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Time runs infinitely backwards and forwards and there is or was plenty of time for all scenarios to exist. It's not like Chopped on the Food Channel where the clock runs out and there is no more time for the Chef contestants to finish their dish or forget an ingredient from the basket. There is always plenty of time to make sure all the ingredients in the basket are included on the plate.

I have read several NDEs that essentially say the Universe was made for life and that they met other beings or souls on the other side that were from different planets. As to whether these souls had been embodied in a human like body or not wasn't mentioned.

If Whales, dolphins, porpoises, apes, monkeys, elephants, parrots, etc. are conscious and sentient then we can assume that they also have souls and that after we cross over we will be able to have intelligent conversations with them just like we do with other humans.

But my main point being that if the Universe was made or created for life, and that everything that happens happens for a reason, then I think that the Creator probably had a clear vision in mind as to what it wanted to include in the story.

And as far as the really bad horrifying stuff, which seems to be a never ending bone of contention, it is necessary for the soul to learn what it was it came here to learn, and after we cross back over into heaven we will look back on this life like it was just a bad dream, but a dream where we learned what separation is, what time and space looked and felt like, and what it was like to be inside a body and control that body.

And the alternative might be to be pure consciousness with no thought, existing everywhere at the same time, filling every nook and cranny of the Universe, thinking and feeling nothing because you don't have a clue what separation is. You exist, but only as pure consciousness but have never experienced anything so you have no starting point.

I'm going to buy the book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Here is a pretty good video with a population geneticist explaining why there is a problem making a leap from micro-evolution (think adaptation, Galapagos finches, etc.) to macro-evolution (mutations causing entirely new critters to emerge). Very straightforward.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za1nbINxdP8

Basically, as far as I can tell, the whole notion of "evolution" is a Just So story. The more I learn about genetics the more I become convinced that there is some kind of intelligent design at work.

"...the numbers are processed in the background, between screen refreshes;.."

Michael

Excellent thoughts! I never considered the time between “screen refreshes” but it could actually run to eternity. Plenty of time to inject adjustments into a program. Also your thoughts on “God” being not omniscient is right on. We must consider the possibility that “God” may have been in a process of “booting” himself into self awareness before and during our development, we may be, in fact, needed items in the development of God’s self awareness.

I have also just finished “God’s Undertaker”. It is stunning how unlikely it is that chance was responsible for this universe and the life within it. My only problem with the book is that Lennox is a Christian apologist, and injects Jesus as the ultimate miracle into his thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I myself am a Christian, I just get a little leery of “true believers” on either side of the issues. I do think Lennox is thinking a little bit clearer than Dawkins and his friends though.


GregL

Kinda sorta related, I just wanted to share:

http://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/41343-sydney-keaman-1418759784

No One,
Thanks for the link to the YouTube lecture by Dr. Giertych. It was very interesting, well presented and thought-out.

As a biologist I have been interested in evolutionary theory for many years and have done small experiments in genetics with plants, birds and fish. In spite of my artificial selection, the offspring always reverted to the mean when allowed to mix back with other populations.

As I watch the birds at the feeding station outside my kitchen window, I am amazed at the variety or color and design exhibited in the many birds that visit and find it difficult to conjecture an explanation of that variety based upon current evolutionary theories. I don't understand why all birds are not just a grey-brown color or grey-green color. It seems to me that those would be the most advantageous and protective against predation. Why evolution should have produced a red Cardinal, Blue-Jay, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Yellow Finch etc. etc. is difficult to explain unless we believe that female birds have an appreciation for attractive males (that presumes that female birds do in fact have likes and dislikes and subjectively make choices based on those likes and dislikes which is a whole 'nother thing) and that this preference over-rides everything else in evolution.

I like to think that the form and color of birds had a spiritual designer---perhaps many---who as part of their activity in another reality design birds for the earth and other planets. Sometimes I can't help looking at the variety of birds and think that that designer not only had a great sense of style but also a sense of humor! - AOD

AOD, Glad you likes the link.

This post of Michael's piqued my interest and, as I had no meetings today, I spent the day listening to a host of geneticists on youtube explaining that the more we learn about genetics, the less plausible the random mutation theory appears to be.

