’s a subjective opinion which you continually try to present as if it were a fact. I can no more disprove your subjective opinion than you can disprove that of the scientists who disagree with you. If you accept this, we can have pax.
DAVID: We disagree. You can't present them as fact either. PAX.

I always try to make it clear that my view, and that of my own expert witnesses, is a hypothesis not a fact. PAX, until you once again hone in on automatic molecular processes as the source of intelligence in bacteria but not in humans.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 11, 2018, 18:46 (131 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I see it differently. If God used patterns and even gave organisms mechanisms, it makes his job of creating a huge diversity bush easier. I believe God guided evolution. You don't.

dhw: This depends on what you mean by “guided”. You now seem to regard his job as “creating a huge diversity bush”, which is a colossal switch from creating the brain of Homo sapiens – hitherto his one and only purpose. I am the one who suggests that if he exists, he actually WANTED a huge diversity bush, and I’m quite happy to accept Darwin’s proposal that this evolved from a few forms or one, which matches Tony’s and your own. Each twig, however, would not need “guidance” if he gave it an intelligent, AUTONOMOUS, inventive mechanism of its own – e.g. he did not have to design a particular nest, a particular camouflage, a particular migratory pattern etc. That is where your “guidance” goes way beyond my personal bounds of credulity, and of course my hypothesis leads precisely to him thus doing his “job” of creating a huge diversity bush.

When I enter something as above, I assume you understand that I have not changed my mind about the goal of a human species with our magnificent brain. He also created an enormous diverse bush of life along the way which helped to supply the energy for evolution to continue for a very long time (3.8 billion years). You use an IM and i suggest built-in patterns of development. Why are you incredulous that God would want to carefully guide His plan of evolution?

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, March 12, 2018, 11:07 (130 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: This depends on what you mean by “guided”. You now seem to regard his job as “creating a huge diversity bush”, which is a colossal switch from creating the brain of Homo sapiens – hitherto his one and only purpose. I am the one who suggests that if he exists, he actually WANTED a huge diversity bush, and I’m quite happy to accept Darwin’s proposal that this evolved from a few forms or one, which matches Tony’s and your own. Each twig, however, would not need “guidance” if he gave it an intelligent, AUTONOMOUS, inventive mechanism of its own – e.g. he did not have to design a particular nest, a particular camouflage, a particular migratory pattern etc. That is where your “guidance” goes way beyond my personal bounds of credulity, and of course my hypothesis leads precisely to him thus doing his “job” of creating a huge diversity bush.

DAVID: When I enter something as above, I assume you understand that I have not changed my mind about the goal of a human species with our magnificent brain. He also created an enormous diverse bush of life along the way which helped to supply the energy for evolution to continue for a very long time (3.8 billion years). You use an IM and i suggest built-in patterns of development. Why are you incredulous that God would want to carefully guide His plan of evolution?

My incredulity concerns the idea that the God you keep saying is in total control should specially design millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct when all he wants to do is create the brain of Homo sapiens. The fact that evolution has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far does not mean it was all for the sake of your brain and mine. It simply means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far. It makes far more sense to me to suggest that since evolution has produced this astonishing and ever changing variety, what he wanted – if he exists – was an astonishing and ever changing variety. I don’t have a problem with the idea that your controlling God could interfere at any time he liked, possibly even to guide one of the twigs towards a species blossoming into sapiens. But guiding the weaverbird to build its nest so that he could guide a different twig to sapiens makes no sense to me. Multiply that example by umpteen million.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, March 12, 2018, 14:07 (130 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: When I enter something as above, I assume you understand that I have not changed my mind about the goal of a human species with our magnificent brain. He also created an enormous diverse bush of life along the way which helped to supply the energy for evolution to continue for a very long time (3.8 billion years). You use an IM and I suggest built-in patterns of development. Why are you incredulous that God would want to carefully guide His plan of evolution?

dhw: My incredulity concerns the idea that the God you keep saying is in total control should specially design millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct when all he wants to do is create the brain of Homo sapiens. The fact that evolution has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far does not mean it was all for the sake of your brain and mine. It simply means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far. It makes far more sense to me to suggest that since evolution has produced this astonishing and ever changing variety, what he wanted – if he exists – was an astonishing and ever changing variety. I don’t have a problem with the idea that your controlling God could interfere at any time he liked, possibly even to guide one of the twigs towards a species blossoming into sapiens. But guiding the weaverbird to build its nest so that he could guide a different twig to sapiens makes no sense to me. Multiply that example by umpteen million.

As usual you skipped over the need for energy for life to continue from 3.8 billion years ago. And you express no surprise that a so-called meaningless, purposeless evolutionary process produced the human brain. I see purpose, control and appropriate econiches to supply the energy. I see MY God acting in the way I propose. I know I can't convince you.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 12:37 (129 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My incredulity concerns the idea that the God you keep saying is in total control should specially design millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct when all he wants to do is create the brain of Homo sapiens. The fact that evolution has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far does not mean it was all for the sake of your brain and mine. It simply means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far. It makes far more sense to me to suggest that since evolution has produced this astonishing and ever changing variety, what he wanted – if he exists – was an astonishing and ever changing variety. I don’t have a problem with the idea that your controlling God could interfere at any time he liked, possibly even to guide one of the twigs towards a species blossoming into sapiens. But guiding the weaverbird to build its nest so that he could guide a different twig to sapiens makes no sense to me. Multiply that example by umpteen million.

DAVID: As usual you skipped over the need for energy for life to continue from 3.8 billion years ago. And you express no surprise that a so-called meaningless, purposeless evolutionary process produced the human brain. I see purpose, control and appropriate econiches to supply the energy. I see MY God acting in the way I propose. I know I can't convince you.

As usual you ignore the fact that energy for life to continue has nothing whatsoever to do with your anthropocentrism. Life needs energy, and life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far, with and without humans, and may go on for another 3.8 billion years with or without humans. And as usual you impose meaninglessness and purposelessness onto my thinking, whereas I am simply challenging your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders in order to produce the human brain. If God exists, of course he has a purpose, but you would rather not discuss it if it means “humanizing” him, and especially if it means challenging your own idea of his purpose. Even if there were no God, I would still see purpose in evolution (survival and improvement), and meaning is whatever we make it. As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not. Please stop putting up straw men of your own making.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 15:23 (129 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: As usual you skipped over the need for energy for life to continue from 3.8 billion years ago. And you express no surprise that a so-called meaningless, purposeless evolutionary process produced the human brain. I see purpose, control and appropriate econiches to supply the energy. I see MY God acting in the way I propose. I know I can't convince you.

dhw: As usual you ignore the fact that energy for life to continue has nothing whatsoever to do with your anthropocentrism. Life needs energy, and life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far, with and without humans, and may go on for another 3.8 billion years with or without humans. And as usual you impose meaninglessness and purposelessness onto my thinking, whereas I am simply challenging your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders in order to produce the human brain. If God exists, of course he has a purpose, but you would rather not discuss it if it means “humanizing” him, and especially if it means challenging your own idea of his purpose. Even if there were no God, I would still see purpose in evolution (survival and improvement), and meaning is whatever we make it. As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not. Please stop putting up straw men of your own making.

Your wonderment should include an amazement at the arrival of the human brain. It needn't be here, but it is, therefore I feel/ know there is reason behind the event.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 10:53 (128 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not.

DAVID: Your wonderment should include an amazement at the arrival of the human brain. It needn't be here, but it is, therefore I feel/ know there is reason behind the event.

If you read my words, you will see that they do include wonderment at the human brain. And indeed at all forms of life. And there is no form of life that needs to be here. And so perhaps there is a reason for all forms of life to be here or no longer here. And if there is a God, perhaps his reason for all forms of life coming and going in a great higgledy-piggledy bush is that he wanted all forms of life to come and go in a great higgledy-piggledy bush. That does not preclude a special place for humans, but it does preclude individual design for every natural wonder solely in order to produce our brain. If there is no God, then all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here – in most cases, survival and/or improvement, but with us humans a much wider variety, though always including survival and/or improvement.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 14:24 (128 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not.

DAVID: Your wonderment should include an amazement at the arrival of the human brain. It needn't be here, but it is, therefore I feel/ know there is reason behind the event.

dhw: If you read my words, you will see that they do include wonderment at the human brain. And indeed at all forms of life. And there is no form of life that needs to be here. And so perhaps there is a reason for all forms of life to be here or no longer here. And if there is a God, perhaps his reason for all forms of life coming and going in a great higgledy-piggledy bush is that he wanted all forms of life to come and go in a great higgledy-piggledy bush. That does not preclude a special place for humans, but it does preclude individual design for every natural wonder solely in order to produce our brain. If there is no God, then all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here – in most cases, survival and/or improvement, but with us humans a much wider variety, though always including survival and/or improvement.


Your comment: "all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here" offers no explanation as to why or how they are here. It is simple acceptance. I'm not satisfied with that.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, March 15, 2018, 11:01 (127 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not.

DAVID: Your wonderment should include an amazement at the arrival of the human brain. It needn't be here, but it is, therefore I feel/ know there is reason behind the event.

dhw: If you read my words, you will see that they do include wonderment at the human brain. And indeed at all forms of life. And there is no form of life that needs to be here. And so perhaps there is a reason for all forms of life to be here or no longer here. And if there is a God, perhaps his reason for all forms of life coming and going in a great higgledy-piggledy bush is that he wanted all forms of life to come and go in a great higgledy-piggledy bush. That does not preclude a special place for humans, but it does preclude individual design for every natural wonder solely in order to produce our brain. If there is no God, then all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here – in most cases, survival and/or improvement, but with us humans a much wider variety, though always including survival and/or improvement.

DAVID: Your comment: "all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here" offers no explanation as to why or how they are here. It is simple acceptance. I'm not satisfied with that.

Why did you leave out the beginning of that sentence: “If there is no God….”? It follows on from a possible purpose if there is a God. Of course as a believer you are not satisfied with a balanced agnostic view! But even as a believer you are not satisfied with any possible purpose that conflicts with your own personal reading of your God's mind!

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 15, 2018, 14:22 (127 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not.

DAVID: Your wonderment should include an amazement at the arrival of the human brain. It needn't be here, but it is, therefore I feel/ know there is reason behind the event.

dhw: If you read my words, you will see that they do include wonderment at the human brain. And indeed at all forms of life. And there is no form of life that needs to be here. And so perhaps there is a reason for all forms of life to be here or no longer here. And if there is a God, perhaps his reason for all forms of life coming and going in a great higgledy-piggledy bush is that he wanted all forms of life to come and go in a great higgledy-piggledy bush. That does not preclude a special place for humans, but it does preclude individual design for every natural wonder solely in order to produce our brain. If there is no God, then all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here – in most cases, survival and/or improvement, but with us humans a much wider variety, though always including survival and/or improvement.

DAVID: Your comment: "all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here" offers no explanation as to why or how they are here. It is simple acceptance. I'm not satisfied with that.

dhw: Why did you leave out the beginning of that sentence: “If there is no God….”? It follows on from a possible purpose if there is a God. Of course as a believer you are not satisfied with a balanced agnostic view! But even as a believer you are not satisfied with any possible purpose that conflicts with your own personal reading of your God's mind!

We are back to the same battle. I can only interpret God's intentions from what I see He has produced. The human brain is his paramount achievement, achieved through the use of a guided evolutionary process.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 16, 2018, 10:09 (126 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your comment: "all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here" offers no explanation as to why or how they are here. It is simple acceptance. I'm not satisfied with that.

dhw: Why did you leave out the beginning of that sentence: “If there is no God….”? It follows on from a possible purpose if there is a God. Of course as a believer you are not satisfied with a balanced agnostic view! But even as a believer you are not satisfied with any possible purpose that conflicts with your own personal reading of your God's mind!

DAVID: We are back to the same battle. I can only interpret God's intentions from what I see He has produced. The human brain is his paramount achievement, achieved through the use of a guided evolutionary process.

If God exists, I don’t have a problem with the claim that the human brain is his paramount achievement. I don’t have a problem with the claim that he might have dabbled with evolution in order to guide one twig of its bush to culminate in the brain of Homo sapiens. But I do have a problem with the claim that from the very beginning, this was his sole purpose, and every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder was specially designed (either by dabbling or through preprogramming the first cells 3.8 billion years ago) solely in order to produce our brain. I have offered you theistic alternatives (late afterthought, experimentation, free-for-all with possible dabbles) and you have agreed that all of them fit in with the history, but you still insist – I’ll stick to my favourite example out of the many millions – that God personally designed the weaverbird’s nest in order to keep life going for the sake of your brain and mine. THAT is our theistic “battle”.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 16, 2018, 18:27 (126 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your comment: "all forms of life simply have their own particular reasons for being here" offers no explanation as to why or how they are here. It is simple acceptance. I'm not satisfied with that.

dhw: Why did you leave out the beginning of that sentence: “If there is no God….”? It follows on from a possible purpose if there is a God. Of course as a believer you are not satisfied with a balanced agnostic view! But even as a believer you are not satisfied with any possible purpose that conflicts with your own personal reading of your God's mind!

DAVID: We are back to the same battle. I can only interpret God's intentions from what I see He has produced. The human brain is his paramount achievement, achieved through the use of a guided evolutionary process.

dhw: If God exists, I don’t have a problem with the claim that the human brain is his paramount achievement. I don’t have a problem with the claim that he might have dabbled with evolution in order to guide one twig of its bush to culminate in the brain of Homo sapiens. But I do have a problem with the claim that from the very beginning, this was his sole purpose, and every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder was specially designed (either by dabbling or through preprogramming the first cells 3.8 billion years ago) solely in order to produce our brain. I have offered you theistic alternatives (late afterthought, experimentation, free-for-all with possible dabbles) and you have agreed that all of them fit in with the history, but you still insist – I’ll stick to my favourite example out of the many millions – that God personally designed the weaverbird’s nest in order to keep life going for the sake of your brain and mine. THAT is our theistic “battle”.

