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Implications Of A Thinking God


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#1 greylorn

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

Thoughts build upon one another, and new ideas come from previous ideas. Consider the workings of your own mind. You can imagine things that you could not have imagined as a child; you know things today that you did not know back in first grade.

Your very own consciousness is a discovery. Many people can recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness. Whether there was a specific moment of self-awakening for you or not, you were not self-aware at birth. Consciousness came to you as the result of many little learning experiences. This progression from knowledge to consciousness is gradual, in that self-awareness is not the first thing you learned. At the time of your birth, you knew nothing.

That is not entirely true. When "you" are regarded as a composite being, let's say body, brain and soul, it is clear that your little brain came with some useful instinctual knowledge built in. You knew how to cry when hungry or hurt, and you did not need to be taught to suck a nipple. Your tiny fingers naturally wrapped around anything small enough that was put in your hand.

If the Creator is a thinking being, it is reasonable to assume that he builds new knowledge upon prior information, and new ideas upon older ideas-- just like we do. This implies that there was a point at which God knew absolutely nothing and existed simply as an entity who possessed the potential for thought.

(For those trying to work a physics section who got here by clicking on the wrong buttons, this implies that God can freely violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. i.e: God is the classical Maxwellian Daemon. ---But that is really another topic, to be dealt with if we can get past the unusual notion presented on this thread.)

Consider the same line of reasoning as that used to arrive at Big Bang theory. We observe that the universe is expanding, which implies that it has been expanding from a size smaller than now. (If God thinks, we might safely conclude that he's been thinking all along, and currently knows more than before.)

Following the same line, cosmologists concluded that there was a point at which the universe had no determinable size, and was not doing anything at all-- a tiny, static, micropea containing all the mass-energy in the universe, with the potential to develop all the laws of physics and fundamental constants required of a dynamic, fully functional Universe. Yet, it only existed as a potential universe--- until suddenly it blew up and began expanding, growing into the complex set of structures we are beginning to observe today.

Following the analogous line of reasoning with respect to a thinking God, there will have been a point at which God had never formed a thought, having existed forever, but only as a potentially thinking, conscious entity. The theological equivalent of cosmology's Big Bang is God's First Thought-- a thought leading to others, and inevitably to consciousness.

(This concept, like others I've presented and hope to present here, is but one component of a larger, complete theory that ultimately integrates creation, dark energy, and human consciousness.)

Edited by greylorn, 05 February 2013 - 08:23 PM.


#2 CraigD

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

Many people can recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness.

I think we should be very careful to avoid confusing imagination with objective information, and careful to precisely define terms, before considering whether this claim is true.

Assuming the mirror test is a good, objective way to determine self-awareness, we know with good scientific certainty that most humans aren’t self-aware until around 18 months old.

Common non-linguistic memory test have shown that most humans gain the ability to remember any experience as adults, let alone one as abstract as “recognized the reality of their own consciousness”, at about 3.5 years of age.

So I think it’s unlikely that more than a very few people recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness.

Further, from philosophers to computer scientists, there has been for at least 35 years significant controversy over what the “consciousness” means, in precise, formal terms, whether it can be defined in such terms in a way that has much correspondence to the intuitive meanings ascribed to it by mystics, religionists, and regular folk (note these 3 categories are not exhaustive nor disjoint), or if its intuitive use refers to a semantically real entity, or a “semantic null and void”.

On one hand, we know, objectively, that we are, reliably and reproducibly, determining the presence of something with tests like the mirror test. Likewise, we know that ancient theories that this thing is breathed by supernatural beings into inanimate matter are wrong, because we know that, in animals, this thing has to do with neural activity in the brain. What we don’t know with more than the most unsatisfyingly loose speculation is how, in a way that can be defined algorithmically, in the same way a computer is programed, this activity results in this thing we commonly call consciousness, or even if it can be defined in this way.

Personally, I don’t think unless and until such a definition can be made, it makes much sense to use the concept of consciousness, other than define very objectively, such as “that which the mirror test detects”.

Sources: wikipedia articles mirror test, childhood amnesia, consciousness, and new mysterianism.
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#3 greylorn

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:25 AM

I think we should be very careful to avoid confusing imagination with objective information, and careful to precisely define terms, before considering whether this claim is true.

Assuming the mirror test is a good, objective way to determine self-awareness, we know with good scientific certainty that most humans aren’t self-aware until around 18 months old.

Common non-linguistic memory test have shown that most humans gain the ability to remember any experience as adults, let alone one as abstract as “recognized the reality of their own consciousness”, at about 3.5 years of age.

So I think it’s unlikely that more than a very few people recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness.

Further, from philosophers to computer scientists, there has been for at least 35 years significant controversy over what the “consciousness” means, in precise, formal terms, whether it can be defined in such terms in a way that has much correspondence to the intuitive meanings ascribed to it by mystics, religionists, and regular folk (note these 3 categories are not exhaustive nor disjoint), or if its intuitive use refers to a semantically real entity, or a “semantic null and void”.

On one hand, we know, objectively, that we are, reliably and reproducibly, determining the presence of something with tests like the mirror test. Likewise, we know that ancient theories that this thing is breathed by supernatural beings into inanimate matter are wrong, because we know that, in animals, this thing has to do with neural activity in the brain. What we don’t know with more than the most unsatisfyingly loose speculation is how, in a way that can be defined algorithmically, in the same way a computer is programed, this activity results in this thing we commonly call consciousness, or even if it can be defined in this way.

Personally, I don’t think unless and until such a definition can be made, it makes much sense to use the concept of consciousness, other than define very objectively, such as “that which the mirror test detects”.

Sources: wikipedia articles mirror test, childhood amnesia, consciousness, and new mysterianism.

Craig,
That was an alarmingly thoughtful and well-considered set of comments. It addressed a critical component of my argument, and indeed caught me in some explanatory corner-cutting. It seems like the best way to address your complaint is to clarify exactly what I mean by consciousness. Should have done so in the OP, but I feared that it would be excessively wordy.

