How did Intelligent Designer/God do it? How was life created?

Since scientists have not been able to prove or even logically explain the origins of life (abiogenesis) by natural, unguided, gradual processes often referred to as the bottom-up approach, it is conceivable to imply that the process of life origins on Earth could be scientifically explained by the design and creation process often referred to as the top-down approach.The top-down approach is sometimes used by scientists in attempts of recreation of small life forms, like a eukaryotic cell.

I will however apply the top-down approach to the process of the designing and creating of human life Intelligent Designer or God (ID/God) could have used.

In other words, the top-down approach is the only conceivable way of the designing and creating life as even in case of the simplest of cells all organelles and functional structures of a cell have to be present, and at the same time, as they are mutually interdependent, including the cell membrane, for it to function or be alive or stay alive. Without the cell membrane or one of the structures or organelles, the cell stops functioning and eventually dies.

In an attempt to explain how the process of the designing and creating of life could have been achieved by ID/God, I will use the illustration some naturalistic, evolutionary scientists often use to try to explain the process of evolution of life often called descent with modifications, where they refer to an “evolution” or change of one model of the car over the many years.

Since this process itself doesn’t explain how the original car appeared in the first place by slow, unguided processes, (bottom-up) I will use it as an example of what kind of planning, engineering, integration and manufacturing would be necessary for a car to “appear” in the first place, before it could go through the further gradual processes of “descent with modification” or changes over time.

Then I will apply the same methods and principles to the process of the designing and creating of life.

The designer comes up with a general idea and structure for a car and its function

  • The designer decides what functional systems would be necessary for the car to work according to the design
  • Then the designer decides how the individual parts need to work and be integrated into functional systems and functional systems into functional car
  • The designer decides what materials need to be manufactured, such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastic, electrical wires, fabrics etc. for the individual parts to be manufactured he is going to use in order for the functional systems to be assembled, such as an engine, transmission, chassis the body/frame, source of energy and so on
  • Once the design has been experimented with the integration of all the individual parts into systems and systems into the functional car, the final blueprint of the car is ready. The final manufacturing process of all the parts can begin
    Then, all the parts can be assembled into functional systems and the functional systems into a functional car
  • The car has been assembled and is ready to function according to the design
    Then the designer turns on the ignition, puts into the first gear, then he puts his foot on the accelerator and the car moves
  • The idea for a car has become reality. It functions according to the initial idea and the design

Let’s look closer at the materials, such as steel, copper, fabrics, wires etc. They are made of smaller elements; really tiny pieces of stuff. Actually, on subatomic level, they are made up of 3 ingredients: protons, neutrons and electrons.

As a matter fact, as far as we know, the whole matter in the universe is made of protons, neutrons and electrons.

The same applies to life, including human body. Life and human body on subatomic level is made of 3 ingredients: protons, neutrons and electrons.

And this is very important information because on this very fact my whole theory as to How ID/God created life is based.

Just like the car, human body is made of or built of many functional systems, like circulatory system, nervous system, lymphatic system, bones, veins, and so on.

Human body systems are made of integrated organs.

Those organs are made of different types of tissues.

Tissues are made of different types of cells (about 200 types of cells).

Cells are made of different organelles – organized or specialized structures within the living cell. Most types of cells share the same organelles or specialized structures within a living cells but other cells do not. Some of the organelles carry DNA, which is necessary for the process of reproduction of the living organism that non-living things, like a cars, don’t obviously have.

Organelles are made of macromolecules, like carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, proteins and so on.
Macromolecules are made of chemical elements, like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and so on.
Chemical elements are made of atoms.

Atoms are made of subatomic elements like protons, neutrons and electrons.

And, as I mentioned earlier, just like the car, on subatomic level is made of protons, neutrons and electrons, so is human body and all life on the Earth.

(Quarks are, as far as we know, the smallest pieces of stuff. There are 6 different types of quarks, and different combinations produce different types of subatomic particles like protons. For simplicity and clarity, I’ll focus on the 3 ingredients or building blocks of all matter: protons, neutrons and electrons as it is just easier to follow what I’m trying to convey.)

If I missed a step or more in the structure of what the human body and life is made of, feel free to correct it but this is not really that important now…

Life and human body on subatomic level are built of only 3 ingredients: protons, neutrons and electrons. While this might be mind-boggling if you think about how complex human body is, especially human brain, this is actually true as far as science has revealed it so far.

While the composition of life and human body is based on the 3 subatomic elements protons, neutrons and electrons, how life and human body function is based on how the three elemental building blocks of life (protons, neutrons and electrons) interact with each other or what their quantum state is; what their interactions or relations are.

Quantum state is simply something that encodes or translates the state of a system; how protons, neutrons and electrons interact with each other to form a state of a system. Behind each quantum state is the information that expresses the quantum state of the subatomic particles.

Here is the most interesting part about quantum state and quantum mechanics (science that is a part of physics) that deals with the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles.

According to quantum mechanics any quantum state of protons, neutrons and electrons that form a system or systems can be transferred or teleported due to quantum entanglement (predicament of subatomic particles) from one place to another, without traveling through any physical medium.

 

Scientists have already successfully teleported photons, which are particles of light as well as small pieces of matter across a short distance.

And this is the most essential part of my theory.

Since scientists have successfully teleported particles and small pieces of matter, who says that humans could not be teleported in the future? While human teleportation is still in theory today, it may very well become reality in the future. It has not been proven wrong at least mathematically.

Let’s just focus on the possibilities of human teleportation.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words here are some videos that explain how quantum teleportation of humans could work:

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

I personally like this video at 40 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z8Ma2YT8vY

So, human teleportation in theory seems possible. Whether it will be possible in the future it remains to be seen.

NEXT

So you may wonder; how does human teleportation, whether possible or not in the future, relate to the theme of my post: How did the ID/God create life?