And I'll stick to my point of view. The nest is there as evidence of God's work. It could not have popped up by chance. Look at the boy-scout knots the bird had to figure out to hang the bag-like nest from a ranch. It had to be designed all at once, not bit by bit, or the weight of the eggs would have caused them to be splattered on the ground. Your theory about the bird demands bit by bit.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, March 17, 2018, 11:49 (125 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are back to the same battle. I can only interpret God's intentions from what I see He has produced. The human brain is his paramount achievement, achieved through the use of a guided evolutionary process.

dhw: If God exists, I don’t have a problem with the claim that the human brain is his paramount achievement. I don’t have a problem with the claim that he might have dabbled with evolution in order to guide one twig of its bush to culminate in the brain of Homo sapiens. But I do have a problem with the claim that from the very beginning, this was his sole purpose, and every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder was specially designed (either by dabbling or through preprogramming the first cells 3.8 billion years ago) solely in order to produce our brain. I have offered you theistic alternatives (late afterthought, experimentation, free-for-all with possible dabbles) and you have agreed that all of them fit in with the history, but you still insist – I’ll stick to my favourite example out of the many millions – that God personally designed the weaverbird’s nest in order to keep life going for the sake of your brain and mine. THAT is our theistic “battle”.

DAVID: And I'll stick to my point of view. The nest is there as evidence of God's work. It could not have popped up by chance. Look at the boy-scout knots the bird had to figure out to hang the bag-like nest from a ranch. It had to be designed all at once, not bit by bit, or the weight of the eggs would have caused them to be splattered on the ground. Your theory about the bird demands bit by bit.

Of course it didn’t pop up by chance. Every bird builds its nest for a purpose! And every bird’s nest has to support the weight of the eggs. Neither you nor I have the slightest idea why the weaverbird made its nest so complex, but your answer avoids the whole question of why your God should specially pick on the weaverbird and specially teach it to tie specially complicated knots. As with all of nature’s wonders, you cannot imagine organisms working out their own special ways of doing things – they are all specially designed by God, and so the nest of the weaverbird had to have special knots in order to provide energy for life to go on until your God could produce the one thing he wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. It has never made sense, even to you.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 17, 2018, 14:09 (125 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: And I'll stick to my point of view. The nest is there as evidence of God's work. It could not have popped up by chance. Look at the boy-scout knots the bird had to figure out to hang the bag-like nest from a ranch. It had to be designed all at once, not bit by bit, or the weight of the eggs would have caused them to be splattered on the ground. Your theory about the bird demands bit by bit.

dhw: Of course it didn’t pop up by chance. Every bird builds its nest for a purpose! And every bird’s nest has to support the weight of the eggs. Neither you nor I have the slightest idea why the weaverbird made its nest so complex, but your answer avoids the whole question of why your God should specially pick on the weaverbird and specially teach it to tie specially complicated knots. As with all of nature’s wonders, you cannot imagine organisms working out their own special ways of doing things – they are all specially designed by God, and so the nest of the weaverbird had to have special knots in order to provide energy for life to go on until your God could produce the one thing he wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. It has never made sense, even to you.

Of course it makes perfect sense to me. The bag design is perfect protection for the eggs. Open cup nests are attacked all the time. As for our brain, its uniqueness is obvious evidence that it was the goal of evolution, as conducted by God.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, March 18, 2018, 12:01 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As with all of nature’s wonders, you cannot imagine organisms working out their own special ways of doing things – they are all specially designed by God, and so the nest of the weaverbird had to have special knots in order to provide energy for life to go on until your God could produce the one thing he wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. It has never made sense, even to you.

DAVID: Of course it makes perfect sense to me. The bag design is perfect protection for the eggs. Open cup nests are attacked all the time.

So what is your theory about other birds and their nests? God just left them to do their own designing (ah, autonomy at last!), and it’s sheer luck that they and their eggs survived? Was the weaver the only bird that required special attention in order to ensure life went on so that God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

DAVID: As for our brain, its uniqueness is obvious evidence that it was the goal of evolution, as conducted by God.

As above, then, it must also be obvious to you that God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest to protect the eggs, so that life could go on long enough for him to specially design the human brain. Truly your God works in mysterious ways.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 18, 2018, 14:48 (124 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: As with all of nature’s wonders, you cannot imagine organisms working out their own special ways of doing things – they are all specially designed by God, and so the nest of the weaverbird had to have special knots in order to provide energy for life to go on until your God could produce the one thing he wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. It has never made sense, even to you.

DAVID: Of course it makes perfect sense to me. The bag design is perfect protection for the eggs. Open cup nests are attacked all the time.

dhw: So what is your theory about other birds and their nests? God just left them to do their own designing (ah, autonomy at last!), and it’s sheer luck that they and their eggs survived? Was the weaver the only bird that required special attention in order to ensure life went on so that God could fulfill his one and only purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

Your question requires research into the particular econiche in which the weaver plays a role. Such research has answered the question like this, as I have shared before.


DAVID: As for our brain, its uniqueness is obvious evidence that it was the goal of evolution, as conducted by God.

dhw: As above, then, it must also be obvious to you that God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest to protect the eggs, so that life could go on long enough for him to specially design the human brain. Truly your God works in mysterious ways.

By George, you've got it!

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, March 19, 2018, 12:40 (123 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As with all of nature’s wonders, you cannot imagine organisms working out their own special ways of doing things – they are all specially designed by God, and so the nest of the weaverbird had to have special knots in order to provide energy for life to go on until your God could produce the one thing he wanted to produce, which was the brain of Homo sapiens. It has never made sense, even to you.

DAVID: Of course it makes perfect sense to me. The bag design is perfect protection for the eggs. Open cup nests are attacked all the time.

dhw: So what is your theory about other birds and their nests? God just left them to do their own designing (ah, autonomy at last!), and it’s sheer luck that they and their eggs survived? Was the weaver the only bird that required special attention in order to ensure life went on so that God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens?

DAVID: Your question requires research into the particular econiche in which the weaver plays a role. Such research has answered the question like this, as I have shared before.

So what is your theory about other birds? Did they autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions too? I can’t remember why the weaverbird’s econiche was of special significance in the evolution of the human brain, so perhaps you can remind me?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, March 19, 2018, 14:14 (123 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Your question requires research into the particular econiche in which the weaver plays a role. Such research has answered the question like this, as I have shared before.

dhw: So what is your theory about other birds? Did they autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions too? I can’t remember why the weaverbird’s econiche was of special significance in the evolution of the human brain, so perhaps you can remind me?

All econiches are important to the balance of nature, the importance of which you like to downplay.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 12:18 (122 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your question requires research into the particular econiche in which the weaver plays a role. Such research has answered the question like this, as I have shared before.

dhw: So what is your theory about other birds? Did they autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions too? I can’t remember why the weaverbird’s econiche was of special significance in the evolution of the human brain, so perhaps you can remind me?

DAVID: All econiches are important to the balance of nature, the importance of which you like to downplay.

So did non-weavers autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions? The balance of nature has constantly changed, in accordance with which organisms and econiches have survived and which have disappeared. How does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain? David, it doesn’t make sense.

NB: The historically changing balance of nature has nothing to do with trying to stop some humans from wrecking the environment to such a degree that other species and large numbers of their fellow humans become endangered. You have frequently and quite rightly drawn our attention to these ecological issues, but one should not conflate the two uses of “balance of nature”.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 14:35 (122 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your question requires research into the particular econiche in which the weaver plays a role. Such research has answered the question like this, as I have shared before.

dhw: So what is your theory about other birds? Did they autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions too? I can’t remember why the weaverbird’s econiche was of special significance in the evolution of the human brain, so perhaps you can remind me?

DAVID: All econiches are important to the balance of nature, the importance of which you like to downplay.

dhw: So did non-weavers autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions? The balance of nature has constantly changed, in accordance with which organisms and econiches have survived and which have disappeared. How does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain? David, it doesn’t make sense.

It always makes perfect sense to me. The brain is the pinnacle purpose of his accomplishments in creation.


dhw: NB: The historically changing balance of nature has nothing to do with trying to stop some humans from wrecking the environment to such a degree that other species and large numbers of their fellow humans become endangered. You have frequently and quite rightly drawn our attention to these ecological issues, but one should not conflate the two uses of “balance of nature”.

Good point. My point in presentation of human nature errors was always to show the importance of the proper balance.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 12:47 (121 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The balance of nature has constantly changed, in accordance with which organisms and econiches have survived and which have disappeared. How does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain? David, it doesn’t make sense.

DAVID: It always makes perfect sense to me. The brain is the pinnacle purpose of his accomplishments in creation.

I have no objection to the claim that the brain is the pinnacle achievement. I don’t know what pinnacle purpose means, but if it means most important, then let’s hear what the less important purposes are. Meanwhile, did non-weavers autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions? And how does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain?

dhw: NB: The historically changing balance of nature has nothing to do with trying to stop some humans from wrecking the environment to such a degree that other species and large numbers of their fellow humans become endangered. You have frequently and quite rightly drawn our attention to these ecological issues, but one should not conflate the two uses of “balance of nature”.

DAVID: Good point. My point in presentation of human nature errors was always to show the importance of the proper balance.

Excellent. We are in agreement. So please stop referring to “balance of nature” when you are trying to prove that the weaverbird’s nest was essential to God’s fulfilment of his one and only purpose – the production of the human brain.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 12:57 (121 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The balance of nature has constantly changed, in accordance with which organisms and econiches have survived and which have disappeared. How does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain? David, it doesn’t make sense.

DAVID: It always makes perfect sense to me. The brain is the pinnacle purpose of his accomplishments in creation.

I have no objection to the claim that the brain is the pinnacle achievement. I don’t know what pinnacle purpose means, but if it means most important, then let’s hear what the less important purposes are. Meanwhile, did non-weavers autonomously work out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or did your God give them instructions? And how does the ever changing balance of nature support the hypothesis that the weaverbird’s nest was specially designed to enable life to continue until God could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain?

dhw: NB: The historically changing balance of nature has nothing to do with trying to stop some humans from wrecking the environment to such a degree that other species and large numbers of their fellow humans become endangered. You have frequently and quite rightly drawn our attention to these ecological issues, but one should not conflate the two uses of “balance of nature”.

DAVID: Good point. My point in presentation of human nature errors was always to show the importance of the proper balance.

dhw: Excellent. We are in agreement. So please stop referring to “balance of nature” when you are trying to prove that the weaverbird’s nest was essential to God’s fulfilment of his one and only purpose – the production of the human brain.

Stop the contortion that the human brain was God's only purpose. It was His primary purpose. He produced the universe, life with all its diversity on an amazing planet Earth as many other results of His creativeness.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, March 22, 2018, 10:36 (120 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My point in presentation of human nature errors was always to show the importance of the proper balance.

dhw: Excellent. We are in agreement. So please stop referring to “balance of nature” when you are trying to prove that the weaverbird’s nest was essential to God’s fulfilment of his one and only purpose – the production of the human brain.

DAVID: Stop the contortion that the human brain was God's only purpose. It was His primary purpose. He produced the universe, life with all its diversity on an amazing planet Earth as many other results of His creativeness.

We know the results, but we are talking about the purpose, and we have had this conversation many times before. When challenged, you change sole purpose to primary purpose, and I point out to you that if there is a primary purpose, there must be at least one secondary purpose. But let’s see where it leads us this time. Please tell us what other purpose(s) your God might have had in personally designing the weaverbird’s nest and the billion or so other natural wonders and lifestyles which you believe he either preprogrammed or dabbled.

Meanwhile, I would still like to know if you think non-weavers autonomously worked out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or your God gave them instructions.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 22, 2018, 17:49 (120 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My point in presentation of human nature errors was always to show the importance of the proper balance.

dhw: Excellent. We are in agreement. So please stop referring to “balance of nature” when you are trying to prove that the weaverbird’s nest was essential to God’s fulfilment of his one and only purpose – the production of the human brain.

DAVID: Stop the contortion that the human brain was God's only purpose. It was His primary purpose. He produced the universe, life with all its diversity on an amazing planet Earth as many other results of His creativeness.

dhw: We know the results, but we are talking about the purpose, and we have had this conversation many times before. When challenged, you change sole purpose to primary purpose, and I point out to you that if there is a primary purpose, there must be at least one secondary purpose. But let’s see where it leads us this time. Please tell us what other purpose(s) your God might have had in personally designing the weaverbird’s nest and the billion or so other natural wonders and lifestyles which you believe he either preprogrammed or dabbled.

You've taken me back to the bush of life and balance of nature to supply the energy for life to continue through 3.8 billion years of God's method of evolution, as you knew I would.


dhw: Meanwhile, I would still like to know if you think non-weavers autonomously worked out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or your God gave them instructions.

I don't have a clue. The nests are easy to build by simply gathering and laying down twigs in a circle. Probably a simple instinct. No knot tying.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 23, 2018, 13:08 (119 days ago) @ David Turell

I am combining threads again, as the subject is the same.

Dhw: (To David, under “termites”): You always focus on the chemical processes by which organisms perceive things, but it is behaviour that denotes intelligence. Termites, like ants, can solve all sorts of problems. They build whole cities which are so complex that you – with your eagle eye for design – could not possibly attribute them to anything but intelligence. But they are tiny creatures compared to ourselves, and your “large organisms chauvinism”(Shapiro) dictates that tiny creatures can’t be intelligent, so God has to give them “guidelines” (i.e. preprogramme them or do a dabble). And yet at the same time you say that one can’t tell from the outside whether these living creatures are robots or thinking beings. I wonder what size they need to be before you give them the benefit of the doubt!

MATT: You didn’t take it far enough dhw!
If ants and termites don’t express intelligence, then the only explanation left is that they evolved that ability by chance. Termite mounds specifically are a marvel in regards to their design. The cooling system alone is a feat of wonder!

Welcome back, Matt! Long time no hear!
My point, of course, is that they DO express intelligence, and I leave open the question of how that intelligence originated (chance, God, atheistic panpsychism are the three options I can offer). If, as David thinks, ants and termites are mere robots – i.e. automatons that have no autonomous intelligence of their own - then I would say the only explanation for their complex design is a God who does it for them, which is no doubt the reason why David insists they are automatons! This is part of an ongoing discussion concerning the extent to which evolution has been governed by autonomous organismal intelligence interacting with ever changing conditions. The robot theory (only God could have created a termite mound or the weaverbird’s nest) is essential for David’s hypothesis that his God controlled the whole of evolution in order to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. As you will see below, both parts of the hypothesis fluctuate.

DAVID: (under “bacterial intelligence”) Another non-religious thought is God created a such a strong driving force to produce life on Earth with bacteria that viruses also appeared and in each group nasty ones popped up, that then had to be controlled. Raises the issue of whether God is under total control or just well-intended? I have no way of knowing.
[…]
dhw: So your God may have purposefully added bad viruses and bacteria, or he may have lost control, or he may have deliberately sacrificed control to let evolution take its own course (you left out that alternative). Evidence is not clear. You are prepared to consider the possibility that he did not HAVE total control, and yet you are not prepared to consider the possibility that he did not WANT total control.