I had the privilege of raising three offspring, and was particularly attentive to their development process. I observed the normal form of self-awareness take place in them around the customary ages. It had a lead-in phase that involved language, and seemed to occur gradually, over a period of several months. There was no sudden onset of consciousness for any one of them to recall. I believe that normal humans develop in this manner, as per the studies, mirror tests, etc. The level of consciousness to which I referred (sloppily) is an entirely different kind of thing.

My own personal consciousness appeared well after the usual processes. I was about 14 years old at the time, with 10 years of schooling and good grades under my belt. I'd learned to shoot, fish, swim, camp out, fight, cook for myself, babysit my siblings, read good books, and steal cars. I'd taken and passed an I.Q. test, and had anyone asked me, my parents, friends, or teachers if I was conscious, we'd all have said "yes" without hesitation.

Yet, one hot summer night lying awake in bed, looking out an open window at the stars and wondering about the mysteries lurking in the universe out there, I suddenly realized that I was an entity, not a body-brain system, but a mind of some independent nature, wondering about the universe. A few milliseconds later I'd become a mind wondering about itself--- and marveling at its ability to do that. Wham, Bam, and no time for thanks. In a few moments I had discovered a realm of consciousness for which I'd received no previous warning or inkling.

There is no word that I know of to distinguish that level of self-awareness from normal self-awareness, and was not smart enough to invent one. The best way to put the difference into words is that I went from being conscious to experiencing consciousness.

Since then I've found occasion to query others, and found that many people have had an experience similar to mine, but that most have not the slightest notion of what I'm talking about. Explaining it to them is like explaining an orgasm to a virgin. I could explain it to those who've studied calculus, as the second derivative of sensory perception, but that kind of description is no substitute for the experience.

Finding this particular point of consciousness does not appear to be related to meditation. I cannot meditate. Few of those I know who are successful meditators report a similar experience. Anyway, for what it's worth, that represents my understanding of consciousness. That represents what I mean by "consciousness" in this and other threads that might address the subject.

Does anyone out there have a better word?

Of course I do not attribute this kind of consciousness to the human brain, and have devised a working model of an appropriate entity that can be blamed for it. If you need a sense of this before I can lay enough background to make a detailed description worth showing up with, I call the entity "beon." Imagine a cross between a Cartesian mind and Maxwellian daemon.

#4 blamski

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

your posts demand replies of more than a few lines, so excuse me for being brief here... but maybe you are referring to something - a concept - closer to enlightenment than an onset of consciousness. obviously this word comes loaded with its own set of preconceptions, mostly religious ones, but in its pure form it obviously refers to a process, or even a moment, of transcendent experience. the common cartoonish metaphor of a lightbulb turing on is actually quite apt in this sense.
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#5 greylorn

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:47 PM

your posts demand replies of more than a few lines, so excuse me for being brief here... but maybe you are referring to something - a concept - closer to enlightenment than an onset of consciousness. obviously this word comes loaded with its own set of preconceptions, mostly religious ones, but in its pure form it obviously refers to a process, or even a moment, of transcendent experience. the common cartoonish metaphor of a lightbulb turing on is actually quite apt in this sense.


Blamski,

I've had experiences akin to those you have described, all of them coming without the assistance of drugs, by the way.

I know the "lightbulb effect" or its equivalent--- the instantaneous onset of a unique (to me at least) idea. Mine often come unbidden, when I'm driving on an open highway and coming over the top of a previously traveled hill. The consciousness-event that I (and others) have described was exactly that sort of experience. Its only difference from the usual such experiences is that this one was about my mind, whereas others arrive as the solution to objective problems or questions.

Actually, there is one other difference. My onset of consciousness was my first such "lightbulb" experience.

I don't have the slightest idea what other people mean by enlightenment, but as best I can tell it is no more than a somewhat unexpected but otherwise ordinary learning experience that is induced by a teacher, guru, or self-help seminar. I had such an experience last Monday, chatting with the cook at a small local restaurant. He offered some insights into the decline of America which connected with some thoughts I'd previously developed on the subject and filled in the blanks perfectly. Now I have a fairly complete and sensible theory on the subject. I'd call that a bit of enlightenment, if that word was part of my working vocabulary.

I hope that helps, I realize that "consciousness" is a busy word with different meanings for various people. I actually know a female human who genuinely believes that rocks (and farts) are conscious, whereas on the other extreme, I do not believe that all humans are conscious. Not a subject that can be dealt with in 25 words or less, but don[t let that dissuade you from contributing. Why not sit down in front of your keyboard with a shot of J.D. or whatever best quiets down your set of "let's be socially correct and not take risks" neurons, and start kicking your own thoughts and ideas around?

#6 greylorn

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:07 PM

your posts demand replies of more than a few lines, so excuse me for being brief here... but maybe you are referring to something - a concept - closer to enlightenment than an onset of consciousness. obviously this word comes loaded with its own set of preconceptions, mostly religious ones, but in its pure form it obviously refers to a process, or even a moment, of transcendent experience. the common cartoonish metaphor of a lightbulb turing on is actually quite apt in this sense.


Blamski,

I've had experiences akin to those you have described, all of them coming without the assistance of drugs, by the way.

I know the "lightbulb effect" or its equivalent--- the instantaneous onset of a unique (to me at least) idea. Mine often come unbidden, when I'm driving on an open highway and coming over the top of a previously traveled hill. The consciousness-event that I (and others) have described was exactly that sort of experience. Its only difference from the usual such experiences is that this one was about my mind, whereas others arrive as the solution to objective problems or questions.

Actually, there is one other difference. My onset of consciousness was my first such "lightbulb" experience.

I don't have the slightest idea what other people mean by enlightenment, but as best I can tell it is no more than a somewhat unexpected but otherwise ordinary learning experience that is induced by a teacher, guru, or self-help seminar. I had such an experience last Monday, chatting with the cook at a small local restaurant. He offered some insights into the decline of America which connected with some thoughts I'd previously developed on the subject and filled in the blanks perfectly. Now I have a fairly complete and sensible theory on the subject. I'd call that a bit of enlightenment, if that word was part of my working vocabulary.

I hope that helps, I realize that "consciousness" is a busy word with different meanings for various people. I actually know a female human who genuinely believes that rocks are conscious, whereas on the other extreme, I do not believe that all humans are conscious. Not a subject that can be dealt with in 25 words or less, but don[t let that dissuade you from contributing. Why not sit down in front of your keyboard with a shot of J.D. or whatever best quiets down your set of "let's be socially correct and not take risks" neurons, and start kicking your own thoughts and ideas around?