Well, I think it does.
As you may recall on the outset of my post, just like any car is built in the top-down process starting with an idea/design, blueprint etc. all the way down to the elements that are made of subatomic particles, so could human body starting with its blueprint all the way down to the elements that are made subatomic particles; protons, neurons and electrons.
How that could have been done in reality by ID/God, the possibility of human quantum teleportation sheds some light on that.
For human body to be teleported–transferred from one place to another, without actually traveling through any physical medium–the quantum state of each of the subatomic particles that make up the human body to be teleported would have to be extracted (scanned or analyzed) and then teleported or sent exactly to the designated location where the human body is supposed to “arrive” and to be reassembled.
In quantum teleportation, the subatomic particles that make up the original human body are NOT literary sent. No. It’s the information about their quantum state that is sent thanks to the laws of quantum mechanics called quantum entanglement.
Wikipedia–Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance—instead, a quantum state must be described.

QE video link???
For human quantum teleportation to happen, 2 entangled chambers containing subatomic particles, protons, neutrons and electrons are needed. The first chamber will act as a “sending chamber” and the second as a” receiving or reassembling chamber”.
Then, a third chamber will be needed that will act as a body scanner or fax machine that will be interacting with the “sending chamber”, while compering the quantum states of each particle that the human body to be teleported is made of.
The process of quantum teleportation involves the scanning or extracting the quantum state of each of the subatomic particles (protons, neurons and electrons) that the body to be teleported is made of and sending it to the receiving chamber that is entangled with the sending chamber.
Because the particles in the “sending chamber” are entangled with the particles in the “receiving chamber”, the “receiving chamber” reads the quantum state of each particles that was extracted from the human body in the scanning chamber and reassembles it into the exact quantum state or the exact human body composition that it was before being teleported.
In quantum teleportation, the subatomic particles that make up the original human body are not sent. It’s the information about their quantum state that is sent thanks to the laws of quantum mechanics called quantum entanglement.
Since according to quantum mechanics, life on the subatomic level equals the quantum state of each the subatomic particles that make up the life form, there should be no difference between the human body that was alive in the scanning chamber and the reassembled human body that is now alive in the receiving chamber.
Since according to quantum mechanics you can’t create 2 exactly the same quantum states of an object, in quantum teleportation you can’t teleport an object without destroying in the process.
Actually, you can’t extract the quantum state of the object to be teleported without destroying it in the process of scanning it.

While there may be some philosophical implications (depending on one’s beliefs on soul and consciousness) that would have to be answered about the process of human quantum teleportation (I can try to answer them later) let’s just focus on the implications that the possibility of human quantum teleportation presents us with when it comes to the process of creation of human life.
While still in theory, human quantum teleportation seems possible, could the human quantum teleportation be done by the ID/God who created the universe and physical laws that govern quantum mechanics and make human quantum teleportation seem possible?
Let’s just ponder this for a moment: Scientist have already teleported small pieces of matter. Could the creator of matter and the physical laws that make quantum teleportation possible teleport bigger pieces of matter?
How about quantum teleportation of a piece of matter that is alive? Is it possible? Would it be feasible for ID/God who knows every detail about quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement that make quantum teleportation possible, including human teleportation?
And if ID/God is able to teleport matter that is alive, like human body, could he have used the same method, the laws that govern quantum mechanics that he created, like quantum entanglement to create life in the top-down approach rather than bottom-up, like abiogenesis or evolution?
Without answering this question now, let’s assume that ID/God could use the physical laws of quantum mechanics, like quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation to create life on Earth, including humans.
Let’s see how that could have been accomplished considering what we have discussed so far about quantum mechanics, quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation.

As I said before, according to quantum mechanics, life on subatomic level equals the many quantum states of subatomic particles-protons, neurons and electrons.
In other words, the composition of life is dependent on the information about the many different quantum states of the particles that form the life form, including human life.
As I mentioned earlier, for human quantum teleportation to happen, 2 chambers with entangled particles protons, neutrons and electrons are needed, as well as a scanning device or chamber that compares the quantum state of particles making up the human body to be teleported with the particles found in one of the entangled chambers that will act as the sending chamber.
The sending chamber containing with subatomic particles protons, neutrons and electrons entangled with the particles in the receiving chamber
The receiving chamber with subatomic particles – protons, neurons and electrons that are entangled with the sending chamber
The scanning device or chamber that acts like a scanner or a fax machine that interacts with the sending chamber and extracts the quantum state of the particles making up the human body to be teleported.

Let’s now apply what has been mentioned so far about the possibilities that quantum mechanics, quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation present us with to the process of creating life.
Could the laws of physics, like quantum mechanics, that govern the universe have been use by ID/ God to create life on earth including humans?
As I mentioned on the outset, the process of the designing and manufacturing the car involves the top-down approach. First an idea for a car, the blueprint, the design of different systems that would make up the car, the parts that would make up the functioning systems, the materials that would be used to manufacture the parts, the elements that the materials would be manufactured from and at the end of top-down method are the subatomic particles that make up the elements that the whole car is made of or built with.
In reality however the whole structure of the car and its function is dependent on the quantum state of the 3 subatomic particles protons, neutrons and electrons. And while in theory today, because of laws of quantum mechanics, the whole car could also be teleported using quantum teleportation method of the 3 chambers mentioned earlier. Scientists have already teleported small pieces of matter. Is it just a matter of time before they teleport bigger, larger ones?
A car to be teleported would have to be scanned in the scanning chamber for the quantum state or the many arrangements of the 3 particles it is made of and reconstructed exactly at the receiving chamber that is entengled with the sending chamber that interacts with the scanning chamber.
???video car teleportation???

