Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Sun Oct 04 2009 - 15:01:07 EDT


I didn't realize that JP&MB claim that the mind "doesn't map onto the
human genome."

What exactly does that mean? What do they mean by mind? Do they mean
that the "mind" is not genetically encoded? Or that the mind is not
physically determinative.

What evidence do they present for this view?

If we take supervenience to be what they are saying, it would mean that
the mind (or mental) depends upon the physical (brain), but it is not
uniquely determined by it. So a given physical state would entail some
given mental state, but a given mental state is not uniquely mapped to a
given physical state. There is a many to one mapping from the physical to
the mental.

I've never found this very useful.


  On Sun, 4 Oct 2009, David Clounch

> Murray,
> Seems to me you have roughly described speciation in general. This is why it
> puzzled me so much when someone asserted here that there wasn't a first
> human. There is always a first organism.
> Of course the subject is the biological half of humanness which ignores the
> other essential part of humanness, the mind. It completely ignores the
> mind. This is why JP&MB are so fascinating in that they assert the mental
> world of humans does not map onto a genome.
> One can hypothesize that the first B, having a mind, related to the other B,
> and ignored all A's thereafter because they weren't capable of that
> relationship. They might have moved away and lost the ability to interbreed
> rather quickly.
> I think it is more interesting to worry about the question of if the genome
> doesn't produce the mind (because the mind is vastly more complex than the
> information the genome contains) then why do fetuses grow human minds and
> not alien minds?
> I don't see where anybody has ruled out God stitching us together in the
> womb. Literally. Not biologically though. Mentally. Scripture says He
> stitches us together in the womb, but it might not have been talking about
> biological stitching.
> This raises the issue of supervenience, or "do minds supervene on material
> objects?"
> I don't see a contradiction between biological evolution and the idea that
> God fabricated the mind of Adam and thereafter had a relationship with
> Adam. The mental evolution isn't biological and unlike the biological may
> not be explainable in terms of natural processes. Even if it were to turn
> out that biological evolution is itself is indeed explainable in terms of
> natural processes.
> Thanks,
> Dave C
>> Now it should be obvious that there certainly will, at some point, be a
>> first B - HOWEVER, probability distributions being what they are, the
>> likelihood is that the offspring of that B will be an A.
>> So, if one traces a particular line of descent then one would, I imagine,
>> see something like;
>> A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-B-A-A-A-A-B-A-B-A-A-B-B-B-A-B-B-B-B-A-A-B-B-B-B-B-B-A-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B
>> i.e. as time passes one sees an increasing prevalence of individuals who
>> have the requisite amount of X to be considered properly human.
>> So, yes, one CAN pick a "first human" BUT I don't think it follows that
>> this individual marks THE transition

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Oct 4 15:02:18 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Oct 04 2009 - 15:02:18 EDT