DAVID: Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.

Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

DAVID: Stop the contortion that the human brain was God's only purpose. It was His primary purpose. […]

dhw: […] Please tell us what other purpose(s) your God might have had in personally designing the weaverbird’s nest and the billion or so other natural wonders and lifestyles which you believe he either preprogrammed or dabbled.

DAVID: You've taken me back to the bush of life and balance of nature to supply the energy for life to continue through 3.8 billion years of God's method of evolution, as you knew I would.

Life continues so long as life continues, regardless of which organisms and what “balance” exist at any given time. So are you now agreeing that the bush of life is a purpose in itself, i.e. your God actually wanted a vast variety of organisms that come and go, creating an ever changing “balance”, and the weaverbird’s nest (plus a billion more wonders) had nothing to do with what you believe to have been his “primary” purpose of producing your brain and mine?

dhw: Meanwhile, I would still like to know if you think non-weavers autonomously worked out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or your God gave them instructions.
DAVID: I don't have a clue. The nests are easy to build by simply gathering and laying down twigs in a circle. Probably a simple instinct. No knot tying.

Tell a mindless robot to build a nest. The first nests required intelligence. (Once they had been built, no doubt the skill would have been passed on.) However, your cluelessness raises the whole question of when organisms autonomously work out their own lifestyles and natural wonders, and when your God – if he exists - had to preprogramme them or personally intervene. Now that you are clueless, perhaps you will accept that lots of organisms MAY have had the autonomous intelligence to work out how to create nests, or dams, or cities, or camouflage, or symbiotic relationships, or various other forms of protection and survival without any divine instructions.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 23, 2018, 14:35 (119 days ago) @ dhw

> DAVID: (under “bacterial intelligence”) Another non-religious thought is God created a such a strong driving force to produce life on Earth with bacteria that viruses also appeared and in each group nasty ones popped up, that then had to be controlled. Raises the issue of whether God is under total control or just well-intended? I have no way of knowing.

[…]
dhw: So your God may have purposefully added bad viruses and bacteria, or he may have lost control, or he may have deliberately sacrificed control to let evolution take its own course (you left out that alternative). Evidence is not clear. You are prepared to consider the possibility that he did not HAVE total control, and yet you are not prepared to consider the possibility that he did not WANT total control.

DAVID: Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.

dhw: Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above.


DAVID: Stop the contortion that the human brain was God's only purpose. It was His primary purpose. […]

dhw: […] Please tell us what other purpose(s) your God might have had in personally designing the weaverbird’s nest and the billion or so other natural wonders and lifestyles which you believe he either preprogrammed or dabbled.

DAVID: You've taken me back to the bush of life and balance of nature to supply the energy for life to continue through 3.8 billion years of God's method of evolution, as you knew I would.

dhw: Life continues so long as life continues, regardless of which organisms and what “balance” exist at any given time. So are you now agreeing that the bush of life is a purpose in itself, i.e. your God actually wanted a vast variety of organisms that come and go, creating an ever changing “balance”, and the weaverbird’s nest (plus a billion more wonders) had nothing to do with what you believe to have been his “primary” purpose of producing your brain and mine?

Of course the bush has a purpose. I've been saying that all along. It provides energy for life to continue. All His purposes work together to produce humans.


dhw: Meanwhile, I would still like to know if you think non-weavers autonomously worked out how to build their inferior, egg-endangering nests, or your God gave them instructions.
DAVID: I don't have a clue. The nests are easy to build by simply gathering and laying down twigs in a circle. Probably a simple instinct. No knot tying.

dhw: Tell a mindless robot to build a nest. The first nests required intelligence. (Once they had been built, no doubt the skill would have been passed on.) However, your cluelessness raises the whole question of when organisms autonomously work out their own lifestyles and natural wonders, and when your God – if he exists - had to preprogramme them or personally intervene. Now that you are clueless, perhaps you will accept that lots of organisms MAY have had the autonomous intelligence to work out how to create nests, or dams, or cities, or camouflage, or symbiotic relationships, or various other forms of protection and survival without any divine instructions.

Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, March 24, 2018, 13:02 (118 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (under “bacterial intelligence”) Another non-religious thought is God created a such a strong driving force to produce life on Earth with bacteria that viruses also appeared and in each group nasty ones popped up, that then had to be controlled. Raises the issue of whether God is under total control or just well-intended? I have no way of knowing. (David’s bold)

But later you wrote:

DAVID: Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

DAVID: [/i]Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above.

What you bolded above is in direct contrast to what I have bolded above: “he maintained full guidance”. What is “full guidance” if it’s not total control?

DAVID: You've taken me back to the bush of life and balance of nature to supply the energy for life to continue through 3.8 billion years of God's method of evolution, as you knew I would.

dhw: Life continues so long as life continues, regardless of which organisms and what “balance” exist at any given time. So are you now agreeing that the bush of life is a purpose in itself, i.e. your God actually wanted a vast variety of organisms that come and go, creating an ever changing “balance”, and the weaverbird’s nest (plus a billion more wonders) had nothing to do with what you believe to have been his “primary” purpose of producing your brain and mine?

DAVID: Of course the bush has a purpose. I've been saying that all along. It provides energy for life to continue. All His purposes work together to produce humans.

“ALL his purposes?” What are the others? But yes, that is what you have been saying all along, which joined together simply means the purpose of the bush is to allow time for your God to produce humans. When we consider the billions of organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct – all for the sake of the human brain – it’s little wonder that you can’t make up your mind whether God is or is not in total control. “I must design a bad virus,” said God, “in order to be sure life goes on until humans evolve.” Or: “Damn, what the heck is that bad virus doing here, when all I want is the human brain?” And “If I don’t teach the weaverbird to tie knots, life will come to an end before I’ve designed the human brain.” Compare this utter confusion with your next answer, concerning nest-building in general:

DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. If your God sacrificed control and left non-weavers to work out their own solutions, maybe he left ants and termites and cuttlefish and monarch butterflies and egg-laying wasps and bad viruses and bad bacteria etc. etc. to do the same, and the result was the higgledy-piggledy bush. (But he could still dabble if he wanted to.) No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 24, 2018, 13:57 (118 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

DAVID: [/i]Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above.

dhw: What you bolded above is in direct contrast to what I have bolded above: “he maintained full guidance”. What is “full guidance” if it’s not total control?

What I have suggested is that guidance might entail some freedom of design within the evolutionary changes organisms adapt. It was not meant to imply tight rigid controls over every move. As I said before, the evidence does not give me an exact conclusion, which is why I used the dabble concept. What I see is humans appearing for no good environmental challange reason.

DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

dhw: Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. If your God sacrificed control and left non-weavers to work out their own solutions, maybe he left ants and termites and cuttlefish and monarch butterflies and egg-laying wasps and bad viruses and bad bacteria etc. etc. to do the same, and the result was the higgledy-piggledy bush. (But he could still dabble if he wanted to.) No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

All of which does not explain the complex designs in the biochemistry of life which I constantly put on display here, and for which you have no answer. Where does the underlying information come from? Not thin air. Enjoy your pipe dream. It doesn't fit the evidence of design.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, March 25, 2018, 12:27 (117 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.

dhw: Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

DAVID: Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above.

dhw: What you bolded above is in direct contrast to what I have bolded above: “he maintained full guidance”. What is “full guidance” if it’s not total control?

DAVID: What I have suggested is that guidance might entail some freedom of design within the evolutionary changes organisms adapt. It was not meant to imply tight rigid controls over every move. As I said before, the evidence does not give me an exact conclusion, which is why I used the dabble concept. What I see is humans appearing for no good environmental challange reason.

We are talking about bad bacteria and viruses. You don’t know whether God’s creation of bad bacteria and viruses shows loss of control, but “He maintained full guidance”, which now means partial guidance. So either he lost control, or he deliberately left “freedom of design” so that bad bacteria and viruses could design themselves. And if he could give that freedom to bacteria and viruses, or he lost control and they went and did their own thing, why not the same with other organisms as well?

DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

dhw: Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. […] No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

DAVID: All of which does not explain the complex designs in the biochemistry of life which I constantly put on display here, and for which you have no answer. Where does the underlying information come from? Not thin air. Enjoy your pipe dream. It doesn't fit the evidence of design.

With your comments on bad bacteria and viruses and bird brains, you have offered your support to the answer I keep giving you: namely, that organisms may have “freedom of design”. And my answer has ALWAYS offered the possibility that your God designed the mechanism which gave them that freedom: namely, the autonomous intelligence which you are now prepared to grant to bacteria and viruses and birds other than the weaver.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 25, 2018, 15:12 (117 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What I have suggested is that guidance might entail some freedom of design within the evolutionary changes organisms adapt. It was not meant to imply tight rigid controls over every move. As I said before, the evidence does not give me an exact conclusion, which is why I used the dabble concept. What I see is humans appearing for no good environmental challange reason.

dhw: We are talking about bad bacteria and viruses. You don’t know whether God’s creation of bad bacteria and viruses shows loss of control, but “He maintained full guidance”, which now means partial guidance. So either he lost control, or he deliberately left “freedom of design” so that bad bacteria and viruses could design themselves. And if he could give that freedom to bacteria and viruses, or he lost control and they went and did their own thing, why not the same with other organisms as well?

Bacteria and viruses are the ultimate survivors. They were there at the start of life and obviously were given the ability to survive against all odds in any wild environment the early Earth was going through, including the initial Early bombardment period. Think extremophiles. Later life does not have that innate capacity of survival given by God to the early forms so life could survive and evolve into us.


DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

dhw: Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. […] No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

DAVID: All of which does not explain the complex designs in the biochemistry of life which I constantly put on display here, and for which you have no answer. Where does the underlying information come from? Not thin air. Enjoy your pipe dream. It doesn't fit the evidence of design.

dhw: With your comments on bad bacteria and viruses and bird brains, you have offered your support to the answer I keep giving you: namely, that organisms may have “freedom of design”. And my answer has ALWAYS offered the possibility that your God designed the mechanism which gave them that freedom: namely, the autonomous intelligence which you are now prepared to grant to bacteria and viruses and birds other than the weaver.

I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

autonomy v. automaticity; bacterias' role in evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 25, 2018, 20:50 (117 days ago) @ David Turell

David: Bacteria and viruses are the ultimate survivors. They were there at the start of life and obviously were given the ability to survive against all odds in any wild environment the early Earth was going through, including the initial Early bombardment period. Think extremophiles. Later life does not have that innate capacity of survival given by God to the early forms so life could survive and evolve into us.

This article shows how bacteria play a major role in the entire process of evolution to produce multicellular animals:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/did-bacteria-drive-the-origins-of-animals-20140729/

"King’s discovery about choanoflagellates is just one of the latest insights into the intimate relationships between bacteria and animals (or, in this case, animal-like organisms). Historically, photosynthetic bacteria pumped oxygen into the oceans for billions of years, setting the stage for complex multicellular life. And according to the endosymbiotic theory, proposed in the 20th century and now widely accepted, the mitochondria inside every eukaryotic cell were once free-living bacteria. At some point more than a billion years ago, they took up residence inside other cells in a symbiotic relationship that endures in nearly every animal cell to this day. In their role as dinner, bacteria also likely provided raw genetic material for the first animals, which probably incorporated chunks of microbial DNA directly into their own genomes as they digested their meals.

"But the full story of the microbial-animal relationship is even broader and deeper, argues Margaret McFall-Ngai, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and it’s a story that is only beginning to be told. In her view, animals should rightly be considered host-microbe ecosystems. Several years ago McFall-Ngai, along with Hadfield, convened a broad group of developmental biologists, ecologists, environmental biologists and physiologists, including King, and asked them to formulate a microbial manifesto — a declaration of bacterial significance. The paper, which appeared late last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, cites evidence from many corners of biology to argue that the influence of microbes on the origin, evolution and function of animals is pervasive and essential to understanding how animal life evolved. “They evolved in a world saturated with bacteria,” Hadfield said.

"The breadth and significance of the animal-bacteria relationship goes far beyond the development of a handful of ancient aquatic creatures like sponges. McFall-Ngai’s own research shows that bacteria are necessary for the development of organs in squid; others have found similar partnerships that shape the maturation of animal immune systems, the guts of zebra fish and mice, and even mammalian brains. Likewise, bacteria are essential partners in the digestive systems of creatures ranging from termites to humans. The influence of microbes is even inscribed on our genome: More than a third of human genes have their origins in bacteria. These and other new findings will soon fundamentally alter our understanding of life, McFall-Ngai predicts: “Biology is in a revolution.”

"So in the end, maybe animals really aren’t all that special. After all, they’d be nothing without their microbial friends."

Comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, March 26, 2018, 12:49 (116 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You don’t know whether God’s creation of bad bacteria and viruses shows loss of control, but “He maintained full guidance”, which now means partial guidance. So either he lost control, or he deliberately left “freedom of design” so that bad bacteria and viruses could design themselves. And if he could give that freedom to bacteria and viruses, or he lost control and they went and did their own thing, why not the same with other organisms as well?

DAVID: Bacteria and viruses are the ultimate survivors. They were there at the start of life and obviously were given the ability to survive against all odds in any wild environment the early Earth was going through, including the initial Early bombardment period. Think extremophiles. Later life does not have that innate capacity of survival given by God to the early forms so life could survive and evolve into us.

So your God gave bacteria and viruses the ability to control their own evolution. How does that mean he could not have given their descendants the same ability?

DAVID: I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?

xxxx

DAVID: This article shows how bacteria play a major role in the entire process of evolution to produce multicellular animals:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/did-bacteria-drive-the-origins-of-animals-20140729/

QUOTE: “The influence of microbes is even inscribed on our genome: More than a third of human genes have their origins in bacteria. These and other new findings will soon fundamentally alter our understanding of life […]
"So in the end, maybe animals really aren’t all that special. After all, they’d be nothing without their microbial friends
."

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

Thank you for this important article, which appears to confirm Margulis’s emphasis on symbiotic cooperation as a key to evolution. (Margulis believed in cellular intelligence.) The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, March 26, 2018, 18:31 (116 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

dhw: I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?

That is why I presented the article below. It presents a whole new way God might exert control.


xxxx

DAVID: This article shows how bacteria play a major role in the entire process of evolution to produce multicellular animals:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/did-bacteria-drive-the-origins-of-animals-20140729/

QUOTE: “The influence of microbes is even inscribed on our genome: More than a third of human genes have their origins in bacteria. These and other new findings will soon fundamentally alter our understanding of life […]
"So in the end, maybe animals really aren’t all that special. After all, they’d be nothing without their microbial friends
."