Let’s focus now on the creation process of life and humans.
Similarly to the process of the designing and manufacturing the car, the ID/ God comes up with an idea for human life (having already experimented with simpler life forms that had been created before human life); human body and its function.
Starting with a blueprint, first he decides what the human body is going to look like and function, what functional systems are going to be the part of the functioning human, like circulatory system, nervous system, lymphatic system, bones, veins etc. and obviously the reproductive system.
Then he decides what organs are going to be integrated into body systems.
Then he decides on the many different types of tissues that those different organs are going to be made of to perform their many functions.
Then he decides on the many different types of cells (about 200 types of cells) that those tissues are going to be made of.
Then he decides on the many different types of spricialised structures like organelles – organized or specialized structures within the living cell – that the many different types of cells are going to be made of
Then he decides what macromolecules, like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins etc. are going to be used to make up those specialized structures (organelles).
Microelements are made of chemical elements, like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen etc.
The elements, like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and so on are made of atoms.
Atoms are made of subatomic elements or particles, like protons, neutrons and electrons.
And, as I mentioned earlier, just like a car on subatomic level is made of protons, neutrons and electrons, so is human body and all life on Earth.
Those 3 subatomic particles form all matter in the universe including all known life, like human life.
However, what makes the existence of matter and life possible are the many different quantum states (arrangements) of those 3 subatomic particles or how they interact with each other.
Now, the ID/God has the final blueprint and the design of human body ready.
Now using the same laws of physics that make quantum teleportation possible he encodes (using a big, big efficient quantum computer?) the exact information about the many different quantum states of each of the 3 subatomic particles to form the fundamental elements of the human body like carbon, hydrogen, hydrogen etc. He arranges the many different quantum states of those 3 particles to form a functional human body according to the original blueprint and design.
The process of encoding the information about the many different quantum states into the 3 subatomic particles of life involves foreknowledge and foresight as to how the human body is going to function in the end.
This knowledge requires that the final integration of all systems be encoded in the top-down approach that fully functional human body that is alive is dependent on all functional systems and subsystems that are all present or it can’t function or be alive just like a cell mention earlier.

In other words, the ID/God knows exactly what the entire final quantum state (information) the human body would have to be in for it to function or be alive. So, he encodes this information exactly for the many different quantum states that protons, neurons and electrons would have to be in order to interact with each other to form the many of their quantum states for the elements to form, macromolecules and so on…then the fully functional systems and then he integrates systems to form life and the human body that is alive.
Once all the information about the quantum state of each individual part of the human body is encoded, the process of human creation can begin using the same method that applies to quantum teleportation with one exception of the scanning device or chamber, since no physical human body exists yet to be scanned. It needs to be assembled or materialized first based on the information that has been encoded by ID/God.
In order to create (assemble) the exact human body based on the final quantum state it needs to be in, all the ID/ God needs to do is encode the sending chamber or send the information directly about the quantum state of each of the many particles that the human body is going to be made of.
Just like in quantum teleportation,
the sending chamber (interacts) is encoded with information from the scanning device or chamber about the quantum state of each of the particles the human body to be teleported and reassembled in the receiving chamber,
in human body creation, the sending chamber is encoded directly by ID/God with information about the quantum state of each of the many particles of the human body to be created in the receiving chamber.
The rest of the process of the creation of the human body remains the same as in the quantum teleportation process mentioned earlier.
Based on the information about the quantum state the human body needs to be in to be created, thanks to quantum entanglement, the receiving chamber reconstructs the quantum state of each of the particles based on the information the sending chamber was encoded with or received directly by ID/God.
The human body creation has been accomplished thanks to the possibilities of quantum mechanics, quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation.
So, the process of creation of life, including human life, would involve the already known process that quantum mechanics allows in the quantum teleportation due to quantum entanglement of particles, which is dependent on the information about their many, many quantum states those particles can be arranged into.
(Another possibility would be for ID/God to encode or send the information about the quantum state of each of the particls to form the humand body directly to the receiving/assembling chamber but because scientist can’t do that yet, the more reasonable approach is the use of quantum entagled chambers.)
Use 1 only
Is there evidence or a clue that the process of creation of life (by top-down approach) on Earth including human life that quantum mechanics allows could have been used by ID/God?

Are there any clues that ID/God used the top-down method in the creation of life on Earth, like human life using already existing laws of physics like quantum mechanics?
Let’s see.
The biblical account of creation in the book of genesis tells us that God created life including human life out of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word for “dust” in Genesis 2:7 is aphar can be translated as clay, earth, mud, ashes, earth, ground, mortar, powder.
How would you describe the process of creation of human life to men few thousand years ago involving quantum mechanics or the many quantum states of subatomic particles forming human body? Would you describe it in the terms physicists use today to explain quantum mechanics? I doubt that.
So, to describe the process of creation that would involve the many quantum states of subatomic particles forming human body to simple man few thousand years ago or even few hundred, the word dust or clay could be appropriately used since all the elements necessary to form human body are available in the ground of the earth. It seem that only 11 major elements are necessary for life.
Wikipedia “Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. All 11 are necessary for life. The remaining elements are trace elements, of which more than a dozen are thought on the basis of good evidence to be necessary for life. All of the mass of the trace elements put together (less than 10 grams for a human body) do not add up to the body mass of magnesium, the least common of the 11 non-trace elements.”
All these elements are found in the Earth’s crust.
Now, once all the necessary elements were “formed” (the many quantum states of the subatomic particles have been encoded) into the human body, something would have to be needed to make those elements form a living thing or living human body. The account from genesis definitely implies that.
Other translations ??G, of enesis 2:7
“God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”.
So, just like the designer of the car tuned on the ignition and applied the source of energy for all the systems to start to function, like to start the engine for the car to function, so did the ID/God to make the human body become alive applied the energy sustained by breathing for human body to function.

415 thoughts on “How did Intelligent Designer/God do it? How was life created?

  1. CharlieM: And was it pareidolia when Blake said that he could see the whole world in a grain of sand?

    No. It was poetic metaphor. You can’t actually see the whole world in a grain of sand, you know.