#7 sman

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

If the Creator is a thinking being....


Thinking is a mechanical process. It’s not magic. Information can be stored in/coded onto matter; matter may be manipulated within the constraints of physical laws and thereby information may be processed. Whether you define a thought as a single computation, an array of computations structured as a logic gate, or the genesis of an original idea, you can’t escape the fact that thinking is bound by physical law: it requires energy & space, as well as time.

If the creator is a thinking being, then it is a material thing, like a human, or a computer, or a chicken or a cockroach. These are things that think. Fictional and/or incorporal things do not think.








....cosmologists concluded that there was a point at which the universe had no determinable size, and was not doing anything at all-- a tiny, static, micropea containing all the mass-energy in the universe, with the potential to develop all the laws of physics and fundamental constants required of a dynamic, fully functional Universe. Yet, it only existed as a potential universe--- until suddenly it blew up and began expanding, growing into the complex set of structures we are beginning to observe today.

Following the analogous line of reasoning with respect to a thinking God, there will have been a point at which God had never formed a thought, having existed forever, but only as a potentially thinking, conscious entity. The theological equivalent of cosmology's Big Bang is God's First Thought-- a thought leading to others, and inevitably to consciousness.


One difference I can think of is that the observable universe is… well, observable, rendering it amenable to science and appropriate on our site.

Edited by sman, 08 February 2013 - 01:14 PM.

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#8 Moontanman

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

Thoughts build upon one another, and new ideas come from previous ideas. Consider the workings of your own mind. You can imagine things that you could not have imagined as a child; you know things today that you did not know back in first grade.


A reasonable if not well supported assertion...

Your very own consciousness is a discovery. Many people can recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness. Whether there was a specific moment of self-awakening for you or not, you were not self-aware at birth. Consciousness came to you as the result of many little learning experiences. This progression from knowledge to consciousness is gradual, in that self-awareness is not the first thing you learned. At the time of your birth, you knew nothing.



This assertion cannot be assumed with out some support, a citation is needed... In fact you were born with knowledge or at least behaviors already pre programmed instinctually... I have taken the liberty to emphasize some of my questions about this assertion. I do not think an accumulation of knowledge makes you self aware, in fact fetuses show sings of both awareness and accumulating knowledge before birth... I doubt you can point to an instant and say that is where a human became self aware... In fact I would like to know what you mean by self aware, on some level protozoa are self aware...

That is not entirely true. When "you" are regarded as a composite being, let's say body, brain and soul, it is clear that your little brain came with some useful instinctual knowledge built in. You knew how to cry when hungry or hurt, and you did not need to be taught to suck a nipple. Your tiny fingers naturally wrapped around anything small enough that was put in your hand.



I think it can be shown you came pre programmed with quite a bit more than this... The only real way to prove this might be less than humane ie raising a human outside human influence (Stranger in a Strange Land was an attempt by Robert Heinlein to describe this fictionally) but we do come instinctively programmed to be a human being, what ever that means... Soul btw is not a well defined term and is in fact meaningless... So, in this context, is the idea of god but do go on...

If the Creator is a thinking being, it is reasonable to assume that he builds new knowledge upon prior information, and new ideas upon older ideas-- just like we do. This implies that there was a point at which God knew absolutely nothing and existed simply as an entity who possessed the potential for thought.



I am sure a great many theists would aggressively disagree with this assertion...

(For those trying to work a physics section who got here by clicking on the wrong buttons, this implies that God can freely violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. i.e: God is the classical Maxwellian Daemon. ---But that is really another topic, to be dealt with if we can get past the unusual notion presented on this thread.)



I await this new thread with baited breath...

Consider the same line of reasoning as that used to arrive at Big Bang theory. We observe that the universe is expanding, which implies that it has been expanding from a size smaller than now.



That sounds logical...

(If God thinks, we might safely conclude that he's been thinking all along, and currently knows more than before.)



I agree this would seem logical but again most theists would vehemently disagree and in the reality of god I would have to defer to a theist since god cannot really be described by anything but theism... Since god is nothing more than what some theists believe on faith about something they cannot show any evidence for nor in their minds need to any assertion about god can be shown to be true to the person who believes it. The definition of god you are using would be handy as well...

Following the same line, cosmologists concluded that there was a point at which the universe had no determinable size, and was not doing anything at all-- a tiny, static, micropea containing all the mass-energy in the universe, with the potential to develop all the laws of physics and fundamental constants required of a dynamic, fully functional Universe. Yet, it only existed as a potential universe--- until suddenly it blew up and began expanding, growing into the complex set of structures we are beginning to observe today.



No, the universe is not thought to have originated from an object of extremely small but defined size...

Following the analogous line of reasoning with respect to a thinking God, there will have been a point at which God had never formed a thought, having existed forever, but only as a potentially thinking, conscious entity. The theological equivalent of cosmology's Big Bang is God's First Thought-- a thought leading to others, and inevitably to consciousness.



It sounds logical but theism is rarely if ever logical... It is an interesting assertion however...

(This concept, like others I've presented and hope to present here, is but one component of a larger, complete theory that ultimately integrates creation, dark energy, and human consciousness.)


I look forward to that as well...

#9 greylorn

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

Thinking is a mechanical process. It’s not magic. Information can be stored in/coded onto matter; matter may be manipulated within the constraints of physical laws and thereby information may be processed. Whether you define a thought as a single computation, an array of computations structured as a logic gate, or the genesis of an original idea, you can’t escape the fact that thinking is bound by physical law: it requires energy & space, as well as time.

This is a standard view of things, and it no doubt appeals to those who treat textbooks as if they were bibles, and who refuse to pay honest mental attention to the things that do not fit well into textbooks, preferring to dismiss them as non-events.

I'll guess that you would include psi phenomena (including common telepathy), Charles Fort's falls of frogs from the sky, credible UFO observations, Uri Geller's bent spoons, and the mysterious neurosurgery of Pam Reynolds, as non-events. You need to, in order to persist in your belief that simple materialism can explain all things.

