Re: Beam me up, Scotty

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 17:45:52 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Beam me up, Scotty
    Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2002 09:45:52 -0800
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    From: Joe Dees

    > >I've never suggested that form (morphe) is beamed into our heads. My
    > >claim is that memory is a property of nature. What distinguishes life
    > >from, say, books and computers, is that living things possess natural
    > >memory-- the retention of the past-- while books and computers rely on
    > >storage of material configurations.
    > >
    > How droll. And disingenuous. The manner in which our brains store
    information (in configurations of dendrite-and-axon-connected neurons)IS
    natural; it naturally evolved.

    Mechanism confuses the distinction between nature and artifice by claiming that mechinical objects evolved naturally. While our brains did indeed evolve through natural selection, it would be the most astonishing coincidence if they just happened to develop into essentially the same device designed and manufactured by human intelligence. The idea that brains are computers-- with artificial memory and logic-- is crude, anthropic projection.

    > >Elsasser realized that organisms would have no way
    > >of knowing how to develop from the egg without some kind of "holistic
    > >memory." As a physicist, he rejected the notion that DNA could
    > >somehow set in motion a purely physical process of development. He
    > >based his reasoning on the fact that physical systems can be
    > >understood according to fairly simple calculations, whereas biological
    > >systems are "transcomputational."
    > >
    > So he was a physicist, ayy? That explain a lot, like, why he was unable
    to understand the idea of informational encoding in DNA like any reasonable
    biologist can.

    Biologists make no effort to untangle the physical chain of cause-and-effect by which DNA allegedly builds bodies. They simply place the question in a "black box" and assume that someone will work out the details later. Elsasser took a look at the problem and declared it insoluble. Organic processes are vastly more complex than anything that could ever be described according to known physical principles. For example, the possible gene combinations in the formation of penicillin in a mold is 10 to the 300th power. By contrast, the number of particles in the universe is a mere 10 to the 80th power. And this is a single-celled haploid organism. The "supercomplexity" of organisms, all the way back to prokaryotes, renders them opaque to physical analysis. We cannot comprehend bodies the way we comprehend machines or solar systems or even complex gases. The assumption that organisms are machines can never be verified. It is now and shall always remain scientifically meaningless. See: Walter Elsasser, Reflections on a Theory of Organisms, Johns
    Hopkins University Press, 1987/1998


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