  2. CharlieM:

    I can see beauty in the butterfly and I see beauty in the way it lives , I don’t see it in the eye worm, what I see I find repulsive. But that is not to say that if I looked through a microscope at the activity in one of its cells I might find activities and structures that I would find beautiful.

    So, does that tell you where beauty resides? Is it in the universe as a whole, or perhaps only in the brain of an observer?
    Is it in the territory, or just the map?

  3. Fair Witness: So, does that tell you where beauty resides?

    If there is one instance of a beautiful thing apparently, beauty must exist. It’s simple logic.

    Is it in the universe as a whole, or perhaps only in the brain of an observer?

    Could we ever claim that beauty is anything else than a human perception? Do other lifeforms have a similar experience?

    Is it in the territory, or just the map?

    I’ve heard suggestions that facial symmetry may be an element in consensus in human appreciation of beautiful faces. Maybe there’s an evolutionary aspect to it.

  4. CharlieM: I can see beauty in the butterfly and I see beauty in the way it lives , I don’t see it in the eye worm, what I see I find repulsive

    But the point is what you see that repulses you was also designed. Which was the original point.

    CharlieM: To believe that natural selection acting on slight variations can produce the wisdom and beauty of nature’s designs does take a great deal of faith.

    If natural selection did not create the beautiful then neither did it creates what repulses you. So I’m asking you for your opinion on why the wise and appreciative of beauty designer of the world saw fit to include parasitic eye worms that have us as part of their life cycle? Is there wisdom and beauty in that at some level then?

    CharlieM: But that is not to say that if I looked through a microscope at the activity in one of its cells I might find activities and structures that I would find beautiful.

    Is the blinding of many children a price worth paying for that, in your opinion?

    If we were intelligently designing an ecosystem for wisdom and beauty I’d probably keep the parasitic eye worms in their box, to be honest with you.

  5. CharlieM: Kantian Naturalist: I know this seems obviously true to you. But it does not seem obviously true to me. Do you have an argument for this?

    Our eyes take in images of the world around us. In order to make sense of these images requires us to use our thinking minds. I have split these activities in two just for the sake of clarity as to what does what. In the acquisition of knowledge there is never a time when these two processes are actually separate.

    On your picture, it seems, our senses passively take in images, sounds, or smells, to which the intellect actively adds something else (concepts?) in order to produce an intelligible experience.

    I think that’s a recognizably Kantian picture, and it’s one that I don’t think is right. I do think there’s a distinction to be made between receptivity and spontaneity, but I don’t think that this distinction tracks the distinction between “the senses” and “the intellect” as neatly as Kant makes it out to be.

    Instead, I think that there are multiple gradations of spontaneity and receptivity at different levels of information processing. By the time that information from the retina or cochlea has reached the visual or auditory cortex, it’s already been subjected to iterated rounds of top-down processing involving expectations, assumptions, implicit beliefs, and so on. As a result, there’s already been some top-down sculpting of information processing even by the time we get to images, sounds, smells, etc. in our perceptual consciousness.

    I don’t think it makes sense to think that we first experience sensations and then turn those sensations into objects through conceptualization. Our perceptual consciousness is directed at physical objects with perceptible features. We can posit sensations as the mediating cause of our perceptual engagement with things, but the sensations are introduced after the fact as a causal explanation of that perception. We don’t immediately and originally perceive the sensations themselves — though one can, with some training, learn to attend to those sensations.

    I cannot tell if someone is angry or sad just by looking at them, I have to use my thinking to connect past experience with the present sensory cues to make that judgement. Only by thinking do we make sense of what we see.

    I don’t think this is right. I think that we do see if someone is sad or angry by looking at them, because perceptual consciousness is already shot through with concepts, assumptions, beliefs, etc. There’s no such thing as “pure seeing”.

    And you arrived at the understanding you relate above by the process of thought. There is no getting round it. Thinking is primal.

    In some sense, sure. But that needs to be made really precise.

    I like how Evan Thompson puts it in terms of “the priority of consciousness”. (He distinguishes between existential priority, transcendental priority, and epistemological priority. I found this puzzling, since I think of those as being the same thing.) But the priority of consciousness is itself always embodied, world-involving, and object-directed. This is what Merleau-Ponty calls ‘being-in-the-world’

    In other words, I don’t think that pure thought first discovers itself and then, through that, discovers the world based on what it brings to the sense-data. Rather, I think that we are originally at home in the world of objects that are partially present to us in conceptually structured perceptual consciousness, and then become aware of this structure through phenomenological description. The task of cognitive science and neuroscience is to posit the phenomenologically hidden causal structures that generate our awareness of ourselves as being-in-the-world.

    In short, if one thinks about perception beginning with Merleau-Ponty and Wilfrid Sellars, and suitably revises those accounts with better cognitive science and neuroscience (as Haugeland, Churchland, Dennett, Thompson, and Clark all try to do), one ends up with a really powerful alternative to the Cartesian-Kantian picture that has a deadlock on our philosophical imagination.

  6. OMagain,

    If we were intelligently designing an ecosystem for wisdom and beauty I’d probably keep the parasitic eye worms in their box, to be honest with you.

    Yeah, ecosystems … I mean, there’s the butterfly with its perfectly designed wing spots so it can evade the perfectly designed eyes of the predator … it always strikes me that the main driver of a design is … other designs. Why not just make butterflies bright purple, and knock out purple perception in the predator?

  7. GlenDavidson: GlenDavidson: What’s beautiful about the degenerate sequences so common in parasites?And less common, but hardly rare, in non-parasites?

    CharlieM:
    You tell me?

    Well, nothing. Couldn’t you figure that out? Why don’t you actually learn about life rather than go on with your mystical nonsense?

    Do you see nothing beautiful in the double helix or the way chemicals combine to produce life, even though you may see what you take to be degenerate sequences among it all?