Have you noted that as of this date, neither conventional science nor any schools of mysticism have come up with a credible explanation for human consciousness, materialistic or otherwise? Absent a legitimate, verifiable explanation, your assertions represent simple beliefs, of no more value to an imaginative thinker than any religious dogma.

No one knows what a thought is, or what it requires. Obviously the activity that goes on within our brains is taking place in a space-time context. This activity represents various kinds of poorly understood information processing, but that is not what I mean by imaginative thought.

I propose that the human brain has absolutely zero imagination. Those of us who have experienced genuine imagination, a new idea that appeared in an instant, fully formed without language, can relate to the level of consciousness, or kind of consciousness, of which I speak.

IMO it is not necessary to resort to any current belief system, whether science or religion, to explain such things. It requires empirical science. But let me explain what I mean by empirical science. I mean a science that is based upon verifiability.

At the level of the beginnings of things, e.g. Big Bang cosmology, abiogenesis, and the origin of consciousness, conventional science has lost touch with its empirical roots. The micropea that blew up to become the universe cannot be found. (It cannot even be mathematically defined!) There are no competent theories that explain how living cells might have formed from muck, and no experiments that have demonstrated such a phenomena. The Darwinian explanation of the development of consciousness is mere handwaving theory, requiring no proof whatsoever.

My theories, however arcane readers might find them, are built upon the pre-existence of two simple things/substances with complementary properties. Both of those have been scientifically determined to actually exist, and they can be experimented upon right now.

I respect the hard sciences, but not when it comes to their ability to understand the beginnings of things in the context of current theory.

Your comments suggest that you are but narrowly educated in that what of you speak. May I suggest one of Dean Radin's little books about psi phenomena? He does not explain anything, but provides a well rounded survey of the well-verified data that put the stamp of insufficiency upon your beliefs.

Then, since you may be one of those who think that only fools do psychic research, you will appreciate, "Consciousness and the Universe," a compilation of papers edited by Roger Penrose among others, that expresses the scientific research and imaginative thoughts of a variety of well accredited researchers.

If the creator is a thinking being, then it is a material thing, like a human, or a computer, or a chicken or a cockroach. These are things that think. Fictional and/or incorporal things do not think.

Thank you for you opinions. Neither computers, cockroaches, or unmotivated humans "think." You are confusing thought, specifically creative thought, with mere information processing. IOW, you got it exactly backward. It is corporeal things that do not think.

Many lightly educated individuals confuse material with the physical. Matter is, of course, but one form of that which is physical, comprising less than 5% of the physical universe. Thank you for your opinions. I'd love hearing from you again after you've read the Penrose book.

One difference I can think of is that the observable universe is… well, observable, rendering it amenable to science and appropriate on our site.

HELLOOO??? "Our site, really?" And kindly share with "us" your personal observations of the Big Bang, the formation of black holes, the coming together of muck into the first cell, or even something so "observable" as the inner workings of ribosomes. Or, you could simply cite a reference from the scientific literature reporting such observations.

Don't get overburdened worrying about the appropriateness of my OP. A simple observation that even you can make will inform you that we are on the Theology Section. Last I read, rigorous adherence to science dogma was not required.

#10 Moontanman

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:02 PM

HELLOOO??? "Our site, really?" And kindly share with "us" your personal observations of the Big Bang, the formation of black holes, the coming together of muck into the first cell, or even something so "observable" as the inner workings of ribosomes. Or, you could simply cite a reference from the scientific literature reporting such observations.

Don't get overburdened worrying about the appropriateness of my OP. A simple observation that even you can make will inform you that we are on the Theology Section. Last I read, rigorous adherence to science dogma was not required.



You've just revealed your self to be someone who is ignorant of basic science. I could easily support all of those things with references from the scientific literature, one very basic thing you obviously do not understand is that science never claims something is truth, in science the best you can get is a theory, a theory in science is a body of knowledge backed up by empirical evidence, not something some guy thought up last week and wrote it down on a cocktail napkin in a bar...

I could suggest a few science videos that would demonstrate this in a way that is both entertaining and easy to understand but i doubt you would even bother to consider watching them... some of the videos are actually made by scientists to help laymen like us understand... and yes in the theology section you need to back up any positive assertions with evidence of some sort... real world evidence, not revealed truth, not dogma, dogma is what you think is real with no question on faith that can never changed.... in other words religion, god, the supernatural in general...

#11 greylorn

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:27 AM

A reasonable if not well supported assertion...

"Reasonable" works well for me. Having been disappointed many times by the belief systems and dogmas that abound in this world, I distrust "well supported." Phlogiston theory was "well-supported."

Your very own consciousness is a discovery. Many people can recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness. Whether there was a specific moment of self-awakening for you or not, you were not self-aware at birth. Consciousness came to you as the result of many little learning experiences. This progression from knowledge to consciousness is gradual, in that self-awareness is not the first thing you learned. At the time of your birth, you knew nothing.


This assertion cannot be assumed with out some support, a citation is needed... In fact you were born with knowledge or at least behaviors already pre programmed instinctually... I have taken the liberty to emphasize some of my questions about this assertion. I do not think an accumulation of knowledge makes you self aware, in fact fetuses show sings of both awareness and accumulating knowledge before birth... I doubt you can point to an instant and say that is where a human became self aware... In fact I would like to know what you mean by self aware, on some level protozoa are self aware...


Please reconsider one of your positions, while keeping the good ones. I'll try to explain.

I agree with you completely that an accumulation of knowledge does not confer consciousness. Neither the Cray II nor IBM's "Big Blue" machine ever printed, "Cogito ergo sum," in he middle of a more mundane task. However, I do not believe that consciousness can occur without knowledge. IMO there is an informational threshold that must be reached. The information must be more than simply memorized or stored data. It must be conceptual knowledge, meaning, thoroughly understood abstract ideas. I do not know how to define this threshold.

As for pre-birth knowledge, no argument. Such evidence cannot be dismissed. I once took dancing lessons from a superb dancer and teacher who, her mother swears, would dance in her womb whenever music was played, keeping the beat, six months into gestation. I have concepts which integrate her, Mozart, and others, self included, who seem to have come into life knowing things that they had not been taught.