In fact, one guy even advanced a perspective similar to Michael's; that genes are acting much like a super computer and that something (intelligent consciousness?) can cause the genes to work off new models. This background intelligent programming, not mutations, is what is responsible for speciation.

The problem is that science so strenuously insisted on the random mutation theory as being THE ANSWER that they are finding it difficult to back off and admit they were wrong. That and the specter of God.

The bright side is that there appears to be a set of agnostic geneticists that go where the evidence points them; even if that means some kind of intelligence behind the design.

But yeah, the math models that can now be built to simulate genetics in evolution have pretty much destroyed the random mutation theory. It's just not mathematically possible to achieve the genetic diversity and complexity that we have via randomness.

This hypothesis is similar to the idea of John Wheller of the participatory universe: in the beginning the universe was only a quantum potential, a superposition of all possible states. The first potential sentient beings of the one of the many timelines acted retrospectively about their past to perform the timeline leading to their appearance: so sentient beings themselves would ensure the existence of the universe in a time loop!

No One,
I have had a chance to look at the other YouTube videos accompanying the one you cited above and I think that many of them are exceptional. What a great resource of information about alternative evolution theory and the origin of life. I especially found this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjvuwne0RrE by Trey Smith to be mind-blowing. It is very intense and perhaps one would need to view it in two sittings. but, "What a presentation!" The guy is outstanding! I recommend it, especially to those who have beliefs regarding an information matrix as the basis for reality. Not everyone would be able to tolerate Mr. Smith's presentation style and the information he provides but, I am guessing that many of those who frequent this site would find it very thought-provoking.- AOD

Obviously, you have no concept of infinity.

Bruce (but not Bruce Siegel - a different Bruce) wrote, "Obviously, you have no concept of infinity."

I would say that there are almost infinitely many pathways that can be spun out between screen refreshes. But in the spacetime universe (the universe as rendered in dimensional, tangible objects) there is no infinity. It would be logically impossible.

Michael,
I am glad to hear that in your view "in the spacetime universe . . . there is no infinity." I agree! I have thought that the universe cannot be infinite because 'space' must be in a 'place'. Just think about it; space cannot go on forever and ever. In a way, space is a physical negative capable of being filled with something (a positive). Space at some point must merge into something non-physical e.g., energy. I am not smart enough to explain this but I can't get my mind around infinite space because from my vantage point it is part of the three-dimensional universe.

A very thoughtful post.

Blind chance can't explain the suitable evolution of the universe, life, and consciousness. But you don't necessarily have to imagine the "busy divine fingers" scenario of a deity constantly intervening locally to make sure there are favorable outcomes all over the universe. There's another possibility -- that the universe has been programmed for sucess from the
beginning. So all across the universe, things happen that are favorable to the eventual appearance of order, life, and consciousness, things that would never occur by blind chance alone. The universe reaches goals it was programmed to reach. Such a concept requires more than just the amorphous idea of information, but the actual idea of cosmic programming, and the idea that the universe has a hidden data infrastructure and computing infrastructure not yet discovered. Yes that is teleology, which is unreasonably excluded by some modern scientists, given that there is massive evidence for it. See my site www.programmedcosmos.blogspot.com for a series of posts that advance these ideas.

Michael, per Zeno's paradox there are no physical infinities or movement would be impossible. Per your speculation about the Brane and Bulk block Universe in which we live we live I think you are correct. Per the premise of "Interstellar", the movie, I think we are beneficiaries and recipients of They who take care of us and guide our evolution on an Intelligent Design basis.

Some of you may be familiar with Joan Grant, and her claims of remembering several previous lifetimes, some of which she then wrote and published as (originally, before claiming they were her remembered reincarnations) historical novels?

It's been years since I read some of her other books so I don't know if I remember this correctly, but I think she somewhere talked about starting as embodied in stones, and progressing from there to more and more complex lifeforms, always striving for something like expressing what the soul was on this material plane, and towards more interaction with the environment here. (This may have been in either Far Memory or Many Lifetimes)

Makes sense. If a soul came here and existed for a while as a mineral, or stone, there would not be much it could do. Microbes, molds, plants, animals... from very limited observations of the environment and very coded interaction with it towards more freedom of both.