  8. You can’t win. Charlie’s opinions are hermetically sealed and make no contact with your arguments or evidence.

  9. GlenDavidson: You were implying that they were beautiful designs, not that there are beautiful aspects to the organisms. You haven’t even slightly shown that Archaeopteryx is a beautiful design. There’s nothing beautiful about designs using the kludges made, especially during transitions. Not surprised that you equivocated rather than dealing with the issues, however.

    I would not argue that an organism was a designed object because that equates them to machines, and they are nothing like machines. That would make a living entity into a static object which it is not.

    What I can and have done is take, not individual living organisms, but aspects of the natural world such as feathers, groups of butterfly scales, termite mounds, shark’s skin and then studied their construction from the aspect of a human designer. These type of objects impress me. I’m not sue what it takes to impress you.

  10. John Harshman:
    You can’t win. Charlie’s opinions are hermetically sealed and make no contact with your arguments or evidence.

    I think that agreeing that eye worms are repulsive is making contact with his arguments. Don’t you?

  11. GlenDavidson: Again with the equivocation that avoids the fact that the coccyx retains utterly useless little tail bones, hardly a beautiful design.

    From an anatomy site:

    One of the key functions of the coccyx is as an attachment point for various structures. The gluteus maximus attaches to the coccyx, as does the levator ani muscle, which is a key component of the pelvic floor. The anococcygeal raphe is a thin, fibrous ligament which runs from the coccyx and helps support the position of the anus.

  12. CharlieM:

    GlenDavidson: GlenDavidson: What’s beautiful about the degenerate sequences so common in parasites?And less common, but hardly rare, in non-parasites?

    CharlieM:
    You tell me?

    Well, nothing. Couldn’t you figure that out? Why don’t you actually learn about life rather than go on with your mystical nonsense?

    Do you see nothing beautiful in the double helix or the way chemicals combine to produce life, even though you may see what you take to be degenerate sequences among it all?

    Was that the issue that I was addressing?

    You’re good at ignoring context while moving goalposts.

    Glen Davidson

  13. CharlieM: I think that agreeing that eye worms are repulsive is making contact with his arguments. Don’t you?

    Not the way you did it, no.

  14. GlenDavidson: A horizontal spine turned vertical is hardly a beautiful, or very good, design. I realize you’re not interested in that fact, or in the evolutionary constraints that led to it, but they’re still there no matter how much you attempt to obfuscate the matter.

    A structure that is suitable for load bearing in the various positions from horizontal to vertical depending on the vertebrate which it is part of and also in different stages of a single vertebrates life has to be extremely adaptable and thus has proved itself as a very good design. Have you ever examined individual vertebrae to see the intricacy of the moulding. That also impresses me.

  15. CharlieM: I would not argue that an organism was a designed object because that equates them to machines, and they are nothing like machines. That would make a living entity into a static object which it is not.

    What I can and have done is take, not individual living organisms, but aspects of the natural world such as feathers, groups of butterfly scales, termite mounds, shark’s skin and then studied their construction from the aspect of a human designer. These type of objects impress me. I’m not sue what it takes to impress you.

    Good design impresses me, especially since that was what you’re claiming.

    Now, of course, you run off with any sort of confirmation bias whatsoever. Well, this is beautiful, how can you not see that? Except I wasn’t discussing that, I was addressing the issue that you’re presently evading.

    Glen Davidson

  16. CharlieM: A structure that is suitable for load bearing in the various positions from horizontal to vertical depending on the vertebrate which it is part of and also in different stages of a single vertebrates life has to be extremely adaptable and thus has proved itself as a very good design. Have you ever examined individual vertebrae to see the intricacy of the moulding. That also impresses me.

    Your failure to address anything but your own preconceptions impresses me, but not positively.

    Glen Davidson

  17. John Harshman:
    You can’t win. Charlie’s opinions are hermetically sealed and make no contact with your arguments or evidence.

    He’s perfectly open to anything that reinforces what he believes.

    Anything that casts doubt on it, well, there’s a thousand diversions from that unbearable idea.

    Glen Davidson

  18. John Harshman: Do you have a corresponding theory about the Brontosaurus, which *ahem* is your own?

    Well if we compare the brontosaurus with a crocodile it is much more massive so the effects of gravity will be much stronger. But if we look at the long neck and head compared with the short neck merging into the head in the crocodile, it seems to me to be much more free and mobile. It is reminiscent of the human arm in its relatively greater freedom from the effects of gravity than that possessed by it’s limbs.

  19. John Harshman: No. It was poetic metaphor. You can’t actually see the whole world in a grain of sand, you know.

    And what do you think he meant by the metaphor?

  20. Fair Witness: So, does that tell you where beauty resides?Is it in the universe as a whole, or perhaps only in the brain of an observer?
    Is it in the territory, or just the map?

    When I say I see beauty that means I am expressing how I am affected by the object of my perception. Of course there are things that we all seem to agree are beautiful.

  21. CharlieM: Well if we compare the brontosaurus with a crocodile it is much more massive so the effects of gravity will be much stronger. But if we look at the long neck and head compared with the shortneck merging into the head in the crocodile, it seems to me to be much more free and mobile. It is reminiscent of the human arm in its relatively greater freedom from the effects of gravity than that possessed by it’s limbs.

    But maybe an elk would be rather different…

    Glen Davidson

  22. OMagain: CharlieM: I can see beauty in the butterfly and I see beauty in the way it lives , I don’t see it in the eye worm, what I see I find repulsive

    But the point is what you see that repulses you was also designed. Which was the original point.

    Yes, there are ugly designs around. I never said otherwise.

  23. OMagain: If natural selection did not create the beautiful then neither did it creates what repulses you. So I’m asking you for your opinion on why the wise and appreciative of beauty designer of the world saw fit to include parasitic eye worms that have us as part of their life cycle? Is there wisdom and beauty in that at some level then?

    And why do you assume that I believe there is only one single designer involved?

  24. OMagain:

    CharlieM: But that is not to say that if I looked through a microscope at the activity in one of its cells I might find activities and structures that I would find beautiful.