You are correct that I cannot point to a moment in anyone's life, not even that of my offspring, which precisely marks the onset of consciousness. I think that there are two levels of real consciousness. The most common one appears gradually, as it did in me. I would call this level the "First Derivative of perception," and it consists of the ability to control one's environment and thus one's perceptions. Consciousness at this level develops gradually.

The consciousness level of which I spoke in the OP might be labeled the "Second Derivative of perception." It is the moment at which an entity who is already conscious enough to occasionally choose his mental environment (e.g. a book to read, or a course to take or not) becomes aware that he is an entity making such choices. Everyone to whom I've spoken who has experienced this "2nd derivative of perception" (and 1st derivative of basic consciousness) recalls the moment and surrounding circumstances with utmost clarity.

Here is where I invite you to reconsider an assmption---

I propose that my assertions above, or any other assertion, can be freely assumed without cause, justification, or reason-- by anyone-- if only for the sake of argument. One can simply accept the assertion and see where it goes. If it goes someplace interesting, one can always come back and check out the assertion more carefully.

This is an efficient way to deal with new ideas. If done honestly, one can suspend existing beliefs while temporarily trying on a new idea. The process is exactly like shopping for the perfect suit or dress. Most people will take whatever is on the rack, however ordinary and imperfect. The physically "stylish" will abandon a store that sells only mundane apparel and find another that suits his or her taste.

Analogously, most people will take their most fundamental and critical beliefs about the nature of reality and themselves from the same store in which their parents shopped-- ideas from Woolworth's and canned goods from the A & P. Why?

There is no Ph.D certificate on my cabin wall, and I have no professorship to defend. I am allowed to think freely and speculate accordingly. Nonetheless, I have chosen to bind my guesswork with common logic and scientific fact, while not giving a rat's sphincter about unsupported pseudo-scientific dogma. Perhaps that accounts for the occasional moments of reasonableness that you have noted, which I appreciate.

I am proposing a highly speculative, but coherent theory intended to explain some mysteries of physics and human consciousness, while promoting insights into the beginnings of things. I cannot provide citations because none exist-- at least none that are interesting.

And that's not exactly true either, as you know. Let me put my position thusly--- I provide occasional citations throughout all my works when they seem to be helpful to a serious reader, but I don't bother with incidental citations that only exist to bolster my credibility. You, for example, are perfectly capable of determining the sensibility of an idea by examining it for yourself, with an open mind.

My speculations above are largely related to the question of human consciousness, and any citations I might include will have to be from the annals of psychology. In my honest and practiced opinion, there has never been a pseudo-science so full of bunk and hokum as that of psychology. Look at the model that these nits have chosen for the human mind--- conscious and subconscious. And they claim that the human brain is the only mechanism for mind. Yet if you ask one of these dolts to point out the location of the mechanisms that define conscious and subconscious, on, let's say, a detailed textbook brain map, or on a sequence of CT scans, they cannot do so.

Do you know of any other "science," (except Darwinist biology, of course) that proposes the existence of functions without mechanisms?

I refuse to cite obvious bunk in support of my ideas. Were I to get into the specific mechanisms of mind vs. brain here, I would be citing some extreme research--- extremely interesting, and way out of mainstream thinking. This is not the time or place for such details. I am only trying to get across some general ideas, and will assemble them later.


I think it can be shown you came pre programmed with quite a bit more than this... The only real way to prove this might be less than humane ie raising a human outside human influence (Stranger in a Strange Land was an attempt by Robert Heinlein to describe this fictionally) but we do come instinctively programmed to be a human being, what ever that means... Soul btw is not a well defined term and is in fact meaningless... So, in this context, is the idea of god but do go on...


I'm certain that pre-programming can be shown, and I mention it elsewhere. Suckling, for example. Our brains also come with programs that remain mostly latent until the time is right, such as sexual desires. This issue depends upon the definition of "you," as you employed in the above paragraph. If "you" consists only of a brain-body system, then the subject is closed and you are exactly right.

But my theories proposed that there is another component of the human person. "Soul" is a poorly and vaguely defined term from religious lore that I use only for low-level conversations. My term for the entity is beon. I attribute specific physical (yes, physical) properties to beon because if it interacts with the brain, as it must if it is to be interesting, it must by definition be physical. As mentioned elsewhere, beon is pretty similar in concept to Maxwell;'s Daemon, but without the sliding door. Beon does not arrive pre-programmed (yes, another subject for later), but the brain is programmed with a number of basic instincts.

Lots of psychology types deny the existence of most brain programs because they have a belief which tells them that such a program, which they label an instinct, cannot be overridden. They do not account for the fact that a beon, the intelligent and conscious thought mechanism behind the curtain of brain, can override any brain level program if it is determined enough--- including the survival instinct.


I am sure a great many theists would aggressively disagree with this assertion...


I am certain of it. I've met the buggers. They are why I live in isolation. And I must remind you that I am concerned with the discovery of ideas that work, ideas that integrate both "spiritual" and physical reality. I don't know of any religionist who cares about such ideas, so why should I care about whether or not they agree with me? Does it help to realize that atheists disagree with me more vehemently than theists? IMO the only difference between the two groups is that theists are more likely to try to shoot me.

I await this new thread with baited breath...

Please forgive my presumptiousness in saying this, but that is a terrible idea! Last time I baited anything it was with a worm, grub, or half-dead minnow, none of which would be conducive to pleasant breath. And why wait longer than another minute to learn about ideas that will change your life and inspire your mind? Moreover, I'll be going under the knife in a few weeks and may not return, leaving you waiting--- while suffering from near-terminal halitosis, for ideas that will never come . Dreadful plan!

May I gently propose that instead of waiting, risking your entire social life and reputation with nasty breath, all you need to do is buy some breath mints and my book! Then, whether I return or not, you might be another who contributes answers instead of questions to the mystery of human consciousness.

I agree this would seem logical but again most theists would vehemently disagree and in the reality of god I would have to defer to a theist since god cannot really be described by anything but theism... Since god is nothing more than what some theists believe on faith about something they cannot show any evidence for nor in their minds need to any assertion about god can be shown to be true to the person who believes it. The definition of god you are using would be handy as well...