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

dhw: Thank you for this important article, which appears to confirm Margulis’s emphasis on symbiotic cooperation as a key to evolution. (Margulis believed in cellular intelligence.) The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

I would still consider God in careful control, even if we have this new bacterial control mechanism to consider. Note I commented that way.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 12:58 (115 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

dhw: I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?

DAVID: That is why I presented the article below. It presents a whole new way God might exert control.

It presents a not-so-new way in which cells control evolution.

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

Please note that here you are arguing that God is in control.

dhw: […] The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

DAVID: I would still consider God in careful control, even if we have this new bacterial control mechanism to consider. Note I commented that way.

I note all your comments. A few days ago, under “bacterial intelligence” you observed that the existence of bad bacteria and viruses raised the whole question of whether God was in “total control” or not, and you admitted you had no way of knowing. However, when I pointed out that this opened the gate to freewheeling, you changed your mind and reverted to your anthropocentric, full control theory: “Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.” I pointed out that this meant your God “deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.” So then you scurried back again: “Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above” – the bold being the fact that you didn’t know whether your God was in full control or not. Now you have him in “careful control” again. Whenever I raise the possibility of freewheeling, your God is in control. Otherwise, he may not be. I have summarized the confusion in my comment at the head of this post, and I simply cannot understand why you are not prepared to consider the theistic possibility of freewheeling (with the option of the occasional dabble). Of course that option would be impossible if the human brain was God’s one and only purpose, but you now believe the human brain was just a “primary” purpose, which means there are other purposes. So what stops you from accepting freewheeling as a rational explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 15:20 (115 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

dhw: I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?

DAVID: That is why I presented the article below. It presents a whole new way God might exert control.

dhw: It presents a not-so-new way in which cells control evolution.

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

dhw: Please note that here you are arguing that God is in control.

I know. That shouldn't surprise you.


dhw: […] The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

DAVID: I would still consider God in careful control, even if we have this new bacterial control mechanism to consider. Note I commented that way.

dhw: I note all your comments. A few days ago, under “bacterial intelligence” you observed that the existence of bad bacteria and viruses raised the whole question of whether God was in “total control” or not, and you admitted you had no way of knowing. However, when I pointed out that this opened the gate to freewheeling, you changed your mind and reverted to your anthropocentric, full control theory: “Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.” I pointed out that this meant your God “deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.” So then you scurried back again: “Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above” – the bold being the fact that you didn’t know whether your God was in full control or not. Now you have him in “careful control” again. Whenever I raise the possibility of freewheeling, your God is in control. Otherwise, he may not be. I have summarized the confusion in my comment at the head of this post, and I simply cannot understand why you are not prepared to consider the theistic possibility of freewheeling (with the option of the occasional dabble). Of course that option would be impossible if the human brain was God’s one and only purpose, but you now believe the human brain was just a “primary” purpose, which means there are other purposes. So what stops you from accepting freewheeling as a rational explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

I will admit, as I've said, over and over, that if organisms have an inventive mechanism there might be a degree of freedom in what is evolved, which can be controlled by a 'dabble'. You are pushing for fine details on how evolution is controlled by God and I do not have definitive evidence to help me make up my mind. The human brain is the primary goal, balance of nature an important secondary goal. I accept God as totally in charge, but how tight is an issue I admit I can't seem to solve. However, that doesn't change my conclusion God is in charge.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 12:29 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I simply cannot understand why you are not prepared to consider the theistic possibility of freewheeling (with the option of the occasional dabble). Of course that option would be impossible if the human brain was God’s one and only purpose, but you now believe the human brain was just a “primary” purpose, which means there are other purposes. So what stops you from accepting freewheeling as a rational explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

DAVID: I will admit, as I've said, over and over, that if organisms have an inventive mechanism there might be a degree of freedom in what is evolved, which can be controlled by a 'dabble'.

You have never accepted autonomy. According to you there are always “guidelines” (i.e. preprogramming or dabbling). “Can be controlled by a dabble” is fine with me. If God exists, he could dabble any time he wanted. What is not fine with me is your insistence that all the natural wonders and lifestyles you present to us HAVE to be the result of your God’s preprogramming or dabbling, and furthermore that they are all somehow geared to the production of the human brain.

DAVID: You are pushing for fine details on how evolution is controlled by God and I do not have definitive evidence to help me make up my mind. The human brain is the primary goal, balance of nature an important secondary goal. I accept God as totally in charge, but how tight is an issue I admit I can't seem to solve. However, that doesn't change my conclusion God is in charge.

Of course if God exists he is in charge. He does what he wants to do. And maybe what he wants to do is give organisms the freedom to evolve in an ever changing variety of ways (with the option of an occasional dabble). “Totally” but you don’t know how “tight”, so you don’t know how “totally”. Word play. The ever changing balance of nature is not a goal of evolution, it is a result. One particular balance of nature is a goal in the context of humans achieving what they believe to be a healthy balance for themselves and their fellow organisms. (See your PAX under “balance of nature”.) You have offered no purpose for evolution other than the production of the human brain, and I push for fine details because of all the anomalies I listed earlier, and because the claim that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest and every other natural wonder you can think of in order to keep life going for the sake of the human brain makes no sense to me. By contrast, you have accepted that my (theistic) hypothesis makes perfect sense as an explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. And yet you refuse to consider it.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 15:23 (114 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I simply cannot understand why you are not prepared to consider the theistic possibility of freewheeling (with the option of the occasional dabble). Of course that option would be impossible if the human brain was God’s one and only purpose, but you now believe the human brain was just a “primary” purpose, which means there are other purposes. So what stops you from accepting freewheeling as a rational explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush?

DAVID: I will admit, as I've said, over and over, that if organisms have an inventive mechanism there might be a degree of freedom in what is evolved, which can be controlled by a 'dabble'.

You have never accepted autonomy. According to you there are always “guidelines” (i.e. preprogramming or dabbling). “Can be controlled by a dabble” is fine with me. If God exists, he could dabble any time he wanted. What is not fine with me is your insistence that all the natural wonders and lifestyles you present to us HAVE to be the result of your God’s preprogramming or dabbling, and furthermore that they are all somehow geared to the production of the human brain.

DAVID: You are pushing for fine details on how evolution is controlled by God and I do not have definitive evidence to help me make up my mind. The human brain is the primary goal, balance of nature an important secondary goal. I accept God as totally in charge, but how tight is an issue I admit I can't seem to solve. However, that doesn't change my conclusion God is in charge.

dhw: Of course if God exists he is in charge. He does what he wants to do. And maybe what he wants to do is give organisms the freedom to evolve in an ever changing variety of ways (with the option of an occasional dabble). “Totally” but you don’t know how “tight”, so you don’t know how “totally”. Word play. The ever changing balance of nature is not a goal of evolution, it is a result. One particular balance of nature is a goal in the context of humans achieving what they believe to be a healthy balance for themselves and their fellow organisms. (See your PAX under “balance of nature”.) You have offered no purpose for evolution other than the production of the human brain, and I push for fine details because of all the anomalies I listed earlier, and because the claim that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest and every other natural wonder you can think of in order to keep life going for the sake of the human brain makes no sense to me. By contrast, you have accepted that my (theistic) hypothesis makes perfect sense as an explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. And yet you refuse to consider it.

Answered in the other thread: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 15:12. "Why do I have to have certainty about all of God's activities? That is your problem. You want exactitude about all aspects of how our reality came into existence so you can accept something." The balance of nature is very finely tuned by the diversity of the bush of life, as shown by the disturbances I've presented when humans interfere. These econiches require a type of design. I can only reach conclusions when I can.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, March 29, 2018, 09:29 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are pushing for fine details on how evolution is controlled by God and I do not have definitive evidence to help me make up my mind. The human brain is the primary goal, balance of nature an important secondary goal. I accept God as totally in charge, but how tight is an issue I admit I can't seem to solve. However, that doesn't change my conclusion God is in charge.

dhw: Of course if God exists he is in charge. He does what he wants to do. And maybe what he wants to do is give organisms the freedom to evolve in an ever changing variety of ways (with the option of an occasional dabble). “Totally” but you don’t know how “tight”, so you don’t know how “totally”. Word play. The ever changing balance of nature is not a goal of evolution, it is a result. One particular balance of nature is a goal in the context of humans achieving what they believe to be a healthy balance for themselves and their fellow organisms. (See your PAX under “balance of nature”.) You have offered no purpose for evolution other than the production of the human brain, and I push for fine details because of all the anomalies I listed earlier, and because the claim that your God designed the weaverbird’s nest and every other natural wonder you can think of in order to keep life going for the sake of the human brain makes no sense to me. By contrast, you have accepted that my (theistic) hypothesis makes perfect sense as an explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. And yet you refuse to consider it.

DAVID: Answered in the other thread: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 15:12. "Why do I have to have certainty about all of God's activities? That is your problem. You want exactitude about all aspects of how our reality came into existence so you can accept something." The balance of nature is very finely tuned by the diversity of the bush of life, as shown by the disturbances I've presented when humans interfere. These econiches require a type of design. I can only reach conclusions when I can.

But you do have certainty. You are certain not only that God exists, but that his one and only purpose was to produce the human brain. (Your one and only secondary purpose called “balance of nature” turns out to be the claim that the whole history of changing balances has been geared to the production of the human brain. The fact that humans are currently changing the balance and endangering themselves has nothing to do with your God’s purpose in designing every lifestyle and natural wonder you have listed for us.) You are certain that your God is in full control, except when maybe he is not (see bad bacteria and viruses). And you are certain that God did not design a mechanism to give cells/cell communities the autonomous means to cope with their environment, though he does give them a degree of freedom but not without help and guidelines, which is the opposite of autonomy. Nobody on this planet can provide any degree of exactitude about how our reality came into existence. That is why I am so uncertain. And that is why I point out what I see as the inconsistencies in your certainties, and have the temerity to suggest alternatives, which you reject as if you could be certain they are wrong!

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 29, 2018, 15:50 (113 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Answered in the other thread: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 15:12. "Why do I have to have certainty about all of God's activities? That is your problem. You want exactitude about all aspects of how our reality came into existence so you can accept something." The balance of nature is very finely tuned by the diversity of the bush of life, as shown by the disturbances I've presented when humans interfere. These econiches require a type of design. I can only reach conclusions when I can.

dhw: But you do have certainty. You are certain not only that God exists, but that his one and only purpose was to produce the human brain. (Your one and only secondary purpose called “balance of nature” turns out to be the claim that the whole history of changing balances has been geared to the production of the human brain. The fact that humans are currently changing the balance and endangering themselves has nothing to do with your God’s purpose in designing every lifestyle and natural wonder you have listed for us.) You are certain that your God is in full control, except when maybe he is not (see bad bacteria and viruses). And you are certain that God did not design a mechanism to give cells/cell communities the autonomous means to cope with their environment, though he does give them a degree of freedom but not without help and guidelines, which is the opposite of autonomy. Nobody on this planet can provide any degree of exactitude about how our reality came into existence. That is why I am so uncertain. And that is why I point out what I see as the inconsistencies in your certainties, and have the temerity to suggest alternatives, which you reject as if you could be certain they are wrong!

You have given a very clear disposition of your point of view. You are again declaring your need for exactitude: " Nobody on this planet can provide any degree of exactitude about how our reality came into existence." But we who have come to believe can reach conclusions that satisfy us as being reasonable and believable. You see your "inconsistencies" and muddle along, which of course is the right thing for you. It must be obvious to you that I am content with my conclusions, as far as I can take them as I stick my nose into God's business. I have no evidence He is totally benign in his methods. We have the problem of evil (theodicy) and you are aware I've covered my answer to it here and in my books. Your major division with me in thought is design. I have presented here a multitude of examples of the complexity of the biochemistry of life, one such yesterday. For me it is absolute evidence that a designing mind is required, and is the prime starting point for my series of conclusions.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 30, 2018, 12:51 (112 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: But you do have certainty. You are certain not only that God exists, but that his one and only purpose was to produce the human brain. (Your one and only secondary purpose called “balance of nature” turns out to be the claim that the whole history of changing balances has been geared to the production of the human brain.)[…] You are certain that your God is in full control, except when maybe he is not (see bad bacteria and viruses). And you are certain that God did not design a mechanism to give cells/cell communities the autonomous means to cope with their environment, though he does give them a degree of freedom but not without help and guidelines, which is the opposite of autonomy. Nobody on this planet can provide any degree of exactitude about how our reality came into existence. That is why I am so uncertain. And that is why I point out what I see as the inconsistencies in your certainties, and have the temerity to suggest alternatives, which you reject as if you could be certain they are wrong!

DAVID: You have given a very clear disposition of your point of view. You are again declaring your need for exactitude: "Nobody on this planet can provide any degree of exactitude about how our reality came into existence." But we who have come to believe can reach conclusions that satisfy us as being reasonable and believable. You see your "inconsistencies" and muddle along, which of course is the right thing for you.

They are not “my” inconsistencies. They are yours. See under “whales and hippos” for a prime example. I am trying to unravel your “muddle” by offering “reasonable and believable” theistic alternatives, but you refuse even to consider them.

DAVID: It must be obvious to you that I am content with my conclusions, as far as I can take them as I stick my nose into God's business. I have no evidence He is totally benign in his methods. We have the problem of evil (theodicy) and you are aware I've covered my answer to it here and in my books. Your major division with me in thought is design. I have presented here a multitude of examples of the complexity of the biochemistry of life, one such yesterday. For me it is absolute evidence that a designing mind is required, and is the prime starting point for my series of conclusions.

Theodicy has never been an issue between us, and my major point of AGREEMENT with you is on design! I have never argued against it, and it is a prime reason for my not accepting atheism. Nor have I ever attempted in these discussions to challenge your faith in your God. On the contrary, my arguments always include the possibility that your God exists. They challenge your interpretation of your God’s intentions, in particular with regard to the history of evolution, and on this thread the subject is whether your God controlled every natural wonder and lifestyle on the way to the human brain, or sacrificed control and allowed organisms autonomy (with the option of an occasional dabble). I don’t know why you feel obliged to keep changing the subject.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 30, 2018, 14:53 (112 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: It must be obvious to you that I am content with my conclusions, as far as I can take them as I stick my nose into God's business. I have no evidence He is totally benign in his methods. We have the problem of evil (theodicy) and you are aware I've covered my answer to it here and in my books. Your major division with me in thought is design. I have presented here a multitude of examples of the complexity of the biochemistry of life, one such yesterday. For me it is absolute evidence that a designing mind is required, and is the prime starting point for my series of conclusions.

dhw: Theodicy has never been an issue between us, and my major point of AGREEMENT with you is on design! I have never argued against it, and it is a prime reason for my not accepting atheism. Nor have I ever attempted in these discussions to challenge your faith in your God. On the contrary, my arguments always include the possibility that your God exists. They challenge your interpretation of your God’s intentions, in particular with regard to the history of evolution, and on this thread the subject is whether your God controlled every natural wonder and lifestyle on the way to the human brain, or sacrificed control and allowed organisms autonomy (with the option of an occasional dabble). I don’t know why you feel obliged to keep changing the subject.