    Is the blinding of many children a price worth paying for that, in your opinion?

    The world is full of good and evil, of beauty and ugliness. I’m afraid that is the reality of it.

  25. CharlieM: The world is full of good and evil, of beauty and ugliness. I’m afraid that is the reality of it.

    Nope, that’s that’s the imagination of it! 🙂

  26. CharlieM: And what do you think he meant by the metaphor?

    Creationists (including whatever you are) tend to overestimate their effectiveness as gurus or boddhisatvas. What do you think he meant, and do you think it’s true?

  27. Hi KN
    Thanks for your polite response. You wrote:

    Kantian Naturalist:

    CharlieM: Our eyes take in images of the world around us. In order to make sense of these images requires us to use our thinking minds. I have split these activities in two just for the sake of clarity as to what does what. In the acquisition of knowledge there is never a time when these two processes are actually separate.

    On your picture, it seems, our senses passively take in images, sounds, or smells, to which the intellect actively adds something else (concepts?) in order to produce an intelligible experience.

    I don’t think there is ever a time when we passively take in what our senses give us. If nothing else our feelings are set in motion by what we perceive. What Barfield calls the “represented” is something which we can call up in our minds but which we never actually experience.

    I think that’s a recognizably Kantian picture, and it’s one that I don’t think is right. I do think there’s a distinction to be made between receptivity and spontaneity, but I don’t think that this distinction tracks the distinction between “the senses” and “the intellect” as neatly as Kant makes it out to be.

    Instead, I think that there are multiple gradations of spontaneity and receptivity at different levels of information processing. By the time that information from the retina or cochlea has reached the visual or auditory cortex, it’s already been subjected to iterated rounds of top-down processing involving expectations, assumptions, implicit beliefs, and so on. As a result, there’s already been some top-down sculpting of information processing even by the time we get to images, sounds, smells, etc. in our perceptual consciousness.

    I don’t think it makes sense to think that we first experience sensations and then turn those sensations into objects through conceptualization. Our perceptual consciousness is directed at physical objects with perceptible features. We can posit sensations as the mediating cause of our perceptual engagement with things, but the sensations are introduced after the fact as a causal explanation of that perception. We don’t immediately and originally perceive the sensations themselves — though one can, with some training, learn to attend to those sensations.

    Well I think we are basically in agreement. Whatever it is that enters our consciousness has already been affected by our memories, our feelings and our previous experiences.

    CharlieM: I cannot tell if someone is angry or sad just by looking at them, I have to use my thinking to connect past experience with the present sensory cues to make that judgement. Only by thinking do we make sense of what we see.

    I don’t think this is right. I think that we do see if someone is sad or angry by looking at them, because perceptual consciousness is already shot through with concepts, assumptions, beliefs, etc. There’s no such thing as “pure seeing”.

    Again, I think we are saying the same thing. We never experience sight in isolation, but if we did it would not tell us anything. We need to already know the signs before we can tell if someone is angry.

    I like how Evan Thompson puts it in terms of “the priority of consciousness”. (He distinguishes between existential priority, transcendental priority, and epistemological priority. I found this puzzling, since I think of those as being the same thing.) But the priority of consciousness is itself always embodied, world-involving, and object-directed. This is what Merleau-Ponty calls ‘being-in-the-world’

    In other words, I don’t think that pure thought first discovers itself and then, through that, discovers the world based on what it brings to the sense-data. Rather, I think that we are originally at home in the world of objects that are partially present to us in conceptually structured perceptual consciousness, and then become aware of this structure through phenomenological description. The task of cognitive science and neuroscience is to posit the phenomenologically hidden causal structures that generate our awareness of ourselves as being-in-the-world.

    In short, if one thinks about perception beginning with Merleau-Ponty and Wilfrid Sellars, and suitably revises those accounts with better cognitive science and neuroscience (as Haugeland, Churchland, Dennett, Thompson, and Clark all try to do), one ends up with a really powerful alternative to the Cartesian-Kantian picture that has a deadlock on our philosophical imagination.

    I follow the objective idealism of Barfield and Steiner as explained in David Lavery’s site

    Objective idealism contends, as Sanderson explains in Worlds Apart, that “if you start from the brain and say it ‘constructs’ the world it is aware of, you . . . leave out of account the fact that the brain as an object of observation is itself part of a world which you yourself have constructed. Surely you have got to start with the act of construction and not with the brain!” (WA 49)…

    In an interview with Shirley Sugerman, Barfield offers, by way of contrast, the following brief history of subjective idealism.
    The general position of subjective idealism is that there are two kinds of idealism, one being a Platonic idealism where the Ideas are conceived as having a kind of independent, separate existence of their own, whereas subjective idealism treats ideas as a subjective process in individual human minds but nevertheless, in the development of this philosophy, it presents them as being more real than the objective world. . . . You can say, then, that the subjective idealists see the two disjunctively: either you believe in Platonic Ideas or you believe in ideas more in the modern sense, but nevertheless also conceive of those ideas as being in some way as real, or more real, than the objective world. Objective idealism contends that the disjunction is itself an unreal one, and that reality, individual being, however you think of it, consists in the polarity between the subjectivity of the individual mind and the objective world which it perceives. They are not two things, but they are one and the same thing and what you call the objective world is merely one pole of what is a unitary process and what we call subjective experience is the other pole, but they are not really divided from each other. (SP 18)

    Human consciousness has evolved from an original “participation” where “primitive” humans did not see themselves as outside onlookers observing the world 9they did not distinguish themselves from the world around them) to our present situation where we do see it as such, and then on to the future when we will again feel our connectedness, only this time with a self-consciousness that we never had originally.

  28. Allan Miller:
    OMagain,

    Yeah, ecosystems … I mean, there’s the butterfly with its perfectly designed wing spots so it can evade the perfectly designed eyes of the predator … it always strikes me that the main driver of a design is … other designs. Why not just make butterflies bright purple, and knock out purple perception in the predator?