Who says that you need to defer to anyone, or to any belief system? Are you not perfectly capable of competent, independent thought?

Perhaps it is time for you to decide which of your two mental mechanisms you choose to trust--- your brain, programmed with the ideas of men who thought that the earth was flat--- or you, yourself, a mind capable of using logic to separate truth from dogma in every field of human endeavor?

No, the universe is not thought to have originated from an object of extremely small but defined size...


You are correct. My history gets in the way. I was kicking ideas around with NASA astronomers when the Big Bang theory was being assembled, and so know its history-- that began with a tiny particle smaller than a proton, which I call the micropea. It had a "real" diameter that could not be measured. Later when the math did not work out, cosmies morphed the idea into the absurd notion of a "physical singularity," so that they did not have to do the math.

As you'll see from even the pop-sci literature and TV documentaries, not all cosmies accept the singularity notion. Good for them, IMO. I appreciate scientists who have the integrity to declare that they do not know what's going on out there, or in there, because these are the people who will find the great ideas that truly explain things.

It sounds logical but theism is rarely if ever logical... It is an interesting assertion however...

Looks to me like you may be beginning to trust your own mind, which I recommend.

When evaluating my material, kindly keep in mind that while I believe that we live in a created universe, I am not a classical theist.

I look forward to that as well...


Free shipping if you order the darned book from me instead of Amazon!

#12 Moontanman

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

"Reasonable" works well for me. Having been disappointed many times by the belief systems and dogmas that abound in this world, I distrust "well supported." Phlogiston theory was "well-supported."


No, actually it was not well supported, if it has been it would still be a theory and not on the trash heap of unsupported hypothesis...




Who says that you need to defer to anyone, or to any belief system? Are you not perfectly capable of competent, independent thought?



I am indeed capable of independent thought, that is why I am an atheist.

Perhaps it is time for you to decide which of your two mental mechanisms you choose to trust--- your brain, programmed with the ideas of men who thought that the earth was flat--- or you, yourself, a mind capable of using logic to separate truth from dogma in every field of human endeavor?


Are you trying to insult me?

As you'll see from even the pop-sci literature and TV documentaries, not all cosmies accept the singularity notion. Good for them, IMO. I appreciate scientists who have the integrity to declare that they do not know what's going on out there, or in there, because these are the people who will find the great ideas that truly explain things.



Those things are not real science but a popularized sensationalist version of science that is seldom accurate...

Do you know of any other "science," (except Darwinist biology, of course) that proposes the existence of functions without mechanisms?


Do you know you have no idea what you are talking about? Evolution explains the mechanisms it operates by very well, it's called natural selection, i suggest you do a bit of research someplace besides inside your head...

Looks to me like you may be beginning to trust your own mind, which I recommend.



I trust my own mind completely...

When evaluating my material, kindly keep in mind that while I believe that we live in a created universe, I am not a classical theist.



How does this idea do anything to advance our knowledge of the universe?

And they claim that the human brain is the only mechanism for mind.


name another mechanism...

Free shipping if you order the darned book from me instead of Amazon!


No thanks, you have demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of science, I see no reason to buy more of this...

#13 Boerseun

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

My history gets in the way. I was kicking ideas around with NASA astronomers when the Big Bang theory was being assembled, and so know its history-- that began with a tiny particle smaller than a proton, which I call the micropea. It had a "real" diameter that could not be measured. Later when the math did not work out, cosmies morphed the idea into the absurd notion of a "physical singularity," so that they did not have to do the math.

Aaaaaah... wait... dude... dig this:

THE BRAIN NAMED ITSELF.
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#14 greylorn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:30 AM

I am indeed capable of independent thought, that is why I am an atheist.

That's pretty much like saying, "I am indeed capable.... that is why I am a Jehovah's Witness/Catholic/Muslim/Southern Baptist/Whatever." Atheism is a belief system, after all--- just one of thousands.

How can one tell? Proponents of a belief system believe that theirs is the only correct belief system.

Yes, I know that you will not like that statement. Think about what constitutes a "belief system." It is a small subset of ideas that purports to explain all things, while dismissing factual information that if accepted, would falsify its dogmas. Atheism is as much a belief system as Zoroastrianism, and much less interesting because it dismisses the most fascinating elements of even the ordinary, non-intellectual human mind.

Are you trying to insult me?


No. I was inviting you to expand your mind. That seems to have offended you, so I apologize for the unintended insult.

Do you know you have no idea what you are talking about? Evolution explains the mechanisms it operates by very well, it's called natural selection, i suggest you do a bit of research someplace besides inside your head...

Would having read Darwin's books on the subject count as research? How about Michael Behe's excellent books about the relationship of microbiological facts to Darwinist theory? "Neck of the Giraffe?" No doubt, you were studying Susan Margulies and other Professors of Bioengineering before I was born. Seriously, have you read anything on the subject beyond high school biology?

If you had, you would realize that "Natural Selection" does not explain squat about evolution. It is simply a buzz-phrase upon which the dreadfully ignorant hang their Darwinist hats.

Natural selection, oft called survival of the fittest, is a valid process. However, it is entirely unscientific, and its applications are not confined to critters. You will see NS (natural selection) at work every day in stores the world over. It is the decision or choice process that determines what products remain on store shelves, as well as which stores prosper and which fail. NS determined that when some female executive decided to add chemical scent to Zest soap, the resultant obnoxious product would go into the toilet. NS determined the end of Hewlett-Packard as soon as Carly Fiorina took over as CEO. The demise of the "Henry J," the "Edsel," and the "Yugo," were determined by NS.

I claim that NS is unscientific because it has no predictive value. It cannot be reliably used to determine the survival period of a brand of soap, a corporation, car, or critter. Dodo birds are an interesting example. How did a critter so stupid that it would allow humans to walk up to it and whack it on the head for dinner, ever survive in a wild land full of predators in the first place? (Another topic.)

Before NS can get to work, it must have something upon which to work. NS cannot apply to a store with empty shelves, or to an automobile dealership with empty lot and showroom. NS is a "straw man" concept, designed to convince really ignorant people who do not think for themselves that Darwinism is a legitimate scientific theory that explains the obvious facts of evolution.