You raised the issue of theodicy by pointing out bad viruses and bacteria, showing God did not create a totally benign reality.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, March 31, 2018, 09:44 (112 days ago) @ David Turell

I am shifting the “whales and hippo” post to “autonomy versus automaticity”, where it is more appropriate.

dhw: Theodicy has never been an issue between us, and my major point of AGREEMENT with you is on design!

DAVID: You raised the issue of theodicy by pointing out bad viruses and bacteria, showing God did not create a totally benign reality.

The actual exchange (under “Immunity” March 20 at 14.31) was:

dhw: Your God must have had lots of fun designing these killer bacteria and viruses, and then working out ways in which some organisms might or might not be able to survive them. And apparently all for the sake of the human brain.
DAVID: Another non-religious thought is God created a such a strong driving force to produce life on Earth with bacteria that viruses also appeared and in each group nasty ones popped up, that then had to be controlled. Raises the issue of whether God is under total control or just well-intended? I have no way of knowing.

You obviously meant “in total control”, but as I say, theodicy – just like design – was never an issue between us. My hypothesis of what you call “freewheeling” offers a perfectly rational explanation of “evil”. However, this was a digression from the issue of your refusal to tell me why you reject the possibility that God gave organisms the autonomous power to organize themselves, i.e. WANTED to sacrifice full control.

DAVID: I have never thought He was not in full control. My statement of viruses as a 'side effect' certainly suggests the option that His control was not complete, but that has two interpretations: He did mean to lose total control or He didn't mean it. On balance He demonstrates extraordinary purpose which still support full control.

Your original “non-religious thought”, quoted above, was that you had no way of knowing whether your God was in full control. Thank you for now acknowledging the equal possibility that he WANTED to lose control. That is just as purposeful as the deliberate or accidental creation of bad viruses, but the purpose of course would not be the targeted production of the sapiens brain. It would be the ever varying spectacle of the evolutionary bush, with organisms coming and going as they autonomously attempt to work out their own ways of coping with changing conditions. (Your God could, of course, dabble if he wanted to.) And I still don’t know why you are so resolutely opposed to this hypothesis, which fits in perfectly with the history of evolution as we know it.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 31, 2018, 14:29 (111 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You obviously meant “in total control”, but as I say, theodicy – just like design – was never an issue between us. My hypothesis of what you call “freewheeling” offers a perfectly rational explanation of “evil”. However, this was a digression from the issue of your refusal to tell me why you reject the possibility that God gave organisms the autonomous power to organize themselves, i.e. WANTED to sacrifice full control.

DAVID: I have never thought He was not in full control. My statement of viruses as a 'side effect' certainly suggests the option that His control was not complete, but that has two interpretations: He did mean to lose total control or He didn't mean it. On balance He demonstrates extraordinary purpose which still support full control.

dhw: Your original “non-religious thought”, quoted above, was that you had no way of knowing whether your God was in full control. Thank you for now acknowledging the equal possibility that he WANTED to lose control. That is just as purposeful as the deliberate or accidental creation of bad viruses, but the purpose of course would not be the targeted production of the sapiens brain. It would be the ever varying spectacle of the evolutionary bush, with organisms coming and going as they autonomously attempt to work out their own ways of coping with changing conditions. (Your God could, of course, dabble if he wanted to.) And I still don’t know why you are so resolutely opposed to this hypothesis, which fits in perfectly with the history of evolution as we know it.

You and I differ on the degree of God's purposefulness. God created the universe and evolved it. God created the Earth as a perfect planet for life to appear, and evolved it. And finally He evolved the human brain. A clear succession of purpose and result.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 11:05 (110 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your original “non-religious thought”, quoted above, was that you had no way of knowing whether your God was in full control. Thank you for now acknowledging the equal possibility that he WANTED to lose control. That is just as purposeful as the deliberate or accidental creation of bad viruses, but the purpose of course would not be the targeted production of the sapiens brain. It would be the ever varying spectacle of the evolutionary bush, with organisms coming and going as they autonomously attempt to work out their own ways of coping with changing conditions. (Your God could, of course, dabble if he wanted to.) And I still don’t know why you are so resolutely opposed to this hypothesis, which fits in perfectly with the history of evolution as we know it.

DAVID: You and I differ on the degree of God's purposefulness. God created the universe and evolved it. God created the Earth as a perfect planet for life to appear, and evolved it. And finally He evolved the human brain. A clear succession of purpose and result.

Not the “degree” of purpose. The purpose itself. Millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct also evolved (a clear succession of purpose and result if your God set the process in motion), and how the heck you know that evolution has now finished is beyond me. Let’s meet in a few billion years from now, and see what life has to offer before we use the word “finally”.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 15:08 (110 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You and I differ on the degree of God's purposefulness. God created the universe and evolved it. God created the Earth as a perfect planet for life to appear, and evolved it. And finally He evolved the human brain. A clear succession of purpose and result.

dhw: Not the “degree” of purpose. The purpose itself. Millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct also evolved (a clear succession of purpose and result if your God set the process in motion), and how the heck you know that evolution has now finished is beyond me. Let’s meet in a few billion years from now, and see what life has to offer before we use the word “finally”.

My discussion above did not include the idea that 'finally' meant finished. It doesn't have to, but I don't think any large saltations are in order. The entire diversity of life is necessary for the balance of nature. The point you make is it always stays in balance. True but did it ever occur to you is that life was purposely designed to maintain that necessary balance?

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, April 02, 2018, 10:42 (109 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You and I differ on the degree of God's purposefulness. God created the universe and evolved it. God created the Earth as a perfect planet for life to appear, and evolved it. And finally He evolved the human brain. A clear succession of purpose and result.
dhw: Not the “degree” of purpose. The purpose itself. Millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct also evolved (a clear succession of purpose and result if your God set the process in motion), and how the heck you know that evolution has now finished is beyond me. Let’s meet in a few billion years from now, and see what life has to offer before we use the word “finally”.

DAVID: My discussion above did not include the idea that 'finally' meant finished. It doesn't have to, but I don't think any large saltations are in order. The entire diversity of life is necessary for the balance of nature. The point you make is it always stays in balance. True but did it ever occur to you is that life was purposely designed to maintain that necessary balance?

First you try to make out that God’s “final” purpose is the production of the human brain, and then you say it is not “final”. Then you shift the discussion away to the balance of nature. The point I make is not that the diversity of life always stays in balance! My point is that the balance constantly changes, according to which species survive and which do not. You constantly try to equate “balance of nature” with some non-existent universal norm (the “necessary balance”), which is absurd. If there were nothing left on Earth except bacteria, you would still have a balance, and it would favour bacteria. All your examples illustrate the restricted use of the term, which relates to human interference destroying the CURRENT balance of nature and thereby threatening the existence or health of all species including ourselves. You keep agreeing that this is the only valid use of the term, but then you scurry back to it as if every historical shift in the balance somehow cohered into evidence that your God’s purpose was the production of the human brain. Fact: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Proposed theistic “purpose and result”: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Prediction: que sera sera. Objections?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, April 02, 2018, 14:34 (109 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: My discussion above did not include the idea that 'finally' meant finished. It doesn't have to, but I don't think any large saltations are in order. The entire diversity of life is necessary for the balance of nature. The point you make is it always stays in balance. True but did it ever occur to you is that life was purposely designed to maintain that necessary balance?

dhw: First you try to make out that God’s “final” purpose is the production of the human brain, and then you say it is not “final”.

What I concluded was: "I don't think any large saltations are in order. " Which should mean to you no major changes.

dhw: Then you shift the discussion away to the balance of nature. The point I make is not that the diversity of life always stays in balance! My point is that the balance constantly changes, according to which species survive and which do not.

And you skip the significance of the obvious fact that the diversity of life is designed to allow that there is always something for everyone to eat. Why do you constantly forget that life requires continuous energy? Why can't you equate balance means energy?

dhw: you keep agreeing that this is the only valid use of the term, but then you scurry back to it as if every historical shift in the balance somehow cohered into evidence that your God’s purpose was the production of the human brain. Fact: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Proposed theistic “purpose and result”: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Prediction: que sera sera. Objections?

The appearance of the human brain is not explained by any theory of necessity. It has to be the result of purposeful activity, something you cannot accept.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, April 03, 2018, 11:33 (108 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My discussion above did not include the idea that 'finally' meant finished. It doesn't have to, but I don't think any large saltations are in order. The entire diversity of life is necessary for the balance of nature. The point you make is it always stays in balance. True but did it ever occur to you is that life was purposely designed to maintain that necessary balance?

dhw: First you try to make out that God’s “final” purpose is the production of the human brain, and then you say it is not “final”.

DAVID: What I concluded was: "I don't think any large saltations are in order. " Which should mean to you no major changes.

Evolution is an ongoing process, and for all we know, humans may disappear altogether. Just supposing they did, but other organisms lived on – where would that leave your anthropocentric hypothesis? Many of our disagreements revolve round your insistence that humans – although of course I acknowledge the uniqueness of our minds – mark some kind of end point or “finality”.

dhw: Then you shift the discussion away to the balance of nature. The point I make is not that the diversity of life always stays in balance! My point is that the balance constantly changes, according to which species survive and which do not.
DAVID: And you skip the significance of the obvious fact that the diversity of life is designed to allow that there is always something for everyone to eat. Why do you constantly forget that life requires continuous energy? Why can't you equate balance means energy?

There ISN’T always something for everyone to eat! Why do you constantly forget that evolution, as above, is an ongoing process, and 99% per cent of species, lifestyles and wonders have died out for reasons which include the fact that there wasn’t something for them to eat? Balance does not mean energy. Life goes on so long as there is enough food/energy for one or more living organisms. The balance changes accordingly.

dhw: ...you keep agreeing that this is the only valid use of the term, but then you scurry back to it as if every historical shift in the balance somehow cohered into evidence that your God’s purpose was the production of the human brain. Fact: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Proposed theistic “purpose and result”: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Prediction: que sera sera. Objections?
DAVID: The appearance of the human brain is not explained by any theory of necessity. It has to be the result of purposeful activity, something you cannot accept.

Over and over again we have agreed that the appearance of multicellular organisms is not explained by any theory of necessity, since unicellular organisms have survived perfectly well since life began. I have also agreed over and over again that this is the result of purposeful activity – their purpose being survival and/or improvement. I apply this to all forms of life and not just to humans. As for an overall purpose, I say that if God exists (the only way there could be an overall purpose), the whole, ever changing spectacle of different species, lifestyles and natural wonders (including humans) may be a purpose in itself, but you refuse to accept any purpose beyond that of the production of the human brain.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 03, 2018, 15:01 (108 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Evolution is an ongoing process, and for all we know, humans may disappear altogether. Just supposing they did, but other organisms lived on – where would that leave your anthropocentric hypothesis? Many of our disagreements revolve round your insistence that humans – although of course I acknowledge the uniqueness of our minds – mark some kind of end point or “finality”.

And it might well be a final point. We control the Earth and are changing it in ways that might stop any major evolutionary change.

DAVID: And you skip the significance of the obvious fact that the diversity of life is designed to allow that there is always something for everyone to eat. Why do you constantly forget that life requires continuous energy? Why can't you equate balance means energy?

dhw: There ISN’T always something for everyone to eat! Why do you constantly forget that evolution, as above, is an ongoing process, and 99% per cent of species, lifestyles and wonders have died out for reasons which include the fact that there wasn’t something for them to eat? Balance does not mean energy. Life goes on so long as there is enough food/energy for one or more living organisms. The balance changes accordingly.

You just changed the thrust of the point I made. The diversity of life is a design to provide energy for life to continue over 3.8 billion years to this point in time. Of course species come and go as a consequence of evolution.

DAVID: The appearance of the human brain is not explained by any theory of necessity. It has to be the result of purposeful activity, something you cannot accept.

dhw: Over and over again we have agreed that the appearance of multicellular organisms is not explained by any theory of necessity, since unicellular organisms have survived perfectly well since life began. I have also agreed over and over again that this is the result of purposeful activity – their purpose being survival and/or improvement. I apply this to all forms of life and not just to humans. As for an overall purpose, I say that if God exists (the only way there could be an overall purpose), the whole, ever changing spectacle of different species, lifestyles and natural wonders (including humans) may be a purpose in itself, but you refuse to accept any purpose beyond that of the production of the human brain.

And your reasoning is metaphysical. There is no proof survival and improvement drive evolution. It is Darwin's theory.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, April 04, 2018, 11:09 (107 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Many of our disagreements revolve round your insistence that humans – although of course I acknowledge the uniqueness of our minds – mark some kind of end point or “finality”.
DAVID: And it might well be a final point. We control the Earth and are changing it in ways that might stop any major evolutionary change.

We are changing it in ways that are causing large scale extinctions, as illustrated by your ecological articles on threats to the current balance of nature. You may not think extinction is a major evolutionary change, because you can only think of humans as the be-all and end-all of life’s history.

DAVID: And you skip the significance of the obvious fact that the diversity of life is designed to allow that there is always something for everyone to eat. Why do you constantly forget that life requires continuous energy? Why can't you equate balance means energy?
dhw: There ISN’T always something for everyone to eat! Why do you constantly forget that evolution, as above, is an ongoing process, and 99% per cent of species, lifestyles and wonders have died out for reasons which include the fact that there wasn’t something for them to eat? Balance does not mean energy. Life goes on so long as there is enough food/energy for one or more living organisms. The balance changes accordingly.
DAVID: You just changed the thrust of the point I made. The diversity of life is a design to provide energy for life to continue over 3.8 billion years to this point in time. Of course species come and go as a consequence of evolution.

The “thrust of your point” was that “there is always something for everyone to eat.” There isn’t. Now your point is that diversity provides "energy for life to continue". Life could have continued for 3.8 billion years without diversity, since bacteria have survived all that time. I'll look forward to the next "thrust". Meanwhile, if your God exists, perhaps you might consider the possibility that diversity is an end in itself.