    You are arguing against a grey-bearded designer sitting in his celestial workshop fashioning everything down to the finest detail and churning out the multitude of forms that fill the world of nature. This may be a relevant argument against some fundamental theistic positions but this is not a source of design that I recognise.

  29. GlenDavidson: Very good goalpost movement. Yes, the coccyx retains the function of muscle attachment that it had as a tail.

    That’s why I brought up the vertebrae, which are basically functionless. Read for comprehension, if you possibly can.

    You cannot talk about the individual vertebrae in isolation in any meaningful way. You seem to be a stickler for context so you must realise that in order to understand the individual vertebral bones they must be studied in their context within the vertebral column as a whole and the vertebrate as a whole.

  30. John Harshman:

    CharlieM: I think that agreeing that eye worms are repulsive is making contact with his arguments. Don’t you?

    Not the way you did it, no.

    What other way would you like me to say that I find these eye worms repulsive?

  31. CharlieM,

    You are arguing against a grey-bearded designer sitting in his celestial workshop fashioning everything down to the finest detail and churning out the multitude of forms that fill the world of nature. This may be a relevant argument against some fundamental theistic positions but this is not a source of design that I recognise.

    Yeah, inevitably “that’s different”, when one enters in the slippery world of ‘How Things Seem To Me’. There are thousands of ‘design theorists’, and about as many different versions to go at.

    What you refer to as ‘Design’ seems to be covered quite nicely by natural selection. What distinguishes Design from NS in your world? Do organisms gain offspring through it? Is Design blind to the bigger picture?

  32. GlenDavidson: Good design impresses me, especially since that was what you’re claiming.

    Now, of course, you run off with any sort of confirmation bias whatsoever. Well, this is beautiful, how can you not see that? Except I wasn’t discussing that, I was addressing the issue that you’re presently evading.

    You were claiming that archaeopteryx was a kludge. I would say that it was successful in it’s own right or we would not have any fossils of it. And by calling it a kludge you are treating it as a static object designed in a way that a human, specifically you, would go about designing it. Here again you ignore context.

  33. CharlieM: You cannot talk about the individual vertebrae in isolation in any meaningful way. You seem to be a stickler for context so you must realise that in order to understand the individual vertebral bones they must be studied in their context within the vertebral column as a whole and the vertebrate as a whole.

    Yes, and they’re useless either way.

    You certainly haven’t shown otherwise, you’ve merely ignored what was written in order to respond to your strawman. And once again.

    Glen Davidson

  34. CharlieM:
    What other way would you like me to say that I find these eye worms repulsive?

    A way in which you don’t immediately try to change to subject to the beauty of the double helix, or some other attempt to distract.

  35. CharlieM: You were claiming that archaeopteryx was a kludge. I would say that it was successful in it’s own right or we would not have any fossils of it.

    Of course it was successful, no one ever claimed otherwise. You’re claiming it’s a beautiful design, when it’s not.

    And by calling it a kludge you are treating it as a static object designed in a way that a human, specifically you, would go about designing it. Here again you ignore context.

    Good God, you’re just blithering away now, aren’t you? Of course the fossils are static, and if you’re talking design, well, show that it’s a beautiful design, rather than whining about how humans would design, and some nonsensical tripe about “context.” Sorry, either you show that it’s a beautiful design (meaning well done), or you don’t, and you’re certainly not doing the former.

    Glen Davidson

  36. CharlieM: You are arguing against a grey-bearded designer sitting in his celestial workshop fashioning everything down to the finest detail and churning out the multitude of forms that fill the world of nature. This may be a relevant argument against some fundamental theistic positions but this is not a source of design that I recognise.

    What is this source of design which is free of extrapolation from human design?

  37. John Harshman: (Re- Blake’s line, “To see the whole world in a grain of sand”) What do you think he meant, and do you think it’s true?

    Obviously we cannot physically see the world by peering into a grain of sand. But what I would take to be his true meaning is that we can see with our mind’s eye the fundamental nature of the world if we study and contemplate a grain of sand. We see processes of upbuilding and destruction, of growth and decay, on which the cosmos is built. This is the general principle also indicated in the phrases “as above so below” and “the microcosm is reflected in the microcosm”. There are plenty examples of the holographic nature of the world around us.

  38. CharlieM: Obviously we cannot physically see the world by peering into a grain of sand. But what I would take to be his true meaning is that we can see with our mind’s eye the fundamental nature of the world if we study and contemplate a grain of sand. We see processes of upbuilding and destruction, of growth and decay, on which the cosmos is built. This is the general principle also indicated in the phrases “as above so below” and “the microcosm is reflected in the microcosm”. There are plenty examples of the holographic nature of the world around us.

    Yeah, that’s bullshit. If that grain is perfectly rounded, you can “see” that it’s been through many cycles of erosion, transport, deposition, lithification, erosion, etc. But you can “see” the processes only if you know about them already through a study of geology, and that knowledge wasn’t gained from looking at one grain of sand.

    The world is most certainly not holographic.

  39. Allan Miller:
    CharlieM,

    Yeah, inevitably “that’s different”, when one enters in the slippery world of ‘How Things Seem To Me’. There are thousands of ‘design theorists’, and about as many different versions to go at.

    What you refer to as ‘Design’ seems to be covered quite nicely by natural selection. What distinguishes Design from NS in your world? Do organisms gain offspring through it? Is Design blind to the bigger picture?

    I would say that natural selection is more of a balancing force than a creative force. It works on what has already been formed.

  40. CharlieM,

    There is a version of “objective idealism” I would accept. Among Kant scholars, it’s called “the mutuality thesis”: the objective and the subjective are interdependent concepts. The world is disclosed as a world for experiencing subjects and experiencing subjects experience themselves as always oriented towards the world. There are versions of this idea developed by Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.