NS can only work on products that already exist in the real world. NS operates when you venture out to buy a car, because you have an assortment of vehicles from which to choose. It would not apply in a world in which Ford held a complete monopoly. It could not have applied in the 18th century and before, where automobiles did not exist. Clearly, NS, an ordinary and simple marketing rule, can have nothing to do with the creation of cars, or critters. It applies only after some potentially functional product or critter comes into existence.

Thus, the honest question with respect to Darwinism is not about how the best critters are sorted from the worst, but how do new critters come into existence? Darwinism and all forms of neo-Darwinism fail to competently address that question. It would be presumptuous to suppose that you have actually studied any of these concepts yourself, so I will try to explain.

The only legitimate mechanism that Darwinism offers for evolution is randomly occurring genetic changes. According to Darwinist theory, these changes produce modified critters, upon which NS can perform the sorting. For example, a critter with a pecker where its brain should be will normally be deselected quickly (which makes the existence of human males truly an evolutionary marvel!).

The interesting word in the Darwinist lexicon is "random." There is a branch of mathematics devoted to the behavior of random events. Coupled with actual scientific evidence, it indicates that random mutations to DNA can produce variations within a given species, but cannot possibly generate a new species of critter. (E.g: Fish cannot evolve into amphibians by any legitimately probable sequence of random events.)

Simple math provides the necessary insights. It has been scientifically demonstrated (via studies of the rapidly mutating malaria parasite) that a single-point germ cell mutation (the only kind that can be propagated) will occur about once in one million.DNA replications. Single-point mutations can only produce a small change to a single protein molecule, and rarely accomplish much. They are most beneficial to simple life forms, such as bacteria and viruses. Nonetheless, one such mutation has produced anti-freeze in an antarctic fish, allowing it to survive in sub-freezing water so as to provide penguin food, and who doesn't like penguins? .

More complex sets of mutations are required to make even slight modifications to a critter. These will require the simultaneous modification of two, three, or even four points in a DNA chain. Probability-math tells us that probabilities multiply. Thus, a two-point mutation will occur but once in every trillion (1012) replications. A three-point mutation will happen once in every million-trillion (1018) replications. A four-point mutation will occur once every trillion-trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 1024) replications.

That might work fine for quickly replicating critters like bacteria and parasites, but applying these numbers to critters that do not replicate so quickly, such as apes (in the context of their alleged evolution into humans) there is insufficient time for random changes to have a useful effect.

Assuming that our planet is 4 billion years old by current measurement standards of what a "year" is, approximately 1.3x1018 seconds have elapsed since planet earth was formed. That is not enough time for a single four-point mutation to have occurred. It is just enough time, assuming one mutation per second over the lifetime of planet earth, for a single 3-point mutation to occur.

Bottom line--- the numbers do not work out in favor of random mutations to DNA as the driving force behind critter change.

The only way that genetic changes can be the cause of interesting and complex life forms is via deliberate engineering. This is happening now. Scientists have found ways to make major changes to genetic systems, changes that would be inconceivably improbable if random chance was the only force driving the changes.

Although I loathe the Monsanto Corp. and everything that it does, it is obvious that when they introduce multi-point mutations within corn or wheat, so that the plant (and you) can ingest the Round-Up herbicide without dying right away, they are doing in a few months what random mutations could not do in a billion years. With every filthy GM crop they produce, they are proving that intelligent engineering, rather than random mutations, is the only way to build complex life.

I trust my own mind completely...


Do you even know what your mind is? And do you trust all the programs and beliefs that have been programmed into that mind, by others? They are part of it.

How does this idea do anything to advance our knowledge of the universe?


I would only try to explain that to someone who comprehended the idea.

name another mechanism...


It's in the book that you won't read.

No thanks, you have demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of science, I see no reason to buy more of this...


I apologize for suggesting that you read the book. Clearly you would obtain no value from any attempts to read it. Kindly forgive my effrontery, and thank you for your replies.

#15 greylorn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

Aaaaaah... wait... dude... dig this:

THE BRAIN NAMED ITSELF.


Were you drunk when you wrote this garbage, or maybe taking some dope for dopes, or are you always irrelevant?

#16 Moontanman

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

That's pretty much like saying, "I am indeed capable.... that is why I am a Jehovah's Witness/Catholic/Muslim/Southern Baptist/Whatever." Atheism is a belief system, after all--- just one of thousands.


No, atheism is a lack of belief in gods, nothing more...

How can one tell? Proponents of a belief system believe that theirs is the only correct belief system.



Since your assertion that atheism is a belief is false then this statement is nonsense...

Yes, I know that you will not like that statement. Think about what constitutes a "belief system." It is a small subset of ideas that purports to explain all things, while dismissing factual information that if accepted, would falsify its dogmas. Atheism is as much a belief system as Zoroastrianism, and much less interesting because it dismisses the most fascinating elements of even the ordinary, non-intellectual human mind.


total strawman, atheism has no dogma and if shown real proof in a god i would consider it.

No. I was inviting you to expand your mind. That seems to have offended you, so I apologize for the unintended insult.



No you are inviting me to shrink and close my mind, no thankyou...


Would having read Darwin's books on the subject count as research? How about Michael Behe's excellent books about the relationship of microbiological facts to Darwinist theory? "Neck of the Giraffe?" No doubt, you were studying Susan Margulies and other Professors of Bioengineering before I was born. Seriously, have you read anything on the subject beyond high school biology?


Micheal Behe's book has been thoroughly discredited, I suggest you go someplace other than answers in genesis for your science...

If you had, you would realize that "Natural Selection" does not explain squat about evolution. It is simply a buzz-phrase upon which the dreadfully ignorant hang their Darwinist hats.



Again you demonstrate a total lack of scientific knowledge or even what science is..

Natural selection, oft called survival of the fittest, is a valid process. However, it is entirely unscientific, and its applications are not confined to critters. You will see NS (natural selection) at work every day in stores the world over. It is the decision or choice process that determines what products remain on store shelves, as well as which stores prosper and which fail. NS determined that when some female executive decided to add chemical scent to Zest soap, the resultant obnoxious product would go into the toilet. NS determined the end of Hewlett-Packard as soon as Carly Fiorina took over as CEO. The demise of the "Henry J," the "Edsel," and the "Yugo," were determined by NS.