Perhaps there is a master planner, but maybe souls, whatever they are, parts of the whole or more independent, are working as some sort of subcontractors here too. Trying to create something which gives them more control over what they do here.

"per Zeno's paradox there are no physical infinities or movement would be impossible."

One nice thing about the information matrix conjecture is that it takes care of Zeno's paradox. The arrow in flight is reduced to a series of still "pictures," and the impression of movement is created by each new screen refresh, in which the arrow is advanced by another small amount. (Just as the moving images on a computer screen are actually just static arrangements of pixels that are slightly altered with each refresh.) Time in this model is not infinitely divisible; no interval of time can be shorter than Planck time. So Zeno's paradox, which depends on infinitely divisible time and the apparent contradiction of the arrow being both motionless and in motion, can be resolved.

If Zeno had owned a laptop, he might have worked this out for himself. :-)

Great post Michael, and I too got a lot out of God’s Undertaker. Its arguments, and the YouTube material flagged up by No One, demonstrate how acute a problem this issue has now become for those who maintain that science as it currently stands provides a credible naturalistic explanation for life and how it evolves.

How life got started is especially problematic in this regard as – some kind of absurd fluke apart – the only available credible naturalistic mechanism (i.e. one based just on an appropriate mix of necessity, chance & time) for creating the kind of information required, i.e. natural selection, is not an explanatory option. Not that, for many evolutionary biologists, where it is available is natural selection now faring much better – especially I understand with regards to the many evolutionary issues thrown up by the so called ‘Cambrian Explosion’.

For me, the extent to which science should embrace intelligent design in response to this is a large and difficult issue; and I don’t think is a realistic option in the short to medium term. I do wish, however, that there was greater openness from the biology community as a whole on the now evident serious shortcomings in their theories for explaining life and how it evolves.

When physics came up against a similar issue – i.e. the apparent ‘fine tuning’ of the universe for life – it developed a number of naturalistic strategies to counter this; most notably multiverses and so on. Whatever you might think of these they at the very least constitute an open acknowledgment of the fine tuning issue.

I appreciate for evolutionary biologists in the US there is the added ‘culture wars’ dimension of whether biblical creationism should be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools. I cannot see how responding to this by way of being over defensive about the shortcomings in its theories, however, will in the long run do the standing of science in the wider community any favours.

Fantastic post! This mirrors my own thinking very closely.

Also great comments, and I see a number of intelligent and eloquent new people weighing in. Your online intellectual salon continues to thrive, Michael!

"The notion of God as a chemist, reaching down with his mighty hand to splice the correct amino acids into the desired proteins, is hardly intellectually satisfying."

But whether something is "intellectually satisfying" isn't really the test, is it? That is no more valid than is rejection of the possibility of a creative intelligence on the basis of concluding that "no loving, all-powerful god would allow (insert favorite man's-inhumanity-to-man outrage/and-or distressing fact concerning the human condition)". Because thus we would impose human characteristics, values and intelligence upon an intelligence so superior to ours as to be beyond comprehension. It is an intelligence capable of creating not just us, but presumably - although not necessarily - an entire universe.

Once one concedes that life and the universe is the result of an intentional creative act of a superior intelligence (a possibility which must be conceded by every person who would aspire to intellectual honesty), then one must necessarily concede that the mind of that intelligence is incapable of being plumbed by humanity. We can't hope to understand the purposes or plans, or even whether something might be "good" or "bad". What is the brief, tiny spark of a human life - of all humanity - in comparison to the universe and timelessness? And how can we deny the existence of a creator merely because we think it "permits useless suffering", when we can't come within light years of perceiving the possible purposes for such, or whether it is, in light of inconceivable complexities, useless, or even suffering? Denying a creator because our pet hurdles don't appear to have been jumped is simultaneously arrogant and closed-minded.

The only appropriate response to the question of the creator is to stand in awe and humility.

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