DAVID: The appearance of the human brain is not explained by any theory of necessity. It has to be the result of purposeful activity, something you cannot accept.

dhw: Over and over again we have agreed that the appearance of multicellular organisms is not explained by any theory of necessity, since unicellular organisms have survived perfectly well since life began. I have also agreed over and over again that this is the result of purposeful activity – their purpose being survival and/or improvement. I apply this to all forms of life and not just to humans. As for an overall purpose, I say that if God exists (the only way there could be an overall purpose), the whole, ever changing spectacle of different species, lifestyles and natural wonders (including humans) may be a purpose in itself, but you refuse to accept any purpose beyond that of the production of the human brain.
DAVID: And your reasoning is metaphysical. There is no proof survival and improvement drive evolution. It is Darwin's theory.

Any reasoning relating to God and his purposes is metaphysical! And there is no proof that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every natural wonder in the history of life, or that his prime purpose was the human brain, or indeed that he exists. These are non-arguments! We are simply trying to find explanations that fit the facts as we think we know them.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 04, 2018, 15:00 (107 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You just changed the thrust of the point I made. The diversity of life is a design to provide energy for life to continue over 3.8 billion years to this point in time. Of course species come and go as a consequence of evolution.

dhw: The “thrust of your point” was that “there is always something for everyone to eat.” There isn’t. Now your point is that diversity provides "energy for life to continue". Life could have continued for 3.8 billion years without diversity, since bacteria have survived all that time. I'll look forward to the next "thrust". Meanwhile, if your God exists, perhaps you might consider the possibility that diversity is an end in itself.

I'll stick with the point that multicellularity is a much more fragile form of life that requires a diversity that produces a balance of nature for a food supply. Bacteria are also widely diverse and are better built for survival. This points out the differing needs for diversity. Diversity as a goal in itself is not a reason for its existence.

DAVID: And your reasoning is metaphysical. There is no proof survival and improvement drive evolution. It is Darwin's theory.

dhw: Any reasoning relating to God and his purposes is metaphysical! And there is no proof that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every natural wonder in the history of life, or that his prime purpose was the human brain, or indeed that he exists. These are non-arguments! We are simply trying to find explanations that fit the facts as we think we know them.

And they seem to end up at a metaphysical level.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, April 05, 2018, 12:42 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The “thrust of your point” was that “there is always something for everyone to eat.” There isn’t. Now your point is that diversity provides "energy for life to continue". Life could have continued for 3.8 billion years without diversity, since bacteria have survived all that time. I'll look forward to the next "thrust". Meanwhile, if your God exists, perhaps you might consider the possibility that diversity is an end in itself.

DAVID: I'll stick with the point that multicellularity is a much more fragile form of life that requires a diversity that produces a balance of nature for a food supply. Bacteria are also widely diverse and are better built for survival. This points out the differing needs for diversity. Diversity as a goal in itself is not a reason for its existence.

So now we know that different forms of life require different foods, and as bacteria have survived, whereas 99% of other forms haven’t, they are better at survival than other forms. The balance of nature changes according to which forms survive. The purpose of diversity would therefore seem to be to provide different foods so that different forms of life can survive or not survive. Sounds to me like diversity for the sake of diversity.

Dhw (under “Cambrian Explosion”): You still haven't offered any explanation for your refusal to consider such a possibility.

DAVID: I see God as specifically purposeful and you seem to imagine Him as as a rambling character. A good reason for my refusal.

I imagine him as no such thing. If I organize a football match in which the course of play and the result are unknown, but which will provide a spectacle that I can watch “with interest” (your words), does that make me a rambling character? If God exists and created life, I would most certainly regard him as specifically purposeful, and if the outcome of his work was an ever changing bush of life, including humans, I would certainly not dismiss the possibility that his specific purpose was an ever changing bush of life, including humans. How does that make him a “rambling” character?

dhw: We are simply trying to find explanations that fit the facts as we think we know them.

DAVID: And they seem to end up at a metaphysical level.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know what point you are trying to make. All attempts to look beyond the physical world can be called metaphysical, and so in discussing the possible intentions of a possible God, of course the discussion is metaphysical! How does that make your interpretation of your God’s intentions more valid than mine?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 05, 2018, 14:59 (106 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'll stick with the point that multicellularity is a much more fragile form of life that requires a diversity that produces a balance of nature for a food supply. Bacteria are also widely diverse and are better built for survival. This points out the differing needs for diversity. Diversity as a goal in itself is not a reason for its existence.

dhw: The purpose of diversity would therefore seem to be to provide different foods so that different forms of life can survive or not survive. Sounds to me like diversity for the sake of diversity.

Somehow in disagreeing you sound like you agree: diversity does provide the food needed for survival. The factftaht some fail to survive is not the point.


Dhw (under “Cambrian Explosion”): You still haven't offered any explanation for your refusal to consider such a possibility.

DAVID: I see God as specifically purposeful and you seem to imagine Him as as a rambling character. A good reason for my refusal.

dhw: I imagine him as no such thing. If I organize a football match in which the course of play and the result are unknown, but which will provide a spectacle that I can watch “with interest” (your words), does that make me a rambling character? If God exists and created life, I would most certainly regard him as specifically purposeful, and if the outcome of his work was an ever changing bush of life, including humans, I would certainly not dismiss the possibility that his specific purpose was an ever changing bush of life, including humans. How does that make him a “rambling” character?

Again ignoring the necessity of providing food/energy for everyone who survives. He has purpose in arranging for diversity so evolution can cover 3.8 billion years.


dhw: We are simply trying to find explanations that fit the facts as we think we know them.

DAVID: And they seem to end up at a metaphysical level.

dhw: I’m sorry, but I don’t know what point you are trying to make. All attempts to look beyond the physical world can be called metaphysical, and so in discussing the possible intentions of a possible God, of course the discussion is metaphysical! How does that make your interpretation of your God’s intentions more valid than mine?

Because He is my God. You don't accept God, and keep trying to humanize Him. He doesn't think like you and I do.

autonomy v. automaticity: single cell regeneration

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 05, 2018, 18:45 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

A large single celled organism can regenerate if cut in half. Each half regenerates the other half automatically using an enzyme system run by its genome:

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-reveals-unicellular.html

"In a new study, published in Current Biology this week, a research team from Uppsala University in Sweden reports new insights into the regenerative capabilities of Stentor, a single celled model organism for regeneration biology. The study used novel gene expression methods that allowed the researchers to identify over one thousand genes that are involved in the regeneration process of individual stentor cells.

***

" Now, a research team from Uppsala University has identified over 1000 genes involved in rebuilding a fully-fledged Stentor cell cut into two halves.

***

"Stentor cells have a distinct shape, with a mouth part to eat bacteria on one side, and a tail that attaches to particles on the other side. Previous studies showed that if you cut a Stentor cell in half, each cell fragment will regenerate into a fully functional cell with a mouth and tail. This means that one half needs to regrow a mouth, while the other half has to regenerate a tail. Using a new method, the Uppsala researchers were able to identify which Stentor genes were involved in regenerating a new mouth, and which genes were responsible for building a new tail.

***

"Using the newly developed protocol, Onsbring found that many more genes are involved in the regeneration of the mouth part as compared to the tail of the cell. "The mouth part of the cell is used for feeding and represents a rather large and complex structure. Our results indicate that rebuilding this mouth structure involves roughly ten times as many genes as compared to regenerating the tail part of the cell," says Onsbring. "We also managed to confirm observations from previous microscopy studies that suggested that cellular regeneration shares similarities with the process of cell division. We found that several genes that were previously implicated in cell division were also upregulated during various stages of regeneration." (my bold)

"Finally, the Uppsala research team also identified a group of signaling proteins, known as proteins kinases, to be involved in cellular regeneration of stentor cells. "A previous study had recently reported that the Stentor genome encodes many of these proteins kinase genes. The function of this expanded set of genes was still unclear however. If anything, we now show that many of these protein kinases are expressed during specific stages of the regeneration process. Possibly, the expansion of this group of signaling genes represented an important evolutionary step in the emergence of the ability to perform self-repair," concludes Ettema."

Comment: Note my bold. The genome has the information for repair control. The genes are spread throughout the organism and each half gets stimuli which tells it the other half is missing and reacts automatically enlisting a group of complex enzymes to take control. No evidence any thought/intelligence need be involved, but, yes, the activity looks intelligent.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:27 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'll stick with the point that multicellularity is a much more fragile form of life that requires a diversity that produces a balance of nature for a food supply. Bacteria are also widely diverse and are better built for survival. This points out the differing needs for diversity. Diversity as a goal in itself is not a reason for its existence.
dhw: The purpose of diversity would therefore seem to be to provide different foods so that different forms of life can survive or not survive. Sounds to me like diversity for the sake of diversity.

DAVID: Somehow in disagreeing you sound like you agree: diversity does provide the food needed for survival. The fact that some fail to survive is not the point.

What IS the point? You argue that all this specially designed diversity with a 99% rate of disappearance was to keep life going till your God could fulfil his purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. I have suggested his purpose might have been to set in motion the ever changing spectacle that constitutes the history of life on Earth, and humans are part of that spectacle. Your version leads to all the gaps I keep pointing out, such as your inability to decide if he is or is not in full control, if he did or did not deliberately create bad bacteria and viruses, why he needed eight stages to evolve the whale and umpteen stages and 3.x billion years to evolve sapiens etc. But instead of facing up to the fact that your interpretation is full of such gaps, eventually your response boils down to the final one in today’s post:

DAVID: Because He is my God. You don't accept God, and keep trying to humanize Him. He doesn't think like you and I do.

But you and I think differently. You insist that you know his purpose (human brain) and methods (automatic programming or dabbling), but I offer a different interpretation (the changing spectacle, and autonomous, organismal/cellular intelligence). In trying to understand why evolution has followed the ever changing pattern of life’s history that we both discern, how do you know that he thinks like you do and not like I do?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:07 (105 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Because He is my God. You don't accept God, and keep trying to humanize Him. He doesn't think like you and I do.

dhw: But you and I think differently. You insist that you know his purpose (human brain) and methods (automatic programming or dabbling), but I offer a different interpretation (the changing spectacle, and autonomous, organismal/cellular intelligence). In trying to understand why evolution has followed the ever changing pattern of life’s history that we both discern, how do you know that he thinks like you do and not like I do?

We sure do think and analyze differently. You cannot seem to recognize that the human brain arrived and is not needed for survival, a major point of your view of bow evolution works. I see his purpose in the appearance of humans, who recognize Him

autonomy v. automaticity: evidence for bacterial memory

by David Turell @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 18:20 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

Newly discovered in bacterial biofilms:

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-bacteria-memory-descendants.html

"Led by scientists at UCLA, an international team of researchers has discovered that bacteria have a "memory" that passes sensory knowledge from one generation of cells to the next, all without a central nervous system or any neurons.

***

"The team studied a strain of bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa that forms biofilms in the airways of people with cystic fibrosis and causes persistent infections that can be lethal. Bacterial biofilms can also form on surgical implants, like an artificial hip; when they do, they can cause the implant to fail. Bacterial biofilms are composed of genetically identical bacteria cells that can colonize nearly any surface and form communities in which single cells organize and cooperate.

"'The first step in forming a biofilm is that bacteria must sense the surface and develop the ability to attach," said Calvin Lee, a UCLA graduate student, and the study's co-first author. "For the first time, we were able to follow the behavior of entire lineages of individual cells, and we discovered that the descendants could remember the surface sensing signals of their ancestors."

***

"To analyze cells that are in the process of "sensing" the surface, the scientists used a multigenerational cell tracking method that was developed by Wong's research group, along with several other data analysis methods, including one signal processing technique that is more commonly used to analyze pitch in music—the first known application of this technique for biological measurements.
"The approach revealed that two events were linked in a rhythmic pattern: the expression of cyclic AMP, a signaling molecule inside bacterial cells, and the activity level of type IV pili, the appendages on bacteria cells that are involved in the cells' movement. The study revealed that the events are separated by only a few hours.

"'Bacteria sense and remember via this rhythmic pattern, which is pivotal for their decision to suppress motility, become stationary and ultimately attach to a surface irreversibly and form a biofilm," Wong said."

Comment: the way this works is not known as yet, but my guess is newly developed epigenetic changes in the genome change the information available, so the bacteria know how to repeat the past. It is just as logical adaptation. We see builtin bacterial adaptation all the time, which is why they never disappear.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 12:30 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Because He is my God. You don't accept God, and keep trying to humanize Him. He doesn't think like you and I do.

dhw: But you and I think differently. You insist that you know his purpose (human brain) and methods (automatic programming or dabbling), but I offer a different interpretation (the changing spectacle, and autonomous, organismal/cellular intelligence). In trying to understand why evolution has followed the ever changing pattern of life’s history that we both discern, how do you know that he thinks like you do and not like I do?

DAVID: We sure do think and analyze differently. You cannot seem to recognize that the human brain arrived and is not needed for survival, a major point of your view of bow evolution works. I see his purpose in the appearance of humans, who recognize Him.

You "cannot seem to remember" that no multicellular organism is “needed for survival”, as bacteria have done very nicely since the beginning. But your last sentence is an important dimension of the argument, which you have mentioned many times previously in the context of your God’s purpose: he wants us to recognize him, he wants a relationship with us (although he remains hidden). And I don’t have a problem with this interpretation, though it is every bit as “humanizing” as the desire to create an ever changing spectacle which he can watch “with interest”. (You object to the latter because only you are allowed to “humanize” your God.) However, this does not mean he had to specially design the unnecessary weaverbird’s nest, or millions of other unnecessary lifestyles and natural wonders that have now disappeared, in order for humans to come along and recognize him! That makes no sense. I have offered you other logical explanations for humans (a late afterthought, ongoing experimentation), but you stick rigidly to your basic premise that the whole higgledy-piggledy bush was designed just for this one purpose. (You have not come up with any other "secondary" purpose.) Your explanation for the illogicality? God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 15:42 (104 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We sure do think and analyze differently. You cannot seem to recognize that the human brain arrived and is not needed for survival, a major point of your view of bow evolution works. I see his purpose in the appearance of humans, who recognize Him.

dhw: You "cannot seem to remember" that no multicellular organism is “needed for survival”, as bacteria have done very nicely since the beginning. But your last sentence is an important dimension of the argument, which you have mentioned many times previously in the context of your God’s purpose: he wants us to recognize him, he wants a relationship with us (although he remains hidden). And I don’t have a problem with this interpretation, though it is every bit as “humanizing” as the desire to create an ever changing spectacle which he can watch “with interest”. (You object to the latter because only you are allowed to “humanize” your God.) However, this does not mean he had to specially design the unnecessary weaverbird’s nest, or millions of other unnecessary lifestyles and natural wonders that have now disappeared, in order for humans to come along and recognize him! That makes no sense. I have offered you other logical explanations for humans (a late afterthought, ongoing experimentation), but you stick rigidly to your basic premise that the whole higgledy-piggledy bush was designed just for this one purpose. (You have not come up with any other "secondary" purpose.) Your explanation for the illogicality? God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.