No those things are caused by artificial selection...

I claim that NS is unscientific because it has no predictive value. It cannot be reliably used to determine the survival period of a brand of soap, a corporation, car, or critter. Dodo birds are an interesting example. How did a critter so stupid that it would allow humans to walk up to it and whack it on the head for dinner, ever survive in a wild land full of predators in the first place? (Another topic.)


Another strawman, this concept had been thoroughly debated here on this site, I suggest you start doing something but spouting religious nonsense... Dodo's survived and evolved to the state of apparent helplessness due to the fact they had no predators... and yes evolution does have predictive powers, the flu vaccine is evidence of this..

Before NS can get to work, it must have something upon which to work. NS cannot apply to a store with empty shelves, or to an automobile dealership with empty lot and showroom. NS is a "straw man" concept, designed to convince really ignorant people who do not think for themselves that Darwinism is a legitimate scientific theory that explains the obvious facts of evolution.


What an elaborate strawman, you truly do not have a clue...

NS can only work on products that already exist in the real world. NS operates when you venture out to buy a car, because you have an assortment of vehicles from which to choose. It would not apply in a world in which Ford held a complete monopoly. It could not have applied in the 18th century and before, where automobiles did not exist. Clearly, NS, an ordinary and simple marketing rule, can have nothing to do with the creation of cars, or critters. It applies only after some potentially functional product or critter comes into existence.


While your examples are invalid, you are quite correct in one sense, evolution does not explain the origin of life, but physics and chemistry do...

Thus, the honest question with respect to Darwinism is not about how the best critters are sorted from the worst, but how do new critters come into existence? Darwinism and all forms of neo-Darwinism fail to competently address that question. It would be presumptuous to suppose that you have actually studied any of these concepts yourself, so I will try to explain.



Yet another stawman, do you but them by the gross dude???
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#17 Moontanman

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

The only legitimate mechanism that Darwinism offers for evolution is randomly occurring genetic changes. According to Darwinist theory, these changes produce modified critters, upon which NS can perform the sorting. For example, a critter with a pecker where its brain should be will normally be deselected quickly (which makes the existence of human males truly an evolutionary marvel!).


Now you are being obscenely stupid...

The interesting word in the Darwinist lexicon is "random." There is a branch of mathematics devoted to the behavior of random events. Coupled with actual scientific evidence, it indicates that random mutations to DNA can produce variations within a given species, but cannot possibly generate a new species of critter. (E.g: Fish cannot evolve into amphibians by any legitimately probable sequence of random events.)



Again another strawman, the line of fossils from fish to amphibians has been thoroughly documented..

Simple math provides the necessary insights. It has been scientifically demonstrated (via studies of the rapidly mutating malaria parasite) that a single-point germ cell mutation (the only kind that can be propagated) will occur about once in one million.DNA replications. Single-point mutations can only produce a small change to a single protein molecule, and rarely accomplish much. They are most beneficial to simple life forms, such as bacteria and viruses. Nonetheless, one such mutation has produced anti-freeze in an antarctic fish, allowing it to survive in sub-freezing water so as to provide penguin food, and who doesn't like penguins? .



Citation for these positive assertions other than your own strawmen...

More complex sets of mutations are required to make even slight modifications to a critter. These will require the simultaneous modification of two, three, or even four points in a DNA chain. Probability-math tells us that probabilities multiply. Thus, a two-point mutation will occur but once in every trillion (1012) replications. A three-point mutation will happen once in every million-trillion (1018) replications. A four-point mutation will occur once every trillion-trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 1024) replications.


meaningless math probabilities you obviously do not have a clue, i suggest you buy one...

That might work fine for quickly replicating critters like bacteria and parasites, but applying these numbers to critters that do not replicate so quickly, such as apes (in the context of their alleged evolution into humans) there is insufficient time for random changes to have a useful effect.



Citation needed for this assertion

Assuming that our planet is 4 billion years old by current measurement standards of what a "year" is, approximately 1.3x1018 seconds have elapsed since planet earth was formed. That is not enough time for a single four-point mutation to have occurred. It is just enough time, assuming one mutation per second over the lifetime of planet earth, for a single 3-point mutation to occur.



Citation needed for this assertion

Bottom line--- the numbers do not work out in favor of random mutations to DNA as the driving force behind critter change.



a strawman, it is not about numbers or probabilities... random mutations are not the driving force of natural selection the environment is the driving force, mutations occur, every human is born with at least 120 or more mutations but only natural selection driven by the environmental pressures is behind "critter" change...

The only way that genetic changes can be the cause of interesting and complex life forms is via deliberate engineering. This is happening now. Scientists have found ways to make major changes to genetic systems, changes that would be inconceivably improbable if random chance was the only force driving the changes.



Again, this is a strawman, your assertion is simply not true and has been shown not to be true countless times... your lack of understanding doesn't change that...

Although I loathe the Monsanto Corp. and everything that it does, it is obvious that when they introduce multi-point mutations within corn or wheat, so that the plant (and you) can ingest the Round-Up herbicide without dying right away, they are doing in a few months what random mutations could not do in a billion years. With every filthy GM crop they produce, they are proving that intelligent engineering, rather than random mutations, is the only way to build complex life.


yet another meaningless strawman, we have seen new species of complex life forms emerge in the wild with no help from anything supernatural...

Do you even know what your mind is? And do you trust all the programs and beliefs that have been programmed into that mind, by others? They are part of it.


Talk about transference...


I would only try to explain that to someone who comprehended the idea.


You would have to show some modicum of comprehension first..

It's in the book that you won't read.



No it's not, your strawman version of evolution might be in the book but all you have said so far demonstrates clearly you do not understand basic biology...


I apologize for suggesting that you read the book. Clearly you would obtain no value from any attempts to read it. Kindly forgive my effrontery, and thank you for your replies.


I suggest you refrain from building strawmen, so far you have failed so miserably by presenting challenges to evolutionary theory that have been shown to be completely false so many times just on this forum it's staggering that anyone could possibly have missed them if they had any real knowledge of the idea to being with...

Edited by Moontanman, 10 February 2013 - 12:18 PM.

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