    And I think that what we see coming out of contemporary cognitive science does, to a large degree, put some nice empirical flesh on those conceptual bones. But much more work needs to be done on this, and I hope to work on that myself this summer.

    However, where I disagree is on several further points:

    1. I think that the mutuality thesis is correct for phenomenological epistemology but not for metaphysics. Some further argument would be needed here and I don’t think any of the existing arguments work.

    2. I think that the mutuality thesis can itself be naturalistically grounded in the organism-environment relationship, as Dewey argues in his Experience and Nature. This means that the mutuality thesis is true of us because we are a kind of living animal. But living animals are an infinitesimally tiny fraction of the Universe, which is why we can’t leap from epistemology to metaphysics.

    3. I see no reason to believe that our epistemic situation now is really all that different from those of human beings from thousands or hundreds of thousands of years ago. In fact, I very much worry that talk of “primitive consciousness” has a dark and violent history of legitimizing some kind of colonialist or imperialist enterprise (“those people are savages! let’s bring them civilization!”).

  41. CharlieM: Obviously we cannot physically see the world by peering into a grain of sand. But what I would take to be his true meaning is that we can see with our mind’s eye the fundamental nature of the world if we study and contemplate a grain of sand. We see processes of upbuilding and destruction, of growth and decay, on which the cosmos is built. This is the general principle also indicated in the phrases “as above so below” and “the microcosm is reflected in the microcosm”. There are plenty examples of the holographic nature of the world around us.

    “To see a world in a grain of sand
    And a heaven in a wild flower,
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    and eternity in an hour.”

  42. CharlieM: I would say that natural selection is more of a balancing force than a creative force. It works on what has already been formed.

    Of course. But it “works on” organisms by changing them. Then it “works on” these changed versions by changing them even more. This process of “working on” organisms, generation by generation, after enough iterations, produces variations different enough for us to assign them different names, and eventually then different classes.

    So you are correct, a dog is a highly modified worm. Nothing new, just a “worked on” worm plus billions of years of work.

  43. GlenDavidson (re the terminal bones of the coccyx): Yes, and they’re useless either way.

    You certainly haven’t shown otherwise, you’ve merely ignored what was written in order to respond to your strawman.And once again.

    Glen Davidson

    Just because a person is ignorant of use to which something may be put, they cannot then go on to state that the item is in reality useless. The most they can say is, “it is useless as far as I can tell, but my knowledge of the situation is limited”.

    The same was said of the appendix. Nobody could envision what purpose it might serve. Until, that is, it was found to have a purpose. It was said to have no function, not because it had no function, but because of our ignorance of a function.

    This site has the following to say about the coccyx.

    The coccyx provides an important attachment for tendons, ligaments and muscles. Most doctors are not very familiar with the coccyx or its problems.

    The coccyx has very little movement, excessive movement of the coccyx is abnormal. When sitting, the coccyx shifts forward and acts as a shock absorber (Figure 3). The coccyx bears more weight when the person is sitting and leaning backwards compared to when leaning forward.

    If you are saying that certain bones are useless in isolation then I would say that you need to regard how they work together with their attachments and with the bones around them. This is how they are in reality.

    By considering these bones in isolation you are delving into an abstraction. They are never in isolation in a living vertebrate.

  44. John Harshman:

    CharlieM:
    What other way would you like me to say that I find these eye worms repulsive?

    A way in which you don’t immediately try to change to subject to the beauty of the double helix, or some other attempt to distract.

    Highlighting opposites is not a distraction. In fact I would say that highlighting beauty throws ugliness into greater relief, it makes it stand out even more.

  45. GlenDavidson: Of course it was successful, no one ever claimed otherwise.You’re claiming it’s a beautiful design, when it’s not.

    Where did I say that archaeopteryx was a beautiful design?
    I said above in a previous post “I would not argue that an organism was a beautifully designed object”

    CharlieM: And by calling it a kludge you are treating it as a static object designed in a way that a human, specifically you, would go about designing it. Here again you ignore context.

    Good God, you’re just blithering away now, aren’t you?Of course the fossils are static, and if you’re talking design, well, show that it’s a beautiful design, rather than whining about how humans would design, and some nonsensical tripe about “context.”Sorry, either you show that it’s a beautiful design (meaning well done), or you don’t, and you’re certainly not doing the former.

    Glen Davidson

    I am not talking about the fossil, I though that we were discussing the actual living organism and how you seem to view it. Again I’d like to stress that I have never spoken of an individual organism in terms of design. I would only speak of individual structures that can be considered from a mechanical perspective as designed objects whilst keeping in mind that these structures are or have been living, growing, developing components of a whole.

    To me a primary flight feather is a beautiful design to be admired from an engineering perspective as well as a biological perspective. It is in features like this that I can see the beauty. Perhaps your idea of beauty stops at visual beauty, I don’t know.

  46. newton: What is this source of design which is free of extrapolation from human design?

    We need to realise that human designs can be found to have been realised in the natural world long before humans created them. Designs such as velcro, electric motors, aerofoil sections, mechanical struts and braces, air-conditioned accommodation.

    If we think of animal evolution as a condensation of consciousness from the group to the individual. Whereas we humans can design things out of our individual consciousness, The source of animal design is in the group consciousness which is a higher consciousness than our individual consciousness.

  47. John Harshman: Yeah, that’s bullshit. If that grain is perfectly rounded, you can “see” that it’s been through many cycles of erosion, transport, deposition, lithification, erosion, etc. But you can “see” the processes only if you know about them already through a study of geology, and that knowledge wasn’t gained from looking at one grain of sand.

    The world is most certainly not holographic.

    You obviously don’t understand what I am saying. It is not a case of concentrating on a grain of sand to the exclusion of all else. It is a case of looking at the sand, its history, its future, the external and internal forces which have shaped it. This of course includes the geology of its past. You would not write a biography of a person without considering their friends, family history, work and colleagues would you?

    It is precisely because of our wider knowledge that we can compare processes in the grain with processes in the world around us.

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