Again you have twisted the argument about survival. Nothing beyond bacteria was necessary, therefore it was arranged as a required advance, which is strong evidence for a designed advance. On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship, but that is not the same as your idea that He wanted to watch a spectacle of diversity, which implies to me God is a 'showoff' in your view, saying "look what I can produce in variety". As for a group of other goals, with humans as the primary one, all others are basically secondary and subordinated to that one, as balance of nature, the one I offered. I might ask why do you want me to produce a group of other God's purposes. He might not have any.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Sunday, April 08, 2018, 11:00 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

Once again I have juxtaposed entries in an attempt to keep the arguments clear.

DAVID: You cannot seem to recognize that the human brain arrived and is not needed for survival, a major point of your view of bow evolution works.
dhw: You "cannot seem to remember" that no multicellular organism is “needed for survival”, as bacteria have done very nicely since the beginning.
DAVID: Again you have twisted the argument about survival. Nothing beyond bacteria was necessary, therefore it was arranged as a required advance, which is strong evidence for a designed advance.

If God exists, then of course he designed the initial mechanisms for advance. That does not mean he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other lifestyles and wonders extant and extinct for the sole purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens!

DAVID: I see his purpose in the appearance of humans, who recognize Him. (dhw's bold)

And under “ant care” you wrote: "I don't think I will in any way leave my point that humans were the obvious purpose."
dhw: You can’t tell whether my hypothesis is correct or not, but you will stick to your own hypothesis. Perfectly fair. But not a reason for rejecting my hypothesis.
DAVID: Your humanizing Him is a good enough reason.

Dhw: […] he wants us to recognize him, he wants a relationship with us (although he remains hidden). And I don’t have a problem with this interpretation, though it is every bit as “humanizing” as the desire to create an ever changing spectacle which he can watch “with interest”. (You object to the latter because only you are allowed to “humanize” your God.)
DAVID: On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship…

And what do you think might be the non-humanized purpose of his wanting non-humanized recognition and a non-humanized relationship?

DAVID: ….but that is not the same as your idea that He wanted to watch a spectacle of diversity, which implies to me God is a 'showoff' in your view, saying "look what I can produce in variety".

Sorry, but that is plain daft. Unless there are other gods watching, who the heck could he show off to? Have you never experienced the pleasure of creating something you enjoy? And what do you enjoy more: a spectacle in which every item is predictable, or one in which you are constantly being surprised?

Dhw: I have offered you other logical explanations for humans (a late afterthought, ongoing experimentation), but you stick rigidly to your basic premise that the whole higgledy-piggledy bush was designed just for this one purpose. (You have not come up with any other "secondary" purpose.)
DAVID: As for a group of other goals, with humans as the primary one, all others are basically secondary and subordinated to that one, as balance of nature, the one I offered. I might ask why do you want me to produce a group of other God's purposes. He might not have any.

A short time ago you denied that you regarded the human brain as God’s only purpose, and I challenged you to name other purposes. All you came up with was “balance of nature”, which turned out to be geared to the production of the human brain. Therefore God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest plus a few million other special designs extant and extinct in order to be able to produce the human brain. The only explanation you have offered for this illogicality is that God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 08, 2018, 15:47 (103 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you have twisted the argument about survival. Nothing beyond bacteria was necessary, therefore it was arranged as a required advance, which is strong evidence for a designed advance.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he designed the initial mechanisms for advance. That does not mean he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other lifestyles and wonders extant and extinct for the sole purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens!

All part of balance of nature to supply energy for evolution to proceed over 3.8 billion years.

[/i]

DAVID: On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship…

dhw: And what do you think might be the non-humanized purpose of his wanting non-humanized recognition and a non-humanized relationship?

To have the sort of relationship we have, one requiring faith.


DAVID: ….but that is not the same as your idea that He wanted to watch a spectacle of diversity, which implies to me God is a 'showoff' in your view, saying "look what I can produce in variety".

dhw: Sorry, but that is plain daft. Unless there are other gods watching, who the heck could he show off to? Have you never experienced the pleasure of creating something you enjoy? And what do you enjoy more: a spectacle in which every item is predictable, or one in which you are constantly being surprised?

A total humanization of God! A distant God is showing off to us who marvel at his creations.

DAVID: As for a group of other goals, with humans as the primary one, all others are basically secondary and subordinated to that one, as balance of nature, the one I offered. I might ask why do you want me to produce a group of other God's purposes. He might not have any.

dhw: A short time ago you denied that you regarded the human brain as God’s only purpose, and I challenged you to name other purposes. All you came up with was “balance of nature”, which turned out to be geared to the production of the human brain. Therefore God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest plus a few million other special designs extant and extinct in order to be able to produce the human brain. The only explanation you have offered for this illogicality is that God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.

I think it is very logical. Sorry you don't

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Monday, April 09, 2018, 11:34 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you have twisted the argument about survival. Nothing beyond bacteria was necessary, therefore it was arranged as a required advance, which is strong evidence for a designed advance.
dhw: If God exists, then of course he designed the initial mechanisms for advance. That does not mean he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other lifestyles and wonders extant and extinct for the sole purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens!
DAVID: All part of balance of nature to supply energy for evolution to proceed over 3.8 billion years.

That simply means that the ever changing evolutionary bush of life has lasted for 3.8 billion years so far. Nothing to do with the human brain being its one and only purpose!

DAVID: On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship…
dhw: And what do you think might be the non-humanized purpose of his wanting non-humanized recognition and a non-humanized relationship?
DAVID: To have the sort of relationship we have, one requiring faith.

And what do you think is the non-humanizing purpose of his wanting us to have faith in him?

DAVID: ….but that is not the same as your idea that He wanted to watch a spectacle of diversity, which implies to me God is a 'showoff' in your view, saying "look what I can produce in variety".
dhw: Sorry, but that is plain daft. Unless there are other gods watching, who the heck could he show off to? Have you never experienced the pleasure of creating something you enjoy? And what do you enjoy more: a spectacle in which every item is predictable, or one in which you are constantly being surprised?
DAVID: A total humanization of God! A distant God is showing off to us who marvel at his creations.

For 3.x billion years we weren’t even there to marvel! In any case, that is not what I wrote at all, though it certainly ties in with your idea that he wants recognition and he wants us to have faith in him. Sorry, but your version is considerably more humanly vain than mine, which is that he may take pleasure in his creations, and he may enjoy an ever changing spectacle.

DAVID: As for a group of other goals, with humans as the primary one, all others are basically secondary and subordinated to that one, as balance of nature, the one I offered. I might ask why do you want me to produce a group of other God's purposes. He might not have any.
dhw: A short time ago you denied that you regarded the human brain as God’s only purpose, and I challenged you to name other purposes. All you came up with was “balance of nature”, which turned out to be geared to the production of the human brain. Therefore God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest plus a few million other special designs extant and extinct in order to be able to produce the human brain. The only explanation you have offered for this illogicality is that God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.
DAVID: I think it is very logical. Sorry you don't.

If you think your version is logical, why – when I challenge its logic – do you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Monday, April 09, 2018, 15:28 (102 days ago) @ dhw

[/i]

DAVID: All part of balance of nature to supply energy for evolution to proceed over 3.8 billion years.

dhw: That simply means that the ever changing evolutionary bush of life has lasted for 3.8 billion years so far. Nothing to do with the human brain being its one and only purpose!

The brain is the most complex organ to develop in evolution. How can you deny that it is the pinnacle of the process?


DAVID: On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship…
dhw: And what do you think might be the non-humanized purpose of his wanting non-humanized recognition and a non-humanized relationship?
DAVID: To have the sort of relationship we have, one requiring faith.

dhw: And what do you think is the non-humanizing purpose of his wanting us to have faith in him?

First, He is not human. He is purposely hidden, so that you must come to believe in Him. If the faith requirement were not an issue, He could perform an obvious miracle and convince all of us. That would be a humanized God!


dhw: For 3.x billion years we weren’t even there to marvel! In any case, that is not what I wrote at all, though it certainly ties in with your idea that he wants recognition and he wants us to have faith in him. Sorry, but your version is considerably more humanly vain than mine, which is that he may take pleasure in his creations, and he may enjoy an ever changing spectacle.

How do we know God 'enjoys' at all. Do you accept the view of religions that God is 'loving'. That is a hopeful human assumption.


DAVID: As for a group of other goals, with humans as the primary one, all others are basically secondary and subordinated to that one, as balance of nature, the one I offered. I might ask why do you want me to produce a group of other God's purposes. He might not have any.
dhw: A short time ago you denied that you regarded the human brain as God’s only purpose, and I challenged you to name other purposes. All you came up with was “balance of nature”, which turned out to be geared to the production of the human brain. Therefore God specially designed the weaverbird’s nest plus a few million other special designs extant and extinct in order to be able to produce the human brain. The only explanation you have offered for this illogicality is that God’s logic is different from ours (i.e. mine). Maybe it’s not.
DAVID: I think it is very logical. Sorry you don't.

dhw: If you think your version is logical, why – when I challenge its logic – do you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic?

Because God is not human. Therefore your human assumptions about Him are all human and not applicable.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 12:54 (101 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: That does not mean he specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other lifestyles and wonders extant and extinct for the sole purpose of creating the brain of Homo sapiens!
DAVID: All part of balance of nature to supply energy for evolution to proceed over 3.8 billion years.
dhw: That simply means that the ever changing evolutionary bush of life has lasted for 3.8 billion years so far. Nothing to do with the human brain being its one and only purpose!
DAVID: The brain is the most complex organ to develop in evolution. How can you deny that it is the pinnacle of the process?

You were trying to explain why your God had to design the weaverbird’s nest etc., and as usual came up with your “balance of nature”, which only means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years. It does not mean that every organism, lifestyle and natural wonder throughout the 3.8 billion years of life so far was designed to produce sapiens’ brain. Unless you can explain why the weaverbird’s nest etc. were all essential for the production of the human brain, your “balance of nature” argument is a complete non sequitur and should be confined to current ecological problems.

DAVID: On the issue of relationship, if Humans are God's goal, of course He has a purpose of a relationship…
dhw: And what do you think might be the non-humanized purpose of his wanting non-humanized recognition and a non-humanized relationship?
DAVID: To have the sort of relationship we have, one requiring faith.
dhw: And what do you think is the non-humanizing purpose of his wanting us to have faith in him?
DAVID: First, He is not human. He is purposely hidden, so that you must come to believe in Him. If the faith requirement were not an issue, He could perform an obvious miracle and convince all of us. That would be a humanized God!

Fine, but you have not explained WHY he wants us to have faith in him, which is what I asked.

dhw: For 3.x billion years we weren’t even there to marvel! In any case, that is not what I wrote at all, though it certainly ties in with your idea that he wants recognition and he wants us to have faith in him. Sorry, but your version is considerably more humanly vain than mine, which is that he may take pleasure in his creations, and he may enjoy an ever changing spectacle.
DAVID: How do we know God 'enjoys' at all. Do you accept the view of religions that God is 'loving'. That is a hopeful human assumption.

We don’t even “know” whether he exists, let alone what is his nature and his purpose. But you say he wants recognition and a relationship with us. Why is his desire for recognition less human than his desire to produce something he can enjoy?

dhw: If you think your version is logical, why – when I challenge its logic – do you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic?
DAVID: Because God is not human. Therefore your human assumptions about Him are all human and not applicable.

Your “assumption” is that he created the weaverbird’s nest (plus a few million other examples) in order to keep life going for 3.x billion years until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain, which he did because he wants us to recognize him and have faith in him and have a relationship with him (while hiding himself), though somehow not in a human way. And these assumptions are not human because…….because you have read God’s mind? Or he has told you he wants recognition but does not want enjoyment?

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 15:09 (101 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The brain is the most complex organ to develop in evolution. How can you deny that it is the pinnacle of the process?

dhw: You were trying to explain why your God had to design the weaverbird’s nest etc., and as usual came up with your “balance of nature”, which only means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years. It does not mean that every organism, lifestyle and natural wonder throughout the 3.8 billion years of life so far was designed to produce sapiens’ brain. Unless you can explain why the weaverbird’s nest etc. were all essential for the production of the human brain, your “balance of nature” argument is a complete non sequitur and should be confined to current ecological problems.

How did evolution of life continue for 3.8 billion years unless the energy was present for it to continue. All food gone, no life. Absolutely intertwined. The nest is one tiny aspect of balance of nature, and obviously by itself has no relation to the appearance of the brain, other than it fits into one of the millions of econiches supplying life's energy. Your argument is a total misdirection of thought..
in him?[/i]

DAVID: First, He is not human. He is purposely hidden, so that you must come to believe in Him. If the faith requirement were not an issue, He could perform an obvious miracle and convince all of us. That would be a humanized God!

dhw: Fine, but you have not explained WHY he wants us to have faith in him, which is what I asked.

We assume He wants faith. He may not. Religions tell us He loves non-believers also.


dhw: If you think your version is logical, why – when I challenge its logic – do you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic?
DAVID: Because God is not human. Therefore your human assumptions about Him are all human and not applicable.

dhw: Your “assumption” is that he created the weaverbird’s nest (plus a few million other examples) in order to keep life going for 3.x billion years until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing the human brain, which he did because he wants us to recognize him and have faith in him and have a relationship with him (while hiding himself), though somehow not in a human way. And these assumptions are not human because…….because you have read God’s mind? Or he has told you he wants recognition but does not want enjoyment?

We have to assume what He wants. He has never issued a list of requirements, although humans presume to try..

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 12:34 (100 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Unless you can explain why the weaverbird’s nest etc. were all essential for the production of the human brain, your “balance of nature” argument is a complete non sequitur and should be confined to current ecological problems.
DAVID: How did evolution of life continue for 3.8 billion years unless the energy was present for it to continue. All food gone, no life. Absolutely intertwined. The nest is one tiny aspect of balance of nature, and obviously by itself has no relation to the appearance of the brain, other than it fits into one of the millions of econiches supplying life's energy. Your argument is a total misdirection of thought..
in him?
[/i]

Of course the energy has to be present for life to continue, but that does not mean that life continued for the sole purpose of producing sapiens’ brain, or that your God had to personally design the weaverbird’s nest. Life continues in whatever form, with or without the human brain and the weaverbird’s nest, so long as there is food to sustain it. That is why “balance of nature” is irrelevant to your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution, and to your claim that organisms are incapable of designing their own nests, lifestyles and wonders.

DAVID: First, He is not human. He is purposely hidden, so that you must come to believe in Him. If the faith requirement were not an issue, He could perform an obvious miracle and convince all of us. That would be a humanized God!
dhw: Fine, but you have not explained WHY he wants us to have faith in him, which is what I asked.
DAVID: We assume He wants faith. He may not. Religions tell us He loves non-believers also.

YOU assume it, since you said it in the first place, along with your assumption that he wants us to recognize him and to have a relationship with him, and that was the reason why he created the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. I offer the alternative that he created the bush as an ever changing spectacle that he could “watch with interest” (your words), but you dismiss this as “humanizing”, whereas you cannot see that your own assumptions are every bit as “humanizing”.

DAVID (under “sentient cells”): Evolution had to proceed under God's direction because of His purpose to produce humans. I think God knew what He wanted to do from the point that He started he universe. You produce a doubtful hesitant God in your mind's meanderings about Him.

Cart before horse. Of course he had to direct it IF from the start he wanted to produce humans. That is the big IF, since you can’t tell me why he had to “direct” the weaverbird’s nest etc. if he wanted to produce humans. I shan’t repeat all the anomalies and contradictions your own meanderings have led you to, but will suggest that if someone deliberately creates a spectacle that he can watch with interest, or has a fixed idea (humans) and experiments in order to achieve it, or has a bright new idea (humans) which he implements, that does not make him doubtful or hesitant. But at least this is a different objection from “humanizing” (which you keep indulging in yourself), so keep trying.;-)

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 20:59 (100 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course the energy has to be present for life to continue, but that does not mean that life continued for the sole purpose of producing sapiens’ brain, or that your God had to personally design the weaverbird’s nest. Life continues in whatever form, with or without the human brain and the weaverbird’s nest, so long as there is food to sustain it. That is why “balance of nature” is irrelevant to your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution, and to your claim that organisms are incapable of designing their own nests, lifestyles and wonders.

The need for energy is a truism. Balance simply describes the mechanism of supply. The balance has nothing to do with the argument that evolution has a purpose. We all know that. The argument about design involves the analysis of complexity and whether that complexity requires a designing mind, as in Behe's 'irreducible complexity' (IC). I stand on the position that if IC is present design is required.


DAVID: First, He is not human. He is purposely hidden, so that you must come to believe in Him. If the faith requirement were not an issue, He could perform an obvious miracle and convince all of us. That would be a humanized God!
dhw: Fine, but you have not explained WHY he wants us to have faith in him, which is what I asked.
DAVID: We assume He wants faith. He may not. Religions tell us He loves non-believers also.

dhw: YOU assume it, since you said it in the first place, along with your assumption that he wants us to recognize him and to have a relationship with him, and that was the reason why he created the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. I offer the alternative that he created the bush as an ever changing spectacle that he could “watch with interest” (your words), but you dismiss this as “humanizing”, whereas you cannot see that your own assumptions are every bit as “humanizing”.

What you don't seem to remember is that you asked me for possible reasons for God's purposes, so I gave you some, but over and over I've said we really can't know because He is a person like no other person.


DAVID (under “sentient cells”): Evolution had to proceed under God's direction because of His purpose to produce humans. I think God knew what He wanted to do from the point that He started he universe. You produce a doubtful hesitant God in your mind's meanderings about Him.

dhw: Cart before horse. Of course he had to direct it IF from the start he wanted to produce humans. That is the big IF, since you can’t tell me why he had to “direct” the weaverbird’s nest etc. if he wanted to produce humans.

Weaverbirds are a part of an econiche that produces energy for evolution, nothing more. You keep trying to tie the design issue into the final production of the human brain. Chance could never have designed the human brain. It required a designer.

dhw: I shan’t repeat all the anomalies and contradictions your own meanderings have led you to, but will suggest that if someone deliberately creates a spectacle that he can watch with interest, or has a fixed idea (humans) and experiments in order to achieve it, or has a bright new idea (humans) which he implements, that does not make him doubtful or hesitant. But at least this is a different objection from “humanizing” (which you keep indulging in yourself), so keep trying.;-)

You can't seem to avoid a human suggestion about what God might have planned or wished. All we see is the result: the miraculous appearance of life on a very specialized planet with an evolution of the most complex item in the universe, our brain. And you doubt a designer must exist. Makes no sense to me.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Thursday, April 12, 2018, 13:48 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The need for energy is a truism. Balance simply describes the mechanism of supply. The balance has nothing to do with the argument that evolution has a purpose. We all know that. […] And later:
Weaverbirds are a part of an econiche that produces energy for evolution, nothing more. You keep trying to tie the design issue into the final production of the human brain.

Thank you for this excellent summary, which I shall try to keep handy for future reference. The problem we keep discussing is twofold: 1) your continued insistence that your God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and 2) that he did so in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his “prime” purpose, which was the production of the human brain. Whenever I challenge these two tenets of yours, you bring up the “balance of nature”, which you now acknowledge is totally irrelevant. I ask why he had to specially design the weaverbird's nest if his prime purpose was to produce the human brain, and now you acknowledge that there is no connection. It is you who constantly harp on about your God’s purposefulness, and who constantly try to link continuation of life to the production of the brain. I’m delighted that you have abandoned that line of argument. All we’re left with now is your belief that he personally designed the complexities of the weaverbird’s nest in order to produce energy for evolution. I can’t help feeling that life would have continued to evolve even without those knots.

DAVID: What you don't seem to remember is that you asked me for possible reasons for God's purposes, so I gave you some, but over and over I've said we really can't know because He is a person like no other person.

But you keep insisting that you do “know” his purpose: production of the human brain.

DAVID: You can't seem to avoid a human suggestion about what God might have planned or wished. All we see is the result: the miraculous appearance of life on a very specialized planet with an evolution of the most complex item in the universe, our brain.

You seem to think your human insistence that humans were the primary focus of your God’s plans and wishes is not a human suggestion. The result we see is 3.8 billion years of comings and goings, with a vast variety of species, lifestyles and natural wonders, including but – as you now acknowledge - unconnected with the human brain. This suggests to me that your God must have had a much broader purpose than just producing the human brain - hence the spectacle hypothesis. But you reject this as “humanizing”. I point out that your purposeful God must have had a purpose in wanting to produce the human brain, and so instead of my “humanizing” spectacle, you offer “humanizing” faith, recognition, and a relationship. If you want to discuss your God’s purpose, you cannot avoid making “human suggestions” that “humanize” him. And if you can make them, I can make them. “Humanization” is a non-argument, since all our explanations are human speculations. But I would suggest that some seem more logical than others!

DAVID: And you doubt a designer must exist. Makes no sense to me.

As you very well know, I do not reject the case for design. But the case for design does not provide any answer to the problem of how an infinite, conscious being of infinite powers can simply “be”, whereas finite beings of finite consciousness and powers have to be designed. I cannot believe in a solution to one mystery if that solution creates an even greater mystery that has no solution. And it does make sense to you, because you always acknowledge that ultimately one needs faith to believe your solution.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 12, 2018, 23:10 (99 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The need for energy is a truism. Balance simply describes the mechanism of supply. The balance has nothing to do with the argument that evolution has a purpose. We all know that. […] And later:
Weaverbirds are a part of an econiche that produces energy for evolution, nothing more. You keep trying to tie the design issue into the final production of the human brain.

dhw: Thank you for this excellent summary, which I shall try to keep handy for future reference. The problem we keep discussing is twofold: 1) your continued insistence that your God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and 2) that he did so in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his “prime” purpose, which was the production of the human brain. Whenever I challenge these two tenets of yours, you bring up the “balance of nature”, which you now acknowledge is totally irrelevant. I ask why he had to specially design the weaverbird's nest if his prime purpose was to produce the human brain, and now you acknowledge that there is no connection. It is you who constantly harp on about your God’s purposefulness, and who constantly try to link continuation of life to the production of the brain. I’m delighted that you have abandoned that line of argument. All we’re left with now is your belief that he personally designed the complexities of the weaverbird’s nest in order to produce energy for evolution. I can’t help feeling that life would have continued to evolve even without those knots.

DAVID: What you don't seem to remember is that you asked me for possible reasons for God's purposes, so I gave you some, but over and over I've said we really can't know because He is a person like no other person.

dhw: But you keep insisting that you do “know” his purpose: production of the human brain.

DAVID: You can't seem to avoid a human suggestion about what God might have planned or wished. All we see is the result: the miraculous appearance of life on a very specialized planet with an evolution of the most complex item in the universe, our brain.

dhw: You seem to think your human insistence that humans were the primary focus of your God’s plans and wishes is not a human suggestion. The result we see is 3.8 billion years of comings and goings, with a vast variety of species, lifestyles and natural wonders, including but – as you now acknowledge - unconnected with the human brain. This suggests to me that your God must have had a much broader purpose than just producing the human brain - hence the spectacle hypothesis. But you reject this as “humanizing”. I point out that your purposeful God must have had a purpose in wanting to produce the human brain, and so instead of my “humanizing” spectacle, you offer “humanizing” faith, recognition, and a relationship. If you want to discuss your God’s purpose, you cannot avoid making “human suggestions” that “humanize” him. And if you can make them, I can make them. “Humanization” is a non-argument, since all our explanations are human speculations. But I would suggest that some seem more logical than others!

DAVID: And you doubt a designer must exist. Makes no sense to me.

dhw: As you very well know, I do not reject the case for design. But the case for design does not provide any answer to the problem of how an infinite, conscious being of infinite powers can simply “be”, whereas finite beings of finite consciousness and powers have to be designed. I cannot believe in a solution to one mystery if that solution creates an even greater mystery that has no solution. And it does make sense to you, because you always acknowledge that ultimately one needs faith to believe your solution.

We can conclude that you will stay on the fence and I will be with faith in God. I hope this discussion interested followers of this site. To each his own.

autonomy v. automaticity

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Saturday, March 03, 2018, 19:08 (139 days ago) @ dhw


TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.

DHW: How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?

Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 03, 2018, 21:40 (139 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained


TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.

DHW: How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?


Tony: Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

You may not have seen my comment about God setting up patterns to follow to make the conduct of managing evolution an simpler task. Is there a theistic thought or theory about prototypes?

autonomy v. automaticity

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 13:23 (136 days ago) @ David Turell

The Bible actually supports the use of Prototype creatures in a couple of ways.

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Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 15:02 (136 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: The Bible actually supports the use of Prototype creatures in a couple of ways.

Can you explain?

autonomy v. automaticity

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, March 08, 2018, 19:15 (134 days ago) @ David Turell

Well, in the creation account, it says he created certain groups, but does not indicate that every variation we know today was created initially. It also talks about being created according to a "kind". That would be a prototype from which future variants could develop from the base model.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 08, 2018, 19:39 (134 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: Well, in the creation account, it says he created certain groups, but does not indicate that every variation we know today was created initially. It also talks about being created according to a "kind". That would be a prototype from which future variants could develop from the base model.

Thank you. I recognize the quote.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Friday, March 09, 2018, 10:32 (133 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: Well, in the creation account, it says he created certain groups, but does not indicate that every variation we know today was created initially. It also talks about being created according to a "kind". That would be a prototype from which future variants could develop from the base model.

I commented on this when you raised it on 4 March, but perhaps you missed it:

Tony: Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

dhw: I don’t have a problem with that. Nor did Darwin, who talks of life “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.” My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence would certainly not preclude the design of prototypes, with different cell communities coming up with different “patterns” (David’s term) that can subsequently be re-used with variations.

autonomy v. automaticity

by David Turell @, Friday, March 09, 2018, 15:48 (133 days ago) @ dhw

Tony: Well, in the creation account, it says he created certain groups, but does not indicate that every variation we know today was created initially. It also talks about being created according to a "kind". That would be a prototype from which future variants could develop from the base model.

dhw: I commented on this when you raised it on 4 March, but perhaps you missed it:

Tony: Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

dhw: I don’t have a problem with that. Nor did Darwin, who talks of life “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.” My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence would certainly not preclude the design of prototypes, with different cell communities coming up with different “patterns” (David’s term) that can subsequently be re-used with variations.

I've commented today with an article on spider coloration in Hawaii.

autonomy v. automaticity

by dhw, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 12:22 (171 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".

autonomy v. automaticity; plant automatic breathing

by David Turell @, Monday, April 09, 2018, 18:45 (102 days ago) @ dhw

Plants open and close breathing pores by automatic molecular reactions:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180409103942.htm

"A team of scientists at Nagoya University has discovered new compounds that can control stomatal movements in plants. Some of the compounds have shown to prevent leaves from drying up and suppress withering when sprayed onto rose and oat leaves.

"Stomata consist of a pair of guard cells and open in response to the blue light present in sunlight. Opening of stomata leads to carbon dioxide uptake, explaining why photosynthesis occurs during the day. When plants are under dark conditions and/or drought stress, a plant hormone, abscisic acid (ABA) is biosynthesized and induces stomata closure. Stomata are closed during the night to prevent water loss from the plant.

"When the guard cells in the stomata detect blue light, the photoreceptor, phototropin is activated and induces signaling within the cell. As a result of the signaling, the enzyme, plasma membrane proton pump (PM H+-ATPase) is activated, leading to the uptake of potassium ions. This triggers water uptake and cell swelling that opens the stomata. Although activation of PM H+-ATPase is known to be significant for stomatal opening, the full mechanism of stomatal opening is yet to be clarified.

***

"Using the herb, Benghal dayflower as a model plant, Dr. Shigeo Toh, Mr. Shinpei Inoue, and Dr.?Yosuke Toda, established experimental conditions to screen over 20,000 compounds. They managed to find hit compounds after a year of random screening of the chemical library. This includes 9 compounds that suppress light-induced stomatal opening by more than 50%, and 2 compounds that induce stomatal opening even in the dark.

***

"Further analysis of stomatal closing compounds (SCLs), SCL1 and SCL2, revealed that that they inhibit the signaling components between the phototropin receptor and the PM H+-ATPase enzyme, thus inhibiting light-induced activation of PM H+-ATPase and leading to suppression of stomatal opening."

Comment: A great example of automaticity.

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